Exclusive: Colin Ferguson Isn't Going Anywhere

Exlusive interview with Colin Ferguson of Eureka and Like Father
Interview by Jamie Ruby
Written by Jamie Ruby

Colin FergusonColin Ferguson is probably best known for his role as Sheriff Jack Carter on Syfy's Eureka, which will be returning for its final season on April 16th. Fortunately the series is not the end for the actor. Ferguson has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Fox series Like Father. The actor recently sat down with Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision for an exclusive interview to talk about Eureka, as well as his new series.

Colin FergusonFerguson was first a comedian before he became an actor. "I didn't know [acting] could be a career, I mean I knew, but I didn't think it was possible for me. I was going to college in Montreal and I started doing comedy, because a friend of mine wanted to do comedy, and I quickly began performing in bars, but it was just something you did. You don't really get that people are watching you – you're trying to make jokes, and you're trying to make the room laugh, and learning that this works and this doesn't.

"And at a certain point, I did Second City, and then I graduated from college and decided that I'd take a shot at it and see if it would work for me, and it did. So I'm surprised, grateful, energized to find myself where I am. I love doing it and that's sort of how I got started, I guess doing comedy in bars. But it sounds a lot more determined or calculated than it was. It was just what I was doing and I just found myself continuing to do it."

Obviously working on Eureka, as well as his upcoming sitcom, takes great comedic timing, which doesn't come hard to the actor. "I'll leave it up to others to see if I have it, but what I do comes very easily to me. Which isn't to say that I'm not working. Some people say that if it comes easily to you, the assumption is that you're not working. But I'm working very hard, but the timing is not something that I've had to teach myself... It comes naturally, but there's definitely hard work involved and it's the happiest work I do."

The actor does find other things about working on the series challenging, however. "Getting the opportunity to do it [is challenging]. The politics, the chance, getting something on the air, getting people to see it, all that stuff.

"The meetings you have to go through, it's enjoyable, but it's a lot of work to get up and running. All the personalities and where they are in their careers and what their personal agenda is with what project you're working on. Sometimes they're not in tune with yours.

"I really love making the product and some people are more about self-advancement. And those things sometimes collide. There's nothing wrong with wanting to stay active and alive, but sometimes you have to get a little bit dirty when you're making something."

Colin FergusonFerguson was able to reveal a bit about the final season of Eureka. "There's a ton of guest stars again. We pick up right where the last season left off, and I was arguing for it, I was angling for it: I wanted the season premiere for season 5 to be the season finale for season 4 because they take everything that's set up right at the end and then instead of resolving the cliffhanger, they turn it on its head again...All I'm saying, is watch the whole episode...it's great what they do, it's really, really cool. My favorite turn we've had in the show."

There are not only some great new guest stars this season, but also great ones returning. "Will Wheaton's there for a lot of it. Felicia Day's there for a lot of it, but I don't think they're guest stars, I mean, they're family at this point. And what a great combo those two are for our show, what a perfect fit. So they're there.

"...I think we have Wallace Shawn coming back, I think Matt Frewer comes back...Tons of folks."

The actor would love for the show to return again for another Christmas special, but he doesn't know if it will happen. "I really hope that they do. I mean, the difficulty is not in wanting to, the difficulty at this point is in being able to, because all the sets have come down; they're not stored anywhere, they're destroyed. So it would have to be a build from the ground up, which makes it very, very expensive. The only way they could really pull it off is to sort of go, "It's Eureka on the road," like everyone's gone somewhere."

Ferguson thinks this could work for more episodes as well. "I pitched that as an episode of the show, just to do, like there's a problem in Chicago, and they jump on the road and they have to go to Chicago and sort it out. So you don't have to have any of the standing sets.

"...I'd love to do another one; I'd love to do a movie too, I mean, I think as far as the show goes, a TV movie that would air on Syfy, I think it lends itself to that beautifully, and I don't know, it's a big old family so I'd love to see everybody again."

Ferguson revealed that the series may do another crossover with Syfy's Warehouse 13 again, but he probably won't be a part of it. "Obviously Neal [Grayston] would be the number one candidate for that, and I assuming that that'll happen again. I don't know why they wouldn't; that's always been a very popular crossover. I would love to cross over, but they haven't offered yet...It's like "Well I'm right here guys."

He would love to be on that series if he had a chance, among others. "I'd want to be on Warehouse. I know those guys; I'm really close to them. I'd love to be on Destination Truth with Josh [Gates], and we talk about doing that all the time, but he is not sure when he's going out again to do that stuff, so we say we're going to do that again. Those are probably my one and two that I'd want to do."

For the moment Ferguson is focussed on his acting and won't be directing an episode this season, however it may be in his future. "I wanted to focus more on getting an acting gig, and now that's in place, I'm probably going to pursue directing for the remainder of the year...I'd love to do it, I want to do Warehouse, I want to stick with the sci-fi genre as well, and I'd love to do another SyFy movie."

After filming for Eureka was completed, Ferguson was able to take a few keepsakes from the show. "I didn't go for anything big. I didn't go for any of the hero props or anything, but I took my nameplate on my desk, which I did really want, and it's sort of special to me. I took my uniform and a badge...And I think that was all that I took. I just really wanted that nameplate. It sounds a bit silly, but it has my name on it and I loved that jailhouse set so much."

Colin FergusonThere have been some deleted scenes that Ferguson would have like to have seen. "I know that there were a lot of them. More so then sort of deleted scenes it's always heartbreaking that some of the best lines always end up on the cutting room floor, because when you're cutting an episode together obviously you stay on plot first and foremost. So if an episode is running long you have to lose some really good jokes. So the jokes go. And those I'd love to see back.

"And I know there are some scenes, but it's not like there are any sort of, "wow what a golden treasure scene that can now see the light of day." Hopefully we figured it out so we didn't leave those out."

Sometimes thing are left out that the actors don't know about. "It's hard sometimes, because in the beginning when we were finding our footing a lot of times on the show you would think you shot something, and you did, and you thought it aired, and it didn't. And you sort of go "Oh that detail is not actually a part of the mythology," because it never aired, even though you shot it."

Obviously there are sometimes bloopers that are cut out of the show, but fans probably won't get to see them anytime soon. "We have a lot of bloopers that can't see the light of day, because of, we'll call it "tone." Frequently when people make mistakes sometimes they're not gracious upon themselves. Never chewing anyone else out, but there's a lot of self-flagellation that goes on when you make a mistake. Some of it is really really funny, but unfortunately we can't air those."

Eureka has a large fanbase and Ferguson is greatful for his fans. "Fans are unilaterally lovely. They're very welcoming; they're very appreciative; they're very respectful. That whole idea that sci-fi fans are crazy, I haven't seen that. I've seen only a bunch of people who are so efusive about enjoying the work that you do it's really hard not to be humbled by the experience. And leave it going, "I'm not sure I deserved that. That was lovely." The fans have been good to me and I'm incredibly grateful."

As the star of the show, Ferguson was invited to the Syfy Digital Press Tour in October where they did an example runthrough of what an episode of their new upcoming reality competition series, Total Blackout, would be like. The actor volunteered to be one of the contestants while the reporters watched him on screen.

Total Blackout is filmed completely in the dark, and is similar to the show Fear Factor, except the contestants don't know what is coming. Ferguson was asked to stick his hand into three tanks and identify what they contained. "It seemed like a good idea, when I was at the dinner and it was like, "Who wants to do this game tomorrow?" And all I heard was "game." And I was like, "Game? Me, I want to do it!"

Colin Ferguson"And also, to be honest I like to protect the brand. If you have a bunch of people doing it, it might get a a little bit more play if one of the actors on the show does it. Help them launch a bit more, and you do what you can. It seemed like fun. That was the rationale for getting into it.

"And then when I was actually in the room, I didn't think it was going to be as alarming as it is. You walk into the room and it's not dark, it's pitch black. You can't see anything except for a little red light on the goggles of the person who is leading you around. It's amazing what your mind digs up when that's going on.

"So touching the teddy bear, you reach down into this thing after you touched a snake and you touch this fur and you're like, "What have they done?! What did these idiots put in the cage? What am I sticking my hand on?" And then the next one was obviously a live human foot...so you grab down on that and it moves, and you're like "Okay, so it's alive, we've established that!" It was very fun, I enjoyed it."

Ferguson's upcoming series on Fox is called Like Father. "Basically it's the story of a husband who loses his wife and his son isn't dealing with it at all. His son's at university so he decides to go to the university to spend a lot more time with him and help him through it. It's actually a half hour sitcom."

The actor wanted to work with the creator of the series before he got the role. "I've wanted to work with Bill Lawrence for a very long time. I've known Bill for a very long time, and I was on Eureka and couldn't, and one other year I think I auditioned or something that he was doing, but it wasn't a great fit. And so this came up and it was just perfect. It was a half hour; I wanted to do a half hour. It was Bill; I wanted to work with Bill, and it just seemed that I could bring hopefully something that was interesting to the part. I'm excited to try."

Colin FergusonLike Father is still in the casting process. "Phil Lewis is playing my best friend. They've cast my son's best friend, but they haven't cast my son or a female friend of mine in the show. So we're in the casting process right now. I believe there's an open call for it. I hope Fox likes it and airs it."

If he wasn't acting, Ferguson would probably be in a completely different profession. "I'd be doing something outside the box though, because I'm not particularly great with office work. It takes a toll on me that it doesn't seem to take on others. I worked in a bank for a short stint, and I was a fantastic employee, but it was very difficult for me to fit in, in that way. I always wanted to go, "Why don't we do this?" Those institutions really don't like change all that much.

"Maybe it seems like a cheat, but maybe I'd be writing. I love to build. I love to work with my hands, so I might be in construction. I'd love to be a contractor."

For the moment Ferguson is satisfied with what he is doing, though he does have some idea where he'd like to go in the future. "I think I'm doing exactly what I want to do. I really wanted to do comedy at this point in my life. It's a great marriage of a serious toned show, so that's somewhere to go to with the jokes and hopefully it will be really funny and endearing. So this is what I want to do.

"I'd love to do movies. I'd love to try my hand at that, but I like working with the same people. I like the family aspect of it."

Until the premiere of Like Father, you can watch Colin Ferguson in all new episodes of Eureka starting April 16th.

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