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July 26, 2014

Neil Grayston Geeks Out Over the 'Eureka'/'Warehouse 13' Crossover

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 23rd 2010 1:20PM
neil grayston eureka syfyNeil Grayston, the Canadian actor who plays bumbling nerd Douglas Fargo on Syfy's 'Eureka,' spent his summer doing things most geeks only dream about; like tinkering with larger-than-life science experiments and cozying up to 'Warehouse 13' cutie Allison Scagliotti.

'Eureka' returned to the tube earlier this month with a rebooted timeline that turned the oft-mocked Fargo into the director of Global Dynamics, the high-tech science imaginaruim at the heart of the show.

The new timeline gives Fargo more room to grow, Grayston says, and it gives viewers a chance to experience the show in a whole new light.

Grayston will pull double duty in August appearing on 'Eureka' and visiting Syfy sister series 'Warehouse 13' in a special crossover episode. We caught up with him recently to talk about the crossover event, the new fourth season of 'Eureka,' and what it feels like to be covered in green goo.

Congratulations on the new season of 'Eureka.' I've seen the first two episodes and they were enormously entertaining.

Thanks, yeah, we've got a pretty exciting season coming up, actually. I've seen the one that airs this Friday and it's pretty impressive to.

There are lots of changes happening on the show this season, some small and some very very big, with the new timeline. What was your reaction when you read the scripts and discovered how much things would change for Fargo and for all the other characters?

Well, actually what had happened was, I was here in LA in December and I decided to visit the writers' room and talk to them, because I'd never actually been down to see them. And they told me about the whole time change thing and they filled me in on what was gonna be happening this season, and my reaction was kind of like "Shut Up," mixed with a happy dance.

This looks like its gonna be a pretty big year for Fargo, with the new timeline possibly giving the character more room to grow. That must be pretty exciting for you.

Yeah, it's really good. He's been thrust into this position now as the director of Global Dynamics, and he doesn't really know how the "other" Fargo got to be that guy and what he did to accomplish that. So he's got to figure out how to balance running this new thing and not knowing how to do it at all without also giving up the fact that he's from an alternate timeline. So there's a lot of fun stuff for me.

Makes you wonder if there' gonna be a '13 Going on 30' type situation, where he realizes that the "other" Fargo was a huge jerk.

Yeah, I think that's actually a specific line from the next episode, like, "Other me was kind of a jerk," or something like that.

So what other changes can we expect from Fargo in his new role as the head of GD? He's got power and influence now. Will that change him a lot?


It sort of does. What I've basically been doing is sort of playing him two ways where he has his public persona with everybody else from this alternate timeline, but he's still normal, wacky Fargo with the six who came back from time. So I get to have fun balancing playing the jerk in front of everyone but still being crazy little Fargo with the others, so it's been a really fun experience for me.

You know, the alternate timeline and all the changes make the show feel fresh this year and like almost anything can happen.

Yeah. Everyone sort of came into it with renewed vigor. And we had to go back and figure out our characters and figure out the world. And I think the reboot works for new viewers as well; you can just sort of jump in in season 4 and kind of discover 'Eureka' again or for the first time.

I've been checking out some of the message boards and stuff just to see what people think, and it seems like people are really liking it. Some people have even been saying, "Oh, I didn't watch it after the first season, but I just decided to flick it on and holy ... this is really good! I can't wait for next week." And that's kind of all you really want when you're making a TV show, right, is for people to really dig it like that?

Right. I have to say, though, I'm nervous about the alternate timeline resetting itself and seeing things go back to normal. Is the concept of possibly erasing all these new changes something that future episodes will explore?

Yeah, you can't do an alternate timeline and not explain it, right? So we definitely delve more into the science-y aspects of that and the repercussions of it. But, as far as I know, it's here to stay, which I really like.

And speaking of future episodes, I've read that there's gonna be a musical episode and a zombie episode. Will we see Fargo singing and dancing this season?

Yeah, you know, it's the 'Eureka'-fied version of it, but the zombie episode, it's called 'All the Rage,' actually airs this week with Wil Wheaton as the guest star. It's not undead zombies eating brains or anything, but there definitely is a very strong '28 Days Later' vibe to it. I got to see it already, and it's got some parts that are actually genuinely scary. It's pretty cool. It's a little bit of a departure, but it's still a lot of 'Eureka' fun.

And the musical one, that's actually not a full-on musical episode, it's a Christmas episode or a Christmas special. And Jordan Hinson who plays Zoe and Chris Gauthier who plays Vincent and myself, we sing a lot a lot Christmas songs, so plug your ears, because my voice aint a singin' voice.

OK. I'm looking forward to seeing WIl Wheaton on the show. He's a former TV Squad columnist and a friend of the blog.

Oh, no way! Cool.

Yeah. So what was it like working with him, the sci-fi TV vet from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation?'

He was great. He was such a down to Earth guy and really friendly. He's actually introducing the episode at Comic-Con this weekend so it'll be nice to see him again. We got along really well actually, and I hope to see him back on the show. He's a cool guy.

And you have James Callis ('Battlestar Galactica') as a new cast member on the show. How do you like working with him?

Oh, he's great. He's awesome. He's a really, really sweet guy, and funny. I was a really big 'Battlestar' fan and I was also a fan of his in 'Bridget Jones' Diary,' because the character is quite hilarious. So getting to work with him was awesome. And the thing was, I though I would've kept on going, like, "Man, I'm working with Baltar! This is amazing!" But he made Trevor, or Dr. Grant, so much his own character that it's more like, "Hey, I'm working with Dr. Grant." I think he's doing really great this season.

So let's talk about 'Warehouse 13.'

Ah, yes!

Speaking as a fan of both shows, it's exciting that we're gonna see two crossover episodes this season, one involving Allison Scagliotti's Claudia from 'Warehouse' visiting 'Eureka' and one involving Fargo visiting 'Warehouse.' So it's kind of like a tech geek swap.

Yeah, exactly. A tech geek team-up!

What was it like working on another Syfy show?


It was fantastic. It was such a comfortable set for me, because I know all the cast of 'Warehouse' and Allison is one of my best friends, and the director Chris Fisher had directed an episode of 'Eureka' ... so it was just like, "Oh great, I'm very, very comfortable here."

Most of the scenes were me, Allison (Scagliotti) and Saul (Rubinek, who plays Artie on 'Warehouse 13') running around. Saul is just like a powerhouse of an actor and such a nice guy; so it was kind of like getting paid to go to acting school just watching him work. I learned, like, so much from that. And I got to hang out with my best bud Allison for two weeks. It was awesome.

So what happens in the crossover? Does Fargo break any Warehouse artifacts?

(Laughs) No, but he does try to touch some. He's sent over to update the computer system, and unbeknownst to everyone else there's a little failsafe that has been programmed into this completely ancient system. And the Warehouse gets locked down, Pete and Myka are on the outside trying to track down the guy who created the computer, and Artie and Fargo and Claudia are running around trying to not get killed by this computer. It's pretty fun.

And you also worked with Allison also on her 'Eureka' guest spot. Claudia and Fargo seem like they share some common ground and expertise, but they're two very different characters. What's their onscreen relationship like? Does Fargo have a crush on her like everyone else who watches the show does?

There's definitely some sparks between the two. You know, when geeks get together, geek love must happen!

Let's talk about Comic-Con. Word is that you'll be moderating the 'Warehouse' panel and, of course, joining in on the 'Eureka' panel.

Yup, and Allison is gonna be doing the 'Eureka' panel.

Can you tease any surprises for the panels or talk about what we can expect there?

Well, I'm still in the process of getting all my ducks in a row, but I do know that we are announcing a new guest star for the back half of season 4, and I don't even know who it is yet. So that's a little bit of excitement.

So do you get mobbed when you try to walk the Comic-Con floor?

I can usually walk the floor fine. I've got a couple artist friends who have some booths and stuff, and I'll go check out comics. But then if one person recognizes me that's when the chain reaction happens and that's when security is like, "OK, we gotta get you off the floor."

We started a pretty crazy thing last year. ('Eureka' co-stars) Joe Morton, Erica (Cerra) and I were walking by Leonard Nimoy's booth, and Leonard Nimoy had cast Joe Morton in, like, the first movie he ever did. So some of the crowd recognized the 'Eureka' people and then they realized that the 'Eureka' people were talking to the 'Star Trek' people and then it created this black hole vortex thing of people just swarming around us. Security came and was, like, "You guys have to leave right now," and they escorted us away while some people were still like "Can I get a picture! Can I get a picture?"

I don't think security was protecting you; they were probably just trying to prevent people's heads from exploding at that moment!


(Laughs) Ahhh, nerdgasm!

So one more question about 'Eureka.' It's not a stretch to say that Fargo is humiliated a lot on the show. He gets talked down to, he gets beaten up and blamed for things, and if someone is gonna end up covered in goo or trapped in the past completely naked, it's gonna be Fargo ...


Yes, exactly. I think that's partly my fault for being so amenable to all that stuff. Like, (show creator) Jaime Paglia will tell me, "Yeah, so, you're not gonna like this, but we're thinking of having you upside down on a wire flying through a window through all kinds of stuff," and usually I'm like, "Awesome, I get to do wire work? That's great, sign me up!" And then all of a sudden you're in the middle of winter covered in the coldest goo alive, naked and painted green and you're, like, "Why? Why was I so into this before?"

I was gonna say it's like you're 'Eureka's whipping boy.

Yeah, exactly. And I wouldn't do anything different.

('Eureka' airs Fridays at 9PM ET. The 'Warehouse 13' episode featuring Grayston, "13.1," premieres Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 9PM. The 'Eureka' episode with Grayston and 'Warehouse 13' star Allison Scagliotti premieres on Friday, Aug. 6 at 9PM.)

(Follow @mikemoody on Twitter.)

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Bob Andelman

Neil Grayston and Eureka fans will also enjoy this Mr. Media video interview with "Fargo": http://www.mrmedia.com/?p=1951

July 18 2011 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric

Saul Rubinek already played a character on Eureka! I think it was an early episode where Rubinek can heal himself

July 23 2010 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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