Chatting with Eddie McClintock,Saul Rubinek and Kelly Hu from Warehouse 13

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With the sad news that Warehouse 13 is soon to be drawing to a close, MCM Buzz were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with the stars of the show at the MCM London Comic Con. Kelly Hu, who plays Abigail Chow, Saul Rubinek aka Artie Neilson and Eddie McClintock aka Pete Lattimer, were all present and more than happy to reminisce, celebrate and shock, with stories from the show.

 

KELLY: (To Saul) Ooh, I have a question; did you steal anything from the set?

SAUL: I tried to get the keyboard and they wouldn’t give it to me. They archived it. They asked, “Would you like anything from the set?”

I said, “Well… I would kind of like to have the steampunk keyboard.”

“No, is there anything else that you’d like to take?”

I said, “I’ve been here five years, 16 hours a day, five days a week, six months a year. I’ll pay for the keyboard if that’s what you want.”

“No, no.”

I said, “What do you mean no, no?”

They said, “It’s been archived.”

You see the NBC Universal archive people are kind of like the characters from the Harry Potter movies that work in the bank. They come into a set, everywhere there has been a shot, and they come in with their fingers like this (Saul contorts his hands into those of a Gringotts Goblin) and they grab and they take.

KELLY: It’s all in one of their kids bedrooms right now.

SAUL: I wouldn’t mind that, but it all just gets taken.

Q: You mean there is a real Warehouse?

SAUL: Yes, there is a real Warehouse. If it’s in a kids room, okay, I get it, steal it for you kids. They’re not stealing it for their kids. THEY ARE TAKING IT FOR A CORPORATION.

KELLY: What do they do with it?

SAUL: They hoard it.

EDDIE: They put it in their warehouse.

SAUL: They put it in a warehouse, they box it up and they put it on a shelf without a label.

KELLY: Sombody should make a series about that.

(Everyone laughs).

KELLY: I didn’t get a single thing, not even a pair of purple gloves.

EDDIE: I got the Tesla rifle. There is just one made in the whole world and I got everyone to sign it, and I’m gonna sell it on eBay.

SAUL: Three syllables for you – Rep-Lic-A. (Puts on a goblin voice) Quick, Eddie’s coming, don’t give him a real one, we have to get a replica one.

EDDIE: The last season, instead of the purple rubber gloves, because our hands were all getting sweaty in there, we got special made purple gloves with a little insignia on them.

SAUL: And you’re going to put them on eBay and…

EDDIE: …Sell them. Then on the last day, I was like “Hey guys, I need a script, will you all sign it, as I’m going to send it to charity.”

SAUL: And you’re going to put it on eBay and…

EDDIE: …Sell it. (Laughs) I’m not really. No, no, no.

Q: What are you guys going to miss most about working on the show?

KELLY: Working with these guy’s (Saul squeezes Kelly and Eddie in for a group hug) and everyone else on the show.

SAUL: Paycheck.

(Everybody laughs)

EDDIE: My career, job security, I could wax poetically…

SAUL: My God, I thought you were going to say something else.

EDDIE: I could wax my butt.

KELLY: I wish you would.

SAUL: How she knows that is really not something that I want to go into.

EDDIE: Let’s talk about hairy gum (smiles deviously).

SAUL: I wasn’t going to bring up the hairy gum story, but now that these guys (points to us) are here, I think that that would be apt.

KELLY: We might get in trouble.

SAUL: At this point, nah, who gives a s**t. What are they going to do? Cancel us?

EDDIE: Season Three, or was it Four? We were working in the train station, and I was supposed to be undercover, so I had a pair of overalls on. Normally with the overalls, you can reach through the pockets and into your pants pocket, so there are no real pockets in the overalls, and I just had my underwear on under there.

KELLY: It was hot then.

SAUL: Oh, as if that’s an explanation.

EDDIE: It was hot, and I was bored. I was kind of playing pocket pool (puts his hand in his pockets to mimic the action), and then I realised just how elongated my scrotum was, so I grabbed it, and began pulling it up, and out of the pocket.

(Kelly is almost in tears with laughter)

EDDIE: Then I had an idea, and I walked over to our wardrobe mistress, Heather; and you have to know Heather…

SAUL: She is so sweet and so Canadian. She is like (puts on a Canadian accent), “I’m sorry, so sorry.”

EDDIE: I said to her, “Heather, someone left gum in these overalls.”

She said (puts on a female Canadian accent), “Oh, that’s terrible Eddie let me see, let me see.”

I go, “Look at it, it’s all hairy (again mimics the action), nasty hairy gum.”

And she leans in and goes, “Oooooooh, did he just show me his penis?”

I was like, “No, it’s my scrotum.” And that’s the story.

SAUL: And you too could try this yourself at home.

EDDIE: That’s right.

(The room erupts in fits of laughter)

KELLY: He tells me this story as I am about to film this one close up, where I am supposed to be looking at a painting…

SAUL: So…

KELLY: …all pensive and everything, and he tells me the story, just before my close up.

SAUL: When would have been a better time?

KELLY: Welcome to the warehouse.

SAUL: Exactly, this is what we do with each other.

EDDIE: Welcome to the show… you may see my bag later.

SAUL: So what we don’t tell you, you can only imagine how bad the stories actually get.

Q: What has it been like meeting the fans today, now that it’s the last season? What has been their reaction?

SAUL: (Points to Eddie) He didn’t show them his scrotum. There is a difference between the UK fans and the American fans, and I’m trying to put my finger on what it is. It’s really been sweet is all that I can say, the fans have been childlike. One of the things we get in the United States, and they are really loyal fans, we wouldn’t have got five seasons without that. They like to show that they are sophisticated about the show and they know what’s going on with the show. You get really deep and complex questions about the fourth act of episode nineteen, and about a technical question, this is what we have experienced all morning.

The only time I had been here before… (leans into Eddie), I think you were here last year, but I was only here the first season, and people hadn’t really seen the show. I was getting recognised for other stuff that I did (points to Eddie again and whispers) whereas he wasn’t recognised at all, which was a little depressing for him (everyone laughs), but I had a good time.

EDDIE: (Looks up with a sad look on his face) I’m unemployed.

SAUL: Stop that. The fans that we met just now had a look on their faces that you want from any audience. We are proud over the five years we have done this for. We are dads, and we have kids, and we wanted to make a show that a family could watch together, and the proudest thing that we have, aside from scrotum jokes, is the fact that you can watch it together and you won’t feel talked down or up to. There are jokes on a number of levels, including scrotum level jokes.

EDDIE: I specialise in those.

SAUL: And gas jokes.

KELLY: There was a lot of gas.

EDDIE: Loads of gas.

SAUL: It’s a gassy show.

KELLY: Thank God it’s a big warehouse.

SAUL: We love our fans, and it’s a total pleasure to do a show where… I dunno… I’m such an old man, and I have done so much s**t, and some of it is actually just crap, [but] I’ve had to make a living. Sometimes people come up to me and say something like, “Dude… Death Wish 5.”

I say, “Really?”

“Oh man, it rocked.”

And I say “Okay.” So when you’re really proud of something, it’s just cool.

Q: Obviously there is only so much you can say, but are you happy with how your characters end up?

SAUL: (Emotional tone) Oh yeah, they did a great thing for us.

EDDIE: They were going to cancel the show outright, and our showrunner Jack Kenny basically said to Mark Stern, “If you cancel this show right now, your audience will abandon you.”

SAUL: Mark Stern runs the network.

EDDIE: Because of what had already happened with Eureka and some of the other shows. So they gave us the six episodes to wrap things up. I was upset, because they were cancelling us, and I phoned up Jack all angry saying, “So what are you going to do, huh? Kill us off? Are you gonna kill us and kill the warehouse?”

He was like, “No, we’ve already killed everybody a few times. We’ve got this idea about how we’re going to end it,” and he started telling me the story, and by the end I was almost in tears.

I was like, “Wow, okay.” I think everybody ends up, where they should be.

SAUL: To give Mark Stern his credit, because this is a public forum, and both of us would like to work again. No, here’s the truth. He didn’t have to convince Mark Stern of anything. Mark created the show before there was a Jack Kenny, Saul Rubenik, Kelly Hu or Eddie McClintock. He was the one who first got pitched it and made sure it got developed. He loved the show more than anybody. The problem was, it was a numbers game. All that Jack was doing with Mark was giving him ammunition so that he could go and fight. Mark fought a good fight, and got us the six, instead of us being cancelled completely, which is what they wanted. So the multinational corporation who have other fish to fry… other fish to fry is actually what they are called, (laughs) Other Fish To Fry Limited. Listen, it’s a bean counter game sometimes.

KELLY: I was cheap.

SAUL: And she still is (everyone laughs). No, it wasn’t us, the money was on the screen. Mark said no, and people stayed up all night, working the numbers and figuring out a how many episodes we could do. It turned out that six was what they could afford to do. You have to remember that it is the most expensive show that they have ever done in their history, more expensive that Battlestar Galactica, more expensive than Eureka, more expensive than Defiance…

EDDIE: More expensive than Ghost Hunters?

SAUL: No! Nothing is more expensive in many ways, spiritually, than Ghost Hunters.

EDDIE: And emotionally.

SAUL: So he fought, and we are thrilled. This is not a political statement; it would be the same if you got me privately. We were all touched and moved by the fight, and by the beautiful writing, and I know that our fans are going to feel a sense of completion and a sense of continuity. Here’s what I think about the ending; like all the good stuff that is written, it’s both surprising and inevitable at the same time and I’m really proud of that.

EDDIE: Me too.

 

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