Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Warehouse 13 Returns to Scfy Tonight

Photo by Justin Stephens/Scyfy

Syfy's Warehouse 13 returns for Season 2 tonight at 9:00 PM. If you haven't checked it out, and you like sci-fi, you should tune in. The show centers around a government storage facility that houses supernatural artifacts collected through the centuries. The heroes, Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering (played by Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly), are agents assigned to try to recover missing objects.

We had a chance to speak with Eddie and Joanne about their relationship both on- and off-screen, the dangers of being a warehouse agent, and how much input they have in their characters' development.

Q: Do either of you have a preference if Pete and Myka get together as a couple or not?

EDDIE: Well I’ve been saying that in Season 15 Pete and Myka start bumping their wheelchairs into one another in kind of a mating ritual but that won’t be for a long time. I like the fact that they have enough respect for the boundaries of their job and enough respect for one another not to cross the line. I think it makes Pete a more honorable guy. I think it lets Pete earn his other little idiosyncrasies and I think that it gives the character depth. They’re two relatively attractive people that by all rights should want each other but again I think they have a respect and a love for each other that they don’t really go there.

JOANNE: I think any human relationship, any interesting human relationship between two people, is complex and it truly takes time to develop, anything that’s worth its salt. And for us to explore the romantic part of it without first exploring the complexities of these two people, the partnership that they’re creating and the friendship that they’re creating I think would just short change everyone.

Q: If Pete and Myka don't hook up, how would any other love interest work in relation to the job that they have?

JOANNE: I think that the truth of this is we see two people who are consumed by their profession and who are trying to develop relationships both within the warehouse and without. One of the things that I think makes this so interesting is that not only is it fantastical and not only do you have really cool artifacts and such but it’s the relationships in the show that is the heart of the show. And I think as we explore that, as we continue to explore the relationships between the people in the warehouse and their attempts to form relationships outside of the warehouse which I think you’ll see in Season 2, you see how as is reflected by life that conflicts into. Career and love in life as it is in the warehouse I think is very different and I think we see a lot of people struggle with that this season.

EDDIE: And I think, some people realize that they’re just better as friends. So it’s almost like I think they realize they’re really so different from each other that they better serve one another as friends. So… my back story is Myka would be the first one to try and help Pete hook up with some chick that she thought that was good enough for him.

Q: All the past warehouse operatives have essentially left the job due to being killed. Is that something that’s in the back of the minds of Pete and Myka and does that affect them at all going into Season 2?

EDDIE: I think that Pete never really allows himself to go there. Again I think part of his defense mechanism… is his arrested development, the state of arrested development that he tends to live in. But put him in a serious situation and you would want no one else backing you up. But from the time that his father died at a young age Pete has used his sense of humor as a way to escape and I think that’s what he does in regards to any kind of thoughts of being killed. And he’s a brave guy at heart and I don’t think that he’s all that concerned about that as long as he can die nobly and help the world and help his friends.

JOANNE: I think Myka, it’s quite the opposite for her. In Season 1 we see her having already lost a partner which I think comes from a lot of the mask that we see in Season 1, the kind of obsessive personality, the need for control, the need for structure. I think that death is something that her partner’s death and her lover’s death was something that affected her and I think that’s why she holds onto everything so tightly and why she’s so regimented and has such structure in her life is because that’s something that she lives with every day and the fear of that happening again is a driving force behind her character. And I think that’s very much where her seriousness comes from.

Q: Do we get to get any more on Pete’s background this year?

EDDIE: We touch on Pete’s alcoholism and we touch on his military history. He’s a former Marine. And that was a thing that I really wanted. I wanted him to be an ex former Marine. I thought that it lent more credibility, it gave Pete some gravitas. And it was a good opportunity for me to give a shout out to all the people in the armed forces who have lived and died and continue to fight for our country. That’s just the way I grew up so that was important for me. And so yeah, I think we continue to find out more and more about all the characters throughout the show.

Q: Can you both talk a little bit about your off-screen chemistry?

EDDIE: Well Joanne and I figured we’d just get it over with the first week so we got together a couple of times and unfortunately she kind of fell for me and I had to tell her to back off. So since then she’s not quite as hands-on let’s say as she used to be.

JOANNE: Shut up. You see how long I let that go for? Are you impressed?

EDDIE: This is kind of mine and Joanne’s relationship in a nutshell. She and I were being pulled by a car —  a camera truck — And I was supposed to be driving, she’s sitting next to me, it’s a beautiful day, and we’re being driven. And I just looked at her and I said, "Do you ever get tired of the fact that I can never take anything serious?" And she goes, "Sometimes I want to stab you in the eye with a pencil." And she goes, "But if you were any other way, it just wouldn’t be the same."

I have a personality that, it works for me sometimes and maybe not all the time but, Joanne is a good sport and she puts up with my Tom Foolery let’s say. And we truly are like a brother and sister. Like we don’t always like each other. We spend 15 hours a day 5 days a week. I mean, most families don’t spend that amount of time with each other and we’re in a very stressful situation. It’s like there’s always someone standing there with their watch pointing at their watch going, "Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go… why did you mess up that line, why don’t you know your lines, we’ve got to move, why haven’t you slept?"

So there’s a lot of opportunity for us to just not really care to like one another but, we love each other and I have a great deal of respect for Joanne and her work and I think that it reflects in the work that we have on screen. I think that’s maybe why it works so well.

JOANNE: I think that a lot of actors can be very competitive with each other on screen and Eddie and I never competed and I think that’s one of the reasons what people call chemistry is that we actually trust and like one another.  We never compete in things. We let each other do their own thing… I think our personalities allow that to happen and again he puts up with me because… I’m not the happiest chick in the world. Sometimes at 4:30 in the morning I can get a little testy and Eddie is the one [who] makes me laugh.

EDDIE: I always love when I look over to Joanne and she has that look on her face like, "Do not look at me, do not touch me." So it causes me to like jump around. It makes me want to jump around even more even if I’m kind of tired I’m like. "Ooh, all right, this is a good opportunity for me to poke sticks at Joanne." So it’s good man, it seems to work so far.

Q: Could each of you describe how the other one is like their character?

EDDIE: You know the expression "Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Priscilla"? That’s a one-liner for JoJo. And she’s really tall. So Myka is tall and Joanne is [tall]. Myka has very long legs and so does Joanne. Myka is very pretty and so is Joanne… I see Joanne as a right brain, more of a right brain thinker and I think Myka is the same way. Myka is smart, Joanne is very, very smart. And Myka wants to give Pete all the money in her bank account and so Joanne wants to give Eddie all the money in her bank account.

JOANNE: I think everything you need to know you’ve just heard. I’m a big believer that every character you play you take a little piece of you and you just kind of run with it. In this case I think the writers tend to write for who they think we are as people and what we bring to work and I think I’m very focused at work and very practical and very problem solving and that is who Myka is. And Eddie is five years old… and that’s what is so fun.

EDDIE: I know you are but what am I?

JOANNE: Five years old. I think there’s a lightness and a real love of what he does and a real mischievousness that makes it mentally watchable. So I think that kind of my stick up the assedness and his...

EDDIE: You made up a word.

JOANNE: And his, you know, lightness and kind of craziness, we allow each other to take that to the nth degree.

EDDIE: When you’re working and you’re shooting for 15 hours a day it’s hard to hide behind a character. It’s at least for me it’s like if I had to try and fool someone with this character for this amount of time I don’t know, maybe it’s because maybe I’m not that great of an actor. So instead of trying to play act some character or be someone else, I pretty much just think well how would I say that, how would I react to that… And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and when it doesn’t work Jack, our EP he will come and say, "You know, maybe you should change that." And there’s other times when I just figure because I’m not in certain circumstances that Pete and Myka end up in that I just assume how would an adult act and then I just try and do that.

Q: As actors how much actual input do you have in regards to your characters?

EDDIE: No one really truly knows the characters better than we do I guess at the end of the day even though they write the words for us. And if we have a problem basically we’ll ask, "What do you think about this?" and then generally what happens is they will say well just try it as written and then we’ll do it your way too so we’ll have both. So that way everybody is satisfied in that regard.

JOANNE: At the beginning of each season, because we are in Toronto we actually go and have a sit down with the writers, all of us, and they tell us what they’re planning for the season and we all talk about it. Not a lot of shows do that. And the writers room is so great because they’re so open to suggestion and they’re so open to any ideas that either Eddie, I, Saul, Allison, anyone really has. And I think it’s part of what makes the show so great is that kind of openness towards any ideas, our ideas or anyone else’s.

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