Q & A: Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintok and Allison Scagliotti from SyFy’s “Warehouse 13”

Syfy’s Warehouse 13 is in full swing on it’s 3rd season and stars Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock and Allison Scagliotti got together for a press conference call and talked about keeping their characters exciting, how they survive in a show with a big cast and more.

It’s clear from their bantering back and forth that they clearly like each other, which on a big ensemble show is quite a feat.

Check out the interview after the jump!

Warehouse 13 airs Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy.

What keeps challenging all of you about your roles?

Saul Rubinek: Well the scripts are surprising.  When you’re doing the procedural – there are a number of them on television, some of them I like.  I used to like the Law and Order episodes, their procedurals are – you’re basically doing the same show every week.  There are some slight variations.  Some of them are a little bit more (biwrote) than others and still gets huge numbers and great fans and people like what’s predictable with variations.  We don’t have that.  We really don’t know, other than the fact that an artifact is going to be retrieved.  We don’t know from one show to the next.  We’re challenged – listen, we were very lucky, Aaron Ashmore joined our cast this year and I think that Allison and Eddie will agree with me.  In order to do our show, you have to deft.  You have to be able to cross quickly from doing melodrama to action, we call it schmacting, facting and acting.  Schmacting in front of a green screen.  Facting is exposition.  Acting you’ve got to be able to do melodrama, thriller, comedy.  You’ve got to do sentimental staff, tragedy.  You got to jump usually, not just from one episode or one scene but sometimes from one line to the next.  There’s going to be a joke that you got to get away with some wit.  And that’s basically our show.

So the challenge is to be able to be (spire) enough and to wake us up to be able to see it when it’s in front of you and to keep it alive and spontaneous and jump from style to style without it looking that way.  That’s our show, right?  I mean, that’s…

Allison Scagliotti: We really watched out with Aaron because not only can he handle it, he’s great at it.  He fills up the – at the tenets of – at the three tenets of working in Warehouse 13 which are acting, schmacting and facting.

Saul Rubinek: Yes.  And Eddie, you know, makes fun of himself as the buffoon of our group but the truth is and disparages the fact….

Eddie McClintock: Thank you.

Saul Rubinek: …of any serious stuff that he does.  But – and I know I have to tell you, I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, Eddie can handle all of it.  And he has more of it to do than any of us and it wouldn’t be a great show, it would not be if he didn’t have a versatility that he does.  So I’m a big fan of the guy.

From a personal perspective, how was the experience of filming the third season different from the previous two.

Allison Scagliotti: I think every episode is different because we learn more and more with every script and with every happy accident and every scary accident because I think Jack has said in the past and Saul, you said, as well, the only procedural aspect of our show is that we have to go find artifacts that threaten the world and the worlds they neutralize and then bring them back.  But we’ve could sort of endless, you know, possibilities for what happens around that, what triggers it and what can happen as a result and what’s happening to our characters emotionally.

So I really don’t think that any two episodes are the same and as a result, it just gets to grow more and more.

Saul Rubinek: The seasons are a combination of what happens as a family, how we grow, how our relationships grow, our need for each other, our worry about each other, our exploration of our dark sides and the sides of us – each other that the more we care about each other, the stakes get higher because we lose each other, it becomes more – it would be more unbearable than it would be if we were just people who are just agents.

And for us, look, we’re in the third season of a hit show.  We feel blessed.  We love going to work.  We have a great time with each other.  I think that comes across, at least I hope it does.

The cast continues to expand and yet the writers are doing a really good job I think of really getting everyone involved in the storylines, there’s no throw-away characters.  Everybody is really intricately involved in the storytelling.  What is sort of the secret to that?  How do you sort of make that work the way your show does?

Allison Scagliotti: Collaboration.

Saul Rubinek: Eddie is on set more than any of us and he really knows from the inside works.  We all have ideas of it but I’d like to hear, Eddie, what do you think about that?

Eddie McClintock: Well, the first thing that came to my mind when you said that was it’s really the writing.  The writers have found a way to – I mean, it’s their responsibility as to whether or not a character is going to be a throw-away character and I don’t think Jack would ever let that happen because each character is import to the show.  There’s no need to have an extraneous character and there’s no time.

And so everyone gets treated with equal amounts of respect even if their part isn’t that big.  I have not had any problems making my acting choices because the characters that I’m having to work off of, whether they’re there for a day or whether they’re there for three episodes, they are always really well flushed  out by the writers.

Saul Rubinek: The writers are like – if you got them – they’re like nine years old spiritually on some level.  They really love…

Allison Scagliotti: Some of them.  And others are like 60.

Saul Rubinek: …doing the show.  But they like – they really have fun with this show.  And because it’s operating on a number of levels, the job is to create a fantasy adventure for the whole family.  As it turns out, it’s a 9 o’clock show, perfect.  I mean, it really is a show that the family watches because there’s an aspect of it that are really a 10 or 11-year-old can get but then it goes – it gets wittier and there are things that the adults in the room are going to get that the kids aren’t going to get without losing the kids.

So they’re having fun because they don’t have to take themselves 100% seriously and at the same time, they’re able to explore a fantasy world that has such fertile ground.  And Eddie’s right, they haven’t got the time to create characters that are not going to be part of the storytelling.  The fun part of this is that, for me, the boss character in shows has become a cliché and not on this show because I’m on the field.  I’m part of the story.  My past is important.  It’s not like the boss character who gives out assignments in maybe once every eight episodes you find out something about their personal life like they’re an alcoholic or they have a gambling problem or an ex-wife.

Our writers are dealing at a much more comic, adventure, fantasy world and very tough to keep that alive.  And it’s not just the fact that they are – the writers are there and they’re being led by the right person in Jack, it’s also – it’s just the way it, it is that it happens that this network and studio developed this for three years.  They love their – it’s theirs.  They didn’t acquire it.  They bled for it.  They put their reputations and their careers to a certain extent on the line when the network got branded with this series and they put money behind it.

So, there was a lot of stake and they took chances, tremendous chances.  And it’s paid off.  So that’s the reason people keep coming back.

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