Tia Carrere and Paula Garces Join the Cast of 'Warehouse 13'

Hawaii native Tia Carrere has been in the entertainment industry for twenty-five years. She starred in the series Relic Hunter and has appeared in others such as Nip/Tuck and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She appeared in movies such as Wayne’s World and True Lies. She will be starring in the film Wave Dancer next year, for which she also co-wrote the screenplay. Carrera also shares a Grammy with artist/producer Daniel Ho for Best Hawaiian Music Album.

A native of Columbia, Paula Garces started her acting career in 1999 with her role on Guiding Light. She has also appeared in the series CSI: Miami and The Shield and recently starred in ABC’s Defying Gravity. She has starred in the films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequels. Garces also will be playing the title role in the movie Aluna, based on her comic book of the same name. She also serves as executive producer and host of The mun2 Look, a fashion series on the mun2 network.

Syfy’s Warehouse 13 is a dramedy about a warehouse of secret havoc-reeking artifacts, now in its second season. Both Carrere and Garces have reoccurring roles on the series this year. Carrere plays the role of Agent Katie Logan, Secret Service Agent Pete Lattimer’s ex. Garces plays Lattimer’s current boyfriend.

Both actresses sat down to discuss their lives and their roles on the show.

Question> I was wondering, the two of you being paired together on this call, does that imply that there's going to be some sort of love triangle with Pete coming up or what exactly is behind that?

Paula Garces>
Oh my God. Oh well that would be an amazing honor for myself. I am definitely a Tia Carrere fan and have been for a very long time. So for me that would be amazing on many levels.

Tia Carrere> No, thank you. We don't know. I don't know. Maybe they just wanted to give you two hot chicks at the same time. How's that?...Albeit from two different generations so maybe we sleep with all of you.

Question> Next question, and this might be an ego buster or a builder for Eddie, but how is he as a kisser?

Tia Carrere>
Well he's a lovely kisser. This is Tia. But the funniest thing is that Eddie - we did our scene right at breakfast time and Eddie being Eddie had a mouthful of French toast, bacon and eggs before he had the kissing scene with me.

I don't know why but let's suffice it to say that I had breakfast alongside Eddie McClintock that morning.

Paula Garces> ...I had a similar experience but mine wasn't so tasty. Mine was garlic pizza at like 2:00 am in the morning after an 18 hour day.

Tia Carrera> What was it with his food and his kissing?

Paula Garces>
So I don't know. I don't know if Pete's trying to - I don't know if he's scared of kissing us with fresh breath or what it is.

Tia Carrera>
...Maybe. I came at him with some breath spray though the second time that I had to do a kissing scene.

Paula Garces>
Ah, that will be my secret weapon next time.

Tia Carrera> Yes, and I was like open your mouth.

Question> Syfy's got a lot of mileage this summer out of the Debbie Gibson Tiffany fight scene promoting the creature movies. And I was wondering if it does proceed to you two fighting for his affections, would you both be interested in a fight scene like that or kind of rolling around on the floor fighting for Pete?

Tia Carrere> I think in a Jello fight. Wouldn't that be fun Paula...Jello in like a kiddy pool?

Tia I'm liking your vibes, a lot. Keep it going. I like it. I'm down...

Tia Carrere>
We got a whole other show here now.

Paula Garces> I am so down for Tia's ideas, absolutely.

Question> This question's for both of you. Can you talk about how you came to work on Warehouse 13, like if you auditioned or maybe you were offered the part?

Paula Garces>
I was offered the part and it was a lovely surprise and I'm glad I took the offer because everyone was just super welcoming and nice. And the whole concept of Warehouse 13 was just amazing to me and I'm a true fan, like I was watching it. So to be offered something that I was actually watching and wanted to be a part of, it was really cool for me.

Tia Carrere>
Well I had gone in for another role and I guess this role came up and they said this is much better for you so that's how I got this one.

Question> Both of you, what's your favorite part about working on the show?

Tia Carrere>
Gosh, I just love the chemistry, the chemistry of the people you're working with, there are only so many stories, there are only so many, you know, story lines and, we've all worked many different places in the world but it's the group of people that you work with that makes it fun and enjoyable at 2:00 o'clock in the morning, like Paula said she had to work at 2:00 o'clock in the morning.

It's really about the leads on the show and the show runners and the producers that you're dealing with on a daily basis. And they have such a great group of people together, I loved working with them.

Paula Garces> Yes. I guess I can second that. And I really felt the passion about the show and about the stories from everyone. Everyone from the crew, the writers, the creators, the actors on the show, they're all very passionate about what they're doing and the stories that they're trying to create and how they're trying to entertain their public.

And they really love working there and being together that it's infectious. The vibes on set is infectious and I really enjoyed it and I left wanting more. I left wanting to work on it more so it was really great.

Tia Carrere>
You know what Paula? I do agree. I think they didn't settle for just like the same old thing. You know what I mean? They really - everybody wants 110% in the writing, in the production and the acting of it. You're right.

Paula Garces>
Yes. And I also felt that Warehouse 13 was trying to bring something new to the Syfy...something new that wasn't done before for Syfy. And I feel like they're doing that. I really feel like they are definitely accomplishing something different.

Question> I know especially Paula you said that you watched the show before. I don't know if you have Tia, but do you have a favorite artifact or story line that's been on the show before?

Paula Garces> A favorite artifact or story line that's been on the show before, I don't know. I mean there's so many great stories. I really like the one that I got to play with. I really liked the compact. And I love the way they sort of - I don't know, they snuck that up on me and I really liked it.

I watched the whole first season and I thought it was so cool, and again something different, something that I really didn't expect from Syfy although I am a Syfy fan. It was just so different from all the other shows that I don't know. I have to say I'm going to be selfish. My favorite artifact is the compact that I got to deal with that's coming up.

Question> What about you, Tia?

Tia Carrere>
It's so funny. I had not seen an entire show. I only seen bits and pieces on, you know, like whatever on the Syfy web site. What really attracted me to it was the dialogue. It was like Hepburn and Tracy. It was really well written. It was very witty.

And I had years ago done a TV show called Relic Hunter. And so I knew of all the different, you know, the [racquetore camata] and of course, you know, the arc of the covenant and the chalice of this and that. They're a nice [templer] so I think I probably know about 66 different icons and relics.

I basically know that sort of magical vent to an icon. But what really struck me was, like Paula was saying, it's just that fresh different way that they're approaching it. And they're approaching it with humor and just fantastic dialogue and really good characters on which to introduce all these fantastical magical objects. It roots in reality.

Question> What do each of you like best about the characters?

Tia Carrere>
I like being a ballsy broad. Like I said, the dialogue is very Hepburn and Tracy. And I challenge him and I know his bag of tricks and I call him out on it. And I like that. I love playing strong willed women.

Paula Garces> I like the fact that Kelly is sweet and sassy but is also open to romance and I don't know. I just - I feel like the dialogue that was written for me was very much taken from the way I speak myself naturally. And I really felt comfortable. I felt like I could just be and just let the words take me where they would or where the moment would take me.

And so I really like that about the character, the fact that she's a free spirit and that she's smart, that she loves animals, that she's well educated but again open to being in love and being in a relationship. I really like that.

Question> Paula you mentioned that you've watched it before you got on the show, did you have a favorite episode before you joined it?

Paula Garces>
I really loved the pilot. That's what hooked me in. I loved everything about it. The pilot was just so different from anything I had ever seen on Syfy before that I was like wow that's really cool that Syfy is stepping it up and doing something different.

And again, I just think both Eddie and Joanne are really amazing and bring a great chemistry to the show. And Saul and definitely of course Allison with just being so smart and so quick with what she's given, with the words that she's having to say that I really give it up to the cast and the writing and the producers of the show to bring something new to Syfy.

So again, one of my favorite episodes is the pilot. I really loved the first show.

Question> One more thing for Tia. I wanted to know did your time on Relic Hunter help you buy into the whole artifact idea on Warehouse 13?

Tia Carrere> Well it certainly gave me a shorthand with - actually even Saul Rubinek, he made the connection. He said, "Tia you've been on all" - he interviewed me on set I think for Syfy's web site. And he said, "Tia you've been on all three shows that shot here in Toronto that handled magical relics and icons." I said, "What's that Saul?" He said, "You were on Friday the 13th the TV series, Relic Hunter and now Warehouse 13. And while they all handle, you know, magical power, you know, powerful magical objects, they're all very different shows." And, it keeps getting better and better because I have to say I really like the fact that they framed it in a government warehouse which is very, very plausible in this day and age.

And I love that they're these two feisty secret agents that, you know, are a little bit bikersins and a little bit brother and sister. And it just makes it refreshing and fun.

Question> Following up on the artifact questions that other people have been asking, we're wondering if you could pick any artifact to be in an episode that you're going to be on, anything in the world, what would you pick?

Tia Carrere> I'd let them pick from the clothes from the Helen of Troy. No. Then I could get anything I want at all. I don't know. I don't know.

Paula Garces> ...I don't know. It would have to be something, oh God, I don't know. God that's a great question. I don't know, maybe like the Mayan calendar or maybe like the Tree of Life or Fountain of Youth or something to that effect definitely.

Tia Carrere> I'm so like traditional, like they're Helen of Troy's clothes or...

Paula Garces> And me, I want to live and be young forever. What does that do on me?

Tia Carrere> No. You have the Fountain of Youth. Hey the Fountain of Youth that's a good one. That's a good one. And then let's see, specify...

Paula Graces> ...I don't know, I’m interested in ancient civilizations in South America and in Central and South America, so I would say my number one pick would be the Mayan calendar.

Tia Carrere> ...Casanova's Book of Love would be fun to work through.

Question> Shifting gears a little bit, Tia we were just wondering what's happening with your music career and what's next on that front for you.

Tia Carrere>
That's so funny. I'm here in Hawaii. Well then you know I won the Grammy last year and I've been doing Hawaiian music. And I'm back here because I just finished another record, Huana Ke Aloha which means love - aloha overflows, you know. That's shipping and its classical melodies in all new Hawaiian lyrics. And yes, it's hot off the presses. It should be hitting stores here right now.

Question> I'm going to start with you Paula...You have a very strong interest in fashion...Have you been to any of the big science fiction conventions like Comic-Con or Dragon*Con or any of those things?

Paula Garces> I was just at Comic-Con this past San Diego Comic-Con introducing my own comic book called Aluna. And I urge everyone to go to my web site, paulagarces.tv and they can see everything that's going on with that. And so I do - I am a big, big geek at heart and a sci-fi fan. And I love the Comic-Cons.

I will also be at the New York Comic-Con coming up, also introducing a second volume to the new comic book that I put out. And I am definitely into fashion. I created, produced and host my own show about fashion on the mun2 network called the mun2 Look which is actually airing this Saturday at 4:00 pm on the mun2 network. And I will take you guys behind the scenes of Warehouse 13 as well.

Question> With your eye on fashion, what do you think about all the costumes you see at the convention and do you have an eye toward maybe doing some costume design yourself?

Paula Garces> Wow. I'm not a very good designer although I know what I like and what I don't like. I leave that up to the experts. And the costume designer on Warehouse 13 is obviously an expert and amazing. Poor thing has to cover everything from comic books to history and things that she just has to come - it has to come out of her imagination, really doesn't have anything to draw upon.

As far as fashion, I take my inspiration from fashion designers that I love and friends of mine to things that I see on the street and people that I grew up with. Growing up in New York City and Spanish Harlem, you really had to be very savvy as far as money. And you had to make a dollar stretch.

And I've always been the type of girl that wanted to look a certain way. And I loved looking cute and sexy, but didn't necessarily always have a lot of money to do so. So I had to be creative. And that's what street fashion is all about, taking what you see on the runway and what these high fashion designers are putting out and making it your own and also seeing what you can do with your own pocket. And that's what we do on the mun2 look. We basically celebrate Latino culture, street style meets the runway.

Question> Tia, I'd like to ask you one quick question. You know, you've done all those Warehouse 13 and Friday the 13th...And of course Relic Hunter...And I want to know, are you a geek at heart? And even if not, do you have any sci-fi kinds of projects coming up in the future?

Tia Carrere> Well I look forward to more Warehouse 13 certainly because I love working on it. But, you know, I'm just open to the journey. I've been in the business such a long time and, you know, when you least expect it, somebody calls you and says can you be in South Africa next week for three months. So fortunately I like just going with the flow and seeing, you know, what the day brings.

And here I am in Hawaii doing music just because I love it and getting, you know, awards for it. So I like to just experience things creatively and just jump in head first and wherever it takes me it takes me. So, I look forward to any other sci-fi things that come up, or anything else actually.

Question> I wanted to find out how you feel about this strong push lately with a lot of strong female characters in the sci-fi realm.

Tia Carrere> I think in every realm. You know, I've often thought that the more that women became a force economically and the more women that get into, you know, positions of power in the business, that it would just naturally be reflected in the shows that we see on TV.

I think, the last time we saw really strong female characters like this was, I don't know, with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and all that. But back then they were like sort of evil and arch and way too tough.

But I think it's come back around again where women are represented the way that we are. You know, women war heroes that go out there and raise our families and earn our livings and, you know, we're not shrinking violets because we can't be.

Paula Garces>
You know, now that I'm a little more aware of the business side of acting, of creating my own shows and producing and sort of creating opportunities for other people that I admire and want to make sure that they have a platform to shine, I've just learned a lot from friends who work at various networks, who work in marketing and work in the economic side of the spectrum and have just really that - a lot of the way that TV is paying their bills is through women's advertising and companies that want to advertise towards woman.

Those are the companies that are paying the bills. And in knowing that, that just gave me a lot of information and just gave me self-awareness and self-power that yes, that women do count and women are paying the bills. So I don't think anybody should really second guess that, the fact that there are a lot of companies out there that are really interested in the women who are spending money.

And let's not kid ourselves. All women spend money, whether it be beauty products or products that take care of their children and their family or any, you know, technology, cars, everything that pays the bills on TV is what women are buying.

So I will never forget that lesson from a couple of executives at a couple of networks. And now I have that in mind all the time.

Question> I'm wondering why you feel it's so important to be a part of a social networking site like Twitter, like Facebook, in order for connecting with your fans but also for promotion of shows like Warehouse 13. A lot of the cast members are also on Twitter as well.

Tia Carrere>
I just think it's a shorthand with people that want to know what's going on with you. And in the olden days, you had to rely on, with all due respect, you know, articles that came out on you that maybe weren't exactly all that you wanted to get out to your fans.

And this way, there's a - for better and for worse, as we've seen in some cases with celebs, it's a very direct line to people. You can type something at your computer at home and in two seconds it's out there in the world. You know, and if you're drunk or if you're being crazy or whatever, angry, and you said something, it's out there.

But also, if you want to get the record straight on something, it's out there as well. So it's just good for us to be able to get our true story out.

Paula Garces> No, absolutely. I think Twitter is definitely the most direct and the most honest way. And any actor can portray themselves to the world. I mean whether it's their true self or something else, that's obviously on the actor or actress. But on Twitter I just feel like I could really say what it is that I want to say at that moment and especially to my fans or to people who are interested in what it is that I'm doing.

Question> Will your characters will be meeting in any of the upcoming episodes of Warehouse 13?

Tia Carrere>
We'll have to leave that to the mind of Jack Kenny, the show runner. I leave it in his capable hands.

Paula Garces>
That's right. I don't know. I mean I don't see why they couldn't and I don't see why it wouldn't be a lot of fun. I mean it'd definitely be a lot of fun for me.

Tia Carrere>
That'd be so awesome. That'd be great.

Paula Garces>
I think, yes, and I don't know. I think fans would really love that so let's put that out there.

Tia Carrere>
Okay. I'll manifest it.

Question> Since your characters are both kind of love interests of Pete, which one do you think...should end up with him?

Tia Carrere>
Oh dear. Myka's probably going to end up with him. Let's be honest.

Paula Garces>
I don't know. That's a hard one.

Tia Carrere>
My votes on Myka.

Paul Garces>
...Yes. I think so.

Question> Both your characters have been caught in the middle of the Warehouse 13 adventure, but also both your characters don't exactly have a full [inkling] of what's going on. How do you think they would actually react if they learned the true nature of what Myka and Pete are actually doing, you know, with all these artifacts?

Paula Garces>
I would love to answer that question but I don't want to give up too much information of my coming episode. I will tell you that very question will definitely be dealt with by the Kelly character. She's definitely going to be conflicted to that.

Tia Carrere>
Well being that I'm also an agent, Agent Kate Logan, I think over the course of the couple of episodes that I've seen so far, she's pretty savvy and she's getting the drift of it. And I think more and more the picture's coming together of what Pete and Myka do. And it kind of freaks her out but it also intrigues her.

She’s standing her ground and waiting for the whole story to unfold before her. I don't think she's shying away from it at all.

Question> Tia a quick side question for you. I've noticed that you're going to do an amazing class. It's in production now. It's called Wave Dancer...seems like an interesting project. Do you mind telling us a little bit about it?

Tia Carrere>
Well, like with everything else, it's like putting together film is - someone told me once it's like riding a thousand swinging needles and he was absolutely right with that analogy because it's, one thing comes together and the other thing sort of doesn't quite line up and then the other part comes together. And so it's - no - it's we wrote it and we're producing it together, myself and my ex-husband. And we're moving forward with it.

It's all about putting together the financing. We had a different in-road with financing but that didn't work out and now we've got another set of investors that's stepping up now. So it's great and part of being in Hawaii is talking to the Hawaii Film Funds here too.

Question> It sounds like an interesting story about a woman that could surf and be crafty and a lot of it's obvious stuff. It just sounds like a really interesting (fanister) film.

Tia Carrere> Thank you. She's a big mentor here in Hawaii. She was a, you know, she and her girlfriends really started women's surfing in the '70s. She used to have to compete in men's meets because there was no woman surfing. So she was a mentor to generations of surfers male and female.

Question> So first question is a follow on to the question that came up about using the social networking site. What kind of feedback have you all had when you do sci-fi shows like this versus your other endeavors? Do you hear from different types of fans or do you hear from existing fans that are kind of happy at the new direction?

Paula Garces> Sci-fi fans are amazing. There are a lot of them. And they are very vocal and very involved. And they love to get at extras and insights and sneak peeks. And I think that's why Twitter and sci-fi fans go so well together.

And I really love it. I'm completely hooked on Twitter and on sci-fi. And I love to interact with the fans. And my experience has been a very positive one. I feel and get nothing but love from sci-fi fans. I started - I got one of my big breaks on a sci-fi movie called Clockstoppers which was directed by Jonathan Frakes who obviously is a big part of the Star Trek endeavors and series. And I just think that sci-fi fans follow all of that and they love that history and they like following you.

And if you're a sci-fi geek and you like the world of imagination and what if and possibilities and all kinds of history and future, I think that that's why Twitter is amazing. And I love the sci-fi fans. So to answer your question, the sci-fi Twitter fans and myself equals one big love fest.

Question> Thank you. Tia what's your experience been?

Tia Carrere> I was down there at Comic-Con down in San Diego. And just walking down the street was amazing because if there's one word for sci-fi fans, it's rabid. They just dive in head first at the deep end of the pool and just enjoy it, you know, for the spectacle that it is and just go out and have fun.

And I think these days we're so lacking in our heroes that sometimes we have to dig into our comic book culture to find really, you know, people that we can admire. And I look forward to going out - I'm going to Dragon*Con next weekend too and I'll see how they do it down in the south.

But I think that whatever - if there's something posted about Warehouse 13 or if somebody makes connection that I do this film at Universal called Kull, there's a response - it's much more - it's even stronger than usual because the fans are that much more connected to it.

Question> You talked about filming these types of shows in Toronto. Do you think that informs the camaraderie of the cast mates because you all are outside of Los Angeles so it's really more like a family behind the scenes as well as on set because you're isolated?

Tia Carrere> Yes. I did settle I suppose whenever you're on location, yes, because you're not getting to go home to your family unit and this becomes your, you know, ad hoc family away from your family.

Paula Garces> Absolutely. And Toronto's just a gorgeous city. I'm from New York so whenever I'm in LA that's my camp. But Toronto's just a different vibe. It's, you know, it's kind of on the same vibe as New York but you know, in Toronto I am away from home and it is a little bit like what Tia said, a little bit like camp.

And you have to rely on these people that you are working with. And, you know, what a great experience because if you're going to be working on a show that's going to require a lot of time with you, a lot of time from you which most TV shows do, then you better like the people you're working with because if not, I couldn't imagine what a nightmare it would be.

So, again, kudos to the Warehouse 13 people who make it work and make it a nice loving vibe for people to go and guest star in and work in.

Question> My first question this time's for Paula. You had started talking about your comic book a bit. But when I was looking up on the Internet movie database, is it being made into a movie?

Paula Garces> We are producing the motion comic, the action comic right now. And yes, we are definitely trying to again gather funds and produce a feature length film. We very much would like to do that. And also very open to the idea of a pilot for a TV show. So all of that is being worked out with the various producers and finance people that are attached to the project.

And it's all thanks to the interest that we saw at Comic-Con and the interest that we see on the Internet and on Twitter. I mean people just really - they want to see more. They want to know more. They want the story to unfold and they just - they want it.

So again, that's why I feel that Twitter's really, really important for actors to be involved in because if they - it's kind of like the place where you can sort of experiment if an idea or something that you love is going to be loved by other people or maybe if there's going to be an interest by other people.

And so I really thank Twitter for that because just because I like it doesn't mean that other people are going to want to see it and pay for it. But now that I can sort of put word out there and put the idea out there on Twitter, I get that immediate response of like yes this is really cool, this is awesome or oh that's really whacked Paula, like that was not fun. And I've had both - I've had both reaction. It's just - it's totally cool. I love it.

Question> Is there something that you would like to see in the future of your characters? I mean I know you talked about meeting up, but beside that just anything like if you could write, you know, the script yourself?

Paula Garces> I wouldn't mind them meeting. That would be cool, Tia's and my character meeting. It would be kind of a sweet awkward cool moment. And I don't know. Tia what would you like your character to be doing?

Tia Carrere> That would be interesting, like what if we both had to come back because it was an icon that had to do with the love that he has for people or whatever. And then we have to come back to counteract its sort of, you know, some sort of magical power that this thing has over his mind...I have to reach out to him by going into his mind or something.

Paula Garces> Yes, like an artifact that makes him think about his past loves or...

Tia Carrere> Yes. Yes. That'd be kind of cool.

Paula Garces> ...We have to save him.

Tia Carrere> Yes. We have to save him, exactly, by going into his mind and seeing what he thinks about us and what he fanaticizes about us.

Question> Is there any like funny moments that you guys can think of or maybe people are playing pranks or, you know, just something kind of funny you can remember from the set?

Paula Garces> No, let's see. Eddie and I have a pretty physical scene coming up. And he's kind of fighting for his life with me. And, you know, Eddie was trying to be all like macho and thinking he could do his own stunts. And he kind of got hurt in the groin area...And he was like, "All right, I think I should have had a stunt double." And I'm like, "Yes, well you're trying to show off for the girls or something."

Question> What about you Tia?

Tia Carrere> Oh gosh. Like I said, I mean, things like kissing somebody and ending up with, you know, scrambled egg in your mouth. That's kind of traum[atic]...That's like a one story that stands out. Oh gee, what can Eddie out of - I don't - he's just - he's a ton of laughs. He's just really cool to hang out with, you know. I got to see him and his family in LA a bit since we've all came back and just, you know, just good times, just generally good times laughing often.

Originally published here at Sci-Fi Vision on 2 September 2010.

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