America Online Interview
September 22, 1998
(Note: this interview took place right before the premiere of the third season of JAG in the US.)
AOLiveMC2: Welcome to the Odeon, David James Elliott.
David James Elliott: Hi!
AOLiveMC2: And a Happy Birthday to you!
David James Elliott: Thanks.
Question: David - will you be having input on the writing and script content this season?
David James Elliott: Yeah, I have my opinions and I often work changes out and present my ideas. You know I generally we have a meeting at the beginning of every year and then halfway through.
AOLiveMC2: Here's our next question, David:
Question: How many seasons will JAG have?
David James Elliott: Only God knows! I take it one day at a time.
Question: HI David! Happy Birthday!! I love JAG and can't wait for tonight's show. My question: Are Harm and Mac ever going to be together??
David James Elliott: You know... who knows? Hard to say... not so far. But never say never.
Question: DJE I have everything that I have been able to find in print about you, but I cannot find any posters, T-shirts, hats or etc. I am crazy about you and JAG. I have your pictures that I have printed from the internet all over my walls and on my computer.
David James Elliott: Interesting...
Question: Hi David. What can we expect from your character and the show this season? Everyone at Maeves Jagnick Central says Happy birthday and we are all watching tonight, we love ya.
David James Elliott: Thank you! I think that now after tonight's show, and four years of searching for my father. I finally got my answer and can explore life. I have been obsessed. Now we are going to look at other sides of the character...we are currently working on our 6th show. And we've had some very good shows so far this year. Going to explore some romantic involvement...for the character and his private life. I believe there is a promotion coming up at some point.
Question: Hi David!!! Does the MIA bracelet that you wear really have a name on it? I noticed that you didn't have it on in previews? Does that mean something?
David James Elliott: It means that I don't wear it again at the end of the show. And yes it has my father's name on it. It says Harmon Rabb MIA 12-25-69.
Question: How do they do the flying effects?
David James Elliott: We have a fuselage from an F14 and we shoot against a blue screen...and we have a very elaborate lighting set up. And camera to work in juxtaposition to each other to give the impression of movement. And we use nitrous oxide gas for the illusion of movement. And a great crew and movie magic...and great editing.
Question: So David do u actually get to fly in the tomcat in any of the shows?
David James Elliott: Not yet. I keep hoping though. I have flown with the BlueAngels but that was in a FA-18.
Question: David, just wanted to say how much I enjoy Jag - it's such a great show. My question is "is there anything you would like to see done on Jag, something that has really happened in the Navy?"
David James Elliott: There are many stories I would like to see done. I've heard many true stories from many real JAG's I've talked to. One about a mercy killing in a gunners pulpit of a flying fortress...the plane was on fire and the gunner couldn't get out... so one of the pilots shot him. So he wouldn't have to burn to death. I think it would be interesting to flash back to different wars in black and white. I have many ideas for the show.
Question: Who did you play in Doogie Howser?
David James Elliott: I don't remember the character's name. He was a movie star who was going to play a doctor on a show...so he was using Doogie to train him. He had a big ego. It was a fun show.
Question: Hope you had a Happy Birthday! I have a question.... I have been hearing on the JAG mailing lists that there is a new Aussie character... can you give us any info into the character? single?
David James Elliott: Not that I know of, unless somebody knows something I don't. First I heard of it.
Question: Your appeal is much like that of Tom Selleck (to whom you've been compared once or twice). How do you feel about that?
David James Elliott: That's flattering. I've always been a big fan of Tom Selleck. Big! And have met him many times, and is a very nice man!
Question: where is jag filmed?
David James Elliott: We do a lot of locations, but our studio is in Santa Clarita, CA.
Question: Are there going to be any cast changes this season?
David James Elliott: Not that I'm aware of, but I think we'll have some characters that come on, cause I know Harm is going to get involved in a love interest somewhere in the show. I don't know how long that will last.
Question: Were you ever in the armed forces in real life?
David James Elliott: No, not really big on that kind of authority.
Question: Hi David! I and a lot of people in my office really look forward to Tuesday night for JAG! Is it a happy set? Do you all get along well?
David James Elliott: Yeah! We all get along very well...we have a great crew, and it it's a very nice working atmosphere. We hope that translates to the screen.
Question: How much of your own personality have you put into your character Harmon Rabb, Jr.?
David James Elliott: That's a tough question. We're different people...so I don't know. You would have to meet me and tell me.
AOLiveMC2: And along those lines is another question, David:
Question: Compared to Top Gun do you consider yourself like Maverick an ace pilot or are you that aggressive in the air as Harmon Rabb?
David James Elliott: Yes, he's an ace pilot... and very aggressive in the air. My idea was to make the idea that when he was afraid to fly that I would translate the aggressive behavior to the courtroom.
Question: Do you have current or former JAG officers working with you on the accuracy and believability of the plot or is this all spawned from some writer's over active imagination?
David James Elliott: No, the writers have a team. The Navy and Marine Corps are consulted all the time on the scripts. From JAG officers to Rear Admirals. Rear Admiral Paul Gilquest.... Former Marine on set. 22 year veteran...Matt Sigloch. So we make every effort to be as authentic as possible. Sometimes we have to take artistic license because our main objective is to entertain.
Question: Is the set always closed and do you let people watch from the side lines if filming on location?
David James Elliott: Yeah, we let people watch sometimes...if they are quiet and behave.
Question: Will Harriet and Bud have a major story this season?
David James Elliott: Yeah...we are definitely following their lives. I don't want to give too much away. Tune in and find out! :>
Question: Hey, David...why do they introduce "zulu" time into the script...I know what it is but don't you think it confuses some?
David James Elliott: No, I don't think so. I think Don thought it looked good on the screen. That's the way the Army operates. We are dealing with the world as a backdrop sooo...
Question: First I'd like to say, Happy Birthday and that I love JAG. Have you ever wanted to be a pilot (military or otherwise)?
David James Elliott: No, but as the years role by...I wouldn't mind learning to fly. I've had some stick time in a helicopter... and I have flown in other vehicles. No, I have always wanted to be an actor.
Question: Do you think JAG will ever win an Emmy someday?
David James Elliott: Who knows...I definitely think it is good enough to. But shows of that ilk, generally they just look at the 10:00ET time slot. I'm not holding my breath.
Question: What do you like most about doing the show "JAG"??? Your show is great. From Schaefer8
David James Elliott: I like the fact that it is enjoyed by so many people...and of all of the shows that have been on, this one gets the best in Navy response from people...and I really like that. And thanks!
AOLiveMC2: We have time for one final question, David.
Question: Are you able to go out without being mobbed?
David James Elliott: Yeah, I go out.... I just get a positive response. People are usually very polite.
OnlineHost: All good things must come to an end. Time is up for this event!
AOLiveMC2: David, thanks for joining us tonight!
David James Elliott: Thank you for having me.
AOLiveMC2: You have many fans here.
David James Elliott: And God Bless!
AOLiveMC2: And thanks to all of David's fans who have joined us and sent in their questions. Goodnight, Everyone!
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