Jerry O'Connell Chat at The Unoffical Sliders Fan Club on 1997
Conducted By: Jason Lohn
USFC: What is your favorite episode?
Jerry: My favorite episode was an episode last season where we slid to a world where 90% of the men have died because of a virus that was spread through the world. The remaining men are used for breeding purposes only (Love Gods). I would have to say that was my favorite episode. Mostly because of the ratio of girls to guys. Anybody can get a date on that world.
USFC: All of the episodes have been quite different.
Jerry: Exactly! That's the nice thing about Sliders, it's constantly changing. What I can tell you, as someone who works in television, it's really one of the most boring jobs in the world. Because you're doing pretty much the same thing everyday. As an actor, you're constantly wanting to change your character and find yourself in different situations and with Sliders you get the best of all worlds. No pun intended.
USFC: How do you feel looking back at the early part of your career with Stand By Me and seeing yourself, and how have you changed as an actor since then?
Jerry: It's pretty weird. It's been a crazy trip. I never really expected to work in this business. No one in my family is in this business. Stand By Me was what really got me in. I grew up in New York, so you're really in the theater world, so you're surrounded by drama. SBM was a cattle call for 500 kids. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was such a special film, it opened a lot of doors and again I never expected it to last. I went to film school at NYU and saw all my friends graduating and going out and getting real jobs; it kind of frightened me. When I first got back to acting, I decided I wanted to do a TV show. As an actor, your agent sends you about 100 pilots. Sliders was the only one I went out on. I didn't want to get trapped in a show I wouldn't really find interesting. Sliders, after I read the pilot, it really got my imagination running. I thought after I completed it, oh wow, it can be 'the series'--you can go here and go there and do this, and I thought 'All right, this is definitely the show I want to be a part of.' I was fortunate enough to land it.
USFC: Is there a certain kind of music that you listen to, or have any hobbies?
Jerry: I like the whole gambit of music. I listen to all kinds. There aren't enough memory buttons in my car to plug in all the stations I listen to.
Jerry: I fence, I was the captain of the NYU saber team. My brother was the captain of the fencing team. My brother was my boss. In general, just a lot of athletic stuff. Sliders takes up a lot of time. Sixteen hours a day. It's pretty rigorous, but you try and get outside as much as you can.
USFC: Do you have any pets?
Jerry: I have a dog. Just hit twelve.
USFC: Not a cat named Schroedinger?
Jerry: No, I don't have one of those. Sabrina has two cats. I can't really go to her house much, because I'm allergic. I start sneezing like crazy. When I stayed with her for a week when I first got out here, it was one of the most painful weeks of my life. You realize how essential breathing really is!
USFC: Do you have any plans for writing or directing in the future?
Jerry: I wrote an episode of the Sliders comic book. I sent in a bunch of ideas for the show. I think they were a little too dark for the show. They get a little afraid. The stuff I was eriting was a little darker than what they like to put on, becasue it is an 8PM show, The comic book guys were more than willing. I think I'll go back and write a couple more of those.
USFC:Is there something you would like to see done with the show? Do you want to see it go darker?
Jerry:Yeah, I think darker is always more fun. It's the nice thing with science fiction. I think it should be a parallel of our society. It should make statements and judgements of our own society without commenting on it. If you look back at the best science fiction, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, every episode paralleled some sort of contemporary social problem or a problem that he saw. A lot of it was about McCarthyism or the Red Scare, a lot was about the Cold War; he really tapped into that and he got past all the sensors becasue he called it sceince fiction, and they really couldn't pin anything on it. I think that is what a science fiction show should be and that's what makes it so special. It should be a little more intellectual. There are a lot of TV shows out there that don't have the opportunity to be as outspoken as sci-fi can, so you have to tap into that.
USFC: Do you watch Sliders?
Jerry:I don't. I don't like to watch my own stuff.
Jerry:I get critical. I just don't like to watch it. I've seen it and I know what's going to happen in the end.
USFC:What do you watch?
Jerry: I watch a lot of X-Files and I watch too much MTV.
USFC: How have you personally developed your character? Gone from the college genius to now having to save worlds.
Jerry: I think like Quinn, or like Jerry, Quinn/Jerry has become older, over a three year span, especially from 19-22. They are pretty maturing years. I think we have a lot in common in that sense. We don't have anything in common in the sense that Quinn Mallory is a physics genuis, and when it comes to math and science, I'm pretty illiterate. It's a fun part to play.
USFC: You all seem to have a lot fo fun with it.
Jerry: Oh yeah!
USFC:Well, thank you for your time, Mr. O'Connell.
Jerry: My pleasure, Jason.
Thanks to Jerry O'Connell Rocks site for this transcript
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