By Jamie Ruby
On Monday Syfy premiered the fifth and final season of fan favorite Warehouse 13
. Actors Saul Rubinek, who plays Artie Nielsen, and Aaron Ashmore, who plays Steve Jinks, recently talked to the media about the series.
One of the soon to be fan favorite episodes this year is "Savage Seduction," the fourth episode in the season.
Ashmore told SciFi Vision, "I remember it was a little bit daunting, because I was going to be playing two versions of Steve and two very different versions of Steve, so it was definitely challenging. Originally, I think they were hoping to get my brother so that we could be able to play both roles, him play one and me play the other, but just the timing and stuff didn't work out. So that didn't happen.
"But again, it was a lot of fun. It was worth the exercise to me to explore the incredibly flamboyant gay side of Steve that we don't really get to see, but obviously it's deep down there somewhere. So it was a ton of fun and difficult at the same time to be switching back and forth between serious and flamboyant Steve with just a moment's notice, to kind of flip back and forth.
"So it was a challenge, but we had a lot of fun, and I have not actually seen that episode, but I'm looking forward to it, because I'd really like to see how everything turned out and the effects of me being on the screen at the same time.
"But I'm also very curious to see how the telenovela went, because [as] a read through, everybody was just absolutely rolling; it was so funny...and [I want] to see how that turned out as well."
Rubinek added, "We had a great time. I haven't seen it either. I saw a little bit when I was looping it, and I know that we laughed probably harder doing the telenovela than anything during the whole five seasons than we'd ever done.
"And learning the Spanish phonetically - we had a Spanish coach - I'm pretty fluent in French, and I have a pretty good ear, but Spanish is not one of the languages I was speaking, get by in German too, but Spanish not so much.
"...We have had the Spanish coach. We'd gotten through it; we had to do takes, because we had to get through the Spanish in one go.
"...And it's hard to tell when you're laughing so hard. Sometimes the crew and you are laughing so hard and then the show comes out, and you go, "Yeah, it wasn't that funny. It was funny as we were shooting it," so I'm hoping that the laughter translates." Syfy Conference Call
Saul Rubinek and Aaron Ashmore
April 16, 2014 2:00 pm ET SCIFI VISION:
Can you both talk about "Savage Seduction?" I know you both were in different parts of the episode, but that was definitely my favorite of the season. So can you talk about working on that? SAUL RUBINEK:
I don’t [know] which one? The title is meaningless to me. Which number? SCIFI VISION:
Oh, sorry. The telenovela, the Spanish one. SAUL RUBINEK:
Oh, I know what you’re talking about. Yeah, we were two completely different episodes there in a way; Aaron and I go by each other throughout the whole shoot of that. Go ahead Aaron, you go first then and do your thing. AARON ASHMORE:
Well, yeah, I remember it was a little bit daunting, because I was going to be playing two versions of Steve and two very different versions of Steve, so it was definitely challenging. Originally, I think they were hoping to get my brother so that we could be able to play both roles, him play one and me play the other, but just the timing and stuff didn’t work out. So that didn’t happen.
But again, it was a lot of fun. It was worth the exercise to me to explore the incredibly flamboyant gay side of Steve that we don’t really get to see, but obviously it’s deep down there somewhere. So it was a ton of fun and difficult at the same time to be switching back and forth between serious and flamboyant Steve with just a moment’s notice, to kind of flip back and forth.
So it was a challenge, but we had a lot of fun, and I have not actually seen that episode, but I’m looking forward to it, because I’d really like to see how everything turned out and the effects of me being on the screen at the same time.
"But I’m also very curious to see how the telenovela went, because [as] a read through, everybody was just absolutely rolling; it was so funny. So I can’t imagine when everybody’s in costume - and [I want] to see how that turned out as well.
So yeah, that’s the one episode that I’m really, really looking forward to as well. SAUL RUBINEK:
I also imagine that on your side of the episode, that Allison had a lot of trouble of keeping a straight face at any particular moment with you. AARON ASHMORE:
I think it was actually Allison’s dream to have you be super, super gay and flamboyant, I think she enjoyed it probably more than anybody for sure. SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah, I have a feeling she cracked up on the whole thing. We had a great time. I haven’t seen it either. I saw a little bit when I was looping it, and I know that we laughed probably harder doing the telenovela than anything during the whole five seasons than we’d ever done.
And learning the Spanish phonetically - we had a Spanish coach - I’m pretty fluent in French, and I have a pretty good ear, but Spanish is not one of the languages I was speaking, get by in German too, but Spanish not so much.
Although I have played a producer of a telenovela on a very funny Psych
episode about probably about five years ago, and that was really a lot of fun. And so I had that kind of melody in my ear, and I was playing El Colonel and going back and forth between Artie and El Colonel, and we came up with [a] hilarious look for everybody for basically - it was just - you know what it was, it was Jack was there with us at every step of the way.
We had had the Spanish coach. We’d gotten through it; we had to do takes, because we had to get through the Spanish in one go. And also, Kelly was there. Who was there? Paula Garces was there, so she speaks Spanish and is fluent in Spanish so she helped us a lot. And Sonia Braga was there; she helped, and we had a great cast, and all I can say is that I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard ever shooting anything.
And it’s hard to tell when you’re laughing so hard. Sometimes the crew and you are laughing so hard and then the show comes out, and you go, “Yeah, it wasn’t that funny. It was funny as we were shooting it,” so I’m hoping that the laughter translates. I’m glad to hear you liked it.SCIFI VISION:
Yeah, I was almost crying through half of it laughing so hard. I really, really enjoyed it.QUESTION:
As far as what’s left for the season, is it going to be a mix of light and darker episodes that are coming up? Can you tease us a little bit as to what direction is going to happen in the rest of the episodes? SAUL RUBINEK:
Go ahead. AARON ASHMORE:
Well I think, like most of the show and I think what makes the show great, is that it’s a little bit of all of that in every episode. The humor’s always there. There’s definitely some things that need to be resolved amongst some of the characters, particularly some things with Claudia and her sister and Artie.
So that stuff’s a little bit heavier dealing with all that stuff, but there’s always the humor. There’s always light details even in funny pieces, even in the most serious situations.
So, I think there’s all of that. And I think that there’s a lot of weight to these last couple of episodes, because we’re ramping up the show, but that being said, it’s always fun. SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah, I think I can echo that. We started off knowing that we were finishing, a lot of series don’t have the luxury of that. They are cut off at the knees and so are the fans, by whatever financial ratings, reasons cut people down.
And Syfy Network fought really hard for us to be able to have a proper closing. I know that Mark Stern really fought hard for us and some of the folks at NBC Universal too, it was a difficult decision. Syfy’s going in a different direction, as you can tell by the shows that they’ve got and whatever financial ratings, reasons closed us down, we didn’t want to let our sadness creep into it, except in the most creative way possible. And I have to credit Jack Kenny and the writers as usual, although not so much as usual as especially in this particular case, for keeping the spirit alive for us.
We felt very grateful that we’ve had five great years of doing the show and our fans are wonderful and have been incredibly supportive as you guys doing interviews with us and writing about us have been.
I’ve never had that experience. I spent a couple of years being a recurring character on Frasier
, but in my whole career, I’ve never done a series that I started with and ended with, so it’s new for me after all these years of being on television.
And the whole experience was new. I hadn’t expected in my career ever to have such a wonderful time for so long being one character. I would have thought that that could get dull, but given the kind of writing and my costars, it was all in all certainly at the high end of the top of my professional experience.
And the kind of shows that we did really, as Aaron was saying, we didn’t try to change the formula, or the writers didn’t. There was, of course, the feeling that the show was going to have to wrap up and they do it in a rather typically Warehouse
poignant, hilarious, odd, peculiar and eccentric fashion. So you’re going to get your trademark Warehouse
ending, but I think it will be as satisfying to fans as it was to the cast. QUESTION:
This is a very special show: the mix of Jack, the writers, and yourselves made it very special. What legacy would you like Warehouse 13
to leave after its last episode? SAUL RUBINEK:
A lot of residuals. Right, Aaron? AARON ASHMORE:
I don’t know if that’ll happen. SAUL RUBINEK:
No, I tell you what I think, a lot of shows get discovered by a larger audience later on, and Netflix is part of the life of our show now, and I can say this, we were all really proud of the fact that it was a family show.
We all felt that we shouldn’t have been on at 10:00 in our fourth season and that was just unfortunate, however it was planned. We were never a 10:00 show, so more people were going to view the RS and see us later. But we’re probably an 8:00 show, even though we were at 9. We were a family show. You could be 10 years old or 90 years old and get something out of this show. And very few one-hour shows, very few that the whole family can watch and feel that they’re getting something. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah. SAUL RUBINEK:
And we’re really proud of that. And I think that there are a lot of families out there as the years go on, that will discover that they’ve got a great, funny, interesting show that the whole family can watch.
And if that happens in the next number of years, that’ll feel great to me. AARON ASHMORE:
That’s a great answer, Saul. I sort of feel the same. I felt incredibly blessed to be part of the show, but sometimes when you get away from it, you get even more perspective from it.
And I felt so lucky and just happy and now that the new season’s airing, just watching it being away from all you guys and really not - that we’re not coming back to do another season, I was so happy to see those characters and all you guys faces and stuff.
And I think that that’s what I hope everybody is feeling as well, is just happy to see us. And again, Netflix and all these other places and ways that shows can stay alive, whereas before when they went off the air, they’re gone.
And I think the fan base is a loyal and the show is so full of adventure and history and all these things, that I think it is a show that’s really rewatchable. So hopefully people will continue to rewatch it and also new people will tune in on Netflix and keep it alive, because I think it has a place that it will stay alive in that way. QUESTION:
What were some of the mementos you took with you after you finished filming the series? AARON ASHMORE:
Everything we could get our hands on. SAUL RUBINEK:
We’re just being hilarious. We just steal stuff. AARON ASHMORE:
I didn’t get a ton of stuff. SAUL RUBINEK:
Eddie got it. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, Eddie, he definitely got a lot of really, really cool stuff. I got the metronome that brought me back to life, it was one of the artifacts that I really had a personal connection with story wise, so I think that was really cool for me.
I have a collection of all my seat backs for the director’s chairs for all of the shows that I’ve ever done, so I made sure that I grabbed that, because it’s just a funny collection. I don’t have it on display, but I just have a nice collection of all the shows my name and then with the show’s name on it.
So I’ve got those few things, and that to me was the important stuff that I really wanted. I also got a killer wardrobe, all the shows, all the clothes that I wore over the three seasons, they gave us a lot of options for stuff that we would wear. And a lot of it was really nice, so now sometimes when I walk down the street, I see if somebody recognizes me from Warehouse
, or they’re like, “He’s dressed exactly like Steve does”. SAUL RUBINEK:
That’s so funny. That’s funny. Oh well the glasses - Artie’s glasses were the glasses that I wore for my screen test. I brought them to the show. They’re very hard to find. They’re made in Germany, so I got my glasses back, so let me put that. I like that.
I took very few things, almost nothing. I took some wardrobe stuff, Joanne Nelson had made stuff for me that it was very loose and comfortable stuff and different shirts that I would wear normally, so I like that.
But as far as actual objects are concerned, I got a birthday present on July 2nd when it was my birthday. They just stopped the take right in the middle and I thought I’d done something wrong and it turned out to be a cake and stuff that Jack had arranged. And I got as a present one of (Frank Decotis), our brilliant Direction Designers drawings, original drawings of Artie’s office, so that meant a lot to me. It really touched me.
And I think that it’s because the truth is for me, the memories are my artifacts. You know, are the things that are most important to me. And I might have wanted that Steampunk keyboard that they had, but that was very expensive and NBC Universal took that before I could get my hands on it. AARON ASHMORE:
Actually Eddie got it. I think Eddie got it. Eddie got to... SAUL RUBINEK:
He got it all. It’s all on eBay and you know, I have no idea. But really, I don’t have anything. I didn’t take anything. I have that wonderful gift that I got from Jack Kenny, El (Franco Decotis)’ drawing of Artie’s office and that brings back a lot of memories.
And I’ve got the shows to look at, and I’ve got enough tchotchke in my life I think.
I miss Artie’s office. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah. That’s the one place that I really miss, like it’s a set. Everything was great, but that was such a... SAUL RUBINEK:
That was extraordinary. AARON ASHMORE:
Absolutely. It felt like home sort of, you spend a lot of time in there, you kind of feel comfortable on home... SAUL RUBINEK:
Well, it was also the first time, I think, they were on set was in Artie’s office the very first... AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. SAUL RUBINEK:
The thing you had to do was in Artie’s office and it was one of those things that happened to both Aaron and to Allison, which was they had to come - well Aaron’s much more difficult in a way, because with Allison we’d only shot a pilot and three episodes, I think.
And Allison came on in episode four, but Aaron came in Season 3, I think it was. Right Aaron? AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, Season 3. SAUL RUBINEK:
And it was coming into a group that had already been performing for years together. We had our own rhythm, and for any actor, I don’t care who it is, it’s a nerve racking experience, but the truth is that you know, and it happened very fast for Aaron, after meeting Jack Kenny and suddenly he was cast.
And he came into a situation and we were very happy to have him, but the truth is that it wouldn’t have worked if Aaron hadn’t had this ability to tightrope walk and be a goof ball and serious at a moment’s notice.
And that was the great thing. Wasn’t it Aaron? Wasn’t the most fun that we had - a show ran around the set most of the time and if something didn’t feel right in your mouth, he would change it and that we could laugh and goof around and then we’d have to be serious the next section.
So we were doing a dramedy, whatever Jack called it, and it was a thriller, a comedy and a drama all at the same time, all in the same scene and Aaron had the very tricky job of fitting right in, which he did.
And it happened in Artie’s office and I could imagine it felt like home to you. It was a magical cast, a magical cast. Very hard to find that kind of chemistry that we all just happened to have. It’s true. AARON ASHMORE:
A little bit of magic. SAUL RUBINEK:
...and it happened. Yeah, just the way it is. People said, “You guys look like you’re having a lot of fun on that show; well did you?” And we just say yes. We couldn’t say yes, couldn’t fake it and laugh all day long. QUESTION:
You guys obviously made a very successful Syfy show, a show that like you said was appropriate for families and for people of all ages. You had a great cast. You had really cool guest stars. All of them told us that they loved coming and working with you guys. So is there one big takeaway that you take from this experience? AARON ASHMORE:
A big takeaway from the experience. It sounds funny and again, it’s over the year of thinking about all of the experiences and having a little bit of distance, but I think I found myself in a lot of ways as an actor, a different sort of confidence and a different level of something along that line, that I got thrown into this thing and I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in.
And then you just joined this sort of family and you’re working together and you’re trying new things and you’re pushing things and sometimes it’s working and sometimes it’s not, but we fix it. And so for me as a performer, as an actor, this show tested all those things and I came out at the other end of it feeling very confident and very good. And that happened because of all these amazing people. I didn’t do that by myself. You get the support and you get the challenges and that thrown at you.
And so for me looking back, where else can you get a learning experience and there’s some of the most amazing performers and creative people that I’ve ever worked with and you move onto other things and you start to think, I knew I had it good but I didn’t know how good I had [it] until you start moving onto other things. And you really start to miss that stuff.
So, for me, I just take away a lot of appreciation for the three years that I had. And that might be a bit of rambling answer, but that’s a tough question. So I think that’s what I take away from it in a nutshell. SAUL RUBINEK:
That’s well said. It’s well said, you don’t know what you have until you let it go…
When did I first do my first television show? In Toronto, probably in 1976, maybe. So that’s a long time ago and I’ve worked with a lot of different directors in a lot of different series, but I’ve never had a series that I was a regular on, except maybe eight, ten episodes of the series called Men
for ABC back in 1988 and that was really an interesting experience.
But that was it, it’s just half a season, or whatever we did. So this is unique for me in my entire career. So there a number of challenges involved. There are creative ones and there are also career challenges, in the sense that you have to find a way creatively to keep it alive and you want it not to fall back on tricks and when you’ve got great people working around you, like I was lucky enough to have them, you have to keep on your toes.
The bar gets set high, because the writing demands acrobatics and tightrope walking from one genre to the other sometimes and very often within the same scene, so you had to have grace and alacrity. It was demanded of you.
The biggest thing that I learned, since I’m also a writer – and, in fact, Jack Kenny and I are working on two projects together. It’s a potential television series – is I learned a tremendous amount from watching Jack work.
Here’s a guy who started right after the pilot. He came onboard when we started doing the show after the pilot and stayed on ‘til the very end. Insisted on certain things that made the show great, that I wouldn’t have understood if I hadn’t been working with [a] show runner of such high caliber and such good humor, grace, and the ability to both be a father figure for his writers and a leader and a father figure for us as actors on the set.
So things that I didn’t understand are very practical things that your very sophisticated fans now understand. As I’ve gone around to conventions, I see how sophisticated and knowledgeable people are about how the industry works. So an answer like mine might not seem out of place, even though it might be a bit technical, is that Jack insisted with NBC Universal and Syfy that he hire his writers early.
Why that made a big difference, is they could break stories and get a number of scripts ahead. When he got a number of scripts ahead, that meant Jack could travel from Los Angeles, where the writers’ room is, where 10 to 12 writers are working together, and travel 3000 miles to Toronto and be on the set with us.
Why is that important? Well, if you talk to most actors who are doing television series far distant whether it’s in Texas or in Atlanta or wherever, they’re doing shows in Vancouver, far away from where the writers are. If the head writer is 3000 miles away, there’s a time difference that makes things difficult if something happens on the set, the directors and the producers that are working at far distance say, “Just do it as written,” and they have to keep that general rule in play because chaos might reign. Although one actor may be really good at changing things, if an actor who is not good at changing things sees that one actor changing things, they may also want to.
It’s much easier to have a general sense of rule. And actors on a series get very frustrated when those edicts come from afar. It’s all done with the best of intentions and trying to keep the show of a certain quality, but what creeps into a show is a certain amount of disgruntledness from a cast when they don’t feel that they’re being heard and it’s usually a question of time distance, time and distance, not because people are totalitarian in nature.
And here we are, because of Jack’s particular brilliance and the way he was able to fight and the support that he got from both the studio and the network, that because shows were broken early he was able to be on the set with us for over 70% of the time, which meant that he could see as things were developing in the blocking, that it wasn’t quite as was imagined in the writers’ room. The actors were bringing some goofy stuff to the table or serious stuff or a poignant moment here or there and he would rewrite on the spot. And as a result, we felt collaboratively we were blessed.
One of the reasons the guest stars wanted to come back, we were all reasonably nice, that’s true, but a lot of shows have reasonably nice people. It’s that they felt you could collaborate. They felt our joy of being on the set with the head writer there in the flesh and things changed on the spot, sometimes improvisationally. Very unusual.
That creative collaboration, which is not simply a result of will, but a result absolutely of planning and dollars support from the network and the studio, so the writers have more time to write, which costs more, which allowed that to happen on the set, created an atmosphere that gave the fans what they got.
That was the thing I learned and something I’d never experienced before and difficult to repeat unless you have somebody of Jack’s caliber and that kind of support. QUESTION:
Of all the episodes that have passed in the years, which do your characters feel would have been the most important or dangerous artifact that is stored in the warehouse? SAUL RUBINEK:
Well, I don’t know to be honest. It seemed like they all were just constantly causing problems. I think the idea that in the wrong person’s hand or in the wrong situation, even innocuous things can cause massive problems.
So I think the whole general warehouse was a dangerous thing. And I don’t know if I can pick just one out that was incredibly dangerous, but they all seemed to cause problems. AARON ASHMORE:
Well, certainly the asteroid for me, because of what happened to Artie throughout Season 4 and the murder that he’s responsible for on some level. He had a very difficult choice to make, which is to either lose the warehouse or bring it back, but if he brings it back, he also brings an evil, which turns out to be within himself.
So certainly for me and what I experienced, there’s arguments to be made about - just about every single one of those dark and interesting artifacts.
But the asteroid and what the consequences were, certainly was the most dangerous of all the ones that we had and its consequences that last from the moment it started right through the whole series. QUESTION:
As the series ends and it’s wrapping up, who will be the final villain, the final foes that the agents and the regents will be facing? SAUL RUBINEK:
Now you know better than to ask a question like that, for sure. You know way better than to ask that question. QUESTION:
Well, could it be Valda? SAUL RUBINEK:
Oh sure, we’ll tell you, but we won’t tell anybody else that question. No problem. There’s not a chance we’re answering that question.
Next question. QUESTION:
Will you be introducing any new villains or will it be... SAUL RUBINEK:
I’m not telling you. No, you’re going to have to watch.
You’re very persistent though, very persistent. You’ve got a lot of points for persistence, yes. You can phrase it a different way, we’ll see if I answer it differently. QUESTION:
All right. I give up on that one. SAUL RUBINEK:
Here’s what you do. Wait, wait, here’s what you do. Call Eddie McClintock, he’ll tell you everything. QUESTION:
What’s next for the both of you as actors after this? I know that Saul you said you’re working with Jack Kenny on a couple of projects. Can you give up the cheese about those projects or is there anything... SAUL RUBINEK:
Well, they’re in the world of comedy. A big shock to you, right? They’re in that world. And we’re having a lot of fun developing them.
I’m also - my producer and partner and my wife of 23 years, Elinor Reid and I are working on a project. One of them we are working together with Jack on.
And I’ve been doing a lot of writing over the last five years, so I have a number of projects that I’ve been developing. In fact it’s what I was doing right before I found out about Warehouse 13
looking for an Artie, I was planning to really limit the number of things that I was going to act in – not because I don’t love acting, that’s not diminished at all, it’s that I’ve concentrated over the last 20 years on writing projects, and different kinds of writing projects. And I wanted to spend more time doing that and picking and choosing what I was going to act in and suddenly Warehouse
came along. It was unexpected.
So I think I’m going back to my original plan now that Warehouse
is over, which is I’m going to be very careful about the things that I act in.
I just had an amazing time working with the extraordinary Michael Emerson on a double episode of Person of Interest
and our director, Chris Fisher, [who] worked on Warehouse
with us for years, is now the show running director on that show and worked with an old friend Richard Lewis, who I’d worked with in Canada before, and I had a wonderful time.
I did that in the fall and that was an extraordinary experience and I’m looking forward to working as a guest star on different shows if that happens, and picking very carefully, but mostly I’m concentrating on my writing.
And Aaron’s working on a pilot. AARON ASHMORE:
Oh yes, just I shot a pilot. I just finished shooting a pilot for a show called Agatha
. It’s an ABC show and it’s sort of a - It’s basically Grey’s Anatomy
but with cops, so it’s that world and it basically centers around a criminologist, a young criminologist, Agatha, who - I’m trying to keep this fairly brief, basically she was a criminal and when she got out of jail at a young age, she dreamed to be a criminologist and now she’s one of the best in the country.
But the rub is that her dad's a detective and her brother’s a cop, so there’s a huge rift that happened, the fact that she went to jail and she got into all this trouble. SAUL RUBINEK:
Are you playing the brother? AARON ASHMORE:
And she’s coming back - what’s that? Yes, and I’m playing the brother. Yeah, yeah, and now she’s coming back to Philadelphia to work on a case and she’s got to sort all this stuff out with her family and solve this case. SAUL RUBINEK:
Who’s the dad? Who’s the girl? AARON ASHMORE:
The dad is an awesome actor by the name of Clancy Brown. SAUL RUBINEK:
Oh, I know Clancy. Yeah, great. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, he’s a super nice guy and he plays a lot of serious roles, but he’s actually really funny, so I enjoy it.
And Agatha is an Australian actress by the name of Bojana Novakovic, I think. I hope I’m not butchering her last name.
So yeah, I just shot that a couple of weeks ago, but it’s a pilot and you wait, you do it and you keep your fingers crossed. And...
You know Jason Alexander, who shot the pilot of Warehouse
? SAUL RUBINEK:
Yes, yes, Jason Alexander who shot the pilot for Warehouse 13
directed it as well. So...
I know Jason. I know a lot of connections. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, you do, you’re on the ball, Saul, and I’m just starting a feature in a couple of days, actually in about a week. It’s like a psychological thriller based around demonic stuff and Ethan Hawke is playing a lead detective in that and I’m playing a cop that works with him on this case and also Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies is starring in it as well.
So that’s kind of a cool one. And other than that, it was a slow winter. So things are starting to get fired up now. SAUL RUBINEK:
Out of the years that you’ve been doing Warehouse 13
, is there any story line that you would want to, for example, Artie’s background or character that wasn’t touched upon? SAUL RUBINEK:
An extensive sex life would have been fun to shoot. I have no idea. You know what, it never really occurred to me to go, “Hey we’re missing something here.” It’s not the thing that’s in the forefront of my brain.
As you asked the question, a number of things start to - I’ve got to answer this question in some creative, vaguely humorous way. I’d like to give her something, but the truth is that I would be forcing an answer, because we have the luxury of these incredibly imaginative episodes.
And not only were they surprising to us, we had a read through, we didn’t have a chance really to look much at the script. We had a read through usually about five days or four or five days before we shot, so in shooting the episode, with the director that was so present, because he was in crap he would be there, he or she would be there.
But as we were doing that, we couldn’t wait to turn the pages. It was really fun to read those episodes because they were so surprising and because we all got to play so many different facets of our character.
There really is not one aspect of Artie, whether it was as a spy or a child of a Holocaust survivor or his days with his father objecting to him leaving Julliard or his odd love affair with Lindsay Wagner’s character and his father/daughter relationship with Claudia, there were so many different aspects of that character that were written.
And every once in a while I got to channel Jack Kenny’s most hilarious put downs and sarcastic remarks. He was very, very funny and really he channeled me and I channeled him and I could tell when I got a Jack Kenny line here.
I really had such a variety of fun playing so many different aspects of the guy. Goofy, I’m thinking back to whatever that digital episode was where I did the whole thing in some fruity weird British accent, and playing some cartoonist character, outrageously to the being - touching Mata Hari’s silk stockings and being some silly guy in love, ridiculously in love with the wrong person, to a murderous dark solace character.
You know, there were so many aspects to it and so much fun, that I can’t tell you that I missed anything. AARON ASHMORE:
I feel the same way as far as television characters go. I think that all these characters were incredibly well rounded and none of them were even close to one to mention, which was just so very, very nice. But I sometimes wonder, because I liked the comic character development that they had, what could have been? If the show is going on, I don’t know where or what more interesting things will come out of these characters, but I know that there would have been.
So I sometimes think about where these characters could have led you even farther, because it seemed like Jack and writers had their fingers on the pulse of these characters so well. I always felt natural and I always felt interesting, all the character people - and I felt real, there was never character pieces that I know I disagreed with any character stuff, I was never like, “I don’t know if I believe his people would do that. “ It was just so seamless and fit in for everybody, I felt like. SAUL RUBINEK:
I have a feeling that they would have had you fall in love... AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah. SAUL RUBINEK:
...and we would have all - nobody would have been good enough for you, and we would have been terrified that you were falling in love with that bastard and it was that... AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah. SAUL RUBINEK:
...was next for you. I know if the show would have gone on, they would have had you fall head over heels for somebody. That would have been very interesting for... AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, yeah, that would have been fun to play and interesting to see. But you know, again we sort of touched on that a little bit, but the character’s so interesting, you give the character one little element, like he can tell when anybody’s lying, and the consequences to what a relationship would be or how closed off he would be. So this is a really interesting thing that they played into the character. Again, if the show had kept going on and on, we would have gotten a chance to really dive into all those things.
But I’m very happy with everything that we did... SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah. AARON ASHMORE:
...with all these characters. SAUL RUBINEK:
Aaron, I have one question for you that a lot of fans have wondered about. Syfy had their show Alphas
, we always wondered whether they were trying to tie the Warehouse 13
with the Alphas
universe together. Did you ever get a sense of that? AARON ASHMORE:
No. I definitely heard some people mention that and I think even Eddie and I or there was some sort of joke that maybe the Warehouse
crew would be getting off an elevator as these other guys were doing their show, we’re kind of through it, and it wouldn’t even be explained.
We would just be there or something, and it’s like maybe we are in the same universe. But I think that the tones of the show, they’re so different, that I would say that the universe that they were in were so different as well.
But, obviously there’s a similarity in that sense, with the showers. SAUL RUBINEK:
They’re running Vanessa, Lindsay Wagner’s character, in her role as working for the Centers for Disease Control. AARON ASHMORE:
You - absolutely. I didn’t even think about that, so there you go. So it was the same universe. SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah, and we always wondered if you were going to go further with that. SAUL RUBINEK:
Well they would have if the show would have continued. I think that they would have tried. Here’s the thing that’s really tricky. Alphas
was not particularly a funny show and it was very serious compared to us. So it would have been harder. That’s why Eureka
blended so well and why Allison and Casey’s character were able to come back and forth to our show, because the humor was close on some of those two shows, was similar.
And it was a much more easy universe to marry. QUESTION:
When you look at all the characters, what characters do you think had the biggest growth throughout this time? SAUL RUBINEK:
There wasn’t one character that you could mention that didn’t. My question would be what character had the least growth? They all grew, they all change, even Mrs. Frederic, perhaps the old – well, not perhaps, was the oldest of the characters, God knows how old she was. She was probably over 300 years old, we have no idea how old she is, but what’s really funny about [CCH]’s down to earth, that she’s such a goof ball in real life, she’s so hilarious and very funny and she was playing such a straight but serious character, it always cracked us up.
But I think we touched on this already, the fact that there was such a great range for all of the characters that were there, it’s hard to think of who grew more.
You know, you’re going to get some of your answer about that and very quickly in the last six episodes of this series. AARON ASHMORE:
Just while you were talking, Saul, I was thinking and you know, I wasn’t there from the beginning from the first season, but even from the third season, as far as growth goes, and not specifically character growth but that has a big part of it. But Allison, Allison sort of grew up right, even the past... SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah. AARON ASHMORE:
...three years, so I can’t even imagine - in real life, it’s raw, I think I was 28 or something when I got on the show and I think everybody else was a little old, but she was very young when she started and like I say, even from the third year to the fifth year, I saw such a growth and a maturity happen in her, so that’s kind of an interesting thing, to have those years and that maturity happening here on the show.
So I think Allison had a very interesting story. SAUL RUBINEK:
That’s definitely true and they wrote to it and they wrote towards it. QUESTION:
Claudia plays such a pivotal role in both Artie and [Steve]’s journey throughout the show and you both had such great chemistry with Allison. Can you talk a little bit about how those two relationships developed and what it was like working with Allison over the years? AARON ASHMORE:
Well, you talk about having good chemistry with Allison and I feel like it’s impossible not to have good chemistry with Allison. I think anybody would. There’s just something about her that’s just so incredible. She’s an incredible person, she’s also an incredible performer.
But I felt really lucky when I got into the show, because I was working with Allison so much, and I didn’t know how it was going to work or whatever, but I think as soon as we started working together I felt, okay this is interesting and it’s good.
And then I was even more happy to have the fans respond to it in such a way and really buy and really be invested in this friendship and I think that that’s what really allowed me to stick around on the show, that dynamic in that relationship. And Allison really embraced that and you know, I was the new guy and she totally embraced that and allowed me to do my thing.
So yeah, all around incredible, and incredibly talented too, because there’s some things that she does in this last season [that] blew my mind.
You’ll see it. You won’t miss it. You can’t miss it, it just seems like everything that she does she’s great at and continually surprising me [with] her talent and all that stuff.
So yeah, she was great. SAUL RUBINEK:
She was great with your guys. They did a really great thing with you guys, because in that car scene where she thinks you’re coming on to her and she kind of gently says, “You’re probably not her type,” and you say, “Yeah, that’s okay because I’m gay.” And her embarrassment at that.
And what was great was that they’d written things into your character that just happens to be gay. It wasn’t a show about Jinks being gay or a character about being gay, it’s just one thing about it. And he happens to be gay. This is somebody that might happen to be straight and or happen to be of any - you know, Asian or whatever and it was an interesting about face that she has to do.
And she becomes very vulnerable. And she may have even blushed on screen, I’m not sure. And it was a great moment of friendship and it built, of course, to - and they were very cleverly, you know, and they told me early, Jack said, “I’m going to pull you [aside], so I want to talk to you about something.”
And I said, “What is it?” He said, “I’m going to start taking Allison away from you. You’ve had her for two years and you’ve built this beautiful father/daughter relationship. She’s growing older and she may not need Artie as much. She has to grow up in a different way, but I’m going to kill off Steve Jinks, not for real, but I’m going to kill him off at the end of the season here, and I need to create a very close relationship between Allison’s character and Aaron’s character in order for that death to make sense.”
I said, “I got it”. So I didn’t feel robbed of Allison because he included me in the plan and why it was happening.
So they crafted a friendship between you and that was right, we’re dealing with a chemistry that really worked really well. They’re both very, very quick performers, Aaron and Allison. I’ll speak for - now I can speak from the outside. They’re both very versatile. Instantly versatile. Both have absolutely no prima donna aspects to them at all, but Eddie and me and Joanne do, at least more than they do.
And they have - they’re just - they’re professionals. They’re really both very nice people in real life and they got along and were able to do things without any problems very quickly, very, very quick. The scenes between were shot quickly, they were done quickly. It was really, really fun to watch them work. And that happened also between Allison.
Now Allison came on the show 18 years old. At that point I had a 17-year-old daughter in real life and a 14-year-old son as well, but in real life my daughter very closely in age for Allison. Allison came on the show rather nervous as an 18-year-old, having had already worked with Jack Kenny when she was probably 12 years old or something like that, so he knew her and she won the role by auditioning.
And when she came on, a very difficult scene, she had to kidnap Artie. It was a very emotional episode directed by the brilliant (Steve Surjek) who directed that episode.
We have no idea when we’re shooting what the fans are going to think of the show when the show wasn’t even on the air yet, so we didn’t know we were going to be a hit show yet and we were trying all these things out. And what happened immediately, and I’m sure Aaron will corroborate this, is that - and although the age difference is so big between - it was only 10 years between he and Allison, but between Allison and I there was over 30 years and over 35 years and what you’re dealing with is a colleague. Even though in real life there was a kind of father/daughter relationship naturally between us, but on the set it was a colleague I was dealing with no age difference in a way. She was so constantly a professional. Very quick, very, very easy to work with and collaborative and I adored her instantly and we quickly found a way to do shorthand between us.
One of the things that Jack brought to the table when he got the job as show runner is he pitched the idea, which they loved. He said, “Look, I think you better give Artie a sorcerer’s apprentice, because otherwise the poor man’s going to be talking to himself, it’s a lot. You’ve got to give him somebody.”
So he pitched the idea of a character like Allison’s and they bought and he knew what he wanted to do and Allison and I then built on that idea, by trading off all expositional dialogue and we’d turn it into arguments and Jack would be right on the set to help us, is part of what I was saying for another interview, right, now for the fact that Jack was there. We would have been really stuck doing it exactly as written which wouldn’t have been as entertaining. We found a way to create our relationship so having so share an exposition.
And then it got built on again on top of that. And I’m sure something similar happened between Aaron and Allison when they were on the set, because they found that Jack was there for the most part. They could build on what was naturally between them.
So that happened with all of us in one way or another on that set and in whatever combination you care to talk about. But it was an unusual situation having been on other sets. It’s not that common for that kind of a close working relationship to pay off on all levels. AARON ASHMORE:
Yeah, I think the other thing that plays into those relationships like you said Saul, when you genuinely like somebody and there’s a friendship there, because you’re working with people for a long thing - I mean, where the character is and where your personal stuff, the line bleeds, so you bring some of your own, what you might be joking or your energy when you’re not actually working, but just sitting around and you bring that into the scene and vice versa.
And when you really get along with people, I think that that stuff bleeds over, but that becomes very interesting too, and it forms... SAUL RUBINEK:
Absolutely. AARON ASHMORE:
...in what you’re doing and if that’s great. That’s where that magic comes from. SAUL RUBINEK:
And how rare is it that when you’re sitting around just talking as yourself, that the show runner happens to be listening and said, “Let’s use that dialogue, some of that?” AARON ASHMORE:
Absolutely, yeah. Always listening, always playing to the reality of what all our relationships were. SAUL RUBINEK:
Yeah, that’s what was great.