Interview: Neil Grayston And Allison Scagliotti From ‘Eureka’ And ‘Warehouse 13’
We had the pleasure of chatting with Eureka‘s Neil Grayston and Warehouse 13‘s Allison Scaliotti at the Syfy Digital Press tour last week. The two talk with us about the upcoming holiday crossover episodes, their real-life friendship, Felicia Day coming on Eureka, and more. Check it out below!
Is there any movement on the Allison Scag 4 Cassie movement?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Do you know, I actually — that entire Twitter movement spawned a meeting with the production company. Honestly. And I brought every aspect of that movement to them, and they were really impressed with it. I think the movie itself is in flux right now, but it’s something that I am going to actively pursue until I get a firm answer out of it. But I think the concept is really great, I mean, conventionally the studio provides the actor, and the fans have to get behind the choice from there. But, you know, hypothetically if this kind of thing were to work, I mean, it’s — it’s cool. It’s futuristic for the fans to go, “No, this is who we want to play this character that we love so much. This is who” — “we’re telling you this is going to be the box office draw. Your research doesn’t mean anything.”
The Allison Scag 4 Cassie movement is not an ego project, as much as it sounds like one. It was a — it’s really about this comic book called “Hack/Slash” by Tim Seeley that’s being adapted into a feature film. It’s been in development for a while. And this blogger, Sax Carr, over at comicsoncomics.com — I don’t know if any of you guys know him — basically championed me as a choice to play Cassie Hack. And it’s just spawned this great grassroots movement, and T-shirts have been made, and I — I don’t know if I should do this. No, actually, I have a bit of information that I’m actually not allowed to announce yet regarding something related to Cassie Hack.
Can you guys tease a little bit about what we’re going to see in the holiday episode? Like I don’t know how to say that but, like, not — are we going to see some typical Christmas scenes or —
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: You want to go first on that?
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. Well, Mark, you were talking about the musical element in ours. There’s some Christmas carols sung in ours and there’s some Dickensian costumes involved with these Christmas carols.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Sweet.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. And there’s — there’s a little bit of hijinks involving Christmas ornaments that I can’t really get into. But in typical “Eureka” fashion, of course, a Christmas tree ornament can be a very, very dangerous thing and almost threaten the town. That’s some of our Christmas stuff.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I don’t understand why you guys don’t just goo it. It’s the answer to everything. You make the goo in Eureka.
NEIL GRAYSTON: The goo doesn’t always work. We tried it on Dr. Grant. Didn’t work on him. ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Well, that’s not how it works anyway. You don’t put it on humans.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Okay.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Well, over at “Warehouse,” everyone sort of has their plans for the holidays, and everyone’s plans sort of get foiled. Pete and Myka plan on going home for the holidays, but Artie straps them with a case. There’s a bad Santa terrorizing a businessman, a Mr. Potter, if you will. Yes, I just made a Frank Capra reference, and I’m 20.
Chew on that. And for Claudia, if you recall, she’s an orphan. And her brother was lost to an interdimensional space for over a decade. So this is the first time she actually gets to have a family for the holidays. However, Artie is a bit of a Scrooge, so it’s Claudia’s project to bring him some holiday cheer, hell or high water. And that’s where the idea comes from to find his father. And we have Judd Hirsch. Amazing. It was so much fun. Just to watch Judd and Saul Rubinek —
NEIL GRAYSTON: Wow, that would be amazing.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I mean, it was — I just sat there, and I just watched them riff.
NEIL GRAYSTON: That’s like acting school, but just —
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Acting school with a lot of Yiddish.
It was great.
Talk about the last scene of the show when you pull back from the Christmas scene.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Yes. I can neither confirm nor deny that I utter a Hebrew blessing. And I did have to consult Saul for the proper pronunciation. But it was great. It really felt like a family dinner. It’s not a spoiler. The last scene of our holiday episode is us being a family and enjoying the holidays together. It was really — it was great. It was probably about 3:00 in the morning in our last week of shooting in July in Toronto, and we’re all in Christmas sweaters. That was really extreme acting.
Does your friendship — did that form when you guys did the crossover episodes, or did you know each owner before that?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Long before.
NEIL GRAYSTON: A year before.
Where was that? Where were you meeting at? Where was it — was it at —
NEIL GRAYSTON: Comic-Con.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: You know how Jo Lupo says that’s where your freak flag flies? It’s true. Comic-Con is where the freak flag flies.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, we were at Comic-Con 2009, I guess.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Mm-hmm.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Like you guys were about to start airing, or had you already aired for, like, three episodes?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: We were about three episodes into it, and Claudia was the first episode we were screening.
NEIL GRAYSTON: That’s right.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: So I actually got to walk around and be totally anonymous, which was great.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Which didn’t happen this year, did it?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: You know what? I actually didn’t get hassled on the floor this year. It was nice.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Oh, sweet.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I went down; I tried on, like, a corset at a Steampunk booth.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Nice.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Then the woman who made them was a fan of the show.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Sweet.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Comic-Con last year. So Neil’s “Eureka” panel was moderated by Josh Gates, and I had never done a panel before. I thought, “This is great. This is the perfect opportunity to sort of see how it’s done.” And I came out, I watched. It looked like so much fun. And then that crazy party.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. And I went and watched your guys’ panel too —
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: That’s right.
NEIL GRAYSTON: — because I’d seen the preview for their show, and it seemed like kind of one that would fit with “Eureka.” So I just sort of wanted to get the little, like, “What is this show? This seems pretty sweet.” Then watched that, and then yeah, at the party, you introduced yourself to me.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Yes. I walked up. I said, “Neil, you’re cool. Let’s be friends.”
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. And I think I said, “Yeah, okay.” It was a pretty relaxing way to form a friendship. And we’ve kept in touch ever since.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: We also made quite a show of how adorable we are together in front of people like Mark Stern so that the network recognizes that the chemistry would be a great thing for the two shows together.
I’m only now just getting the true manipulation of your genius.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: It’s true.
Allison, what’s your favorite artifact that you’ve got to play with on “Warehouse 13”? And Neil, is there a prop or anything that you particularly enjoy working with?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I say this every time, but it really does hold true. My favorite artifact is Edgar Allan Poe’s pen. And if you’re not familiar with Edgar Allan Poe’s pen, it makes whatever you write actually happen. So I tend to joke, but if I had it, I wouldn’t joke. I would write my own multimillion dollar movie contract and draw a picture of the perfect boyfriend and the deed to a cottage on Oahu. So that’s why I like that.
Not that you’ve given this any thought.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: No. Top of my head.
Don’t think so small.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Mine for “Eureka” — I’ve never actually got to play with it myself, but there’s this thing called — I think it’s called the Sky Cruiser or the Sky Bike. It basically just looks like a jet ski. The idea of it is that it’s a flying bike thingy. Just the, like, inner 10-year-old, the idea of being able to jump on a thing and fly around everywhere is the most exciting thing to me ever. So yeah, I totally want the Sky Bike or at least a scene where I’m on it flying through the air in the sky. Then I can be, like “Yeah, all right. I flew. It was awesome.”
The concept of Fargo on a Sky Bike is terrifying.
NEIL GRAYSTON: It is very, very terrifying.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: So scary. NEIL GRAYSTON: It would probably be more of a (pretending to take off and then crash).
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Liability for the network.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Major.
Can you talk about Felicia Day coming on “Eureka”?
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. It’s been — that’s been really fun, actually. Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton and Fargo have a sort of thing happening. Just put it that way. And it’s really given me a chance to have a bigger story and everything like that. But, I’m just going to go with the two of them. They both fit in so well with this show. Their sense of humor, the way they are just as people that it’s — yeah, it’s just been really great having them just on set. They’re funny. They’re clever. And they really bring everything to it. I mean, I guess you’ve seen the dailies and stuff, and it’s — yeah, it’s added this other little dimension of just super fun. It’s also cool. Felicia writes, produces, and whatever with the guild and everything. So just to be around people like that who are – you know, she’s on the show, but she’s also making her own show as we’re doing it. She’s writing it and everything. It’s kind of inspiring too just to have, hardworking people who are doing all this other stuff. it’s been a really nice, fun thing. They’re a really great addition. Kind of really excited to see how everything turns out. They started out — Wil was going to just be on one episode, and now he’s doing — I think he’s in half the season. Felicia’s also in a lot of episodes during the season. So they’re not like guest stars. They’re kind of like, yeah, new members of the cast. So it’s been great.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Also known as the reigning prince and princess of the geek world.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. I’m kind of in awe every day. They’ve got all their gadgets and their tech and everything, and then I’m pulling out my iPhone 3GS, and they’ve got all their fancy iPads and everything. I’m like, “Oh, I’m just going to hide this.”
Is there a new love interest for Claudia? Was that what we were seeing there in the preview?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: No, that’s Claudia’s brother. Joshua Donovan comes home for the holidays, which is another way for Claudia’s just immeasurable excitement for the Christmas season.
NEIL GRAYSTON: See, you’re not the only one. His hair was different. That was the thing. Because I was like, “Who’s that guy? He looks familiar.” And she’s like, “That’s my brother on the show.”
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: That’s my brother.
NEIL GRAYSTON: I was like, “Oh.”
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: He’s a super hipster. That’s why.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Okay.
Both of your shows deal with characters who are interacting in an often comedic basis. Working with your costars, do you have that sort of interaction in real life on the set or off the set?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Absolutely. It’s unavoidable. I mean, you’ve got your specific alliances over on “Eureka,” but as much fun as it looks like we’re having on the show, we’re having three times as much fun when the cameras aren’t rolling. Eddie is a clown. Like a respectable clown. Well, you’ve seen the dailies. Not always a respectable clown.
But — He’s hilarious and just — yeah, segue. Saul — my relationship with Saul — I think the reason that I get told a lot, “Oh, the chemistry between Claudia and Artie seems so real. Is that how you guys are in real life?” It really is. Claudia and Artie is Allison and Saul. We bicker because we kind of compete with each other, but he’s sort of my surrogate dad, but he’s also my mentor. And it’s been a real honor for me to get to work with him over these past two seasons and become so close to his family. So yeah, it’s — we really do feel like a family, the whole cast.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, just going over to your show was like walking into — yeah, like a family. Definitely you guys are very, very close.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: All of us.
NEIL GRAYSTON: On “Eureka” we’ve got such a large cast. A lot of people have kids, and they’re married , so we’re more of an extended family. We’re all coming together for family reunions and doing stuff. But I mean, the thing with us too, everyone on the show is genuinely funny in real life and genuinely nice. So it’s just such a natural thing to go on set to work. There’s never any sort of diva stuff or anything like that. It’s just, “All right. Let’s do this, and how can we make this one funnier, or how can we do this this quicker and better paced?” It’s just — yeah, I’ve been so lucky to be on it and have such an awesome group of people to work with who always consistently bring everything they have to the table every day and have fun doing it. It doesn’t feel like a job, which is — does yours feel like a job?
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Hell no.
NEIL GRAYSTON: I’m still waiting to have my first real job because doing this is so fun.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: So when are you going to direct an episode?
NEIL GRAYSTON: I don’t know. Direct an episode? I’m scared. I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll try to do something.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Because Colin’s directed. Salli’s directed. Joe Morton’s directed.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Joe’s directed. Yep.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Hmm. NEIL GRAYSTON: Colin’s directed twice, three times. Twice.
MARK STERN: Twice.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Joe’s directed twice as well. And then Salli just did a fantastic job directing.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Yeah?
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. And it was a very —
MARK STERN [Syfy executive]: Her first time ever.
NEIL GRAYSTON: — girl-themed episode too.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: That’s so great.
NEIL GRAYSTON: It’s called “Omega Girls.”
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: First time ever?
MARK STERN: First time she’s ever directed.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: That’s inspiring.
NEIL GRAYSTON: She did so much work —
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: So you’ll let me direct in Season 3.
MARK STERN: No, I think Salli directed in Season 4.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Okay. So I’ll direct in Season 4.
NEIL GRAYSTON: The second half —
— of Season 4.
MARK STERN: Darn it. ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Mm-hmm.
NEIL GRAYSTON: But no, she’s amazing.
MARK STERN: Look, I think, actually, one of the best things about “Eureka” has been the fact that everyone’s been able to direct. I think your script supervisor —
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, Alex. Alexandra La Roche directed an episode as well.
MARK STERN: Yeah.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Wow.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah. And she did a fantastic job too. The thing about Salli is she worked so hard beforehand. The entire first half of the season, she was basically glued to Rick, our DP, asking him questions constantly about lens sizes and about anything you could really ask. She always had a book, or at lunch she was watching a DVD on, you know, how to make a movie or how to film a shot or set up a shot and everything. It was kind of inspiring, where, you know, now that we’re coming to an end of “Eureka,” I sort of want to take the time off and just go tag along with all the directors I’ve been able to work with and see what I can glean from them just to know, because I would like to direct eventually. It’s just there’s a lot of stuff you need to know. It’s not just a simple “Do that. There we go.”
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Even though it looks like that sometimes.
NEIL GRAYSTON: It looks like it, yeah. But all the prep, everything that you don’t see — especially as an actor, we never see all the prep that goes on, all the meetings and everything like that. So to be able to sit in and see that and not have to worry about being in the episode would be pretty awesome to do.
If you had the opportunity and you could write any scene for your character, what would it be? What would you like to see happen?
NEIL GRAYSTON: Wow, ooh.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Want me to go?
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Because I know.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Okay.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I know exactly what I want. I very much want Claudia to go undercover in an all-girl punk band in Season 3. And my pitch is that the artifact is the stage door from CBGB’s. Once you go in, you can’t go out. You’re stuck in 1977.
Plus, I get to rock out on stage. Stunt casting? Debbie Harry. Done.
Once again, given it no thought at all.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Top of my head.
NEIL GRAYSTON: You’re so prepared. Dang. The problem with “Eureka” is that there are a lot of things that can happen in Eureka.
MARK STERN: I would almost say, Neil, that you’ve had your whole season of —
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, pretty much.
MARK STERN: — like, wish fulfillment this year.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, pretty much.
MARK STERN: Fargo runs GD.
NEIL GRAYSTON: Yeah, Fargo runs GD.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Gets it on with two redheads. Hello.
NEIL GRAYSTON: A bunch of “Terminator” things and references. Basically this season is me getting what I want. It’s all the stuff that’s like, “You know what would be cool if they wrote for me, but I’m not going to tell them because I don’t want to be that guy?” And then it’s “Oh, he did it. Cool. All right. Thank you.” Unless you’re reading my thoughts.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: What do you write for the man who has everything?
MARK STERN: So I think that’s it. We’re going to actually take 10 minutes and have these guys come down to the floor, all foot and a half of it, and give you a chance to kind of mingle and ask them the questions that maybe you didn’t want to say into the mic as long as they’re — keep it clean, please.
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: Or not.
Syfy Press Tour Coverage By: Emma Loggins