Earlier this week, Syfy held a press conference call with Eddie McClintock, star of Warehouse 13 and this Saturday’s latest Syfy Original Movie, Boogeyman.
Syfy exec Gary Morgenstein started off the call by saying we could ask Eddie anything–to which Eddie replied, “Except for the penis size.” And that pretty much set the tone for this fun Q&A call. (And yes, someone did actually ask that question later in the call!).
Be sure to tune into Syfy tomorrow night at 9/8c to watch the premiere of Boogeyman, and catch all new episodes of Warehouse 13 Mondays at 9/8c!
I was up first with my questions:
Kyle Nolan: With Warehouse 13 you’ve had years to build the chemistry with your co-stars and the crew. How was it different working on this film where it’s such a short time to both film it and get to know everyone?
Eddie McClintock: Well, you know, we filmed this movie in Sofia, Bulgaria in the dead of winter. And my family and I, we all flew out there together and our luggage got stuck in Germany for six days. So it didn’t start off great for us there.
But luckily Amy Bailey and Emma Samms and our director Jeffery Lando and everybody out there was so great. The crew was so great. And, you know, when you work again like any other job really except this is – was more intense because as you say the time, we had less time.
So you either become bonded very quickly or you learn that you can’t stand each other very quickly and luckily we all kind of came together. And I think that shows in the – I saw a very rough cut and even in that rough cut you could see that we all kind of were having a good time.
Kyle Nolan: Your character Michael Samuels is very similar to Pete in some ways. How would you say that the characters are different from each other?
Eddie McClintock: Well, you know, Officer Samuels doesn’t have like a sixth sense, a vibe like Pete does. He’s more serious than Pete. He’s a single father, his wife was killed in an automobile accident, we kind of find that out. And, you know, he’s struggling to deal with that and struggling to deal with being a single dad of two ornery sons.
And at the end of the call, I was able to squeeze in a couple more follow-up questions:
Kyle Nolan: You had mentioned being able to improv. Were your co-stars also used to that or was that a surprise for them when you’d start rattling out these random lines?
Eddie McClintock: You know, most of the time the improvs would be not usually while we were actually rolling. I would talk about the maybe changing a few things here or there before we actually shot it so that everybody was on the same page.
You know, I mean, to me it feels a little disrespectful sometimes to the other actors to start making stuff up arbitrarily during the scene because, you know, people – other actors want to have an opportunity to prepare.
I took, you know, there’s always that time where it’s fun to just get an honest reaction from people but, you know, most of the time it’s always discussed beforehand. By improv I just mean it wasn’t on the – it wasn’t necessarily on the script. We came up with it on the day.
Kyle Nolan: Did the others get involved too, coming up with their own lines?
Eddie McClintock: It was definitely a team effort. The script was in good shape when we got it. There were just a few things situationally that present themselves as you’re going along. Maybe the writer when he wrote it didn’t know exactly how we would be able to present those situations once we were on set so we would have to manipulate the lines a little bit.
And, you know, again I think that everyone was encouraged to bring whatever they thought they should bring to the character. And Jeff Lando our director was a pretty – he was a good leader so he was able to deal with it without, you know, having an ego.
And here’s what else was asked during the call:
Could you talk about how you got involved with Boogeyman and why you decided to go for it?
Eddie McClintock: Yes once Warehouse 13 became a success on the network, you know, I had always – look I had grew up watching, you know, I loved Friday the 13th, The Night of the Living Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Creep Show, you know, Dawn of the Dead.
I mean, that’s the stuff – on Friday nights when I was growing up in Cleveland there was a show called Big Chuck and Hoolihan and they would show creature features on Friday nights. And it’s some of the best memories that I have of growing up is staying up late with my dad and, you know, watching these movies.
So when I had an opportunity to do that on the Syfy Network I really just jumped at it. I just – I wanted to be able to again maybe possibly give some little kid who loves scary movies a chance to have a good time with his family, his brothers or his dad or whoever.
Through all your acting, who has been your biggest inspiration?
Eddie McClintock: The non-actor who is my biggest inspiration would be my dad. You know, my dad raised me pretty much by himself and so he has always been my hero.
But as far as acting is concerned, you know, I remember watching Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead II. A bunch of my – a bunch of the guys on my wrestling team had seen it and they came back and they were like Eddie if anyone is going to love this movie it’s going to be you, you have to see this movie. And this was before I had thought about – really thought about acting.
But when I saw Bruce Campbell doing the things that he did and able to make me laugh in one moment and in the next moment make me feel like I’m in sheer terror, I just thought that was an amazing ability. So kind of he was my inspiration and Sam Raimi, I have always been a big – and John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, and so on.
For people who maybe have shied away from the whole B movie format, what would you say to them to pull them in and tune in Saturday and see this? What makes this different?
Eddie McClintock: Well, you know, like I have a great deal of respect obviously for anyone who gets in front of the camera and has the courage to – or anyone who gets behind the camera and tries to make a film because it’s hard and it can be embarrassing.
So, you know, I love – even though I love movies about half men, half mosquitoes or off the cuff just happen to also be part ferret, I wanted to – if I was going to do one of these movies I wanted it to be more of a straight up like horror than, you know, and I just thought Boogeyman, you know, this is more of a straight up and down horror film like what I’m used to growing up with before they started, you know, animals.
And so for me it’s more of a downstream horror film than normally what you’ll let’s say have been given on the network previous to this. You know, also I wanted to make sure that people knew we weren’t taking ourselves too seriously which seems to be a running through line for most jobs I do.
You know, when I arrived in Bulgaria Jeffery Lando our director said to me, he goes, well Syfy basically said, you know, if you want to change things and make things funnier or do whatever you want to do you’ve got permission, you know, as long as we see eye to eye.
And fortunately he and I got along great and so there were chances for me to kind of in my own not as funny, not as talented way to be able to give a shout out to Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. And hopefully people will see that there are actual scares and bumps to this and then you might even get a few chuckles, you know. The boys who play my sons are good together and Amy Bailey who plays my partner is great. I think we did an honorable job.
What are the chances of the Cleveland Browns going to the Super Bowl this year?
Eddie McClintock: Hey look, you know, until basically every year until the second quarter of the first game I’m hopeful. So, you know, I think we’ve got that new quarterback who’s, you know, old enough to be able to step in and play in the league I think.
And that new running back that we got, the Heisman Trophy winner from Arkansas I think it is, and he – I think he’s going to be able to – he’s going to be forced to come in and play right away. And, you know, I’m looking up as are the rest of my Cleveland compatriots.
The writer David Reed is associated with Supernatural and Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica. Could comment on how you found the writing, and was it the writing that brought you to the project?
Eddie McClintock: Yes, you know, I have actually never met the writer although we’re friends on Facebook which is always good. When I say that Jeffery said that Syfy gave me carte blanche in regards to changing lines, there wasn’t a whole lot to change.
Again as you said, I thought that it was a fun script. I love the Cain and Able tie-in. I think it was a great idea. It makes things – anytime you get into like biblical characters for some reason it’s always scarier especially if you are a recovering Catholic like I am.
So I thought that it was a lot of fun, you know, and I just basically injected my own brand of, you know, silliness into it at some point.
Could you talk a little bit about your co-star Amy Bailey who many of us may be unfamiliar with?
Eddie McClintock: Well Amy Bailey is a former ballerina and she lives in the UK and she is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met. She was amazing. And Emma Samms who is a kind of television legend in her own right came over and helped us out.
And, you know, we had fun, we got along, it was – the conditions were horrific. As I said it was in the middle of the Bulgarian winter. Any of the interiors that you see are basically exteriors, they’re outside. And a lot of the interiors have just this clean roofs on them so there was no real – even when you were indoors you never really were indoors, you were still outdoors. It was always cold.
And, you know, we just – UFO, the makers of the film did the best they could and kept us warm as best they could and we made the best out of a tough situation, you know. It’s a lot of hours and in the middle of the Bulgarian winter. But my co-stars were great. And I think you’re going to see more from Amy Bailey. She is – I think she’s really talented.
The Boogeyman is kind of like an urban legend. Being a parent yourself, are there any folklore stories or urban legends that you grew up with that you will share with your kids?
Eddie McClintock: Well, you know, in regards to that, I try to scare them as little as possible although I did tell them about, you know, because parents aren’t allowed to spank their kids anymore.
But, you know, I told them the other day, I said, you know, when I was a kid your Pap-Pap used to spank me with a belt. I used to go and have to pick out the belt and then I would get spanked with the belt. So unless you guys want to get spanked with a belt I suggest, you know, you straighten up. And they did.
So that’s a pretty good urban legend, you know. You know, it’s the best way that I have learned to keep my kids in control just short of actually making them pick out their own belt.
This role of Sheriff Samuels, you say he is also a single father and you mentioned that your dad also raised you alone. Was that something that really drew you to this project or did you draw on that experience that you had growing up?
Eddie McClintock: Oh yes, I mean, there are times when you see Sheriff Samuels trying to, you know, figure out what’s the best way to deal with his kids under these weird, crazy circumstances.
And, you know, I mean, even though there is a lot of tongue-in-cheek in this movie there were moments where I really needed to kind of settle down and be serious. And I always try and use situations from my past with my dad and other stuff to help my work so definitely, yes.
The characters that you take from paper to the flesh, do they ever revisit you when you’re done or are you able to release them?
Eddie McClintock: I mean, they do because so much of the characters that I play come from just who I am. I mean, I guess that’s just how I learned to be an actor was to, you know, Ivana Chubbuck who was my acting coach for so many years, you know, Charlize Theron and I started off together and Ivana also – she coached Halle Berry, Halle Berry thanked her when she won her Academy Award, Charlize thanked Ivana when she won her Academy Award and Elizabeth Shue when she won her Academy Award for Leaving Las Vegas.
So I had a great coach and, you know, what I’m – what I was taught to do was use real circumstances and situations from my own life and substitute them for what the character is going through.
So most of the time I’m just reliving things that have happened to me in the past. So yes I would say the characters – all the characters that I have ever played stay with me, you know, because I am a huge part of them.
When you’re deeply connected and you’re immersed in a role, do you ever dream but it’s not yours but rather one of your character’s dreams?
Eddie McClintock: Yes that’s an interesting thought. I guess I hadn’t really thought of it that way but I suppose that could happen, especially if I had been drinking heavily.
What’s the drink of choice?
Eddie McClintock: Vitamin D milk in a dirty glass.
Is there any characteristic of Pete this season that was so complex or that is complex that you have to take time to still adjust to it?
Eddie McClintock: You know, I wish I could tell you that, you know, it takes me hours, you know, of meditation to get into character and all that. But even for like my death scene this year, if you saw the premiere episode which I don’t know, from the comments I’ve been getting a lot of people think that maybe that has been the strongest thing I’ve done on the show. It didn’t take me that long to get into it.
I just – I don’t know, I imagine what I’m supposed to be going through and then I just kind of go through it. It just depends on what the director thinks about it, whether I move on or whether we go again.
I think I said that, you know, I get a lot of my inspiration from films that I have seen before just short of stealing from some of my favorite actors. There is a scene where Johnny Depp gets killed in Platoon and so, you know, I used part of that.
And then there was Giovanni Ribisi gets killed in Saving Private Ryan and I just thought he was so amazing in that and so strong and, you know, being able to be strong in the face of death. And just as an actor it’s such a cool thing. So I guess I just try and use those things as inspiration.
So what’s your penis size? No just kidding.
Eddie McClintock: I can say this — it’s not very long but it’s really skinny.
When you were a kid were you afraid of the Boogeyman?
Eddie McClintock: Well, you know, I grew up on, you know, I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Wolfman and, you know, Chaney and Lugosi and, you know, all the Universal horror films. So when I asked my parents if I could go see the original Friday the 13th on an Easter Sunday, I think I was in seventh grade and I went to a matinee – I don’t know how I was ever allowed into the film because I was just a little kid and I went with my best buddy.
And I remember walking home we had to walk through – because I’m from Ohio so we had to walk through a field and I just thought what could be underneath – because there was like a chest high grass. And I just started thinking what is under – what if something jumps out at me.
And that kind of carried over. I had bunk beds in my room and my room was at the top of the stairs. And I ended up sleeping in my parents’ room for three weeks. That movie scared me so badly my dad went to see it on his own so that he could see what it was that scared me.
That I would say, the original Friday the 13th, Jason or his mother, she scared me. Because then I was like what, the guy’s mom, it’s not a monster, it’s a person and she’s talking to the moon? That scared me. So I guess that was my Boogeyman.
What was it like when you were reading this script and you saw the reveal of who the Boogeyman was? Because it’s a pretty interesting reveal.
Eddie McClintock: Well yes, as I said, being a recovering Catholic, you know, anytime you throw in biblical characters into a horror story it always seems to make it more real and a little more frightening because we’re taught to be so afraid of God and all that stuff.
So, you know, I thought it was a great twist and it definitely was one of the things that had me leaning toward doing this. You know, I just thought that it was – it would be cool for everybody.
And what will Gary let you tell us is going to happen in the next few episodes of Warehouse 13?
Gary Morgenstein: Very little.
Eddie McClintock: Pete makes some fart jokes, he acts like a fool, he saves the world. Artie grumbles, Claudia snarks, and Joanne OCDs.
Gary Morgenstein: Perfect. Are you on message or what? I mean really.
Eddie McClintock: There you go. I know the company line.
Can you tell us a little about the Boogeyman creature, and what you think makes it stand out as a memorable creature?
Eddie McClintock: Well again, I’m just a fan of downstream horror and sci fi films so this seemed to be – it just seemed to make sense to me. You know, I don’t know if they’re taught about the Boogey – if kids are taught about the Boogeyman as much these days, you know, maybe this will reinvigorate the legend of the Boogeyman.
But, you know, as a kid it was always fun to stay up late and, you know, I don’t think we were still using candles back then but I remember, you know, staying up with my buddies and telling ghost stories. And, you know, this is kind of a modern day telling of the Boogeyman ghost story with some biblical references in there which is really cool.
You know, the Boogeyman, we actually even get to see the Boogeyman so it’s always the Boogeyman is under your bed and at one point in the movie the Boogeyman is actually under the bed so it’s kind of a cool call back to the original story. I just think, you know, he’s a scary guy and he does – he can do some serious damage but we do our best to, you know, kick his butt as it were.
Besides you being in it, what else do you think would appeal to Warehouse 13 fans watching this show versus – watching this movie versus the show?
Eddie McClintock: You know, if you’re a fan of horror films, if you’re a fan of, you know, a little bit of guts and a little bit of glory and with the laughs, then I think you’re – it’s for you.
I mean, you know, it’s nothing to be – it’s not one of those movies that’s going to just scare you to death, you know, it’s not like oh I can’t watch scary movies, I shouldn’t watch that. Because it’s not, you know, real heavy on the scares. It’s, you know, bump scares and chuckles from me and chuckles from the boys. You know, it’s pretty tongue-in-cheek really.
So but, you know, as Warehouse 13 fans have found, you know, you get a little bit of everything in an episode of Warehouse 13. And hopefully we were able to, you know, draw parallels in regards to being able to give the viewer a little bit of everything in this movie.
Is there any moment on set with this movie that stood out to you, like a funny moment, a goof up or just something that was memorable to you?
Eddie McClintock: There is – I guess my personal favorite is there is a scene where my character is talking to my partner and she is distracted. And you know when you’re talking to someone who you can tell isn’t really listening, you’ll say something outlandish so that you can see if she is actually – or he or she is actually paying attention.
Well there is a moment like that in the film and they let me do a little improv that I’m sure the viewers will recognize immediately that probably came from me. That to me is kind of my funny moment.
And then there is – even in the trailer where Pete says let’s boogie. That was again my little shout out to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell and I wanted to make people smile a little bit during that.
So you talk about how you always put yourself in the characters and that you pull a lot from yourself and your own life. But has there been anything either a part of a character or a scene or something where you really had to work at it because you couldn’t find something that happened to you to connect to or that was really unlike you?
Eddie McClintock: I mean, I think that there will always be those moments. You know, I have never died in real life so it’s hard to – well you know what I’m saying?
So when you’re dying it’s your job as an actor to, you know, try and get to the place where you feel you would be, right, in those moments before you would go would you be panicked, would you be clear, you know?
For me I would hope that I would be clear and so I get to actually live out what I would hope would be my last moments. You know, I’d be brave for the people around me and be, you know, thinking about the people that you love and stuff like that.
I mean, I think that – I would like to think that there are no moments that I could not play if I needed to. Again, you know, you just – it’s about substitution, right? So you take something that will bring about an emotional response.
And it doesn’t really have to even be in the same line of – it doesn’t have to be in the same context of whatever the scene is, as long as it gives you an emotional response. So I think there is always the ability to have an emotional response to a certain scene.
If you could decide, what show on Syfy would you like to see Pete cross over onto?
Eddie McClintock: Oh you know what would be cool is to go to Defiance. I hear such great things. I would also like to – I talked to David Strathairn and I just said, I was like David you’ve got to come over and do an episode of Warehouse 13. I would love to be able to go and work with him and work with the people over there too.