Science And Love Go Well Together: Our Interview With The Cast Of Eureka

We had a chance to sit in on a press conference with the stars of the Syfy TV show Eureka, which premieres its new season July 11th. Here is a transcript of some of the questions answered by Colin Ferguson, who plays Sheriff Jack Carter, and Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who plays Allison Blake.

When asked whether the dynamic of the cast has changed over the show's progression from the beginning to Season 4.5...
Colin Ferguson: It's sort of been an amazing thing to watch actually, to - because we all obviously have actors of all different ages in the cast, and so we've watch sort of 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 insiding and whatnot, and 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 sort of really, you know, doing - 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.

When asked what it's like to pick up a script and find a weird surprise in it...

Colin Ferguson: Okay. 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 to - 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," you know and then you cuss them - and what were you going to say, Sal?

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Well, I was going to say that's what is so fun about doing the show too, is that we get to do - 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 keep - you get to stretch and you get to do different things and I think that's why the fans like the show. It's - you're not bored by the same thing every time.

When asked about how things changed with introducing the alternate timeline...
Colin Ferguson: 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, sort of finally finding our footing and getting our way back after the writer's strike and all of the big Hollywood problems that happened. It made it really difficult even to know if you were going to have a job.

So, we have a really solid group of writers and a really sort of 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."

And 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 sort of, when they got that gesture, they were filled confidence and it just redoubled on itself until we sort of had the energy that we have now.

When asked about the chemistry between the characters of Jack and Allison...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: I think from the very beginning when Colin and I first did our first scene together, you know, you never know if you're going to have chemistry with someone, and ours just - it s just naturally there. And 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. And 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 Ferguson: And I made - and that definitely attributes to Sal. I mean, we haven't had a fight in six years of working together, and 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 Richardson-Whitfield: Well, it's true.

When asked in what ways Salli is most like and least like the character of Allison...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Well, it's funny. I think that I've actually - our characters have become even more alike as the seasons have gone one. She's - I think that I'm not quite as, Colin may disagree, as hard and as tough as I seem.

In this, the last season or so, you get to see a much softer side of Allison and of - with her being a mom, but still having to juggle work. So, I think that we've - our characters actually have come much closer and she's very much like me now.

When asked about their favorite romantic relationship on the show...
Colin Ferguson: Fargo and Holly.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Fargo and - I vote for Fargo and Holly too.

Colin Ferguson: Fargo and Holly.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Because they're both so darned cute that - I'll say that because he can't say that.

Colin Ferguson: And to be honest, you didn't mention it, but I would say my second one is actually Henry and Grace.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Yep.

Colin Ferguson: I really like that relationship too. There's something really warm and there's something really warm and genuine of 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.

When Salli was asked about her directing debut...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Well, I did one last season, I guess you guys will be seeing that coming up this season. I don't know. And I just finished the one that I'm shooting this season. Actually, just finished editing it yesterday, and I just love it.

I had to - it's such a different thing from acting and it's so - you really have to be a - my micromanaging in real life has - it works very well for directing, and it's something that I would like to be the next step in my career. I have a great - luckily I have wonderful actors, you don't really have to direct that much more than say, "Can you tweak this one line?"

And 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. And I'm hoping to do more and more of it. And 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. So action is a man's - 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 do - hopefully do a lot more things.

When asked if either of them were interested in science before they were on the show...
Colin Ferguson: Yes, definitely.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Me, would be "no". I stumble through all my tech talk. Great to the guys they - they love that joke because I'm always...

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, which is a great blooper reel that we won't ever show. A great blooper reel.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: We know when we're doing a read through when they're giving me this tech talk and we're just reading the script for the first time and I'm like, "Oh, you guys are killing me." I'm fine once I get there, but that first time I go through it I'm like, "Oh."

Colin Ferguson: Well, we also mess with Salli, and Sal... actually my sister was in Hawaii two weeks ago and she was like, "Oh, we're going to Haleakala to hike the volcano." We play... because we'll purposely mispronounce words for about ten minutes just before Salli has to do it, like "Haleakala".

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: And I hate messing up on stuff, so I'm like, "Stop it. Stop it. I can barely remember this as it is."

Colin Ferguson: Yeah.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: So for me it's very hard, but Colin is very - the person who doesn't really have to do it, probably is the one who would be the best at it.

Colin Ferguson: I like it. I like science. I like the words. I like the thing. I mean we go into it in a show in an intensely more detailed manner than I ever do on my own, but I'm always interested in sort of what's going on technologically.

When asked if there will be more character crossovers this season...
Colin Ferguson: I think Grayson's doing another one.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Oh, is he? Okay.

Colin Ferguson: I think so. Yeah, I think he's doing another - it's so hard. I think they did one in February, so that'll air this summer. He and Skaggs (Allison Scagliotti) are - or 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, you know, I could get free or Salli could get free is just not - it's not in the cards.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Yeah.

Colin Ferguson: 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.

On how it changes the dynamic...
Colin Ferguson: Well, I would imagine, speaking for myself, if I was to go over to Warehouse 13 and - 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 - that you could, - I know Jack and I know Eddie very well because we did The Circuit together for - I mean the (backing) Circuit for a while, and I did a movie with (Joann).

And so, I know - and then Saul did an episode of Eureka and Skaggs has been on Eureka, so we know them all and we know how - 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."

When Salli was asked if she would ever do a character crossover herself...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: 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 I'd - honestly I'd like to go over there and direct the show. I think that Colin would to.

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

When asked what's the funniest thing that has gone wrong on set this season...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Has gone wrong?

Colin Ferguson: That has gone wrong? Yeah, there's always something going wrong. What happened this year? Some things go wrong and they're not funny, like when Frasier had his collar bone ripped out this year. That was funny. It was the one stunt I've ever said, "You know what," I'd been going through a rough time personally and I said, "You know what, I don't know the scene. I can't do it. Just have Frasier do it." And Frasier went to do it and it tore out his collar bone and I was like, "Okay."

So we have things like that, but I would say the funniest thing that's gone wrong, what would that be? Probably Neil Grayson, a couple years ago, and jump in Sal if you have one, but when he was - we use this stuff called Methocel, which is - Methocel is the stuff that's in McDonald's milkshakes and it's like a food additive. And one of the properties of Methocel, when you get covered in it, is that it wicks all the heat from your body, and then dries so it's really, really cold.

So, basically getting covered with stuff is sort of always an exercise in - and you know Neil was supposed to shoot first and ended up shooting six hours later, so he was covered in this stuff. I think he was painted green, standing in his trailer for six hours and that's because you're covered and you can't sit down and you can't do anything, and he's functionally naked because he was naked in the scene. So, he's got this little banana hammock and a bathing suit on. That provided us with endless amusement.

And then, I guess right before we stopped shooting I was supposed to get - I was, peppered with paintballs, and those - they hurt, but there's this giant plaque that they're supposed to be pounding on, which they systematically missed more times than they hit over the course of the scene. And I'm supposed to be reacting like I'm in pain, which is like good [because I am] and then after the scene, "Aren't you bruised?" In like four or five different places for like a week. Those things kill, the paintballs, so we always get up to no good with stuff like that.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Yeah, Colin usually is the one getting tortured. I'm going to tell you.

When asked what's something people would be surprised to know about you...
Salli Richardson-Whitfield: I play golf. On my time off I play golf every day. I'm a big golfer. That always seems to surprise people. They're like, "Really, you don't look like a golfer." But - so there you go, that's all I can think of.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, I guess people - I'm shy, in my own way and I think...

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: Really?

Colin Ferguson: ...when people get to know me - I'm brash and I'm all sorts of things, and there's this one side of me which is very out there, but people who know me know me as someone who's quite different. I mean, that's always sort of strange for them when they go, "Oh, wow, he's actually quite shy."

Salli Richardson-Whitfield: I'm surprised to know that too.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah. Thanks.

Season 4.5 of Eureka premieres this Monday, July 11th at 8:00 PM ET on Syfy

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