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Mike Dopud's ever expanding universe

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  • Mike Dopud wouldn't reveal whether his "Stargate Universe" character, Varro, and Alaina Huffman's T.J. (right) get together.
Mike Dopud wouldn't reveal whether his "Stargate Universe"… (MGM )
April 11, 2011|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

These final episodes of “Stargate Universe” are especially bittersweet for Mike Dopud.

Dopud’s character, Lucian Alliance officer Varro, finally earns the trust of his shipmates on the Destiny in “The Hunt,” the latest episode of “SGU.” He also earns his freedom, and will have a lot more to do in the coming episodes.

That news, and the fact that “SGU” producers had hinted Varro would have a bigger role in Season 3, are the “sweet” part for Dopud. The “bitter”? Syfy did not renew the series for a third season.

“I knew [the producers] had planned to keep me around,” Dopud said by phone from Vancouver. “But I had a great time working on that show with everybody. And I loved the directors and the cast.

“Am I disappointed? Yeah. But I’ve been around long enough to realize that things like this happen sometimes, or actually happen often. You deal with it, but it sucks at the time.”

Dopud is dealing with it, apparently by jumping onto several movie and TV projects. I spoke with him Saturday while he was watching cartoons with his children, ages 2 and 6. He had returned to Vancouver Friday night from L.A., where he was filming a Fox pilot called “Exit Strategy” with Ethan Hawke. He took a weekend away from that project a few weeks ago to shoot the pilot presentation “Echoes” that is being developed by “SGU” alums Mark Savela and Ken Kabatoff.

He plays a major role in the Syfy movie/pilot, “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome,” and on the movie front, he’s in “Mission Impossible: 4,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “This Means War.” (Some of these were filmed before or as “SGU” was cancelled.)

But Dopud doesn’t want his “SGU” experience to be over just yet. “I still hope that we can get a movie or something going and that I will be part of it,” he said. “I think the fans deserve it.”

Dopud and I talked more about “SGU,” his other projects, his Illinois connection, lifting up David Duchovny and, yes, even his abs (in the movie “300”).

Varro (Mike Dopud) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) are forced to work together in"The Hunt." (MGM)

Tell me about “The Hunt” and the future for Varro.
I think it was one of the great things for Varro as far as being part of the team. He finally is able to show what he could do and how he could help the rest of the guys on the Destiny, especially with T.J. being abducted by that creature. As far as his character, he knows exactly how to deal with these situations. He’s able to take hold and sort of become a leader of this expedition at some point and then ends up helping save and rescue along with Jamil [Walker Smith, who plays Greer], to rescue Alaina [Huffman, who plays T.J.].  

Does Greer trust him?  
Oh, Greer and Varro, yeah, they have trust issues. And I think it’s a great exploration of their relationship throughout this process because they end up going on the hunt together and they don’t necessarily get along so swimmingly at the start. There’s a nice progression as the show goes on.  

It looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of Varro.
It is funny with Varro because, even the producers were telling me, “Don’t worry.” I think they had planned him more for Season 3 if things kept going. But “The Hunt” is a good one and there are definitely other sequences in the rest of the episodes that bring Varro’s relationship, especially with T.J., to light and that kind of thing. He definitely has a couple more episodes where he is in there quite a bit.  

So everybody’s dying to know if they ever will be together?  
[Laughs.] Well, you never know. It’s one of those things where I can’t really say right now, but it definitely looks like it’s going that way.  

I’ll just write, “He laughed.” And that will pretty much do it, I think. How did you react to the cancellation news?
We all seemed fairly confident that we were coming back. It was really disappointing for me. I was working on “Mission Impossible 4” and I started getting tweets about, “Ah, man!” A couple of guys from “Stargate Universe” who had moved onto “Mission Impossible 4,” and they’re like, “Hey, did you hear? We just got cancelled.” I’m like, “What?” It was kind of weird because I’m just in between scenes, I’m ready to shoot something and then I hear, “Well where we’re cancelled. So it was a bit of a downer on that day. It was a bit of a shock to me.

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