Tuesday night features the Christmas episodes for Eureka and Warehouse 13 on Syfy, at 9/8c & 10/9c respectively. I got the chance a few days ago to speak to stars Eddie McClintock (Pete) and Saul Rubinek (Artie), and honestly, it was the most fun I’ve ever had on a call. They were genuinely nice and absolutely funny guys, and you could tell they were comfortable with each other and with speaking to the press.
In this ‘long lost’ holiday episode of Warehouse 13, as the Warehouse team prepares to celebrate the holidays in snowy South Dakota, Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) are called upon to hunt down a malevolent Santa Claus. Meanwhile, in time for Hanukkah, Artie and his estranged father, Isadore Weisfelt reunite after 30 years. Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch guest stars as Artie’s father. Paul Blackthorne also guest stars as a harried workaholic who becomes terrorized by a strange series of robberies committed by a thief dressed as “jolly old Saint Nick!”
Right before the questions started, they had a little silly conversation back and forth.
Saul Rubinek: They have to register a question.
Eddie McClintock: I’ve got a question, Eddie why would you go to Bulgaria to do a movie called The Boogeyman?
Saul Rubinek: Because it would be fun and you have a family to support.
Eddie McClintock: Answer, because it’s awesome. No it is fun man, I’m having a blast.
Saul Rubinek: Cool.
Jump with me to read the hysterical and entertaining questions & answers.
On his typical holiday traditions:
Eddie McClintock: Well, my favorite holiday tradition would be having to pick my mom off the kitchen floor and put her into a cold shower, after she had had too much cooking sherry. But other than that, I have two sons now and they’re just starting to really enjoy Christmas and the holidays and we try and make sure to put out some cookies and milk for Santa and make sure that they have lots of toys under the tree as it were.
On why social networking sites like Twitter are important to promotion of special holiday episodes:
Eddie McClintock: Well I think just the climate of the entertainment industry has changed with the introduction of these social networking sites and the fact that a lot of magazines have folded because of the economy.
So the use of a publicist maybe isn’t necessarily as prominent as it used to be so getting out there and kind of being able to talk to the fans and let them hear from me personally is a cool new thing and I have a good time, it keeps me busy and it’s just fun to have that instant feedback that you get from Twitter.
And I think it’s important because for instance I have some friends who have a million, I have like three or four friends who have about a million followers on their Twitter account and I told them before the premiere of Warehouse 13 I asked them if they would do like a blast to all their followers.
So before the premiere this year I had direct blast to about 3.5 million listeners who already follow the things these people say to begin with. I think that has, there’s a lot of power there, marketing power, so I think it’s a good thing.
On why people continue coming back to Warehouse 13:
Saul Rubinek: Because of Eddie’s Twitter probably.
Eddie McClintock: Nice.
Saul Rubinek: It’s really interesting. Last year I crossed the country with my son, we were moving from one coast to the other and I was kind of used to people recognizing me from either Unforgiven or Family Man or Frazier or something like that but it was so, it was very often, more often than Warehouse 13.
And what was unusual is I used to be able to pick out people who were recognizing me from what show, my kids and I used to play a game where that was a Frazier fan, that’s definitely a Star Trek fan, that’s a True Romance fan because of the tattoos.
But with Warehouse 13 it’s impossible to tell because we’ve all discussed this, but quite often people are watching this with their families, which makes all of us really proud. I mean it’s a 9:00 show, it’s really appropriate for kids ten years old and up, and it’s violence is kept at a minimum.
And it’s the kind of show because of the humor and because of the adventure fantasy that seems to work, thank god, for the whole family so that nobody feels either talked down to or talked up to and I think it’s the secret of its success is that. Now why that is because there are a lot of smart people and producing it and writing it and they’re brilliant in their choice of actors, just brilliant. But other than that it was, it’s… We have a great time and I think it’s kind of contagious, you can tell I think that we all have a good time doing the show. We really enjoy it; we really look forward to every day of shooting we have a great time.
We have a wonderful and imaginative show runner Jack Kenny who keeps things humorous and allows for collaboration and we’re very lucky, we’re very fortunate and some of that I think transmits through the airways to the people and people tell each other.
And that’s what’s going on. I think another reason is because not one episode is really formulaic and you can’t really tell what the next step what’s it’s going to be like other than the fact that we’re tracking down artifacts, you can have quite a dark episode, you can have a really light one, there isn’t a formula and I think that that is attracting fans as well, so I mean those are my guesses.
When asked to talk about the Christmas episode and what their favorite part of filming it was:
Saul Rubinek: Go ahead Eddie.
Eddie McClintock: I think the Christmas episode is it’s right in line with what we’ve always tried to do with the Warehouse 13 episodes. They’re a lot of fun and there’s some tense moments but again at its heart it’s a nice family show about this family of people that have come together at this strange warehouse out in South Dakota and I think it just stays true to the series and it’s fun.
And Paul Blackthorne who is our guest star does an amazing job and I guess my favorite part was when the nutcracker…
Saul Rubinek: I could’ve told you that that was his favorite part just because he gets to say the word nutcracker.
Eddie McClintock: And I get to say nuts.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. I could’ve told you that. I have three favorite things that happened to me.
Eddie McClintock: That’s news.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah you’ve talked long enough. I have three favorite things. One is that I got to work with Judd Hirsch who I’d never met but had been such a fan of for so many years and we’d never even meet before, and that was a huge thrill, he’s a wonderful performer, great actor and was just a pleasure to have him on the show, and they had to age him up a little bit to make him old enough to be my dad, but that was a joy.
And the second thing was that for the first time Jack Kenny, our head writer and show runner directed an episode and he was wonderful to work with and it was great to have him as the director of the show, and he wrote the script as well, so that was a pleasure, a real pleasure.
And then I got to perform this little nocturne, or at least part of it, that I had been writing myself on the piano, which took the place of the nocturne that Artie has been working on for years that his father is so happy that he finished it. So I got to do that, so those were three great things for me.
On what their characters would most want for Christmas/Hanukkah:
Eddie McClintock: Pete would like to get all of his CD collection back because apparently it was lost in the mail from Washington, D.C. to South Dakota. He’s kind of stuck out there at Leena’s with no tunes, because Leena has Justin Bieber and she plays the same CD all day.
Saul Rubinek: That’s funny.
Eddie McClintock: I know.
Saul Rubinek: I think it actually happens for Artie. I think Artie is kind of like a Christmas and Hanukkah grump and he’s kind of not really into all of that stuff and really would prefer it all to go away, and partly because it would remind him of the family that he doesn’t have and he’s reminded that he does already have a family, which are these people, in fact we’re all reminded of that in this episode.
And Artie’s life has been so solitary and so removed from ordinary family life and he has to deal with so many dark things that holiday season for many people around the world brings up what they don’t have and what they can’t have, and that’s certainly true for Artie and it’s brought home to him in a very real way by having his estranged father as part of the episode.
On what they could tell us about the “bad Santa” that we’ve all heard about from the episode?
Eddie McClintock: You don’t want to mess with him because he will kick some A-S-S. And I have to spell that out because my five-year-old’s right here.
Saul Rubinek: You know there’s a great cartoon that, the great cartoonist Gahan Wilson his stuff is quite often in the New Yorker, I don’t know if you know his cartoon.
And there’s one I remember from years ago is there’s a little boy with his covers up with his eyes huge with terror and the door is cracked open and a very angry looking Santa is looking daggers at him and the caption underneath is “I hear you’ve been a naughty boy this year Jimmy.” And it’s that kind of terror that this bad Santa brings.
My questions! Jenny: Hi guys.
Saul Rubinek: Hey Jenny. How are you doing?
Jenny: I’m good. Eddie, you know you’re addicted to Twitter when you’re in the middle of a conference call and you’re still tweeting. [Note from Jenny: I had TweetDeck open, and Eddie kept tweeting back to people who were tweeting him. lol]
Eddie McClintock: Jenny you know I’m an addict, baby.
Saul Rubinek: Is that what you’re doing Eddie; you’re tweeting as you…?
Eddie McClintock: I’ve been trying to tweet you back here but the Internet is actually like…
Saul Rubinek: How the Bulgarian…
Eddie McClintock: …two guys out on a bicycle.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. The famous Bulgarian Internet.
Eddie McClintock: Two guys out on a bicycle and they’re causing friction to make electricity so it’s kind of, it’s taking a little while here.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah by the way they take it very kindly out there in Bulgaria when they hear you making fun of their country, you should, you’ll have a really good time at the service tomorrow.
Eddie McClintock: I’m not making fun, there are actually two guys, hey guys go a little faster. I’m telling you they’re out there. I just threw them a couple sandwiches.
Jenny: Well I’ve obviously spoken to you before Eddie but Saul this is the first time I’ve been on a call with you so I’m very excited.
Saul Rubinek: Nice to meet you too.
Jenny: At the end of the last episode Myka left, obviously she’ll be back, the show obviously wouldn’t be the same without her. I’m assuming she’ll be back for a holiday episode. Is that a correct assumption?
Saul Rubinek: No. The holiday episode is a stand alone, this Christmas episode; this Christmas/Hanukkah episode is really called the long lost episode in a way. It’s a stand alone episode that has nothing to do with any of the other story arcs and…
Jenny: Oh so her leaving…
Saul Rubinek: Is still in play. Yeah.
Jenny: This obviously won’t have anything to do with the holiday episode but we were sad to see Pete’s girlfriend go and Saul already has this definite flirtation thing going on with the doctor. Can you guys tell us where your love lives are going in the near future?
Saul Rubinek: Well I mean if Eddie’s character and Allison’s character have anything to do with it they would like to have Artie hook up with somebody just to get him off their back so much, but also because I think that they want to see him have love and some kind of connection other than work in his life.
And so he would but he’s very reluctant, and people get stuck in their ways when they get older and if he hasn’t had it already he would be very nervous about it.
We definitely, or I know that we’re going to have Lindsay Wagner back, and it’s a wonderful character that she and the writers have created and it’s a very interesting little dance that’s going on between Artie and her and that Pete is trying to encourage.
One of my favorite episodes of last season was this, when Eddie and I got to work with each other, actually the truth is that whenever Eddie and I get to work with each other now we have a blast. We don’t do it that often, very often you know he’s with Myka and I’m with Allison which have their own joys for us but when we have gotten together in episodes and we do have byplay we really have a blast, so that’s some of the favorite stuff we’ve done.
Eddie McClintock: Yeah I mean for me watching Saul and getting to see Lindsay Wagner and Saul work together for me was just, two such great pros and I just sat, you know if you remember the scene up in the loft where Lindsay’s character is inadvertently tickling Saul, or Artie and it was just so great.
I mean it was funny and it was kind of one of those surreal moments for me as an actor, who by all rights should be probably digging a ditch in Ohio somewhere that I can sit back and watch two pros finesse a scene and I always try and learn from stuff like that.
So I would love to see Lindsay come back and have an opportunity to participate in some more of those scenes.
Jenny: Now my last question for both of you how are you most like your characters?
Saul Rubinek: It’s an interesting question. When you’re doing a television show or a movie and spend a lot of time going into a movie as you know for a few days or a few weeks sometimes I’ve been the lead but more often than not I’ve been a supporting actor and you create characters that are only meant to last for, and given a quick impression.
When you’re playing a lead in a television series as the four of us are, we really have to rely on our own personalities a lot and the writers start to write for us.
So we aren’t a lot different from the characters that we’re playing you know I mean there are aspects of ourselves that may not you know, come to the fore and I’m certainly a family man, I’ve been married 20 years, I have two kids and I didn’t do what Artie did which was sacrifice his entire life for his work and for some greater cause like that, in that way I’m completely different.
But when you’re doing a show week after week you can’t really put your character in quotation marks, you’re using yourself at all times and I’m pretty sure Eddie’s going to agree with me.
Eddie McClintock: Yeah I mean like Saul said when you’re doing the same, playing the same character for such an extended period of time it just feels like to me if I try and be anything other than just kind of who I am the audience is going to catch me in a lie, so I just try and just kind of be, there’s more of me in Pete than I would care to admit I guess because. Yeah.
Saul Rubinek: Or that we can tolerate frankly.
Eddie McClintock: Yeah. Yes. So I mean I just basically show up and just hang out with my friends, that’s basically what it’s about.
Saul Rubinek: That’s the issue with what happens on any television series and all the actors that I know who are on long term television series say the same thing. If you really got to play some very eccentric, quirky character week after week that has nothing to do with you you’re going to have a problem, the audience will start to feel that the character is false.
You really have got to find a way, the writers, the producers, the network, everybody’s got to be behind them creating a character that suits you once you’ve been cast, or they’ve got to fire you and find somebody else that suits the role better, you know.
And in this case pretty much what you’re seeing is who we are. We obviously didn’t choose to work for the FBI or the Secret Service, we chose a different line of life, a line of work. But our personalities are very similar, maybe with the exception of CCH Pounder who’s kind of goofy and funny and not nearly as serious as she shows herself to be.
Eddie McClintock: I would say that she has the biggest contrast in regards to who she is.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Jenny: Well it was great talking to both. Thank you very much.
Eddie McClintock: Great to talk to you.
On their favorite holiday memory:
Saul Rubinek: Wow. My holiday memories, well I grew up with Hanukkah and married a woman who grew up with Christmas and my kids have both with great exuberance for, my daughter’s 19 and my son is 15 and we celebrate everything.
We love holidays and my wife Eleanor has been a huge fan of that. We love ritual, those rituals. We love comfort food and favorite holiday foods. We’re going to have a Hanukkah party next week with Latkes, those potato pancakes and dreidel playing and we’re going to have, we love…
Eddie McClintock: The guy from Taxi?
Saul Rubinek: Yeah right. And we’re going to do Christmas as well. We love all of it. So I don’t know if it’s a favorite one thing but it’s certainly those ceremonies including Passover, Christmas, all of those things are really important to our family, so those are special times for us.
Eddie McClintock: For me, I remember waking up as a kid one morning and going downstairs and my parents had gotten me the Guns of Navarone…
Saul Rubinek: Well that explains it.
Eddie McClintock: …army man kit, like the army man set. It came with a big, giant plastic mountain with the Guns of Navarone in there and the Germans and the American like commandos and it came with tiny little barbed, like plastic barbed wire and there were tanks and stuff so.
Saul Rubinek: Wow.
On dream guest star. (Allison wants Betty White, btw):
Saul Rubinek: Oh for favorite guest stars. Well I want my friend Brent Spiner to come do the show and I’m hoping that they create a character that he wants to do. I worked with him probably 25 years ago doing second season of Star Trek the Next Generation in a great, great episode and we had done theater together in New York years before that too. So I would love to have Brent, who’s kind of a Syfy icon, and a great guy and a wonderful actor on the show.
Eddie McClintock: Bruce Campbell. I’d like to see how his chin and my chin cohabitate. See if our chins could fit in the same frame.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. That’s not likely. And also a really boring reason to have an actor on a show, but there you go, that’s our Eddie.
Eddie McClintock: Me. There you go. Yeah I’ve been drinking.
Saul Rubinek: Drinking the beer in Bulgaria, well he’s in Bulgaria what can you do, you know. At 10:00 at night, you know.
Eddie McClintock: I’m drinking potato vodka.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah absolutely. No he’s kidding.
Eddie McClintock: I want Leslie Nielsen.
Eddie McClintock: Too soon?
Saul Rubinek: Yeah, too soon yeah.
Saul Rubinek: That’s really good Eddie, a Bruce Campbell chin joke and a Leslie Nielsen dead joke. Really good. You’re doing well. Maybe you should be drinking potato vodka.
Eddie McClintock: My wife is just sitting across the room looking at me just shaking her head.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. So we’re all shaking our heads. And we better get another question. Get another question here so you can really screw things up. Go ahead.
Eddie McClintock: Help me. Help me.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. I’m trying, you know, but you’re 6,000 miles away. Go ahead. Who’ve we got next?
Saul Rubinek: What do you think Eddie?
Eddie McClintock: I would say the chances of Kate Logan coming back are almost definite. You know Tia was so great to have around and she, I know she is interested in coming back, I think she had a good time on the show and I think we would all love to see her come back because she’s just a joy to be around for me.
Saul Rubinek: We’ve created, or at least the writers/producers have created a kind of a rep company of wonderful actors including the people we’ve talked about and Lindsay and Rene Auberjonois and wonderful actors.
And with the success of the show it becomes just easier once people know what the show is and they like it then it’s easier, it becomes easier for people to be attracted to the show and to make time to do it and so that’s really good for us, it’s one of the benefits of being the number one show on this network and we get great people to work with. So we’re hoping that that’s an extended family on Warehouse 13 because we’ve only, there’s only four of us that are regulars on the show and we depend on great people to work with and they’ve been coming in droves. We’ve been very lucky.
Eddie McClintock: Apparently Johnny Depp has expressed some interest.
Saul Rubinek: Though we’re not in Bulgaria and although he’s not actually drinking potato vodka he probably should be.
Eddie McClintock: Help me.
Saul Rubinek: It’s just Eddie, you know, that’s the way, I mean the, these Eddie-isms come out.
Eddie McClintock: Poor Saul has to endure me.
Saul Rubinek: Well he throws out ten bad ones and then one lands. See normally he’s got an editor but he doesn’t today so we’re getting it all.
Eddie McClintock: Tell him to de-moan.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah uncensored Eddie is actually the name of a new horror film that Syfy’s going to be, he thinks it’s called Boogeyman but not really.
Be a great extra for the DVD.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. Uncensored Eddie.
Just give him a video camera and let him go.
Saul Rubinek: No. They’re trying to sell these DVDs remember.
Eddie McClintock: Yeah.
On New Years resolutions:
Saul Rubinek: Resolutions. Oh my god. I’m trying not to make them anymore. All they do is depress me. I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to lose weight. I’ve been thinking…
You say it now it’s, if you say it now it’s out there, all of us have heard it so you have to stick to it.
Saul Rubinek: Now I do? Okay. Okay. Artie’s going to lose weight but I didn’t say how much weight, could be ounces.
Eddie McClintock: I’m going to try and be nicer to Saul.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. This is not time, you know. Do you actually ever have a New Years resolution, do you ever do that Eddie?
Eddie McClintock: Not really no.
Saul Rubinek: See I told you, I knew I’d get the truth out of him, not really.
On whether or not there will be any mistletoe action in the episode:
Eddie McClintock: There’s a little…
Saul Rubinek: Well I forgot, somebody had asked if we had any special artifacts there are quite a few actually. Now that I remember there are quite a few being used, there’s one really special artifact, Christmas artifact and then there are quite a few others of which maybe mistletoe is one. There you go.
Eddie McClintock: Warehouse 13 explores a little guy on guy.
Saul Rubinek: Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.
So Pete and Artie are going to be kissing under the mistletoe.
Saul Rubinek: Eddie zip it. Eddie.
Eddie McClintock: Come on. Come on Saul.
Saul Rubinek: Oh man. And he’s actually got a script that he’s willing to give you I’m sure.
Just text it to me all right.
Saul Rubinek: All you have to do is ask him, he’ll tweet the whole script.
What about Pete and Valda. I think that would be a good thing that we’d see.
Saul Rubinek: I mean yeah, no that’s an after 1:00 am episode. Yeah. So you don’t…
I think five Web sites just sprung up Pete loves Valda.
Saul Rubinek: Valda, yeah. There you go. Thanks for that though, for our family show trying to sell our holiday family show now images of Pete and Valda are in my head, excellent. Thank you for that.
There’s a bunch of fan picked out there already I’m sure.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. And they’re very healthy fan based material.
On whether or not he will be back from Bulgaria and in the States for the holiday:
Eddie McClintock: Well let me just restate for the record that I’m, I love, I’m having a great time here in Bulgaria doing this, I’m doing a movie for Syfy but I will be back on the 19th. We come back and then we’re going to jump in the car and drive six hours to Scottsdale after our 17-hour flight from Bulgaria. So yeah.
Saul Rubinek: Well planned.
Eddie McClintock: Yes. Lots of traveling. Actually we’ll have our (soup)…
On what we can expect going forward in season 3:
Saul Rubinek: We’ve been told some stuff so I can’t tell you. If I haven’t been told anything I could’ve started guessing. Now I feel if I pretend to guess stuff I’m going to lead you away from what I actually know is going to happen…
Saul Rubinek: I know some of the stuff that’s going to happen, they don’t tell you that stuff because of your addiction to tweeting so we keep a lot of things from you Eddie, a lot of things. So I can’t tell you actually and because then Eddie would know and then if Eddie knows the world will know so that’s…
Eddie McClintock: My best friend used to call me the town crier.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah and all the rest, yes he cries and the rest of us weep. Here’s what’s really going on is that they’re going to have to deal one way or another with the fact that Myka has left the warehouse and try to figure out what to do about that so obviously that’s going to be dealt with.
And the other thing is you’ve got a show that people like, the audiences have liked it, it’s a hit show for them, they’re going to continue doing what they’ve been doing, but that said you know we’ve had unpredictable shows. We’ve had two unpredictable seasons.
We’ve had villains who are not painted with just one color. They’ve been wonderful, Jaime Murray and Roger Rees have played multi-faceted characters, great actors and the writing has matched their inclusion in the show.
So giving them a lot to work with and I suspect that that’s going to be something that will continue, giving an audience the unexpected and continuing that family feeling that we’ve got on the show and that people care about us.
As far as the particular adventures are concerned and what the arcs are they’re, that’s going to be stuff that’s going to be revealed probably starting with the first episode you’ll start to get a feel for where that’s going to go.
And we love the fact that our fans guess and make, look we like the fact that our fans are critical as well. If they’re involved in the show and there are things that they don’t like they talk to each other. A lot of people read what they like and what they don’t like and it’s a new universe, as Eddie said a few interviews ago. It’s a brand new universe. We have an interactive television audience that’s never existed this way before.
I mean it’s really by leaps and bounds so it’s going to be a new media. I just read for example there was some kind of press release recently that said there was going to be a comic book of Warehouse 13.
I’m hoping that eventually there’ll be a really good game, that there’ll be webisodes dealing not necessarily even with our characters, that the universe of this show can expand on a lot of levels because it’s 3,000 years old this warehouse and been doing things for a long time.
A lot of great stories can be told in different ways so I think that the modern term for this is called transmedia.
So it’s not just social networking sites, it’s gaming sites, it’s comic books, it’s webisodes, it’s shows, it’s documentaries about the show, it’s the reality shows that are based on the fact. There is a kind of reality show already that Syfy is doing that has to do with artifacts.
And so what I’m hoping is rather than to talk about just what our characters are doing and what arcs are going to happen and what adventures were going to happen. What I’m hoping happens is the show continues and if the fans keep us on the air, because that’s what’s going to keep us on the air more than anything else, is that the show deepens its platforms and that there is many more ways to explore the life of Warehouse 13, its history and its adventures rather than not just on the show but in many other ways.
And I think that the people at Syfy and at NBC Universal are thinking along those lines. And the fans, Eddie and I have been, Eddie had been to a few more conventions than I have but I’ve been to two or three and I’m amazed by how bright, how involved the fans are and they can tell in a way that they never have before in any other decade how interactive and how important their contribution, what they think gets listened to.
Saul Rubinek: Well it was a long lost relationship, I mean over 25 years of estrangement for both the bitterness on both sides and the show deals with a little bit of that, it doesn’t explore it too deeply but it puts them together in a way that they would neither of them have expected.
But as I said to another interviewer before, yes Artie shies away from personal relationships, people that he’s hired to be agents like Pete and Myka have been killed or disappeared or been in limbo or god knows what kind of places they’ve gone to if they haven’t taken things seriously enough.
And the dangers of working in a place like that are mammoth and as a result he’s afraid of losing people, somebody who hasn’t got a partner and doesn’t have children and doesn’t even have a, a cat or a dog. He’s learned to isolate himself for three decades or more.
And a personal relationship is just fraught with the possibility of loss, abandonment and death. Those are very dark things to live with when you have the responsibility that he has. And that’s what’s most fun about the character for me to play with is that there’s a line of madness that deals with that kind of isolation, that kind of monomania, that kind of obsessiveness that’s really fun to bring out just in parts.
We’re not doing a show like Fringe, as good as Fringe is, we’re not doing a really dark show where those qualities would come out so much, it’s what allows Eddie as Eddie’s really a wonderfully, spontaneous performer and really, and because if he does do that he has that kind of wonderful ability to throw himself humorously into situations no matter what’s going on.
It encourages that side of the show and so for all of us actually that’s a really, really good thing I would say led by Eddie. And it’s encouraged by the writing and by all aspects of the show.
That said there’s I think Artie represents a darker side to that. But then there’s, as you can see from the show, Eddie has been really great when some of the darker stuff has played. He’s had two or three episodes in two years where really dark sides of his character have come out and it’s been some of his best work and I know he’s really proud of it and deservedly.
Eddie McClintock: Thank you.
Saul Rubinek: And Artie has very like moments so we’re a little unpredictable and I think there’ll be more of the same, don’t you think Eddie?
Eddie McClintock: Yeah. One of the things I really love about the show is its unpredictability and being able to open up the script every week and go wow, this is what we’re doing, this is where we’re going, I mean it’s that kind of spontaneity that I think really for me keeps me energized in regards to what can be a pretty tedious, grueling 15 hours a day, five days a week, you know 2,000 miles away from my family type schedule.
So the writers have created this world and it’s really exciting to be able to go there from week to week when we’re shooting.
[Note from Jenny: There was a great little conversation about why people should watch the Christmas episode, and Eddie jokingly said something about watching and winning a million dollars. Obviously not true, but it was funny!]
About trying to get into the holiday spirit when shooting a Christmas episode in summer:
Saul Rubinek: You know there’s an old joke about doing winter in summer. The writers on MASH used to get, years ago used to like getting comments from actors and they used to get all kinds of notes.
But then sometimes, this is a story Alan Alda told me, that sometimes you know one actor would say well he’s getting changes, maybe I should get changes and sometimes when they got too many changes the writers would write a winter episode shot in 102 degree Calabasas desert where they’d be around a barrel filled with fire wearing parkas, you know.
So they’d be shooting this in 102-degree weather and that was the way they would get back at the actors. It was tough, we were hot, it was August and it was (unintelligible) turn into winter and covered in whatever they called, whatever that snow was, I think that’s probably why they set part of the episode in Los Angeles so that they could at least get outside and do summer looking Christmas but.
Eddie McClintock: Yeah the snowball that Myka throws at Pete…
Saul Rubinek: Yeah what was that?
Eddie McClintock: … it hits me in the back of the head and then it kind of fell down into my shirt and it was this gooey, the glyceriney like conglomeration of like goo. It was like a ball of goo.
Saul Rubinek: Excellent. A snotball.
Eddie McClintock: A snowy snotball if you will, but I remember Jack Kenny, the exec producer when we were, because he also directed that episode as Saul had said earlier and he was like you guys to production make sure that these…
Saul Rubinek: Oh yeah.
Eddie McClintock: …stages are air conditioned and he forced production to go and rent like two or three extra…
Saul Rubinek: Mammoth’s, yeah that’s right.
Eddie McClintock: …mammoth AC’s so that we weren’t just burning up in there. I mean not just for the fact that they wanted the production to look decent but also to keep us comfortable, and that…
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. The good fortune of having a show runner that used to be an actor so he can feel for us sometimes.
Eddie McClintock: We’re not just meat puppets to him, although he may not admit that in public.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah I think one of the favorite things that Jack used to say was that you know, Alfred Hitchcock is misquoted, he never said that actors were cattle. He said they should be treated as cattle.
On what classic cartoon character they would love to see come on to the show:
Saul Rubinek: Wow what classic cartoon character would work well on Warehouse 13? What an interesting question. You know, I always try to think of what would be the least likely not the most likely cartoon character, so rather than any of the superhero characters or any of those characters would seem to fit into our universe, what occurs to me immediately is those Tubby and Nancy comics and you know…
Eddie McClintock: What?
Saul Rubinek: …or Peanuts characters.
Eddie McClintock: Tubby and Nancy?
Saul Rubinek: Yeah don’t you, that’s before your time. There’s, well Peanuts characters would be awesome on our show because it’s so un-Warehouse, it says nothing to do with our universe whatsoever. But to have…
Eddie McClintock: How about Archie and Jugghead.
Saul Rubinek: Yeah. To see, well actually Jugghead is probably, that hat is probably an artifact you know.
Eddie McClintock: My god that’s a question that, man I don’t know.
Saul Rubinek: Well we’re answering it anyhow.
[Note from Jenny: When they got asked that question, my husband & I looked at each other and immediately both said the same answer…]
Eddie McClintock: I just got Wylie Coyote was pitched to me on here on Twitter from TVIsMyPacifier, so that would be a good one.
Saul Rubinek: Daffy Duck, excellent, because he’d probably take over from Artie and start running the warehouse and that’s what he would do immediately, we’d have to get Elmer Fudd in there to shoot him and there would be a big mess, there’d be animal rights people, it’d be terrible.
On what super power they would like to have:
Saul Rubinek: The idea of having super powers it’s like, the expression a busman’s holiday, it’s like a bus driver who goes on vacation but it’s ending up on a bus going on vacation. It’s like bringing coals to New Castle.
Having super powers is kind of like the daily life of Artie. He’s got these artifacts that when you use them actually do approximate having super powers and all he knows about super powers is that all they do is they have to be cataloged, they have to be neutralized, they can really destroy people’s lives. In fact they can be dangerous to the planet and so he doesn’t fantasize about that, doesn’t fantasize about having super powers.
What he fantasizes about is not having to deal with any of these things, have a life of normalcy where cause and effect have logical and natural order. You know what I’m saying? For anything to do with super powers it’s not in his, his everyday life is doing that.
If he could really have them, if he could create anything that would have a super power it would be that these things didn’t exist, that there were not such thing as artifacts that could be imbued with these powers that were deadly and insane, and that there was no need for a world where Warehouse 13, where all these 13 warehouses had to exist in order to protect humanity from itself and from the things that they’ve done and so that’s my answer.
Eddie McClintock: If I had super powers it would be the ability to get my sons to go to bed before 11:00 at night every night.
On whether they prefer working short term on films or on TV, where they can develop the character and put a lot of themselves into it:
Saul Rubinek: That’s a really good question. After all these years I can tell you it depends on so many things and on what the people are like and whether you’ve got a great script. It really can be a nightmare doing a television series where you’re locked into something with people that you have trouble with.
And I’d have friends who’ve been on series where you know the show runners and the writing staff and it’s all been, there’ve been tremendous insecurity from the network and so things change constantly, everybody’s nervous about how much money they’re spending, trying to get an audience.
I’ve never been in a show that’s been the number one show of a network and I’ve never been on a show ever that’s had this kind of support from a network and a studio and had such a happy experience. So there’s nothing really in all the 40 years that I’ve been working that can compare to doing this show. I can say that without any qualms, it’s really a joy from beginning to end.
Of course we all like doing different things. We like variety and we are getting a lot of variety on this show. The character isn’t stuck in one area. So it really depends, I’ve done radio and theater, I’m trying to do more theater now because it’s a completely different joy that happens as an actor, as you know.
But yeah, the show is offering all of us a lot of opportunity for versatility.
On what advice they would give to perspective actors:
Saul Rubinek: Here’s one piece of advice, don’t listen to anybody giving you advice. There’d be one thing to not do. You know if you can be advised away from doing acting you probably don’t belong there, you know. It’s a terribly difficult thing to choose, it’s kind of got to choose you.
Eddie McClintock: I can say that I can just speak from my experience, and I’ve had a lot of young people from back in Ohio where I’m from who have asked me what they should do. And I mean I don’t know what they should do but I can tell them what I did.
And that was I got into, I started taking class here or in L.A. because you know it’s, the business itself is so cold. I mean not to be too trite but it’s a cold, cold business and when you’re in class for me, it becomes a bit of an extended family because you’re probably from, you’re probably not from L.A. when you get there.
So you learn, you develop a support system in class and it’s a great way to meet people and do showcases and I met my manager through my acting class and a lot of people that I know that are still working I met through class.
So that was probably the most important thing for me is I got in class with a good, reputable acting coach and I studied and studied and studied and worked really hard to feel that I had, that I was qualified to actually walk into a room and call myself an actor so.
On their upcoming movies:
Eddie McClintock: Sure. I guess I’ll start. I’m doing a TV, they call it a creature feature here on Syfy and it’s called The Legend of the Boogeyman and it’s really, it’s really a lot of fun, SyFy has been really, really good to me and they want me to kind of bring my comedy to what otherwise would be a kind of a horror film kind of creature feature.
And again I think it’s kind of like my all time favorite, one of my all time favorite movies is Evil Dead 2 and the reason being is Bruce Campbell was so brilliant in his ability to inject comedy into what was just a very well done Sam Raimi horror film and the only reason I reference that is because if we can do anything that’s even close to that, that would be my dream.
So young Emma Sams is in the movie with me, you remember Emma Sams from Dynasty and she was also on General Hospital back when Luke and Laura were getting married and she is amazing and I’m in Bulgaria for three weeks and I actually tweeted a picture today from the set.
The film is not about moonbeams and daffodils so it’s really kind of a clever story about who the boogeyman actually may be and I play a local cop who stumbles upon this terrible, terrible creature and hopefully I can help save the day.
Saul Rubinek: Along with, well Barney’s Version is coming out in January. I did another film that I’m hoping is going to get a U.S. release and for anybody who wants to find it it’s called Kill Me Please and you can look it up by googling Kill Me Please Belgium movie and take a look at it because I had to go to Belgium last January and did a film where I improvised in French.
It’s a really a very small, independent film, however it won a number of prizes including best film at the Rome Film Festival this year. And it’s a really interesting movie about clinics that actually exist in Switzerland where people go to commit suicide, but even though that sounds really somber and bleak it’s a very funny black comedy, very funny movie.
So I’m hoping that, I know it’s released now in Europe and who knows, it might even be in Bulgaria there Eddie. But it might, but I’m hoping because it’s winning prizes and great reviews that it’ll come to North America soon. People want to look it up it’s called Kill Me Please. They should look that up, it’s really funny.