Interview with Eddie McClintock & Saul Rubinek from Warehouse 13

The other day, while I was at the dentist, Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer) & Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen) spoke with the press about tonight’s premiere & this new season. I guarantee, those people had a lot more fun than I did, because I know how great both Eddie & Saul are to talk to, especially when they are chatting together. So jump with me to see what they had to say.

On the show taking a darker tone this season

Eddie: I know that as Joanne was saying at Comic-Con, and I thought it was well put, she said that we’re still painting with all the colors that we were painting with before, but we’ve added a darker color.

So it’s not necessarily that the show has taken a shift tonally, but there are these great consequences. The fact that H.G. Wells is dead. The fact that Jinks is gone. The warehouse is gone. Mrs. Frederic is gone. We have to deal with that.

And to come back from that and be jokey and ridiculous, it just wouldn’t make sense. It all seems disrespectful to the show. And again don’t get me wrong; Pete is still using his comedy to protect himself from the fact that he is devastated by the loss of his friends.

Saul, what do you think?

Saul: Yes. The show is definitely darker.. As I told you, there are tremendous consequences to bringing the warehouse back, which is what will happen. That’s not going to be a spoiler. People aren’t going to be shocked by that.

We always have tried to maintain a balance between the humor of the show and you really don’t know from one second to the next where the jokes are going to come. That’s still true.

No matter how dark we get, there’s going to be lighter moments. We don’t take ourselves that seriously. But on the other hand, we’re not so light so that we’re just fluff. And I think people care enough about these characters and see all these different sides to them that we can stretch.

On a fourth season of a very successful show, it wouldn’t be outrageous for the writers, the studio, and the network to say, “Play it safe. We’ve got our core audience. We don’t want to mix things up too much.” But what happened is that they stepped it up.

I think you’ll see this season that they have taken some chances. I don’t know yet whether all those things have paid off. They seemed to when we were doing it. You don’t know until the show gets air. I can tell you that certainly in the premier it paid off big time.

They’ve taken tremendous chances. The writers, the producers, executives have all decided that we’ve earned the right – that Jack has earned the right and the staff has earned the right to raise the bar and to stretch things a little bit, and that our audience will go with us. We think that’s true.

And so, that’s what’s happened to us. We worked really hard – extremely hard this season because we were given stuff to do that had not been required of us for three years.

So that’s what I can say without spoiling things for people. I hope the fans are the recipient of that kind of risk taking.

On what artificats they could possibly have after the destruction of the warehouse

Saul Rubinek: It’s really hilarious how you guys ask us the one question that we can’t answer. You know that we’re going to have to spoil everything if we start talking about this.

I can tell you this though, our show is not called Giant Chasm in the Ground 13, it’s called Warehouse 13, so obviously they’re going to figure out a way to bring the warehouse back. But we’ve had artifacts. We’ve know that there’s a downside to using them. There are always consequences. And what the writers decided was that there had to be some consequences that were irrevocable. There were consequences that would be so dark that – so it that it wouldn’t just be easy.

So, “Oh, they’re dead. All right. We have an artifact for that.” “The warehouse is gone. We have an artifact for that,” so everything becomes easy. It’s not going to be that easy. And whatever we use will have consequences for the life of this – of the characters and for the life of the series.

So that’s what I can tell you is that the use of artifacts becomes a darker and more dangerous and less takebackable thing than ever before. Would you say Eddie that’s true?

Eddie: Yes. And not necessarily that it changes the show totally, but certainly there will be fallout from the use of artifacts that we cannot take back. You know, that stay with everybody. The change, it changes everyone permanently.

But from week to week you still have fun ones and it stays light.

But definitely like Saul said, we don’t want the show to become predictable, so you have to be able to know that we can’t just fix everything every time.

On doing a heavy, dramatic scene together vs. the normal, lighter scenes

Eddie: Well for me, it’s always great to be able to work with Saul – and unfortunately, we don’t get to do it as much as we would like. Not to blow too much smoke here for Saul, but I have such a great deal of respect for his work and the way he approaches his work, that anytime that I can be a part of that, I think it makes me a better actor and I think my work is better.

The opportunity to really do something serious with Saul – it’s those moments for me that make all the moments of tedium worthwhile. I do all the other stuff and I love the other stuff as well, but it seems like the one you’re talking about – ones that actually move me, I don’t have to work up emotions for those scenes. Saul is present; I’m there, the writing’s good, and things just happen.

Not to be too trite, but that’s the magic of what we do I guess.

Saul: Thanks Eddie for that. I think that we’re a team. Over the last four years we’ve really become a team. We’re like a family. It’s not like we don’t have bumps with each other like any family does, but we have certainly one of the best crews in Toronto, and I know that because I’m a Toronto actor from way back and I know Toronto crews.

We’re a show that other crews envy because there’s no prima donna. There’s just hard work and a lot of fun, a lot of which is because Eddie really keeps things light and entertaining. I call it his buffoonery. But it’s true and we do have a wonderful time together.

I think that you’ll find that might be a common denominator for shows that work is that when there is that team and that mutual respect and fun that’s going on and everybody’s working together, the work is fairly easy.

We’re especially blessed because Jack Kenny – our show runner is available to be on the set with us. He used to be an actor. He’s incredibly collaborative. If things don’t fit in our mouths the way that they were written on the page, things are changed. We get to improvise a little bit, and we’re extremely lucky.

When we do serious stuff together, it’s fun, it’s quick and it’s easy, and we don’t do it enough. The way the show’s tracked out this particular year, we had less to do with each other than even before, so we’re hoping that’ll change. But we have a great time together. I’m sure that’s obvious from watching the show.

On his character & himself and how Pete has changed since the beginning

Eddie: Well, I can tell you the biggest parallel that I think – between myself and my character – when we started this years ago, the character of Pete, if you remember in the pilot, he has a one-night stand with some girl he just met. He kind of gives her the boot, you know, he gently suggests that she go because he’s got to get to work. And, it turns out his work is to guard the President.

So I think we see that, he doesn’t take his job all that seriously, and I think he’s a little overly egocentric. He’s pretty wrapped up in Pete. He’s a recovering alcoholic, so even though we don’t know that, it’s kind of a classic condition of the recovering alcoholic which I’m well aware of because it’s me.

As we’ve gone along and as he’s made these relationships and cultivated these relationship with the people that he now calls family, I think he has realized that the world doesn’t revolve around him and he’s better served to feel that the world revolves around the protection and care of his family.

You know his father died when he was young. His mom and him weren’t that close. She kept the secret that she was a Regent from him.

The parallel being when I started the show, my wife and I just had started having children. Before that, Lynn and I did things for ourselves. And we realized, and especially now that my boys are five and six, just everything that I do is for my boys really, except for when I buy Prada shoes.

I would say that I have grown – I have become less selfish. It’s become more about my boys and my family, and I think that that’s kind of the journey that Pete has made and continues to make.

I always look to Pete as a way to be a better man. The way Jack Kenny has written him, he’s so honest and so unjaded, and such a pure guy. He comes from such a place of pure joy that I just hope that it rubs off on me.

On what it was like to read the script for the premiere

Saul: It was really exciting. Really, really exciting. But what we got to do a lot of working in front of a green screen where we have to imagine. We had a big screening with the cast and crew a couple of Sundays ago and we got to see it.

And on a big screen it was kind of awesome because the special effects looked so great. And a lot of it we were just in front of a green screen with no idea of what it was going to look like, so that was pretty exciting for us to see.

Eddie: When you take a television screen formatted show and you blow it up onto a movie theater sized screen, it can be scary because you think, “Oh, okay. Maybe we need to go back down.” Because you know, a lot of times you see the flaws.

But like Saul said, the show looks huge. The special effects department does such an amazing job with the time and the budget that they get. They’re just crunched every week because we have a lot of effects. Certain shows are more effect-laden than others, but I’m really proud of the premier episode. I can’t wait to see the rest.

I’m as anxious as the fans because I have no idea once we do the show and move on to the next show, I forget the previous show. I’m just not smart enough to retain – like Allison. She remembers every line of every show she’s ever done. I forget my lines after I move to the next scene. So I’m almost seeing them for the first time just as the fans are.
One of the other interesting things they had to say was about guest stars. They couldn’t do a lot of spoiling, but if you check out clips of Eddie especially at Comic-Con, you’ll find that he probably spilled more than he should have. 😉 Also, Brent Spiner (who was in Star Trek: TNG when Saul guest starred on an episode) guest stars in the premiere – and he’ll be in a total of 6 episodes.

Don’t miss the premiere tonight on Syfy at 9/8c. I promise, if you’re a fan of the show, it’s a CAN’T-MISS episode.

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