In anticipation of the return of SyFy’s “Warehouse 13,“ we talked to series stars Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly, who spend their weeks searching out artifacts of supernatural origin to include in a secret holding facility. The series returns to Syfy Channel Tuesday, July 6 at 9 p.m. ET.
Editor’s Note: I don’t normally feature transcripts of Q and A sessions forpress conference calls. However, this time I’ve decided to do so because there’s no other way to portray the formidable rapport between McClintock (Pete Lattimer) and Kelly (Myka Bering). I've featured a few of the most revealing interview questions, edited for clarity and brevity (as always).
Question: What about “Warehouse 13” continues to challenge you as actors?
Eddie McClintock: For me the challenge is too keep it fresh. We try and make sure that don’t hit the same beats again and again in episode after episode. So Joanne and I try and communicate with to one another if we feel like maybe a beat is stale, or we’ve used it before.
Joanne Kelly: To focus on the work and to make sure that it’s continuously good despite the hours. It doesn’t matter if it’s four o’clock in the morning. It’s still important to make the scene as good as it can be. And that sometimes is a challenge but one of the more interesting ones. I think we manage to pull it off most of the time.
Question: We really enjoy the dynamic between Pete and Myka. Can you tell me a little about your on-screen chemistry?
Eddie McClintock: Well, Joanne and I figured we’d just get it over the first week, so we got together a couple of times and she--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 Kelly: Shut up. You see how long I let that go for? Are you impressed?
Eddie McClintock: This is mine and Joanne’s relationship in a nutshell. She and I were being pulled by a car--a camera truck. 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 seriously?” And she goes, “Sometimes I want to stab you in the eye with a pencil. But if you were any other way it just wouldn’t be the same.”
We truly are like a brother and sister. We don’t always like each other. We spend 15 days a day, 5 days a week [together]. Most families don’t spend that amount of time with each other, and we’re in a very stressful situation. There’s always someone standing there with their watch pointing 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 are lots of opportunities for us not to just not really care to like one another on screen. But we love each other and I have a great deal of respect for Joanne and her work, and I think that reflects in the work that we have onscreen. I think that’s maybe why it works so well.
Joanne Kelly: I think that a lot of actors can be very competitive with each other onscreen, and Eddie and I never compete. What people call chemistry is that we actually trust and like one another.
Question: How did you get cast on “Warehouse 13”?
Joanne Kelly: Well, basically it was a tough situation. You go in, you audition, and then [the producers] whittle it down and whittle it down and then there’s about ten of each character. The network mixes and matches the characters in the room. There’s quite a story about the way that we got put together. I’ll let Eddie take it from here.
Eddie McClintock: Usually by the time you get to the text they have whittled it down to maybe two Petes and two Mykas. And in this case, we walked in and there were seven or eight of each…
Joanne Kelly: All in suits looking exactly--
Eddie McClintock: Everybody looking exactly the same. And I just thought, “Oh great, I’m not going to get this job either." This was shortly after the birth of my second son and I had a thin year the year before.
Joanne Kelly: He was very sweaty.
Eddie McClintock: I was very sweaty inside and out. An actor’s fear is to make a mistake during the test--at least, that’s my greatest fear. You generally only get one chance in front of the network so you’d better not screw it up. And they had been mixing and matching us all day. I hadn’t gotten placed with Joanne so I was like, “Oh, she must suck.”
Joanne Kelly: He thought I sucked.
Eddie McClintock: So they finally said, “Okay, you two go in” and we were in there together. And we had been talking.
Joanne Kelly: We hadn’t been talking. Eddie, you had your freak-out session before we were in there together.
Eddie McClintock: Oh, that’s right.
Joanne Kelly: So he comes out of the room and he’s sweating. He takes off his tie and starts pacing. He starts talking about his baby’s birth and I’m like, “What is this dude talking about?”
Eddie McClintock: Yeah, we didn’t know each other at all….So what happened was, the director put his arm around one of the other actors and I was like, “That’s it. I’m not getting this job.” I took off my tie, I took off my jacket and I said, “You know what, I got my sons, they’re like two little birds in the nest and their necks are stretching, right, and their mouths are open. They’re waiting for their mom to sweep in and drop in the chewed-up, regurgitated worm and I’ve got no f**king worm." And I was a little flipped out. And then, literally, Joanne was like "Dude.”
Joanne Kelly: I sat him down and I basically just talked him off the ledge. Tests are painful enough without some dude having a nervous breakdown.
Eddie McClintock: Hence her calling me dude.
Joanne Kelly: And they called us in the room, and we went in.
Eddie McClintock: Joanne was supposed to call me a “showboat,” and she was like, “Listen you showbot.” So I just started going “Showbot, showbot, showbot,” doing a robot [dance] and I did a Michael Jackson kick with a hee hee verse.
Joanne Kelly: Yeah, and I started getting mad and tried to get him back on track.
Eddie McClintock: And she punched me and told me to shut up. And so when we walked out apparently Mark Stern (SyFy’s vice president of original programming) looked at everybody and goes, “There it is. That’s the show right there.”