These are high-flying times for “Stargate: Universe” actress Ming-Na. Literally.
This week, the former “ER” actress flew from home in L.A. to work in Vancouver on “Stargate” for a day, then back down to shoot an episode of “Two and a Half Men” in her recurring character of the judge who’s romantically involved with Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). Next it will be off to Yosemite for Easter, egg hunting and “communing with nature” with her daughter, son and husband, then back up to Vancouver.
Ming-Na’s grown accustomed to her two-city lifestyle, and says, “I like being able to separate my work from my home life. When I’m home I don’t have to worry about 4 a.m. call times the night before working. I can be a full-time mom. And when I’m at work I can focus all my energy on that. I actually like it. I find what I do in my job parallels what goes on in my personal life – I go from L.A.X to Vancouver Airport and it’s like I’ve gone through my own Stargate into another world altogether.”
“Stargate: Universe” gets its Season 1.5 debut tonight (4/2). Among other things, they’re going to show aliens (CGI aliens, not rubber mask aliens, stresses Ming-Na) on the Syfy series that follows a group of explorers moving through the cosmos aboard a partially-disabled ancient spaceship, on which they’re stranded. “The premise of the show is really survival,” points out Ming-Na, who plays openly gay character, Camille. “These circumstances bring out the humanity of these people, including the very dark sides that come out when they’re in a mind state of ‘I’ve got nothing to lose.’”
That’s very different from “Two and a Half Men,” in which her character is a successful and intelligent contemporary woman. What does she see in Charlie? “Well, you know, those accomplished women like to go after the bad boys,” she laughs. “It’s a little escapism, a little excitement.”