Sci-Fi Storm

A chat with Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly and Jack Kenny of Warehouse 13

by on Apr.14, 2014, under Television

The studio door to Warehouse 13The final (and short) season of Warehouse 13 starts tonight on Syfy at 9/8c…I was able to attend a press Q&A last week with stars Eddie McClintock (Pete)and Joanne Kelly (Myka) along with showrunner Jack Kenny, but before I get into that I thought I’d talk a bit about what the show has meant to me and my family.

With the recent departure of Being Human, the end of Warehouse 13 marks a bittersweet personal milestone…two shows that I’ve not only followed from the start, but also have had met with and interacted with the casts on both professional and personal levels and visited the sets, and I’ve been invested in from beginning to end at so many levels. Prior to that, in all the years of this site, I’ve never really been able to travel to the major conventions or press events. Even when Syfy started their “Digital Press Tour”, I wasn’t able to attend the first several because they typically were out in Vancouver, and I’m stuck here on the wrong coast for being involved with Hollywood TV media. Even getting to NYC can be a pain. I was supposed to go to San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago, but had to scrap plans, and now I’m not sure I even want to with how crazy it has gotten.


That changed over four years ago, when I was finally able to attend the Press Tour, this time down in Orlando. Syfy brought there talent in. We were able to interact with the cast more directly than at the conventions. That year I first met the cast of Being Human before the show debuted, and became a fan based on them and how they interacted. I also met Allison Scagliotti (Claudia) and even sat at lunch with her, but I admit being a bit starstruck at that point – and hungry – and I talked more with one of the Syfy executives about another upcoming show…Alphas.

Eddie and I in UniversalThe following year, also in Orlando, was even better. Whereas last time we only really saw the talent at the panels (although some did join us at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that night), this time the talent actually joined us at the welcoming dinner and afterwards at Halloween Horror Nights. That is where I met Eddie McClintock for the first time. He was there with his wife, kids and niece. When we boarded buses to head to HHN, I sat next to Eddie…and as I’ve come to expect, his first words were a joke. 🙂 We then talked about the DVD box set he just got of Johnny Sokko. We then were in the same group for Halloween Horror Nights, which Eddie dubbed “The Spiders from Mars”, and it was a blast.

The next year was very different – instead of the “convention-plus-fun” atmosphere of Orlando the previous two years, we instead went to Toronto – where Warehouse 13 and the upcoming Defiance is filmed. I got to see Eddie again, met the rest of the cast, and see the REAL Warehouse, which amazingly was far more substantial than you’d expect from a TV set. Eddie even recorded a short video for my wife and kids, who are also huge fans of the show.

All these interactions with Eddie and the casts of the various shows changed my whole perception of TV shows and stars. They were far more real and personable than the stereotypical Hollywood types. I consider a number of them friends now. And they’ve drawn me in even further as a fan of their shows.

When my wife a couple months ago when Warehouse 13 was coming back, and I mentioned April, one of my daughters said she didn’t want it to come back. “Why?” I asked, knowing that she loved the show. “Because it means it is ending…”

OK, enough rambling…suffice to say that this show has actually meant a lot to me and may family over these 5 seasons, and it will be sorely missed.

So what was said during the Q&A? (FYI, Joanne had phone troubles and dropped off the call quite a bit – I wonder if she is still using that badly cracked iPhone she showed me on the set…)

Q: What does it feel like for you guys to wrap this up? And how do you look back and just like what kind of legacy do you think this show leaves for Syfy and maybe even for cable shows in general?

Eddie: Well, I mean, I think that the legacy – we’ll see, you know. I’m sure when – back when they did the – however many episodes of the original Star Trek they never dreamed that, you know, despite its being canceled early, you know, in most estimations that it would go on to be such a huge cult success.

So I guess we’ll see what happens. You know, Joanne and I were just talking. It’s like I haven’t seen her. I miss her. You know, she’s my friend who I’ve spent the last five years with and so it’s hard.

You know, it’s difficult not to see everybody but I know we are all wishing, you know, we all are pulling for one another and I’ll look back on Warehouse 13 as one of the, you know, great times of my life and my career.

I watched my boys grow up and I think I may have even grown up a little bit myself, but don’t tell anyone I said that or I’ll have to kill you. What do you think, Jo?

Joanne: I think, I mean, yes I – you can never kind of foretell what’s going to happen. So all I can say is from my own personal point of view in regards to the show, I learned so much during Warehouse 13.

I think now that it’s over – in fact I – and – since we stopped shooting you realize how special it was. And very much, you know, there’s a ton of times in like where you don’t really understand what something is to you until it’s no longer there.

I think that’s a cliché for a reason and it’s really true for me that, you know, Warehouse 13 was a really special time. And I don’t think I understood that until I stopped, until you’ve stopped showing up every day and you say, “Oh, my God, I’m not going to see these people; these people I’m so used to seeing every day.”

These people have been such a big part of my life. It’s a huge change, you know.

Q: Was there a storyline that you would’ve like to have seen play out on Warehouse 13 that you didn’t get to see?

Jack: Yes, one that lasted 13 episodes.

Eddie: Hello. And 13 seasons. I would – I really was disappointed that we didn’t delve into Traylor more – his past. You know, and I was on Jack a lot about that and, you know, he never really answered my question so it goes unanswered.

Jack: What question?

Eddie: About, you know, Traylor’s past. Where did he come from? Just bam, one day he was there…

Jack: You know, I’m planning a whole – I’m honestly planning a whole hour long at USA about that so I can’t tell you how it ends. And before you ask…

Eddie: Oh a spin-off and you didn’t even ask me to be a part of it?

Jack : Before you ask there’s – no, there’s not a part for you – But I will be able to hire your dog.

Eddie: Can I fetch your coffee?

Jack: Yes, you can always fetch me coffee. Not all iced tea. You know it’s iced tea. You know, I would’ve loved to – you know, at the end of last season we gave Joanne a cancer line story – And I really would’ve loved to have explored that a little more realistically, a little more over some time have her character get more involved with that. But when they told us we had to end the entire series, we did not want to spend, you know, five of those episodes dealing with cancer because it’s just – it just would’ve been a real downer, I think a downer for the fans, a downer for the actors.

It would’ve been no fun for Jo to have to do that and it was just, you know, so we kind of, you know, I don’t feel proud of this but we kind of ended it quickly and moved on, because if we hadn’t it would’ve been an entirely different kind of an ending to the series and I don’t think what the series actually deserved. So we…

Eddie: And cancer sucks.

Jack: Yes, it sucks and we – I think we could’ve dealt with it in a really cool, interesting way. But instead we sort of kind of wrapped it up and moved on because I needed to – I wanted to get into, you know, we had ten stories planned.

We had ten stories broken out for the next season and when they told us we had six and we had to end it, we did five stories and five episodes and then in the last episode we did six stories. So we really crammed it all in there.

Joanne: I think we’re all upset that we had to move on so quickly. But also, you know, I think that the writers did such a good job with this show. It is really chock full – looking back after five years and we’ve done a little bit of pretty much everything, so I don’t really have any regrets in that way, not at all.

Q: Should we start a kickstarter campaign for the Warehouse 13 movie?

Eddie: Of course. Are you kidding me?

Jack: Yes. Absolutely. I mean…

Eddie: My wife just bought her third pair of Christian Louboutins. Daddy needs the money.

Jack: You know, we would love to. I mean, we would start a kickstarter campaign to bring the series back. But – because – well, you know, we all felt like we had a lot more to say and a lot more to do.

And it was the best professional experiences of my career so far and I’m very sad that it ended. I’m very proud of the way we ended it, but we left it in a way that we could very easily do a movie.

It’s kind of a dangerous thing that fans have to support movies. I think we’re setting a dangerous precedent, you know. I don’t want the studios to start thinking that they can’t pay for stuff.

Q: you’ve spent a lot of time and effort building these characters. So when you hear that these characters – that their tales are coming to an end, how involved are you in sort of determining how their stories conclude and how involved did you want to be in that process?

Joanne: I’m an actor; I’m not a writer. But we have great writers and I trusted them to wrap it up in the best way that they knew how. With a lot of actors, once they get involved in that process—and some people are different—some people are really good, but for me, I just trusted the writing staff. Let them do their thing. They’ve done for five years; let them do it a little bit longer.

Eddie: Yes, I mean, I would say the same thing. I trusted Jack and all the writers for, you know, I don’t know. I always had the greatest amount of faith in them and I’d, you know, like Jack said I’m just – I was the resident meat puppet so just give me the words and I’ll say them, but don’t have me try and write them because then it gets bad.

Jack: But we did come up with a lot of cool stuff on this set sometimes. You know, we always improved stuff and came up with – and you guys were always really – had a lot of input in that and we had a good time.

So I wouldn’t, you know, I wouldn’t say that we just handed you the scripts and you – and forced you to say what was there. We – I thought you guys collaborated really beautifully with stuff like that.

Eddie: But, you know, the – I’d wake up at nights hearing Jack screaming, “As written, f#$!#.”

Jack: Well that’s only because I – that’s only because I sneak over to your house and yell outside your window.

But, you know, we did talk, I mean, for instance the cancer story – I sat down and talked to Joanne for a while about that. I said, “How do you feel about this and how would you want to explore it and what are your feelings about going in this direction?”

We did the same thing with Eddie when he was going to be, you know, when he was going to be in a relationship story with Paula Garces’ character and other – we always try to talk to the actors about the storylines that we’re thinking about and get their input, because I think you get a way better performance and way better involvement from the actors if they – if they’re involved in the stories, you know.

We like to write to everybody’s strengths and everybody – and what makes everybody happy.

Eddie: Yes. I mean, at the beginning of the series I remember Jack had us all in and sat us down individually and said, “Okay what do you think about this character? Who do you want this character to be?” And so we did have our input in that regard and I think it made it a lot easier to play these characters and show up every day because, I mean, personally for me there wasn’t a whole lot of acting involved for me.

I mean, I just basically showed up to work in the morning and then acted a fool just like me.

Jack: We did try to find out what you guys were into, what you liked and write to who you guys are because that makes it – I think it makes it more fun. It makes it easier.

You know, it makes – we’re able to – you connect yourselves with the characters more. I mean, Pete’s whole past with alcohol and, you know, everybody’s strengths and weaknesses we try to exploit them in the best sense of that word.

Q: What moment during the series did each of you think of as kind of like the defining moment for you – either for your character or for yourself?

Eddie: I mean, what jumps off for me is, you know, there’s an episode here in the last six called the – is it Savage Seduction Jack? Is that what it’s called?

Jack: Yes, Savage Seduction, the telenovela episode.

Eddie: And Jack came up to me. He’s like, “Okay listen. You’re going to have to learn Spanish so start now.” And I was like, “What?” And the storyline is we get caught in a Spanish telenovela.

So, you know, Joanne and I and Artie were – or – and Saul were all having to take Spanish lessons for about two – I don’t know, couple months I guess. We took lessons, you know, in between, you know, during our lunch breaks and it was probably the hardest I’ve had to work on any of the shows or any of the seasons.

You know, it was hard, you know, having to learn the words and make sure that the inflections were there and make sure that it sounds as though we know what we’re saying, and then translating it back to English as you’re saying it in Spanish.

I mean, it was hard for me. I mean, I’m like four IQ points above the short bus so it was difficult and – but I watched it last night for the first time and it’s so wild and wacky and I’m so proud of it.

It’s – I think it’s really funny and I think it’s going to be one of the best episodes of the series. So for me that’s, you know, and Jack directed that so it’s one of the ones that I remember the most fondly.

Jack: It was a wild ride I will give you that but you also – I also made you guys learn to tap dance this summer too.

Joanne: Well I don’t know if I ever actually learned.

Eddie: Exactly.

Jack: Well you got close enough.

Eddie: Well…

Jack: It was close enough for government work.

Joanne: I think the – see he has the tap against me. I think that my era as Jack was saying we, you know, we had to learn how to tap dance for this episode. And I am many things but a dancer I am definitely not.

And I kind of like was freaking out about it and he kept telling me that it was going to be fine. It would be fine. Just, you know, try and learn, try and do my – and then when we did it I kind of took the risk of just kind of letting go and having a great time, which I’ve struggled with, you know, throughout like my whole journey through Warehouse.

I mean, at one point – actually had a great time. So this is actually important and I think I finally learned this episode that whatever, let go and just have fun.

It’s one of the most rewarding experiences because it – definitely I had such a blast doing that episode and I was so worried about it. And I think that’s probably one of my favorite memories from this year.

Jack: And let’s point out that that was the second to the last day of the entire series. And Joanne finally let go.

Eddie: I think that’s why we’re such a good balance. You know, Jo was like, “I don’t know if I want to have fun.” And I’m just going, “That’s all I want to do is have fun.” So I think it’s – it was a perfect blend of not fun and fun.

Jack: It’s hard, you know, we had such a good time. Honestly we really did have a great time. Almost in every episode there’s a day that I can think back and go, “Oh my God, that was so much fun.”

And, you know, and there’s also a day where you go, “Oh that was a nightmare,” because it was raining or cold or whatever or boiling hot. But there was almost – we just – we had such a good group of people and there was almost in every episode a couple of days or more where we just went, “God we’re so lucky to have this and we’re just having a great time.”

So it’s hard to reduce it to, “This was my favorite day on Warehouse,” because there were so many. But this last summer – these last six because we knew it was ending and we knew how we were going to do it and we were – everybody was just so kind of into it and having a great time.

I think that’s why we keep referring to these last six because they were the best time, because most shows don’t get the luxury of ending their series in the way that they want.

A lot of shows are yanked, you know, prematurely and suddenly. So we got the great luxury and gift of being able to say, “Hey we’re going out and this is how we’re going.”

Q: Is there anything that you’ve explored throughout all the seasons, maybe a character you’ve seen or an artifact, I don’t know, just anything that if you were to go back and like revisit that and maybe add more scenes or something to learn more about it, is there something that particularly interested you that you’d like to do that?

Jack: I would’ve loved to have done a little bit more with Pete’s mom. But scheduling kind of screwed us on that. But as, you know, and most people don’t know that when you – half the time when you don’t see a character come back on a show it’s because they got another job.

But we didn’t, you know, I would’ve – there was several characters that I would’ve loved to see a little bit more of that we really liked. I mean, I love…

Eddie: Judd Hirsch would’ve been great if Judd could’ve come back.

Jack: Would’ve loved to have had Judd back. Yes there was a lot of characters I wanted to bring back that – Amy Acker as Joanne’s sister. She was a lot of fun.

Q: You spin a little bit of baby talk in these episodes. Are we going to see some of that unresolved tension get resolved anywhere before the season ends or the series ends?

Jack: We might.

Eddie: All I can say is this: Pyka.

Joanne: You always say that. You’ve been saying that for five years.

Eddie: It’s my hook. It’s my hook man.

Joanne: I do think you see a fundamental change in these characters’ relationships, as I think you do across the board in the show. That’s all I got to say about that.

Jack: I – what we tried to do in the, I mean, there’s an arc that Eddie and Jo have in the last six episodes that’s really fun to see unfold. And you see a lot of it unfold, I mean, you see the beginning of that – of the – sort of a cracking of that iceberg at the end of Episode 4.

But then it really starts to come to fruition in 5 and 6 and – but everybody – every character has a – kind of a revelation of sorts in the last episode. Every character is granted a revelation in the defining moment and something really cool to deal with and in I think a way that really works.

So I think – I just – I hope that everybody’s going to be very pleased with the final episode. I think they will be.

(Speaking more about the final “telenovela” episode)

Jack: You know what’s funny? I – just as a quick side story with that, you know, Diego Gutierrez wrote that episode. And we were in pitching stories to SYFY for the last season and Diego had come in and said, “I was thinking maybe we’d do sort of a Downton Abbey kind of a thing, that they all end up in this Downton Abbey world.”

And we thought about it for a while and think, “There’s just something – it feels kind of old fashioned. It feels like they maybe did. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for our guys.”

And I think he said a couple of other things and he said – then finally he said, “Well, you know, we could do a telenovela.” And we all just went, “Of course. Of course we can do a telenovela. Where was that idea Diego Gutierrez? Where were you holding that idea?”

Diego who’s now working for – with Robert Rodriguez on El Rey is in here pitching me Downton Abbey. Like, “What are you, nuts? The telenovela – absolutely.”

Q: You started to say something about you had planned to do a musical episode.

Jack: Yes we did. We did want to write a whole musical episode and having done just the one big musical number in the finale, I think thank God we only did the one number and not a whole episode because I think it would’ve killed us because it’s just really, really hard.

I mean, we had – I think for anybody who does – needs a musical Jones to be filled they’ll get it filled in that – in the finale because we have a pretty big fabulous number for everybody.

Q: Everybody sings and dances?

Jack: There’s not a lot of singing from our guys but there’s some dancing and there’s a big event, let’s just say that. There’s a big event.

Eddie: Not a lot of singing.

Q: 20 years from now if someone were to ask you what the legacy of this show would be what would you say?

Eddie: Gosh. That’s a good one.

Jack: I think it’s – I think it may be the – I think it’ll be remembered as the show that brought fun to the Syfy Channel. Yes. You know, I mean, I think Eureka started that tradition and I think we really kind of brought it home with full out action/adventure/thrilleromedy. Eureka was kind of limited to being stuck in that one town, but I think we brought a – sort of an international world of fun to the SYFY channel.

Eddie: There it is, international world of fun – Warehouse 13.

Jack: I want to eat there don’t you?

Q: I understand you get to visit kind of a variety of different warehouses in Season 5. Could you tell us a little bit – could you tell us which one was your favorite?

Eddie: You know, I like the alternate universe Warehouse 13. I thought that was – it was actually in a – what was that facility Jack where they had the…?

Jack: It’s an automobile testing facility in – oh I can’t remember the name of the town – in – just south of Toronto. It’s this – it’s got a lot of clean rooms. It had a wind tunnel.

It had a room that could be cooled to 35 degrees below 0. It was just this really cool, modern feeling structure and we needed a futuristic modern version of the warehouse and we got to shoot there.

They opened it up to us in every way. It was fantastic. We got to shoot a whole bunch of stuff there. It was really fun.

Eddie: And, you know, it’s the complete opposite of kind of the old creaky warehouse. It’s very, you know, clean and contemporary.

Jack: Yes it was, I mean, I liked Warehouse 9 too. It was fun but we didn’t, you know, we were limited in terms of how much space we could have when we were in Warehouse 9 in that – in the same episode in the premier of – Season 5 premier…So – and that was fun in a different way. It was just we were way more limited in what we could actually show there, so it was fun to go to a whole new place.

Eddie: Yes there was actually a dream moment come true for me in that episode when I finally after years of doing it alone I finally got to do my Shatner – that Jack let me unleash a Shatner in the premier…

Jack: Remember when you were saying the line, “Kind of that way?” And I said…

Eddie: And Jack just goes, “Go full Shatner.”

Jack: “Go for it. Just give me the full Shatner.” It was just so f@#$% hilarious.

Eddie: It’s just stuff like that for me, you know, is what makes the shows. Like, you know, when I think it couldn’t really get any funnier and then Jack would come in and go, “Do this,” and then I’m just like, you know, “Why can’t I be you?” kind of for me.

Q: I wanted to know if there was any memento that you guys took from the warehouse, costume or a prop or whatever.

Eddie : Oh my, I cleaned the place out. Let me tell you a Google or eBay, you know what I’m saying? No.

Jack: Yes he’s paying for his kids’ future.

Eddie: That’s right. You know, everybody was like, “I want a Tesla. I want the, you know, the H.G. Wells grappling hook and the Sylvia Plath typewriter.” I wanted the Tesla rifle and production and Syfy and everybody was kind enough to let me have the Tesla rifle.

And I got my cast mates to sign it and, you know, I’m going to mount it and put it in my house and – as a monument to an amazing time in my life.

Jack: You also got the bongos.

Eddie: That’s right. There’s a pair of bongos or a set of bongos in Artie’s office that I used to – between takes I’d pick them up and annoy everyone with for five years. And at the end of the five years I just said, “I’m taking these bongos,” and I had everybody, cast and crew, sign these bongos so that’s another good one.

Q: So you really did clean them out.

Eddie: Oh yes man. I took gloves. I took – what else? Shirts, clothes, wardrobe – I got all kinds of stuff. They’ll be in auction later on this month. What about you Jack?

A rather important Season 4 artifact - Magellan's Astrolabe

Maybe we can use this and go back and change some minds…

Jack: You know, I got – in Season 4 I got the astrolabe, which was kind of, you know, what I – all I really wanted. I got the astrolabe so I kind of have that prominently displayed in my office.

I have a Tesla and I have Farnsworth’s Farnsworth, which was really kind of – I got Claudia’s Farnsworth and there’s only one of those and that – that’s what I wanted.

They gave me the football and I know Eddie you wanted the football too. They gave me the computerized football but, you know, I gave that to Andy Gore who is the Head of Quantum Mechanics who makes all of our props for the fans. And he was just beside himself with the idea that – because it’s a one of a kind. It’s the only prop – it’s the only version of that that exists. There was only one made.

And so now Andy has the computerized football, which is kind of a cool thing to have from the show I think.

Q: Do you have any shows planned or anything you can talk about coming up that people can, you know, watch later?

Eddie: Well I’m doing the season finale of Castle. The Season 6 finale of Castle. You know, it’s pilot season and I went on a lot of auditions and – which is always a lot of fun – nothing really to speak about.

I did a show – I did this show Mind Games, which just got canceled so I got that going for me. But…

Jack: You’re falling back into your old pattern.

Eddie: That’s right. I mean, you know, spending a lot of time on the couch, but right now Castle, you know, and we’ll see. I mean, they always do recasts for pilot season and, you know, unfortunately it’s – it means someone else has either, you know, died or been fired for you to get one of those jobs.

But we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I have an audition today and then I start work on Castle tonight.

Jack: There’s always stuff going on. I mean, it’s starting staffing season now so I don’t know what’s going to come from that. You never know.

I’m meeting on several projects and things. I’ve got a couple of vague pilot things in various places, so I have nothing specific that I can talk about at this point. But there’s, you know, there’s always stuff going on and I’m directing a…a friend of mine is producing a one-act play festival here in Los Angeles called Sci-Fest, which is the first of its kind science fiction one-act plays. And actually one of our writers, J.P. Nickel, has a play in the festival and coincidentally they didn’t know I was connected to him. They asked me to direct it so I’m directing one of the one-act plays. There’s a lot of cool stars in it. Eddie’s on the Advisory Board and there’s a lot of cool sci-fi stars in the festival. Faran Tahir’s in it, Armin Shimerman – I can’t think of…

Eddie: David Blue.

Jack: David Blue, Madison McLaughlin, Julie McNiven, Angeline-Rose Troy, you know, really it’s a lot of cool people involved in it and it starts – it’s going to be the month of May here in L.A. and they’re trying to get excitement going about that.

It’s the first of its kind and we hope it’ll be, you know, it’ll be like Comic-Con to L.A.

Q: Eddie I noticed your hair was different this season and I was wondering whose decision was it that – you came up with that or they came up with that or how’d that work?

Eddie : It’s just such a pain putting that Dippity-Do in my hair. Like I have hair issues, you know, and ask Joanne. From the beginning of the – it all stems from when I did this arc on Bones.

You know, I – my hair was kind of long and they wanted to cut it and I was like, “Sure. Go ahead and cut it.” And then I let them do what they want and then I had this like Dorothy – they cut me this Dorothy Hamill haircut.

And then, you know, on my Twitter at least once or twice a week to this day — this is six years later — people are like, “Hey I just saw you on Bones. Great job. What was up with the hair?”

So what – I just, you know, I was like – and my wife was just like, “You know, the whole spiky thing – just let it go. Just let it grow out.” And it’s just a – just something different, you know.

It was a lot less high maintenance to try and, you know, just let it grow out and be natural so that’s kind of how I’m thinking about it.


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