Jewel Belair Staite is a Canadian actress. She is known for her roles as Catalina in Space Cases, Kaylee Frye in Firefly and its spin-off film Serenity, and Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis. Staite has also starred as Raquel Westbrook in the Canadian drama The L.A. Complex.
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Hi! I'm Jewel, actress, blogger, food eater, wine drinker, and overall mouthpiece. My latest project is a comedy chastely titled How To Plan An Orgy in a Small Town. We've set up a crowndfunding campaign you kind of need to check out or I'll be really upset and probably cry and stuff: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/how-to-plan-an-orgy-in-a-small-town
Welcome to my AMA. I shall take every question deathly seriously.
ALSO DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER: I didn't know you couldn't edit the title of your AMA until I posted it. To reiterate: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.
THANK YOU for all your questions, you crazy goofs! Love you guys. So fun. XOXOXO
First off, thank you so much for doing this AMA! I loved you in Firefly, it was, and still to this day is one of my favourite shows. To my question I suppose... Is there any part of Kaylee's character that you really resound with?
The randy part.
Was it strange for you to play Sean Maher's love interest in Warehouse 13 after Kaylee's long running infatuation with him? I think all of us Firefly fans fondly recall the " I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries" line on the subject...
No. It was awesome. Namely because HE was the one pining after ME.
You've been in 2 very popular shows which have been cancelled.
As an actress, how do you deal with the disappointment of your show being cancelled?
Have you heard of wine?
What was it like working on Are You Afraid of the Dark? That was a staple show for me when I was a kid and The Tale of Watcher's Woods was my favorite one!
PS - My boyfriend is in love with you, but I accept it because I'm in love with you too.
I loved doing Are You Afraid of the Dark mostly because I was a little kid and there were tons of night shoots so my mom let me have tiny sips of coffee and I felt really cool.
PS - Are we all getting married?
Love the sense of humor the Firefly cast has! Will you please tell us about a practical joke on the set of Firefly or Serenity?
Nathan Fillion is responsible for any and all practical jokes because he'll do anything for a cheap laugh. We created a really mindless competition on creative ways of giving each other the finger which snowballed into a competition to the death... I won. Sorry, Captain.
First off, Thanks for signing my back a while back. Secondly, what's the weirdest thing someone has asked you to sign?
A boob. A genuine female boob. Then she had my signature tattooed on her genuine boob.
Do you like how I chose this as the first question to answer? Oh, get ready.
How good was the strawberry in Firefly really?
Not as good as a cheeseburger. Sorry, boys.
If you could have given Kaylee a storyline they never got to film, what would it be?
Kaylee needed to have mad babies. Like, a litter of babies.
Hi Jewel! What do you think Kaylee is up to nowadays?
Kaylee's kicked Mal down a couple pegs and become Captain, obviously. Simon looks after the babies.
What's your favorite behind the scenes FireFly moment?
Probably behind BEHIND the scenes as in Sean Maher's behind. Just joking! Not really! My favourite moments were always the moments we spent on our downtime, usually at Nathan Fillion's house playing charades and drinking margaritas. I love those people. We have all held each other's hair back at one point or another. I'd do anything for them. But don't tell them I said that because they'll get big heads.
Jewel, first off, I love you.
Second, when you worked on Stargate Atlantis, did you ever get to touch Richard Dean Anderson (despite only guest starring in a handful of episodes)? If so, did you find you were a better engineer after coming into contact with the aura of MacGyver?
I have never touched RDA. I am sorry. For you, not necessarily for me. I'm sure he is a nice man.
Hi Jewel :) can't wait to see you How To Plan An Orgy in a Small Town; What made you say yes to Jeremy?
Basically, besides the script being brilliant and making me laugh my ass off by page 3, Jeremy is super nice and enticed me with free clothes and alcohol. You will love this movie. I can't wait to do it.
Hi there! I was wondering if you could shed any light on Joss Whedon's surprise appearance at the StarFury convention in London last September? It was super cool and now I'm scared to go to any other Cons - just in case he crashes the party again!
The short story is this: Sean Maher and I were near Heathrow airport doing a convention. Joss was secretly in town for The Avengers. We met at our hotel bar and after one tequila two tequila three tequila four, Joss decided he wanted to go dancing. The only place we could think of that had any form of dancing was back at the convention disco party. So we decided to dress him in a disguise which consisted of my friend's scarf over his head. (Sean also wanted a disguise so he put on his glasses like Clark Kent, which isn't really a disguise but he's so cute I didn't want to tell him that) We walked into the disco thinking we were going to pull the wool over everyone's eyes but he just looked like Joss Whedon with a scarf on his head. Everyone was super cool about it and we basically formed a giant dance circle and Beyonce'd our asses off until 3am and it was glorious. Browncoats know how to par-tay.
Do you watch shows even if you star in them? If you do, can you still see yourself or other cast members as characters, or is the whole facade ruined for you?
Most of the things I watch that I've done I want to strangle myself. I can usually get through everything once, because in my opinion that's how you learn how to improve for next time. Sometimes I get nostalgic for Firefly and watch that again. But then I end up strangling myself so for the sake of breathing I try not to.
If you woke tomorrow and found that you were now Bruce Willis, what's the first thing you would do?
Call up my buddy Sam Jackson and go for brunch.
Hey Jewel! How different do you think Firefly would have been if you had gotten the role of River instead? Would you have played her in a similar way to Summer or do you reckon it would have been unique?
I can't really imagine anyone else playing any of our roles. Plus no one plays crazy like Summer. (hi, sweetheart!) Also if any of them do an AMA and get this question and think they would have played Kaylee "more uniquely", someone's getting their ass kicked.
Hi there! I have no idea what I'm doing either. This is my first question to a AMA post :) I'm a big traveler and have a "bucket list" of locations I'd like to visit someday. What is one place you would love to travel to and why?
I want to go to Italy. And I want to eat my way through it. And I want someone to roll me around in a stroller while I eat. Like a fat baby.
Jewel, I have loved you since your days on Flash Forward!
What emotions did you feel when you got the news that Firefly would be able to be wrapped up with Serenity?
Pure bliss and gratification. We needed closure. It's like after a bad breakup when your ex wants to rekindle things for a minute. PLUS we got to film on the Universal Studios backlot which means we got to ride the rides for free anytime we wanted, son!
What would it take to win your heart?
Do you own a yacht and/or winery?
What's the most difficult scene/thing you've done in a show/film?
The wraith in Stargate: Atlantis season 2 was a nightmare. First day at work, my call time was 3:45 AM to get the prosthetics on. Plus, when you look that ugly, no one wants to talk to you. Except David Hewlett. He talked to me. I love you, David. Also, filming "that scene" in Dead Like Me was a wee bit awkward, because it was my first day and I didn't even know Callum, and then there we were humping against a wall. My dad still hasn't seen that one.
We're you able to keep a prop from the set of Firefly or part of your costume? If so, what?
Nathan took everything so basically the only things I was allowed to keep were the small things he managed to part with. The Kaylee's room door sign. The hammock from the engine room. And one padded bra I stole from my wardrobe, I'm sorry Mom.
Are there any books you’ve read that you’d love to see turned into movies?
Who do you hang out with the most from the old Firefly cast?
What do you think of the upcoming Star Wars movies?
What is the most important thing in your life?
The quality of my life. Putting my personal life and my own happiness first before work or anything else. Doing things I love. Spending time with the people I love. And most importantly, my shoes, my purses, and my wine club memberships.
I have a vary serious question:
Who would win in an epic space starship smackdown between Kaylee and Catalina? You decide the rules.
Kaylee. Catalina's biggest weapon is her wit, and that's not going to take her too far. Plus Kaylee's friends fight dirty.
Can you tell us something about yourself that we may find surprising?
I have 12 children, all from previous relationships.
If you had to choose between:
A muscle car
as your daily driver, which would it be and why?
Muscle car. Something tells me unicorns are shit at staying the course and getting you where you need to go. Unicorns are probably flakes. Amiright?
Hello! What was one of your most memorable moments with a fan at a convention?
A fan was so nervous meeting me, he farted. And we both ignored it like it never happened. I will never forget that fart, or you, my friend. <3
What is your favorite dish to cook and your favorite to eat? (could be the same answer)
Cheeseburgers, all day long. I make a mean roast chicken, manicotti, mac and cheese, great souvlaki.. Basically, I'm your dream lady, food nerds.
Hey Jewel! Love what you've done and your sense of humor.
If you could pick a role as a villain, what type of villain would you be and what would be your great evil scheme to defeat the good guys?
I'd be the kind that gets to dress in super hot outfits while kicking ass and breaking hearts. And my evil scheme would be to defeat them with my charm, obv.
Huge fan of Firefly and Stargate here. My bro-in-law is too, especially Stargate. He gave a talk at Contagion about Stargate last year.
My question is what went through your mind the first time a fan told you they looked up to you/your character as a role model?
Thanks for doing this and thanks for being an awsome person at conventions.
Have you ever turned down a role, that you later regretted?
And if so, will you tell us what it was?
I turn down a fair amount of things, because I've been at this for 25 years and I can luckily afford to be a little picky. I've never once regretted anything I've turned down. Regretted a couple things I said yes to, but what are you gonna do? Regrets are a waste of time.
What Firefly cast member would fit best into the cast for Orgy movie?
Sean Maher. For reasons other than the fact that his nickname is Sean "The Bod" Maher. Don't tell him I told you that.