February 26, 2021

STARGÅTE-PLÅNET.de—Interview with Aleks

Aleks Paunovic was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, but he’s of Serbian descent. In the Stargate universe, we know him as “Shaq’rel” from the season 6 episodes “Redemption1” und “Redemption 2” and recently he made a guest appearance on Stargate Atlantis, playing “Rakai” in the 4th season episode “Reunion”. We are grateful that Aleks Paunovic allowed us to ask a few questions.

After filming two episodes of Stargate SG-1 in 2002, how was it to be back at the Stargate set this spring? Are there differences between SG1 and Atlantis regarding the production process? Which set do you think is cooler? Where were your scenes filmed—Bridge Studios or Norco?

Well, being back on the Stargate set was great, and to tell you the truth the set has people that worked on Stargate and while I was doing Atlantis some of the same crew was there, then running into the guys on Stargate while I was filming Atlantis and being very nice and generous was a plesent surprise. Both sets are pretty cool, but on atlantis we had a very cool set where most of the fighting took place. We filmed it at Bridge.

Did you have to audition for your roles on Stargate and if yes, how did you prepare for the auditions?

Yes, I did have to audition for my role on Atlantis and Stargate. I love the audition process and when you have a great role to sink your teeth into it’s more fun. When I do auditions, I have great actor friends to run lines with, actually Tahmoh Penikett from Battlestar Galactica is one of my best friends; he and I run lines quite often.

Dan Shea was the stunt coordinator of Stargate SG-1; James Bamford is the stunt coordinator of Stargate Atlantis. Is doing stunts with the SGA people different?

Ya, it is different; I think every qualified stunt coordinatior is different, but working with bam bam [nick name] was great and Jason was awesome too work with also.

Up to which level would you do stunts yourself and where’s your limit—stunt-wise?

I love doing stunts, especially stunt fighting, not too sure a 6 foot 5 man is into car crashes but for me, I just love the fighting aspect of the industry. There’s an art to NOT landing the punch, and me coming from a boxing background took me a bit to get used too.

You’re also working as a stunt double on other shows. What’s your favorite stunt and why?

That’s a great question; I did a movie called The Messengers that came out last year—with John Corbertt. I played his stunt double; we had this big pool of mud swamp that I fall into and had to hold my breath underwater for about almost 2min. I did that around 4 times. Plus—I did one car crash, never again. Ouch.

In “Reunion”, you have fight scenes with Jason Momoa. How did you prepare for the scenes and how long took the filming?

Jason is a fantastic athlete; his fighting skills are great, so when you work with someone who knows fighting and combinations in fighting, it becomes a dance. We rehearsed the fight scenes and adjusted the combinations a few hours, and bam bam did a great job in coordinating the fight. So, it didn’t take long at all.

Tough guy or softie? Which characters do you prefer to play and why?

Well, being 6″5 tall and weighing 250 pounds, I’m always cast as the toughie! But damn, I love playing the softies. It takes the audience by surprise and I love doing that.

STARGÅTE-PLÅNET.de: In 1998, you were directing Destination Manitoba. Regarding Taming Tammy, you were not only acting, but also involved in writing the script. Where do you see the main focus of your career and why?

When I started in the biz, I really wanted to sink my teeth into every aspect of the industry, love to make it happen and also love to just be involved in someone elses vision as an actor. I cant really say what my main focus is, when I’m a part of something, I’m giving it 100 % , when that project is done and something else falls into my lap or had taken my attention I want to tackle that at 100%. I have a short attention span so anything for a long period of time I get bored, but with this industry, you put everything you can into getting something done and, ahhh, you can just sit back and look at what you’ve done with pride. But just for a bit, then your on to tackle your next venture.

We read in the forum of a British convention event website that there are several Stargate fans out there who would appreciate to see you on a convention stage. If you were invited, would you come and how far would you travel to meet your fans?

Well, I’m telling you, I have great friends that go too the conventions [Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica]; all tell me amazing stories of the convention and the one thing they always say is the most loyal fans at the conventions are Stargate fans. So, to answer your question—I would be honored to go anywhere Stargate is willing to have me.

In the upcoming movie Heart of a Dragon, you play the character of Tim, Rick Hansen’s trainer. What can you tell us about this character and the movie?

This is a great movie and I can’t wait for the public to see it. It’s about Rick Hansen, an athlete who, while a teenager, injured his spine and was confined to a wheel chiair. Most of the movie takes place on the great wall of china, and following the trials and tribultions of his Wheels in motion campain. Going around the world to raise money for spinal cord research, I play his trainer Tim, who was always in his ear with sound advice and pushed him only the way Tim could. Victor Webster, great friend of mine, plays the role of Rick. After we shot the movie, Victor and I went around Asia for about 3 weeks. Amazing experience – filming and traveling.

Other upcoming projects that you would like to draw the attention of our website visitors to?

Right now, I’m writing another movie that Tracy Smith and I are hoping to do together again, after the great screening of Taming Tammy at the Vancouver International Film Fest, we are hoping to do most festivals. So right now lots of writing, training and loving my blessed life.

Any chance you’ll make another guest appearance on Stargate Atlantis now that the fifth season has a “go”?

Mmmm, very interesting, I would love to come back and fight Jason again; he did end up slapping me pretty hard in one scene; I owe him a shot. If you look at the scene where I’m giving him a tattoo before a take he came up to me and said: “I’m gonna do something new, just go with it.” So you can see the surprise on my face when he slapped me that hard. That’s okay though, afterwards we played guitar and he bought me Patron Tequila. Guess he thought I would forget, nope, he’s gonna get one back. Lol

More info on Aleks Paunovic -> click here. (C) of photos is with MGM/Stargate and with AleksPaunovic.com.