Tiffany Vogt

Posts Tagged ‘Salli Richardson-Whitfield’

Remembering EUREKA: A Town Full of Scientific Wonders and Characters We Loved

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Events, * Interviews, * Showcases, * TV Addict, * Video interviews, Eureka on July 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

Six years ago a remarkable television series EUREKA debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel (later renamed Syfy). Premised around a small town sheriff recruited to protect a community funded by the U.S. government and Department of Defense to foster creative scientific advances, the show could have been a dark journey into the perils of government science run amok. Instead, what creators Jaime Paglia and Andrew Crosby brought to life was a fun-filled, hilarious and the oh-so-wonderful world of EUREKA.

From the opening notes of Bear McCreary’s musical theme to the fantastic visual intro, and that now famous opening scene where Sheriff Jack Carter drove into the small town of Eureka, only to see himself driving in the opposition direction leaving town, we knew that whatever crazy science was at play in EUREKA, it was not at all that dark and dubious. It was instead uplifting, zany, wildly wacky, and full of curiosity.

It sparked our imaginations and introduced us to the wondrous world of Sheriff Jack Carter, Zoe Carter, Deputy Jo Lupo, Allison Blake, Kevin Blake, Douglas Fargo, Henry Deacon, Jim Taggart, Beverly Barlowe and Vincent. Then each new season introduced more fascinating characters, including: Zane Donovan, Deputy Andy, Grace Monroe, Holly Martens and Dr. Parrish. There was also the “smart” house S.A.R.A.H., which just as vital a character throughout the show’s five seasons, ensuring that Jack, Zoe and the multitude of revolving door inhabitants were never completely alone when they came home from a long day chasing down the latest scientific experiment gone awry.

The first three seasons were about Jack Carter’s assimilation into his new life and responsibilities as sheriff in a town where crime was not so much about robbery, murder and mayhem as much as it was about misguided scientists not fully considering the ramifications of their actions – whether self-serving or altruistic. It was also the time in which Jack fell in love with Allison, and their romance became an intoxicating part of the show.

No matter how mind-boggling the mystery– from tachyon accelerators involving quantum mechanics to potentially alien artifacts in Section 5 to androids and clones to computer viruses to pharmaceutical catastrophes to low-level frequency waves and hijacking Z-brain waves to black-holes, wormholes, and deep-freezes to space junk to ray guns to parasitic bacteria to killer drones to robotic dogs to time loops, time shifts and time travel to green goo and smart-dust to magnetic disturbances to space-time bridges to a brain-stealing matrix and trips to other planets – EUREKA found a way to solve it.

It was a show that invited us on an extraordinary journey and which introduced us to even more extraordinary characters. It is thus with bittersweet joy that we celebrate the series finale of EUREKA on Monday, July 16th at 9PM on Syfy (10PM on Space in Canada). It feels too soon and we are not yet ready to say goodbye. If there could be but one last mystery to solve, it would be to find a way to visit EUREKA again from time to time and check in on our beloved heroes: Jack, Allison, Jo, Zane, Fargo, Holly, Kevin, Vincent, Henry and Grace. We know they are living adventures that we can only dream of and hope that we will be privy to those stories again one day. To the series we cherished, we now celebrate its last goodbye. We are grateful and look forward to a future where there are more EUREKA adventures.

To hear what the cast and co-creator Jaime Paglia had to share about the finale and what they will miss the most about the show, the following are video interviews from the red carpet at the Paley Center:

Where this article may also be found:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2012/07/16/rip-eureka/

Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson-Whitfield Give a Glimpse at What’s Next on EUREKA

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Eureka on July 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm


As EUREKA returns for the second half of its fourth season, things are about to get more complicated for the little town for of geniuses.  So it is up to Sheriff Jack Carter and Dr. Allison Blake and the rest of our heroes to keep everyone safe and sound.  Taking a few minutes to chat with press about the next chapter of EUREKA are Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson-Whitfield.

In the first half of the fourth season, a lot of substantial things happened on the show. For the second half of this fourth season, what are you sort of excited about the fans seeing as we approach this new season?

COLIN: We pick up sort of right where we left off with sort of the big sort of arc of the season.  It is the Estreas Project — basically Eureka going into space. I was concerned when we started it that it was going to be just sort of a path like, ‘Oh, this is the mission de jour that we’re going to on for 13,’ but actually balloons-and-blossoms into this fantastically complex plot. Then, at the end of the season, you’re about see it kicks into the whole next year in a way that you completely don’t expect. So, what I’m really looking forward to seeing is sort of everyone going, ‘Oh, my God. Really?! That’s happening now?!’ Because it’s sort of EUREKA going into space and do they go into space, and it’s really interesting.

SALLI: I think that’s what so hard for us is that really all these episodes that we’ve shot that you may not see for a little while. Everything is just getting so much better and it’s like you just want everyone to know.  You want them to see all this great stuff that’s coming. They’ve really put everything together well, so it’s sort of hard to hold back and not tell you everything that’s going on because it’s so exciting.

Could you guys talk about how things changed due to the new timeline? And also, are you surprised that the show’s been around and lasted so long?

SALLI: I think you’re always surprised when your show gets picked up the first time. But now I think the show is so good, especially the ones we’re shooting now in these last few seasons, that I would be more surprised when we’re not picked up because it’s such a good show now.  It’s just gotten so much better.

COLIN: The timeline reboot and how it energized the show, I would agree with that. I think the show is as good as it’s ever been. That had to do with sort of a big shift down here in the writers room and finally finding our footing and getting our way back after the writer’s strike and all of the big Hollywood problems that happened. That made it really difficult even to know if you were going to have a job. So now we have a really solid group of writers and a core group of people that hasn’t changed.  So that’s why it sort of feels really energized and is really firing on all cylinders. As far as the reboot and the energy that happens with that, I think that’s symptomatic of the changes that happened. We really found our footing and the reboot was sort of this symbolic gesture on behalf of the network that we were allowed to do what we wanted to do. I mean, they went in to the network and said, ‘We want to go back in time, and then come back and change everything and never address it.’ Normally, when you got into a network and say that they go, ‘No.’ One of the biggest characters on the show is the Town. So to change the Town is a really tall order and it was a big sign-off on behalf of the network as a gesture to say that the writers knew what they were doing. And I think the writers — when they got that gesture, they filled confidence — it just redoubled on itself, until we sort of had the energy that we have now.  Plus, the casting that’s gone on has been unbelievably helpful. I mean, we’ve got Felicia Day, we’ve got Wil Wheaton, we have Wallace Shawn coming in.  We have Dave Foley coming in.  I mean, God Bless the recession, right? Like, those names — that’s great to get all those people in to the show.

SALLI: And they fit perfectly and we love them. I mean, these are people — they don’t come on and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, can we get rid of these people as soon as possible?’ They’re just wonderful people to be around and they just fit in our show so perfectly.

COLIN:  Also what’s happened is there was a decision made to write me lighter because I was just getting too tired and really bored at the sound of my own voice.  So what happened was all of a sudden these other characters who were so developed and so worthy of having this big long plots are now getting way more screen time, and very deservedly.  I think it makes the show a lot more interesting.

Can you talk about some of the issues that Allison has with Jack now, in relation to where things left off?

SALLI: Oh, gosh, [Colin] thinks this is funny because I never know we are.  By the time we get to this season, I don’t know what’s going on.

COLIN: We’re shooting right now.  We’re in the middle of shooting the season that’ll air in 2012, so we sort of have all that downloaded into our head.  So it’s now sort of going, ‘Right.  So, about a year ago…’

SALLI: I think that that the issues that [Jack and Allison] have now is that we’re trying this new relationship on — seeing if this is going to happen.  That puts a different dynamic into working together. So it’s like working with your husband or wife — how do you now balance both of the two things? I think that that’s where we start getting into trouble with each other. Of course, nothing can ever be perfect because that would be boring with us if we were just all lovey-dovey and everything was great. So I think that that’s where we start getting into trouble. How can we work together and do both, and where is that line?

Is Jack oblivious to how Allison is feeling or does he have a hard time admitting it as well?

COLIN: No, I don’t think he’s oblivious.  But it’s a funny thing asking me about relationships. Not my forte. I’m not terribly good at it. But, no, [Jack’s] not oblivious.  But at the same time, it’s difficult when you’re working with someone and having a relationship with them, as these two characters do. So you have to give each other more space and you have to give each other sort of the latitude  to have more off days than, normally you would. And Allison is a character that has two kids.  So you really have got to move slowly and be really patient with that if you’re going to try to partner with that. So I think he’s patient. I think he’s aware of it, and I think we’re dealing with something in the next episodes we shot, which is that [Jack’s] not aware of, so there are still bumps and problems to come.

The two of you are really fun to watch together on screen. You’ve got really good chemistry. Can you talk a little bit about that process, how that evolves, and what you like about working with the other person.

SALLI: Well, let me figure this out. . .

COLIN: How do you lie? How do you come up with a good lie, Sal?  [laughter]

SALLI: I think from the very beginning, when Colin and I first did our first scene together, you never know if you’re going to have chemistry with someone, and ours, it was just naturally there. I feel really corny when I say this, but there’s something that clicks. Because, obviously off camera, we’re very brother/sister, jokey-jokey, ‘Oh, God, we’ve got to kiss.’ But, as soon as that camera rolls and I look into Colin’s eyes, there’s something that clicks and I always find an instant connection that makes all of my feelings just sort of come right up to the forefront, and I feel everything I’m saying with him. It’s very lucky for us and for me. I just naturally have a wonderful connection with him when we’re working. So, I love it and we know how to work with each other on and off camera. I know what he needs to do to get what he needs, and he knows what I need, and we make allowances for each other and we try not to step on each other’s toes.

COLIN: That definitely attributes to Sal. I mean, we haven’t had a fight in six years of working together.  That’s not because I’m easy to work with, that’s because Salli’s amazing to work with. She’s just top notch and, Sal, I’m actually really flattered and floored by your last answer to that question, so that was really sweet. Thanks.

SALLI: Well, it’s true!

What has been your guys’ favorite Allison and Jack moment so far?

COLIN: Favorite moment? I’d go back to the magnetic fence.

SALLI: I know!  That one we had was in our first season we got stuck together on this fence.  But I also like it when I was pregnant and the baby was kicking. Do you remember that?

COLIN: Oh, yeah. That was when we were on the couch.

SALLI: Yes, we were shooting this wonderful scene in my office when I was enormous at the time, and it was a very sweet scene where he’s touching my stomach. But, literally, when we were shooting, every time Colin would touch my belly, the baby — because I was really pregnant — the baby would kick right on his hand — like with every single take Little Dre would go crazy in my stomach.  So it was kind of funny.

COLIN: Yeah, and Dre is a model athlete at this point in his life, so it really is no surprise that he ended up kicking on queue every single time. [laughter]

While the timeline-shift worked out well for your characters, it didn’t work out so great for all of them as a couple. Can you give us any good news regarding Jo and Zane’s relationship on the episodes coming up?

COLIN: They go through a lot and they keep going through a lot for the next year. Really, as of right now, we’re still on the fence if they’re going to pull through.  That’s a while later. Those two go through it, you know? They definitely love each other, but it’s a hard one. It’s hard to watch sometimes when two people keep missing each other in the night, and then ultimately do or don’t get together you go, ‘Oh, God, guys, just figure it out!’

SALLI: And isn’t that real life?

It seems like this season there’s a lot more emphasis placed on interpersonal relationships. And I’m just wondering which ones you enjoyed reading in the scripts more as they were being developed, the slow progression that finally is starting to pay off between Jack and Allison, the more combustible Jo and Zane, or the tentative baby steps that are happening between Fargo and Dr. Holly Marten?

COLIN: Fargo and Holly.

SALLI: I vote for Fargo and Holly too.  Because they’re both so darned cute.  I’ll say that because he can’t say that. Go ahead, Colin.

COLIN: Yeah. No, they’re just great. It’s one thing when that relationship started, going through its paces, and we’re into ours and no one finds their own (lives) too interesting. But that’d be funny, wouldn’t it? Like, ‘No ours is the most interesting, by far.’

SALLI: Yeah, ours is really by far the best story line. [laughter]

COLIN:  Some of the best work on the show. And to be honest, you didn’t mention it, but I would say my second one is actually Henry and Grace. . . I really like that relationship too. There’s something really warm and genuine in both of those relationships and I respond to them in a way. It’s also really nice to that they have these relationships going.  So I think I respond to that. But, that’s why I like them.

Will we see anymore of the Sarah/Andy relationship in any substantive way?

COLIN: Yes, a very substantial way.  That’s also a great relationship — and I know it’s really popular, given Sarah’s a house, and he’s a robot, and all that stuff. But they’re all fantastic actors. So really, Grace is in two relationships, you might say, as Sarah and Fargo; double duty. . . . They take their relationship forward in a very profound way and we all have to make do as we all live inside of her.

What’s the rest of the season looks like for Carter and Zoe? Will we be seeing anymore of her in Eureka?

COLIN: Yes, Jordan definitely came back a couple times this season. She was actually over here yesterday. She’s my designer. I’m getting some renovation done on my house and I’m going to be out of town, so she came by with my contractor.  She’s handling all the design. So, I’m going to come back to a house that Jordan is designing. . .  Yep, my closet’s going to be filled with Forever 21. Yeah, no, it’s great. I mean, it’s one of my favorite relationships and it’s been amazing to watch her grow from a 13-year old to now being 20 and watching her life bloom into what she’s created it today. I love her and I love that relationship.  So, yes, she comes back.

Is there anything else you can tell us about what’s coming up this season or next that you can divulge any spoilers?

COLIN: Can’t really divulge any spoilers. We’ll be strung up and hung if we do. But what we said already, which is the Estreas stuff — that’s the key work for the next season. And then that will key off the next season after that. Sal, do you remember any episodes in particular?

SALLI: Are you (being) funny?!

COLIN: Obviously, we have the first one — so we have the one where the power goes out. We have – what the heck is – oh my lord, my brain is just shutting down. I remember the… No, we actually can’t site anything that we have coming up. Sorry, we’ve been warned about spoilers and what not, so we can’t help you on that.

Before last season, had you guys ridden horses in other roles before and what was it like?

SALLI: I’ll start with that. I had ridden before, literally, I mean pretty much my first big film after moving to L.A. I had to ride a horse and I’ve done maybe another job, but I think for all of us we had some time before to get on some horses and get it back together.  Luckily, for me, I was supposed to look ridiculous on the horse, so I didn’t have to be an expert. And Colin, I don’t think he’ll answer this, had ridden a lot of horses.  But he’s very athletic, so he always gets everything together.

COLIN: I had ridden a couple of times, but not anything profound and not something where I’d say I was comfortable. As much as we get a bunch of work, it was mostly the stunt doubles. When you see the final show…

SALLI: I know, we were very angry about that.

COLIN: Yeah, it was like, ‘What the hell?!’ But it was fun. Anytime you get to do something like that, where you’re sort of outside of your zone, it’s fantastic. It’s more, for me anyway.  It was less about the actual skill of riding the horse and more about getting to know your horse. So after a couple days, it was significantly easier because you just knew the horse’s idiosyncrasy.

SALLI:   And of course, Colin has the mean horse. [laughter]

COLIN: I did have the mean horse. He kept biting on me and…and I was like, ‘Is it me?’ And then the trainer was like, ‘No, that’s what he does.’

What’s it like when you pick up a script and find one of these weird surprises?

COLIN:  Well, it depends on the surprise. I mean, sometimes you open up the script and you go, ‘Oh, that’s going to be amazing,’ And then you open up a script and you go, ‘Really? Like, really??’ And we’re going, ‘Okay. All right. All right.’ Because it could be the middle of winter and they’re like, ‘Okay, so you’re stuck in t-shirts on the top of a blizzard,’ and then, you cuss them. What were you going to say, Sal?

SALLI:   Well, I was going to say that’s what is so fun about doing the show too, is that you’re not stuck in a goofy comedy all the time. You’re not stuck just doing straight drama or straight little get ups. You really get to do different things all the time and I think that that’s what keeps it fresh for us, and why we continue to get better because you get to stretch and you get to do different things and I think that’s why the fans like the show. You’re not bored by the same thing every time.

When you see the scripts, are you pleased where the show has gone?

SALLI:   I think they’ve found a way to put us together, but not make it boring.

COLIN: Yeah, it’s never straightforward. I mean, that’s what I really liked about it, and that’s what actually Sal and I fought against really hard for a long time, because the temptation is like, ‘Oh, they’re together. Now you guys kiss in every scene.’  And we’re sort of going, ‘No, no, no, no, no, it’s not realistic and it’s not interesting.’ They’ve done a really good job of having very real problems that you deal with in relationships that keep it both I guess affectionate and clear that there’s love there, but at the same time very clear that it’s not easy, and (life) is not easy and relationships aren’t easy. I appreciate the realism of that.

Colin, you’ve been both an actor and a director now, which of these do you find more challenging and which do you prefer?

COLIN: Well, actually, ask Sal. Sal’s also been an actor and a director at this point two times over — as has Joe Morton.  What do I like more? At this point, I don’t know.  About a year ago, I would have answered the question saying, ‘Hands down, directing.’ It was new, it was fresh, it was so exciting, and now the three episodes and a movie at this point and I sort of get it, and I really embrace both in the same way now. It’s really project-by-project, scene-by-scene in. What you can really do?  I think I’m tired at this point.  To give an honest answer to the question — I’m really tired. I’m looking forward to a break so I can sort of re-plug in and get more energy to do anything at all. But what I like about directing more is that you get the story earlier, you can affect change in a more profound way, and stay with the story longer, and that’s a really rewarding process to go through. As an actor, you really are a professional athlete or a hired gun, you sort of show up on the day and you do your little magic and that’s what goes on tape. You’re like, it’s a gun slinger-type job. The problem is you show up so late that sometimes you can’t affect the change that you’d like to. So, it’s good and bad for both. But I think we’d all have the same answer: we really, really enjoy doing both.

Salli, you’ll be directing an episode this season. Can you tell us more about how it felt to lord over the rest of your cast mates?

SALLI: Oh, I love it! Lord over. That’s exactly what it is.  Well, I did one last season, which I guess you guys will be seeing that coming up this season. I don’t know. But I just finished the one that I’m shooting this season. Actually, just finished editing it yesterday, and I just love it.  It’s such a different thing from acting.  You really have to be a micromanager and my micromanaging in real life works very well for directing.  It’s something that I would like to be the next step in my career. Luckily I have wonderful actors.  You don’t really have to direct that much more than say, ‘Can you tweak this one line?’  I just found that I think that it’s something that comes naturally to me and you don’t know it until you get in there and do it. I’m hoping to do more and more of it. Really, directing on EUREKA has to be one of the best training grounds that any director could have — because you get to do these wonderful dramatic story lines, but at the same time you get to learn about visual effects and green screen and you have stunts, you have comedy. I’m learning these great skills to go to any other show that — and particularly not very many women know how to do, let alone black women in this industry.  Action and visual effect stuff is usually the job that they hire men to do.  So I feel very blessed to learn these skills that I can take on and hopefully do a lot more things.

Colin, how was it for you [working under Salli’s directing]? Were you like a model actor or were you like poking at her with a stick?

COLIN:  The funny thing is its really nice when one of us does direct.  Because it’s always great to have a cause to rally behind. We’ve done — I don’t know how many episodes, close to eighty at this point — and you go, ‘Okay, great. At least there’s a reason to show up today,’ you know? Salli’s episode it’s like, ‘Oh, great. Okay, well this is sort of cool.’ And to the extent, what Salli’s saying, it’s not only that you have to know how to do it on our show, I mean we’re a cable show, so we don’t have $4 million a week to get this stuff done. You can’t learn on the fly.  You have to know how to do it and know how to do it quickly. You can’t figure it out. So, it’s great training ground because it’s trial by fire, which is fantastic. When I’m directing I’m all about making the day and being relaxed. I like a calm environment at this point, so I respond to how Salli directs because she’s very calm and she knows what she wants.

On EURKEA  there’s a lot of things that seem to be way out there, like the change in the timeline, for example. How are the two of you able to relate to all the unusual things going on in the show so that you can turn in a performance that’s real?

COLIN: That’s actually difficult. It requires a lot of communication and it requires a lot of trust. And you build that up with, for example, the visual effects guys over time. Acting to green screen is — if you don’t know how to do it — it can be one of the more humiliating things that you can do, because you don’t know to ask certain questions. You don’t know to say, ‘Where’s the outline? How big is the explosion? Is everybody going on the same queue? No, stop this. Okay, we need everyone moving on the same queue. Can we move the queue to unify everybody?’ And it’s all those sorts of tricks and necessities that if you don’t do, you’ll see the show and–  I’m sure you’ve seen it where you’re like, ‘Wow, that doesn’t work,’ you know?

SALLI: Yeah, and it’s so funny that that stuff has sort of become second nature now for us, you know?

COLIN: Yeah, absolutely.

SALLI: And I think that it’s helped us to go direct this stuff because you realize that you know how to direct it because you’ve had to act it so much that you’re not as lost as you may have been if you had never had to be an actor doing visual effects all the time.

COLIN: Well, a lot of times you’ll be working with an actor and you’ll see them drowning. You’ll see them flailing on something. The perk of being an actor is – gee, on this one show – we’ve probably done 500 days of it —  is that you can sort of go, ‘Oh, I know where they are. Okay, this is what they need.’ And you can come and go, ‘Right, I’m going to give you a queue for that moment so everybody can get on the same thing.’ It’s usually something like that, which is the silliest easiest thing in the world to do, and it’s night and day for an actor. It makes all the difference. The fact that you can provide it for them they go, ‘Oh, thanks,’ because they are not sure if they can ask for it or not sure what they should ask for, but they know they’re not hitting it and they’re sort of looking around like, ‘Please help me’.

What’s been your guys’ favorite scientific invention on the show?

COLIN: Favorite scientific invention? The (bosencoladicsider).  My latest – well, they make some castings from space, which cracks me up. It’s like, ‘Oh, fire up some (bosencoladicsider). We’re going to catch something from space.’ You know how hard that is? It was like, ‘Okay, fire it up.’ And then there’s that one scene where Zane’s like, ‘I got an extra bosencoladicsider.’ Yeah, funny stuff.

What do you think is a special ingredient that makes EUREKA is such a draw to all ages?

SALLI: I mean, for me, especially these last few years we’ve been doing it, I think it’s just really the mixture. We were talking earlier that we have comedy, we have love, we have drama, we have the big explosions, and I really think that there’s something for everyone. It’s also kept clean enough that you can have your ten-year old watching the show and you’re not having to usher them in the other room, but it’s not done in a corny way where adults can still enjoy the show. They really found a happy medium where anyone really can watch and enjoy it.

COLIN: Yeah, we try to put in as much as we can. I remember the first season, the mandate came down and were always being chastised saying, ‘This is not a comedy. Stop doing that. Stop putting the jokes in. This is not a comedy.’ All the directors were told, ‘This is not a comedy.’ Because they were coming off BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and it was going to be serious and all that stuff.  I think the comedy that we throw in and the writers write in really helps. It helps us take the sting off of ideas and be a little more self-aware and make it fun. When the show began, I really wanted it to be dark and edgy and all this stuff, but then as we started hearing from people, like, ‘Oh, we watched this with our parents or I watched this with my kids, and my grandparents watch it.’  And I guess as I’ve gotten older, I’m really proud of that. I mean, it’s a little better than it used to be, but for the last bunch of years TV was hard, and it was really nice to do a show that people could watch together. It became a source of pride for us.  So, what makes that work? I think we got lucky. The right combo worked and we were on a network that was patient enough to keep us on the air  — and, if we knew what worked, we could probably do it again, which is impossible.

Allison’s character is not only very smart and very good looking, she’s also not a traditional scientist. Salli, could you talk a little bit about what it’s like to be a role model in that way?

SALLI: Well, I just seem to know all this science. But really Allison came in working for the Department of Defense and she was a medical doctor. Somehow through osmosis now I know every bit of science that everyone else seems to know.

COLIN: Oh, Sal, hold up. Sal, if I remember correctly, we had deemed that it was going to be established that they were going to make you a nurse. Do you remember that?

SALLI: Right, I was like, ‘Why a nurse?’ Wasn’t I upset about that? I was like, ‘Absolutely not!’

COLIN: You were pissed off, yeah, and now you’ve made yourself a doctor and now you’re screwed. You’ve got to know everything.

SALLI: And now I’m mad because I have to do it all. But, at the time, I felt that, ‘Why wouldn’t this really intelligent woman — why wouldn’t she have gone all the way and gotten her medical degree?’ But I think it’s wonderful for my daughter who usually only sees a lot of my friends who are in the acting business, because she loves the show. We get to talk about that there are other avenues for women and other jobs to think about, and that our show kind of shows that being smart is kind of cool and kind of fun, and she really gets that and she likes that about the show.

Salli, in what ways would you say that you are most like and least like your character of Allison?

SALLI: Well, it’s funny. I think that our characters have become even more alike as the seasons have gone one. I think that I’m not quite as – and Colin may disagree — as hard and as tough as I seem. In the last season or so, you get to see a much softer side of Allison with her being a mom, but still having to juggle work. So, I think that our characters actually have come much closer and she’s very much like me now.

How are you both like and not like your characters?

COLIN: Well, I’m a Sheriff in real life, so that’s similar.  [laughter] No, how would I say I’m like him? Personality-wise, we’re pretty similar at this point. They’ve done an amazing job of taking the best of me and making it palatable for other people.  So yeah, the personality is the same. I guess the biggest difference would probably be relationships, I guess. He has a steadfast relationship with Allison and he pushes through the problem, and that’s something that I’m working on in my own life. It is a hard thing working out of town and trying to get something going back in Los Angeles, but that would probably be the biggest difference. But you know what, I’m working on it and I’ll figure it out.

SALLI: And you’re also much smarter than they try to portray you.

COLIN: That’s true. Yes. I mean, yes, I can say that.

SALLI: You can’t say that. I can say that.

COLIN: All right, I’m a little – I’m (emphasis) slightly brighter than my character at times. [laughter]

What would you consider to be your definitive episode of EUREKA?

COLIN: I think that there are a bunch of episodes that meant different things at different times for us, and I definitely clock them that way. I remember when a good friend of mind, Johanna Stokes wrote – wow, what was that called? It was Game, something about Game. It was like first or second season, and when a friend of yours writes an episode, that’s a great thing. I remember the first time Salli directed, that’s a big thing. I remember the first time I directed, which was, ‘Your Face or Mine.’ It was a smaller episode and that was a huge thing for me. So, there’s these more in point episodes all the way through, which sort of mean the world to us, as people – like the first one that (Alexandria) directed, we fought really hard for our script supervisor to get an episode to direct. She directed THE DEAD ZONE before and is really one of the people who held the show together when it was going through rough times. It was (Lexi) and myself a lot of times, fighting for the best work that we could get. And for hers to be rewarded and respected by getting an episode was absolutely huge for us as a cast. It felt like we’d had a big victor, and she could (unintelligible) amazing job. So hers is this season. Hers is the bank episode.

SALLI: Right, it’s hard to think of them because I don’t know what you’ve seen, you know?

COLIN: Right. Yeah, hers is the bank episode. I don’t remember what her episode has to do with the poster.

SALLI: Yes, which might be a very EUREKA.  I mean, I can’t think of one in particular. I think when we find the ones that really have that middle ground of the comedy, that banter back and forth comedy that we have, and then they throw in some of the sci-fi, that that is a real EUREKA episode for me. There’s the one’s you just read and you just go, ‘Okay, that is so Eureka,’ with the comedy and a little bit of the danger. But, I can never remember exact ones.

COLIN: Yeah, so that’s the way it sort of goes for us because we are a family. We spend 14 hours a day together and 5-6 days a week, a lot of the time.  So when someone get a huge bump, it’s huge for us. It’d be like this year, Ian, who is second camera, he’s now our operator, and it was huge for us. And Herby, when he (started pulling focus), it was huge for us when people get promotions, and that’s the sort of stuff that really makes it for us.

Could you talk about like something really funny that’s happened on set, maybe like a prank that someone’s played or, you know, just something that’s happened?

COLIN: We can’t really. We do little things with each other and sort of mess with each other a little bit, but we don’t have a lot of time to get done what we have to get done, so pranks are such a [time-consuming thing].  What if we were doing a serious scene and somebody pulled a prank and make us wreck a take? I mean as much as we have a ton of fun, you definitely have a look on everybody’s face of like, ‘Really? You know, was that really necessary?’

SALLI: Yeah, we have fun. I mean if the scene is funny and you feel like you have it — like I’m very safe with any jokes – if I think the person can handle me making a face to them off camera during the scene.  Then Colin will look and look at me and laugh and go, ‘What are you doing?!’ Because you’ll do that to me too. But nobody does that if there’s something serious and, most of the time we are in a hurry, and you don’t have time for jokes. We just want to do the best work we can and we only have another 15 minutes. So, you can do pranks on a feature, not on a TV show.

COLIN: Yeah, most of our jokes — there are a tons of jokes on set — but they’re all when we’re not shooting. They’re all  like making fun of each other in between the take and the director yells, ‘Cut,’ and then all of a sudden we’re making fun of what each other did in the scene and it was like, ‘Wow, really?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ll fix that in the next one. That didn’t work out very well.’ You know, we do a lot of stuff like that. I remember Jaime’s a big prank, in the pilot, I believe. Was it the pilot where he was inside the box?

SALLI: He jumped out of a box.

Colin: Yeah, scared the living hell out of me. But again, that’s the pilot where you have twice as much time to shoot the same amount of footage. So you have latitude to sort of  play jokes on each other.

SALLI: And Matt Hastings loves to add some funny lines in.  He’s one of our executive producers and directs a lot of our episodes.  It’s pretty much like once you have the takes he’ll go, ‘One more take,’ and then he’ll add in a funny line that’ll surprise someone. But, it’s always after you got what you needed.

How do you think the dynamic within the cast has changed as EURKEA has progressed?

COLIN:  It’s sort of been an amazing thing to watch actually.  Because we all, obviously, have actors of all different ages in the cast, and so we’ve watched the younger members of the cast sort of grow up and become artists in their own right, and that’s been an amazing journey to follow. But I would say, as far as all the adults go, it’s stunning that we haven’t had more problems. You hear about casts and sort of infighting and whatnot, but for us everyone really gets along. I think we get along better now than we ever have, and that’s a really odd thing to be, for our calendar of six years into a process like this and to find everybody going above and beyond to respect each other’s process and respect the foibles and the complications of working together.  So, as far as the people go, we’ve never gotten along better.

 

In the past you’ve done some character crossovers, will we be seeing more of that with other shows this season?

COLIN: I think Grayson’s doing another one. . . It’s so hard. I think they did one in February, so that’ll air this summer. He’s going to WAREHOUSE 13 again, I believe, but I could be wrong.  But I think that’s correct, and I don’t think anyone else is.  I mean the hardest thing is because we all shoot at the same time, so the idea that, I could get free or Salli could get free is just not in the cards. . . .We’d love to. In fact, Jack and I, the Executive Producer of WAREHOUSE 13 were actors together in a show in 1999, so I’ve known Jack for about 12 years and I’d love to go up and work with him on a show. I think it’d be hilarious.

Do you find that when you do character crossovers does it change the dynamic on the set?

COLIN: Well, I would imagine.  Speaking for myself, if I was to go over to WAREHOUSE 13 — it’s a tough one. You have how you like to work, but it’s their home and it’s their show, and what they need for their show trumps anything that you’re bringing. I know Jack and I know Eddie very well because we did The Circuit together – and then Saul did an episode of EUREKA and Skaggs has been on EUREKA, so we know them all.  They’re so kind and respectful it wouldn’t be a problem. But, first and foremost in our minds would be like, ‘What do you guys need,’ you know? ‘We’ll supply you with what you need.’

Salli, would you ever do a character crossover yourself?

SALLI: Oh, of course. Like Colin said, if they find the time I would love to go do it. It’s always fun to go do something different, even though we would be doing our character it’s fun doing someone else’s show. I think that honestly I’d like to go over there and direct the show. I think that Colin would to.

COLIN: Yeah would be great. Good plug, Sal, good plug. Well done.

SALLI: (Have) us over. I think that.  We’ll act in it, if you let us direct it. How about that?

COLIN: Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.

 

The character of Beverly Barlowe, who was in that first season, and then came back and I think she did at the time. Are we going to be seeing more of Debrah Farentino?

COLIN: Yep.

SALLI: That’s all we can say.

COLIN: Yep, she’s coming back. But that’s tied into like the spoiler of spoilers.  So that’s about all I can say on that. But yeah, she’s coming back and coming back with a vengeance.

On that last final teasing and tantalizing note about the upcoming season, along with some humorous insights, be sure to catch the return of EUREKA on its new night Monday, July 11that 8:00 p.m. on Syfy.

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2011/07/11/colin-ferguson-and-salli-richardson-whitfield-preview-what%E2%80%99s-next-on-eureka/


Review of ‘Eureka’ – O Little Town

In * By Tiffany Vogt, Eureka on December 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Celebrating the holiday season with Secret Santas, Santa-ology and holographic reindeer

When last seen at the end of summer, “Eureka” was saying good-bye to the delightful Dr. Charles Grant (James Callis) and wiggling its way back through the worm-hole. Now permanently stuck in the alternate timeline where Fargo (Neil Grayston) is in charge at Global Dynamics, Jo (Erica Cerra) is chief of security, and Jack (Colin Ferguson) and Allison (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) have decided to pursue a relationship, things are a little different in Eureka. So it came as no surprise that, just as Jack and Zoe (Jordan Hinson) were attempting to escape to spend the holidays with relatives, the world needed rescuing once again.

In a funny approach to reinventing the story of Santa Claus, “Eureka” did it with a bit of panache and style. Taggart (Matt Frewer) was back with a flying red sleigh and holographic reindeer – and a ray gun which miniaturizes gifts so that their mass is temporarily transferred into an alternate dimension and then can be brought back to full-size once delivered; and Jo pretended to be Scrooge to hide the fact that she was playing Secret Santa so that she could deliver the perfect Christmas gift to each of her friends.

It was with a bit tongue-and-check and a gleeful spirit that “Eureka” poked fun at some of the holiday traditions. Taggart, in hopes of catching the elusive Saint Nick, had become a Santa-ologist – studying all things Christmas in order to prove that all the mythology could be scientifically explained. However, with a sly appearance by Saint Nick posing as a condensed matter physicist, Dr. Noah Drummer (Chris Parnell), made it all feel that it was done with a twinkling spirit.

Who knew that a tiny “ornament” sized ball of cystallized hydrogen that posed such a monumental problem would become the Eureka “night star”?

What Worked

While Jack should surely know better, it was still priceless watching him get zapped as he tried to walk through the malfunctioning electro-magnetic shield that protects Eureka from prying eyes. Colin Ferguson’s gift with physical comedy makes such moments a lot funnier than they would normally be.

Also delightful was Erica Cerra’s nuanced performance as the dual-Scrooge/Secret Santa. We fully believed that she would be grumpy about this particular Christmas since she and Zane (Niall Matter) are no longer a couple due to an unfortunate wrinkle in the alternate timeline. Thus, finding out that she was the one delivering the perfect gifts was beautiful; her carefully hidden Christmas Angel shone ever so brightly when no one was looking. Also fun was her snarky comment to Fargo, “It’s the time you geeks let your freak flags fly every year,” and his quip, “No, that’s Comic-Con.” It was a nice shout-out to one of the biggest geek-fests of the year.

Another well-done moment of levity was the scene with the giant red bow blowing through town followed by the giant red ornament rolling down Main Street. The visual of it all felt both whimsical and comical at the same time. It is definitely a sight one would only find in “Eureka”!

The appearance of the mysterious Dr. Drummer who wandered about in plain sight at the G.D. holiday party in a Santa suit was also fantastic. When he told Taggart, “It shouldn’t always be about science. Some things are better left unexplained,” he was reminding Taggart that the world needs a bit of mystery.

Even the normally scientifically-inclined Allison, wanted to preserve the mystique of Christmas. When she told Zoe,”I just think we could all use a little more magic in our lives,” she knew that without it, life feels a bit more dull. Allison’s delight in discovering that Secret Santa had brought her pink bunny slippers invoked the child-like joy that everyone should feel for the holidays.

What Didn’t Work

It felt inconceivable that Jack would plan to spend Christmas away from Allison. He would have been dragging his feet about having to spend the obligatory holiday with his family. Instead, the episode portrayed him having no qualms about it. It was not until Allison shared her desire to have a traditional holiday that he changed his mind. It just did not feel like the Jack Carter we all know and love. Thank goodness, it all worked out in the end!

Also just missing the mark was the crazy gift for Carter where Taggart gave him the gift of Christmas cheer in the form of a singing trio of holograms in the form of Vincent (Chris Gauthier), Zoe and Fargo. The joke played out pretty quickly and felt disjarring each time it popped-up.

Also, a few faces missing from the episode were sorely missed. Where was S.A.R.A.H., Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) and Grace (Tembi Locke)? Surely, a moment or two could have been spared to include them in the holiday festivities. It just did not feel as complete without the entire “Eureka” family to share in the fun.

Finally, this would have been the perfect opportunity to slip in another unexpected surprise, such as Zane could have also been pretending that he had not noticed Jo’s pain and then secretly gave her a Secret Santa present. The joke would have been priceless since Jo was the one leaving presents for everyone – and then for her to receive one in return, that would have been the true essence of Christmas.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“O Little Town” was written by Eric Tuchman and directed by Matt Hastings. “Eureka” stars Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Jordan Hinson, Erica Cerra, Neil Grayston, Chris Gauthier, Niall Matter, and Trevor Jackson. “Eureka” airs Fridays at 9:00 pm on Syfy.

Related article:

http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/8196/eureka-o-little-town.html

 

 

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