I had the fortune to chat with our friend Eddie McClintock, star of Warehouse 13, who will be making a guest appearance on Supergirl this Monday (8PM ET on CBS), and will be starring in the new USA series Shooter later this year. While drifting off on many topics, we did talk about those shows, portraying a member of the Marine Corps, working away from family, and of course, end up back at the Warehouse…
Eddie appeared last year on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the alien Vin-Tak…and now he’s entering the other side of the comic universe with the DC Comics/CBS series Supergirl, after surprising us with the announcement last week on Twitter.
Doc: You only announced it last week…
Eddie: I had to hold off on it until it was announced. I’ve been sitting on it for a couple, three months.
Doc: You had to have filmed this a while ago…they really like to keep guest stars under wraps.
Eddie: I really learned that lesson on S.H.I.E.L.D.. When you work on S.H.I.E.L.D., when you show up to the set you don’t even say, “I’m here to work on S.H.I.E.L.D.,” you say, “I’m here to work on…” and some weird name. And S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t even on any of the scripts.
Doc: They like to keep the surprises…on Supergirl you are playing a Marine Colonel…that must have been cool.
Eddie: It is…it’s cool to be able to…it was important for me to be able to make sure my uniform was correct. There’s a scene where I’m in my digital camos, and I wanted to roll up my sleeves because it was hot when we were shooting, so I texted some of my buddies who are in the Marines and I was like, “Where does my sleeves have to be?” and they were, “It has to be one inch above the elbow.” So I made sure that my sleeves were proper. It’s important for me to show respect for the Corps. I mean, there are worse things than to be hired to represent a member of the military. If I have a chance to talk about it, talk about the veterans and veterans organizations, I’m OK with that.
Doc: Just showing that level of detail is the mark of someone who really researches what they are doing….so tell me about the character.
Eddie: His name is Colonel James Harper, he works for the CADMUS Project, which is an organization tasked with identifying and eliminating alien and metahuman threats. He’s similar to General Ross from Incredible Hulk, and probably General Talbot (from S.H.I.E.L.D.) – that hardliner, the aliens need to get all get out at any cost. There’s some politics involved of course. I haven’t figured out yet if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. At this point, he comes across as being a bad guy because of his political stance. If Supergirl gets picked back up for a Season 2 I think we’ll know more next year.
Doc: So there’s a good chance of it being a recurring role?
Eddie: Yes. When I was approached to do it I was told it would be an arc. But when we shot it it was episode 17, so they only had a few more episodes to wrap up the season, so I didn’t make it in for the end of the season.
Doc: I know in the comics, obviously he’s starting out differently, but he is a metahuman? Or…
Eddie: The Guardian. I don’t know much about the Guardian but I know all these people are online saying, “Congratulations on the Guardian!”
Doc: “Eddie’s the Guardian! He’s the Guardian!” You don’t know if they will take the character in a different direction, but they usually don’t drop a name like that without a reason. And it can’t be that bad to have two jobs.
Eddie: The exec producer and showrunner is Andrew Kreisberg, and Andrew was co-EP on Warehouse 13, and when he left in Season 4, Andrew and I got along well, and he said, “Let’s work together again,” and I said, “Hey man, you know where to find me!” and he found me. It’s nice, it’s rare. I think people have the best intentions…it’s like when you work on a series together, “We’ll see each other, we’ll hang out,” and you go your separate ways, and it’s nothing personal, it just happens. He tracked me down and asked me to come be on the show.
Doc: Now the new show, Shooter, sounds really interesting. I haven’t seen the original movie [based on the book Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter],but I do know about the plot…obviously the TV series would have to diverge a bit from that…
Eddie: The pilot episode is basically the whole movie. It follows it pretty closely. Omar Epps plays a guy Bobby Lee Swagger [the main character, played by Ryan Phillippe in the series, and Mark Walhberg in the original movie) knew from when they were deployed as Marines. Swagger is a Marine Corps sniper – they say the deadliest sniper in Marine history. He comes back to the States and Omar Epps’ character contacts him to help stop an assassination plot. I am also a former Marine sniper who now works for the CIA under Epps’ character. I really can’t tell you much else about it or it will spoil it. But once again I’m playing a United States Marine. Pretty cool man, I dig it. I get to flat top my hair. I don’t like putting a bunch of dippety-doo – I don’t like dealing with my hair. You get a flat top…you’re done. And again, I think there are worse things to play than somebody from the Marine Corps.
Mark Wahlberg producing, [Lorenzo] di Bonaventura also producing, Ryan Phillippe’s playing the Bobby Lee Swagger character. It’s going to be good.
Doc: It sounds as if it is like The Fugitive, but perhaps more action oriented?
Eddie: Yes. If you’ve seen the movie I’m not giving anything away, but [Swagger] gets framed, and they try and kill him but he lives. Now they are all out to try get him before he can expose the whole operation. If it gets exposed it could go all the way up the ladder. And my character fits in there somewhere.
Doc: Are they going to wait until Fall to air?
Eddie: I don’t know – I hear it may go in July.
Doc: When do you go into full production?
Eddie: April 24th
Doc: Nice break before that, then busy work.
Eddie: Dude, I’ve been on a two year break…luckily, this shoots in Santa Clarita, which is about 45 minutes from here.
Doc: So you’ll be able to stay home…
Eddie: …see the wife and kids.
Doc: No cross country commute.
Eddie: No, that was brutal. I’ve got a buddy of mine who’s working on the new Oprah Winfrey show, acting in it, and he’s starting to go through the same thing right now. I just said, Dude, Skype. When you get home turn it on, and leave it on. That’s what we did, just so I could hear the sounds of the house.
Doc: And it was tough because your kids were younger then.
Eddie: Yeah. Every once in a while I’d look over and go, “Hey, get down! Get off the counter!”
Doc: “I see what you’re doing, stop it!” “How’d he see that?”
Eddie: Yeah. I miss Warehouse man…
Doc: It was so much fun…it was fun to be on the set. “This is Artie’s office! It’s really his office!” It wasn’t like a set I expected to see. It was like a real place.
Eddie: I used to take my lunches there. I’d get my lunch and go to Artie’s office because it was so comfortable. That was my first series that went past a year. I became comfortable, grew accustomed to my cast mates, and learned what it’s all about to have to say goodbye to all those people, say goodbye to the character – but I still get to go and do conventions – that’s cool.
Doc: When you and Artie – oops, Saul – were up in Rhode Island we were there, just seeing you two together again, the way you were talking…it was just let you two talk, forget having and form to it, just let you to go and it was just enjoyable to watch.
Eddie: Thanks man, well I love Saul, he’s just a good dude…
Doc: He was wild…I asked him some silly question, and he looked at me and said, “What are you, high?!?” just like you’d expect Artie to say.
I think we all miss Warehouse 13 and Pete, Artie, Myka, Claudia and Jinksy still.
Thanks Eddie…and everyone tune in to Supergirl Monday at 8/7c on CBS and check out if Eddie is a bad guy, or had a side of good we will see later on…