Louis Ferreira and I share more than one thing in common: we both speak Portuguese aside from English and both of us were not Sci-Fi kind of guys before Stargate Universe — the latest entity in the space-themed franchise, which premiers today at 9 p.m. exclusively on Space.
Ferreira’s resume includes an impressive amount of TV and film work. His characters range from The Donald himself in a Trump TV-movie, to lead roles in shows like “Trinity” and “Missing,” guest spots on “24” and “CSI Miami,” among tens of other TV series and films, including a a role in this year’s “Grey Gardens” with Drew Barrymore. Still, Sci-Fi remained unexplored territory for the actor (aside from a very short stint on “Star Trek”).
So how did he wind up on one of the most successful Sci-Fi franchises of all time? It’s actually quite a serendipitous story which Fereira (formerly known as Justin Louis) shared with andPOP.
Side story: when the Portuguese-born, Toronto-raised actor kicked off his career in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, Vancouver was a booming destination for film productions so he’d go there whenever work would dry up in Toronto. “I remember being in my twenties and being like, ‘If I could have the ultimate lifestyle, it would be the farm in Toronto, the apartment in New York’ and I said, ‘a boat!’ If you could live on a boat like “Miami Vice” you would want to do it in Vancouver,” shared the Gemini winner.
Fast forward a decade and Ferreira got himself an audition for the part of Colonel Everett Young in a new ‘Stargate’ series, but he wasn’t too sure if it was a role he’d want to take on. “I was like ‘Sci-Fi: I don’t know enough about it,’ and I operate in a very strange way in that I sometimes ask the universe for signs. Like, ‘am I supposed to do this?’ It’s a strange thing that I ask,” he admits.
Ferreira remembered his adolescent dream of owning a boat in Vancouver and put it out there, asking for a sign. Sure enough, days before his test, an old boat attached to a trailer showed up right in front of his house. He then said if the boat would stay there until his audition, that meant he should take part in the show. “The boat stayed there for not only the test, it stayed there for another month,” he said with awe. “I had no idea what happened, someone just dropped off this old boat in front of my house.”
Ironically enough, “Stargate: Universe” is filmed in Vancouver. Aside from that, there were two other factors that drew Ferreira into the project; one was that he admired the creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper and the fact that “Universe” is quite different from previous “Stargates” according to Ferreira, who says the new series is much darker and edgier. The other reason is that Emmy nominee Robert Carlyle was involved.
“I saw Robert Carlyle’s name attached to the project and I was like ‘oh boy, that’s an actor, he’s my kind of actor.’ Personally, I was like ‘I’m a big fan of his work’ and so those two things for me were the reason I was drawn to it,” said Ferreira.
He added that this time around, “Stargate” is much more grittier, realistic and ultimately “good drama that’s set against the sort of Sci-Fi backdrop.” “It seems to be the right sort of evolution if I could use that word for the franchise, and I think that it bridges the gap nicely,” he said. “I think there’s something there for all the old ‘Stargate’ fans…and then hopefully what it can do is bring all kinds of new viewers as well who might watch the ‘Houses’ or the ‘Fringes.’ ”
It’s worth noting that the effects in this one are fantastic. Ferreira revealed that the special effect guys behind “District 9” are involved in the series as well. He plays Colonel Everett Young, one of the lead roles in the new series.
“We start with Young on a sort of leading base but the bigger picture is that he’s made that decision that his relationship with his wife is sort of in jeopardy, and that’s where his heart is right now,” said Ferreira. “He doesn’t want to lose his wife and he knows he’s in trouble so his whole thing is to finish this last mission and get back home. So when this mishap, we’ll call it happens, the demons that are in there become part of it.”
The actor is still filming “Universe” through October and after that he plans on “sleeping.” “I really don’t have any plans but to just sort of love my family and then see what happens next.”
“Stargate Universe” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space and today you can also catch Ferreira on the new Space show “InnerSpace” where he’ll be talking about the series.