Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan


1/5/1967, Los Angeles, California

Birth Name

Joseph Harold Dunnigan III


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User Rating
415 votes


Joe Flanigan was born in Los Angeles, California on January 5, 1967, but grew up near Reno on a small ranch from age 6. His parents, John and Nancy Flanigan, still lives on the small Holcomb Lane ranch where he grew up. He attended boarding school in Ojai,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Joe Flanigan: (On whether he thought it was old fashioned of his character, Sheppard to be worried about the pregnant Teyla going on missions). (laughs) I don't write this stuff, remember? I act it. I think, actually, that there's a protective thing regarding... I don't think anybody's ever seen it that way before, but if it's old fashioned... I don't think it's old fashioned. If a woman's pregnant you've got to make sure she's out of physical harm. Seems like a pretty logical thing, doesn't it? But wouldn't it be considered insanely irresponsible to stick a pregnant woman in the middle of battle? I don't see it that way. What I found in that particular storyline with her being pregnant and wanting to go and not wanting to go, what I found - actually Rachel and I both found - we were like, "This is so tedious." It actually plays as an impatient kind of thing, which was more interesting. I said it to her and we made a choice, I said, "I think I should be really tough on you and impatient because I'm tired of asking whether you want to stay or go." I don't think he's old fashioned. He might be a little old school. When it comes to men and women and their relationships and the military, no, I think he's pretty modern. (pause) I just want you to know that when I was pregnant, I was in battle. I went to war.

    • Joe: (On shooting in Vegas for the Atlantis episode Vegas). We're going to Vegas, man. Actually, Jason and I were all excited and high-fiving, "We're going to kill aliens in Vegas." And then he found out that he wasn't in the sequences.

    • Joe: (When asked if its tough to get back into work mode after a long hiatus). Well, it can be. It certainly can be, there's no doubt about it. But no, it also feels very natural. The whole schedule is a reawakening, or I should say the opposite of that! It's a difficult thing to hardwire yourself again for the 5 a.m. alarm bells and the 12- to 14-hour days and stuff. But that's the way it works, you know.

    • Joe: (On Stargate Atlantis). You know, not all episodes are great. Some are less good than others. I know I'm supposed to be sitting here and plugging this, but I'm also a viewer. I'm a regular part of the TV audience world, and I know that I like shows that I would watch. And this is a series that I definitely would watch. And some episodes are better than others.

    • Joe: (On how he thought the Atlantis cast gelled in season one). Pretty quickly. Yeah, real quickly. It's an easy-going group of people. We have a remarkably functional group of people. Unlike a lot of sets on other shows you don't have temper tantrums and freak-outs and stuff like that. It's an amazingly well-balanced group of people.

    • Flanigan: (On what he thinks makes Stargate Atlantis successful). I have very specific beliefs. The show is successful because of the chemistry of characters and because I don't think the show takes itself too seriously. I think that's really important. I think you can take yourself seriously, and you can say all sorts of profound things and everything can be really dramatic, but you'd better be awfully good. And the odds are you're better off doing a $150 million science fiction movie that's serious, but when you're doing a 44-minute television show for $3 million, then you have to know what your limitations are, and if you come off as very serious and pretentious, and it comes off instead as being, well, pretentious, then I think you lose people. Also, my favourite shows, movies, and TV shows were always - I loved Rockford Files as a kid, I loved all those guys where they were having fun. They're good guys and they are having fun. For some reason over the last ten years it seems like Hollywood executives have fallen in love with bad people, edgy dark characters because that's cool. So what they've done is they've created tonnes of these shows and they've all failed. Almost all of them have failed. Even if you go to the Sopranos, the dark character is a good guy. You can call him dark all you want, but the truth is he's a good guy. And a lot of the shows I've seen some very well-known showrunners put up, the characters are just not likable. I think we're lucky we have likable characters and we also have fun, you see us having fun, we're making fun of the genre a little bit, we're making fun of ourselves. Knowing when the adventure is urgent and when it's kind of funny is important. Comedy and humour are probably the saving grace for us. It allows us to keep going, I think.

    • Joe Flanigan: (When asked where his Atlantis character's inner strength comes from and what is it that keeps him going? What is it that drives him if he's a little irreverant? (Flanigan taps his holster in reply) Before he is pressed for more answers).
      He's a good fighter, but truthfully, there's always somebody stronger. Surviving. (laughs) He wants to live. Remember, most of those situations he's in, he's about to die. You've got your survival instinct, you also protect other people. The dynamic is always about the team, right? Anytime one of the team members is in trouble, everybody gives up everything they're doing to go find that and they never give up doing it. That's a really important thing, that whole loyalty aspect is something that plays very strongly with the audiences. It's something they really enjoy watching. I think there is a deep sense of loyalty in the character, for sure. It's a quality I admire. Loyalty is... [pause] I sound serious.

    • Joe: (On what villain he likes fighting more in Atlantis, Wraith or Replicators?) Surprisingly we've dealt with Replicator variations, but we've been dealing with a lot of Wraith this season. I prefer the Wraith because they look creepier. With the Replicators, they look just like normal until they add the elements in post. With the Wraith – I enjoy acting against the bad guys – it's the classic – there's a monster! – let's go get it! The episodes I have the most difficulty with are the conceptual pieces, the alternate universes and such. Atlantis is primarily a show that requires a lot of exposition and it's challenging as an actor, as you're dealing in high concepts and you have to create urgency out of a 'concept', as opposed to 'there's somebody's claw coming for your chest!'. Conversely, though, it's why Sci Fi as a format is so successful, because it's so flexible – you can do anything.

    • Joe: (From Martin Firrell's Hero project, on being a parent). You just kinda have your head up your ass for a long time, and then you have kids and you're like: uhm, better pull my head out of my ass. You know... really... You're like… very exposed! Coz each kid is like your heart crawling across the floor. Unprotected. You're like: My god! wha... what are you doing! And I think that's... The truest state of humanity is that you're living for other people.

    • Joe: (From Martin Firrell's Hero project, on Shephard's emotional distancing). He hides! He hides. Doesn't want to get too involved. But he does! Character showed up as a soloist, doing his own thing, and then he became a team guy. So he got involved. He is the type of guy who feels more than he is comfortable showing, for sure. Like a lot of people. Especially guys. But not like me, I'm comfortable with my feelings, yeah. Smiles.

    • Joe: (From Martin Firrell's Hero Science Fiction project). An action hero, I think, makes all of that genetic predisposition percolate in women. That sounds pretty sexual... But it does! It stirs something up that I think is very... primitive, and it says: "That man can protect me from a dangerous world."

    • Joe: (When asked if its nice to be home more?) I love it. One of my kids was having some difficulty in school last year. I was gone a lot. Since I've been home, he hasn't had any of those problems so I'd like to think that that helps.
      There's no doubt about it. Being around for their birthdays and being around for a lot of little memories are pretty priceless, so I'm enjoying that a lot. I've also gotten reconnected with a lot of friends in my neighborhood that I don't really ever get to spend a lot of time with. I actually have a life. It's actually really fantastic. I really enjoy it.

    • Martin Firrell: (On wanting to work with Joe on his science fiction art project). I have been wanting to work with Joe for a couple of years. But sometimes it's difficult to make contact with an artist's management in the right way. In the end, I gave up. Then Wendy Scott (the Webwych of Sending A Wave podcast) said she was going to a convention where Joe was appearing and she was happy to let him know I was trying to make contact. She gave Joe my email address, Joe emailed, then we spoke on the phone and agreed to work together – that was about six months ago or so, and then it was just a question of waiting for the timing to work out. I really admire Joe's work, and the character of Sheppard is very seductive because he is so playful.

    • Jace Hall: (On how he met Joe and how much guests on his show contribute to the episodes). I met Joe while having drinks with Christopher Judge at a hotel in Vancouver. Joe happened to be at the hotel as well and came over to our table. I was like, "HEY! It's John Sheppard!"
      The guests contribute as much as they want to. There are no limitations. It's a creative work session.

    • Joe has said at several Stargate conventions that his messy, spiky hair is natural and was caused by "activity in the womb". There's not much he can do about it so he just lives with it.

    • Joe Flanigan: (About the Stargate Atlantis episode "Epiphany" which he helped write). I'll be frank. We had a lot of problems with "Epiphany" on a lot of different levels. And I don't think Brad [Wright] or I were really happy with the end result of "Epiphany." No, we had much higher hopes for "Epiphany." From concept to reality there was a drop-off. But it's a learning process. And I think Brad and I would probably agree, we both -- there were a series of problems. Not to mention one of them was a two-and-a-half-week hiatus in the middle of that episode. But yeah, we had a different idea for "Epiphany." And in the end we didn't do it. You know, not all episodes are great. Some are less good than others. I know I'm supposed to be sitting here and plugging this, but I'm also a viewer. I'm a regular part of the TV audience world, and I know that I like shows that I would watch. And this is a series that I definitely would watch. And some episodes are better than others.

    • Joe Flanigan: (About if he was concerned about Stargate Atlantis not succeeding). I don't worry about it. I think Do I enjoy the role? and Do I enjoy the people I'm working with? In this case, the answer is absolutely in both categories. The results are going to be secondary, although hopefully the results are going to be great!

    • Joe Flanigan: (About the Stargate Atlantis sets). I walked on the set, and first of all I was impressed by the size of the place. It's a very elaborate and beautiful set. And then it sank in that this is a very big production with a tremendous amount of people involved in creating this fictional world. It's really remarkable.

    • Joe Flanigan: (About how he was cast on Stargate Atlantis). My manager was at the Golden Globe Awards with one of his clients, who won an award. MGM TV President Hank Cohen also happened to be there and he came over to my manager to congratulate him. He also said, 'By the way, we're making this TV show and we're desperate to find a leading man. Do you have anyone?' My manager said, 'Actually, yes'. The next day I met with Hank and within 48 hours the deal was done. It wasn't one of those long painful audition processes, which I've been through before. So all the pieces fit together right away and I couldn't have been more pleased. Of course, I love my character. There's a level of self-deprecation with Sheppard that I feel is critical, especially with this type of genre. Shows that take themselves too seriously are ones I tend not to watch. The exception being a programme such as Cops, which deals with serious real-life events. However, on Atlantis, we're facing situations that are in some ways incomprehensible, and in the real world you'd need to be able to laugh a bit in order to survive.

    • Joe Flanigan: After graduating from college I worked at a variety of jobs, from banking to politics. I enjoyed whatever I was doing at the time but I didn't love my work. That changed, though, after I was fired from Interview magazine. I was living in New York City and flat broke. My next door neighbor was an actor and he always seemed to be having more fun than I was. He convinced me to give acting a shot, but because of my shyness I was sure it would be a lost cause. Even so, I went to the New York Neighborhood Playhouse, began to study the craft, and after a while realized, 'This might just work'. So I went out to Los Angeles and was lucky enough to start getting jobs right away.

    • Joe Flanigan: They're making a pointed effort to write more material where there are moments of greater intimacy, greater bonding, things like that. They feel that perhaps there wasn't enough in the last two years. And they've got to write them, [and] we do them. And I guess that's what they're going to do -- start writing more of them. The writers have written more personal moments for the Atlantis team members this year. From "Sateda." And yeah, you see it -- actually I've watched a number of the scenes that they have written. I've watched the dailies. And they're nice. It's nice to see the characters that you're familiar with get to know each other [in] more intimate moments and stuff. They're nice. I like them. As an actor, I enjoy it quite a bit because we have very few mano a mano scenes. It was interesting, because someone was cutting together a reel for me and we couldn't find a scene that lasted longer than 15 seconds, really. Because the show is an action show, and it's "Boom boom boom boom." Cut back and forth, intercuts, intercuts! And getting a whole scene that has an emotional arc, where two people arrive, they speak, and they then leave two pages later, slightly transformed - that's traditional, dramatic style that I hope they inject more of that stuff into the show. Because as an actor it's a lot of fun to do.

    • Joe Flanigan: It doesn't bother me to work with so much green screen. I prefer real settings obviously. There are sometimes that the green screens are fantastic when you see the final product. The scenes in the jumper are challenging. It's a very awkward little space, so that can be a little strange. Unlike on Star Trek where they shake the set to simulate explosions and things we have to just act. Can you believe that? Actually it's our acting that is making the set shake!

    • Joe Flanigan: If I'm going to fly for more than twenty feet it's generally a good idea to get a stunt guy.

    • Joe Flanigan: I wasn't a big science fiction aficionado, there were a few films like 2001 or Blade Runner that were favorites of mine, but since I started this series I have gained more respect for the genre and become more of a fan myself.

    • Joe Flanigan: At one point in college I was so shy that I'd drop out of a class if asked to speak in front of other people.

    • Joe Flanigan: I believe that science fiction is as profound as you want it to be or it can be very simple entertainment, and I'm all for very simple entertainment. Every now and then we all need to come home, veg-out, watch something and not think too deeply about it. It's what you want it to be. We tend to steer clear of being pedantic; it's entertainment first, otherwise we'd be on a lecture circuit.

    • Joe Flanigan: Learning what you don't want to do is pretty valuable, it may be as valuable as figuring out what it is you do want to do.

    • Joe Flanigan: I don't like cruises. Period. My biggest nightmare is being stuck on a boat.

  • He's okay...

    I'm a huge fan of Stargate Atlantis, and although I think they've made too big a deal of the Sheppard character the show wouldn't be the same without him. Not sure I'd call him 'hot' though - I think that title goes to David! :)
  • <3!!! Joe Flanigan!?

    I love him.

    Yes I do. Call me whatever I love this man, if he was my husband. xD I just love everything about him. That he has sons, he's younger then my grandma, and that he is ... Joe. x333 I seriously love this guy, like hoe people love Justin Beiber, or 1D. But I love him. <3 He is the best thing in the world. I hope, I get to meet him one day. I really do.moreless