Interview: Eddie McClintock and Saul Rubinek Talk ‘WAREHOUSE 13’ Season 4
Syfy’s most watched show, WAREHOUSE 13 returns this Monday for its fourth season. If you remember we all were left in a sort of a cliffhanger at the end of last season and with no warehouse. So where does the team go from here? What are the fans in store for this season? Well, stars Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock have all of our answers…well some of them anyway.
Check out this awesome and hilarious q and a from press day and be sure you watch Warehouse 13 on Mondays at 8/7c on Syfy. Eddie you are a trip!
First off, Saul and Eddie were asked about the warehouse itself and what artifacts we might see in season four.
Saul Rubinek: It’s really hilarious how you guys ask us the one question that we can’t answer. You know that we’re going to have to spoil everything if we start talking about this.
I can tell you this though,
Our show is not called Giant Chasm in the Ground 13, it’s called Warehouse 13, so obviously they’re going to figure out a way to bring the Warehouse back. But we’ve had artifacts. We’ve know that there’s a downside to using them. There are always consequences. And what the writers decided was that there had to be some consequences that were irrevocable. There were consequences that would be so dark that – so it that it wouldn’t just be easy.
So, “Oh, they’re dead. All right. We have an artifact for that.” “The Warehouse is gone. We have an artifact for that,” so everything becomes easy. It’s not going to be that easy. And whatever we use will have consequences for the life of this – of the characters and for the life of the series.
So that’s what I can tell you is that the use of artifacts becomes a darker and more dangerous and less takebackable thing than ever before. Would you say Eddie that’s true?
Eddie McClintock: Yes. And not necessarily that it changes the show totally, but certainly there will be fallout from the use of artifacts that we cannot take back. You know, that stay with everybody. The change, it changes everyone permanently.
But from week to week you still have fun ones
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Eddie McClintock: … and it stays light.
But definitely like Saul said, we don’t want the show to become predictable, so you have to be able to know that we can’t just fix everything every time.
The two were also asked about the guest stars we’ll see in the upcoming season and a little more was shared than what was supposed to be.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. Well Lindsay Wagner comes back. Rene Auberjonois comes back. Kate Mulgrew is back. Where else do we have…
Eddie McClintock: I already spilled the beans.
Saul Rubinek: About?
Eddie McClintock: I spilled the beans about everybody.
Eddie McClintock: Are we – so are we allowed to say?
Saul Rubinek: Well, the Brent Spinner…
Eddie McClintock: What about (Jane)?
Saul Rubinek: Hello?
Eddie McClintock: Sorry. Sorry.
Look up some of the interviews I did at Comic-Con and you can find out
The two were asked about how they feel about the longer season this year.
Saul Rubinek: Well, they’re really two seasons. It’s really a real vote of confidence from the network and the studio to do that with us. That’s how we felt.
I mean, it’s a little harder I would say on those of us that have kids, and Eddie is farthest away. I don’t live that far away because I’m inNew Yorkand my kids are older, so it’s a mix. A little different. My daughter is in college and I can get back. That’s the hardest thing for Eddie, right Eddie? That longer season?
Eddie McClintock: Yes. If my boys and my wife could be in Toronto with me all the time, it would be much, much easier. It’s a quality problem. I’m on a show that’s been on the air for four years now. I’m making a living as an actor in Hollywood in arguably one of the darkest times in the American economy, so I really have no complaints except Saul is the only one.
Saul Rubinek: Other than me.
Eddie McClintock: Saul’s my only complaint.
Saul and Eddie were also asked how this series keeps getting better with its stories and how rewarding and exciting it has been so far.
Saul Rubinek: It’s an extraordinary thing. At a certain point it becomes the biggest character I’ve ever played and it’s quickly become probably the best character with the most range because of all the episodes and all the different things the writers are asking of us.
There is something that I think is called series-itis that you have to be careful of. It’s incredibly exciting. First of all the positive and I’ll tell you what the dangers are, given the fact that I’m a very old man who’s been doing this for 40 years or so.
Eddie McClintock: Very old.
Saul Rubinek: Very, very old.
What’s exciting is that the audience is connected with us. We have tremendous support from the studio and the network. It’s very rare in any actor’s career that you’re doing a show that is the Number 1 show in the history of that network. That’s rare, and we’ve held on to that since the very beginning. It’s a testament to the writing and the family that we’ve created.
And the fact that audiences I believe are watching – this is what I’m really proud of, because both Eddie and I are dads. We’re the only dad’s – or parents of the actors right now, right? Families watch this show together.
Eddie McClintock: Right.
Saul Rubinek: And I’m really proud of that. People that watch American Idol or shows like that. There are very few shows that are in this hour long category that audiences can watch with their family. There’s something for everybody over the age of 11 or so. And dads and moms and grandparents don’t get bored, and the kids are still delighted, and there’s great stuff. So that’s what makes me really proud.
The danger is when you’re doing a show you know a lot, for actors doing any series, is that the test is not how quickly the crew can get home and how quickly you can do things, although we do want to do that. Is you really have to keep challenging yourself in a series. You have to keep things alive.
The two were also asked about some shocking moments in the season premiere and what it was like reading the script.
Saul Rubinek: It was really exciting. Really, really exciting. But what we got to do a lot of working in front of a green screen where we have to imagine. We had a big screening with the cast and crew a couple of Sundays ago and we got to see it.
And on a big screen it was kind of awesome because the special effects looked so great. And a lot of it we were just in front of a green screen with no idea of what it was going to look like, so that was pretty exciting for us to see.
Eddie McClintock: When you take a television screen formatted show and you blow it up onto a movie theater sized screen, it can be scary because you think, “Oh, okay. Maybe we need to go back down.” Because you know, a lot of times you see the flaws.
But like Saul said, the show looks huge. The special effects department does such an amazing job with the time and the budget that they get. They’re just crunched every week because we have a lot of effects. Certain shows are more effect-laden than others, but I’m really proud of the premier episode. I can’t wait to see the rest.
I’m as anxious as the fans because I have no idea once we do the show and move on to the next show, I forget the previous show. I’m just not smart enough to retain – like Allison. She remembers every line of every show she’s ever done. I forget my lines after I move to the next scene. So I’m almost seeing them for the first time just as the fans are.
As you all know, Warehouse 13 is pretty light-hearted. The next question was about the show having a slow progression with a darker more serious tone.
Eddie McClintock: I know that as Joanne was saying at Comic-Con, and I thought it was well put, she said that we’re still painting with all the colors that we were painting with before, but we’ve added a darker color.
So it’s not necessarily that the show has taken a shift tonally, but there are these great consequences. The fact that H.G. Wells is dead. The fact that Jinks is gone. The Warehouse is gone. Mrs. Frederick is gone. We have to deal with that.
And to come back from that and be jokey and ridiculous, it just wouldn’t make sense. It all seems disrespectful to the show. And again don’t get me wrong; Pete is still using his comedy to protect himself from the fact that he is devastated by the loss of his friends.
Saul, what do you think?
Saul Rubinek: Yes. The show is definitely darker.. As I told you, there are tremendous consequences to bringing the Warehouse back, which is what will happen. That’s not going to be a spoiler. People aren’t going to be shocked by that.
We always have tried to maintain a balance between the humor of the show and you really don’t know from one second to the next where the jokes are going to come. That’s still true.
No matter how dark we get, there’s going to be lighter moments. We don’t take ourselves that seriously. But on the other hand, we’re not so light so that we’re just fluff. And I think people care enough about these characters and see all these different sides to them that we can stretch.
On a fourth season of a very successful show, it wouldn’t be outrageous for the writers, the studio, and the network to say, “Play it safe. We’ve got our core audience. We don’t want to mix things up too much.” But what happened is that they stepped it up.
I think you’ll see this season that they have taken some chances. I don’t know yet whether all those things have paid off. They seemed to when we were doing it. You don’t know until the show gets air. I can tell you that certainly in the premier it paid off big time.
They’ve taken tremendous chances. The writers, the producers, executives have all decided that we’ve earned the right – that Jack has earned the right and the staff has earned the right to raise the bar and to stretch things a little bit, and that our audience will go with us. We think that’s true.
And so, that’s what’s happened to us. We worked really hard – extremely hard this season because we were given stuff to do that had not been required of us for three years.
So that’s what I can say without spoiling things for people. I hope the fans are the recipient of that kind of risk taking.
The two were asked if they had a favorite gadget or artifact? And if they could invent one, what would it be.
Eddie McClintock: My favorite artifact has to be Abe Lincoln’s hat. When Pete put it on he had an uncontrollable urge to free Mrs. Fredrick. I just thought that was…
Saul Rubinek: It was hilarious.
Eddie McClintock: …brilliant and I loved the fact that we can say things like that without people freaking out about it. Because we’re able to show that we come from a good place. That gives me hope – in humanity.
If I had to create an artifact, I’ve always said that it would be Janice Joplin’s back stage pass fromWoodstock. The holder of the artifact could travel through time to go to any concert that has ever been. I could go to see the Doors and Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin, and all the bands that my dad turned me on to when I was a little kid but I was never old enough to go to the shows.
Saul Rubinek: That’d be a cool one. That would be really good.
I’ve said the same thing for a couple of seasons, which is that I want to have an artifact that actually tells the true numbers of the audience Nielsen ratings that we’re actually getting, because I can tell you that it’s probably three times what they’re saying it is because otherwise, the advertisers would have to pay a lot more.
Saul Rubinek: I know from the people that stop me whether I was in France or I was in England, or all over the United States where I’ve traveled, and always in the past it’s been different movies I’ve done. Whether it’s True Romance or Frazier, or Unforgiven, but now it’s always Warehouse 13 95% of the time. And the ages of the people are from 10 to 80, and, my daughter is in college. Nobody watches television in college anymore. They watch their computers and…
…they’re still watching commercials. And they have to do that.
So I think that, you know, they’re saying we’re being watched by three million. I think it’s over twice that, so I’d like that artifact. That’d be good.
There’s already been a Warehouse 13 comic book that was released this past year. The two were then asked if they’d ever have any interest in working on a comic based on the show.
Eddie McClintock: Yes. That would be the day that I actually saw myself as a comic book character, that’s a dream come true. That’s just another tick off the bucket list for me.
I was a huge Marvel Comics fan as a kid. I loved The Hulk and I was a big Spiderman fan and Fantastic Four. So to see myself as a comic book character, how cool is that? And now they just turned Pete into a statuette. QMX created a statuette.
So – and Saul’s next. Artie’s next.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Eddie McClintock: So yes, absolutely. I would love to collaborate on something like that.
They were also asked what is the most challenging thing that they’ve done so far this season.
Saul Rubinek: Go ahead Eddie.
Eddie McClintock: It’s just to not gain 30 pounds from the chocolate chip cookies that Craft Services bring in. I mean, every day they’re bringing hot chocolate chip cookies after lunch, so you know in regards to being…
Saul Rubinek: Really funny.
Eddie McClintock: That’s a big…
Saul Rubinek: Yes. I’m on Weight Watchers. I want to lose 50 pounds over the next year or so. It’s incredibly difficult. I’ve been struggling with that as a person for all my career. The shows can be really challenging to do, so I want to be healthy. So, that’s the biggest challenge.
And the biggest challenge for Eddie and I, and we talk about this, is being good dads. My kids are 21 and 17, but still being a good husband and being a good dad, and trying to balance your career, that’s the hardest thing for us.
Eddie McClintock: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: All the rest of its fine. I can talk to you about stretching the character and all the chances that we take. But look, we have one of the best jobs in the world. By the time I got this job I was concentrating much more on writing and directing. I was not expecting this at this point in my career, to get such a great job on a television series, let alone one that was going to be a hit.
But the consistent factor is trying to be a good partner to my wife and a reasonably wise and not idiotic dad, which I am occasionally. And to make sure that my kids get into the school that they want to get into and be able to afford it. That’s the struggle for most ofAmerica, isn’t it? And that’s what it’s about.
I’m the old guy on the set and I want to set a good example, knowing my lines. For being there on time. For being a good support for everybody.
It’s one of the things Eddie and I just talked about. Being a star on a television show or being a leader of any kind, one of the things I’ve learned all my life is that it’s not about how other people support you; leadership is about how you support everyone around you. That’s the quality of leadership, and it’s the hardest job.
Sal and Eddie were then asked to describe their other’s character in three words.
Eddie McClintock: Each other’s character?
Saul Rubinek: Any three words.
Oh, I can just tell you that Pete is a man-child. There. There. if you want it in three words.
Eddie McClintock: Pete is a man-child. That’s five.
Saul Rubinek: Okay. Well, there you go. A man-child.
Eddie McClintock: Watch me. Watch me do three.
Saul Rubinek: Artie is a…
Eddie McClintock: Grumpy. Sleepy. Dopey.
Saul Rubinek: Okay, excellent.
Finally the two were asked if they prefer the dramatic scenes over the comedic scenes or a mixture of both.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. The blend is what makes the show.
Eddie McClintock: I like the blend.
Saul Rubinek: The blend is amazing. Everybody will tell you that. I think that’ll be true of any series that you see. I mean, actors want to change things up.
Listen, if Breaking Bad and Dexter weren’t also funny they wouldn’t be hits, would they? And the actors love it. All actors love it. They want to change things up. They want fast turns. They want to be able to stretch. They don’t want to get bored.
Eddie McClintock: Although, I have to say that I found that a lot of actors, they’re afraid of comedy. They’ve come out and said it, and then I can see the fear in their eyes. I think that, actors maybe they fear it, and I do too. No one wants to fall on their face. I don’t have a whole lot of fear, and a lot of times it does well for me and sometimes it backfires. So I don’t know why I got off on this tangent, but there you go.
Courtesy of NBC Universal / Syfy