[caption id="attachment_3182" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The cast of Warehouse 13 - Allison Scagliotti (Claudia), Saul Rubenik (Artie), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Genelle Williams (Leena) and Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer). Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
WAREHOUSE 13's action-packed season finale, MacPherson, features guest-appearances by CCH Pounder and Roger Rees). After a failed attempt to take Artie's life, MacPherson (Roger Rees) is now selling dangerous artifacts, stolen from the Warehouse shelves, on the black market. Artie and Leena also suspect that there's a mole in the Warehouse who is secretly aligned with MacPherson - could it be Claudia? Meanwhile, as the team hunts down MacPherson, they realize too late that his capture is a carefully orchestrated trap to destroy them. MacPherson airs Tuesday, September 22nd @ 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CT on The Syfy Channel.
As noted above, photo copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
[caption id="attachment_2835" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Eddie McClintock as Secret Service Agent Pete Lattimer in Warehouse 13. Photo by Justin Stephens and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
Are you familiar with the old adage, "No good deed goes unpunished?" Secret Service Agent Pete Lattimer certainly is. In the two-hour pilot for the new Syfy Channel series Warehouse 13, he and fellow agent Myka Bering thwart an attack on the Mexican ambassador's daughter by a man possessed by a carved stone head known as the "Aztec Bloodstone." When Pete fails to stop a thief, who takes the artifact and then disappears in front of the agent's eyes in a flash of light, he is temporarily suspended pending an investigation.
The "thief" is, in fact Artie Nielsen, also a Secret Service agent and in charge of Warehouse 13, a top-secret government facility in South Dakota and home to objects, like the bloodstone, considered dangerous to the public. Much to Pete's and Myka's surprise, they are reassigned to help Artie track down and retrieve other artifacts. Their first assignment takes them to Iowa where a 15th century comb is wrecking havoc. Like his alter ego, Warehouse 13's Eddie McClintock, who plays Pete, will not soon forget his first day on the job.
"It was so freaking cold," says McClintock laughing. "On the first day of filming it was around zero degrees and the entire crew was wearing Arctic gear, I'm not kidding you, and Joanne Kelly [Myka Bering] and I had to be dressed as though we were in Denver, Colorado on a balmy evening. I'm from Ohio, so I'm OK with the cold, but, man, this was so bad that every time they said, 'Cut!' Joanne and I would sprint inside just to get warm because our teeth were chattering. And as soon as they called, 'Action,' we'd have to stop our teeth from chattering.
"That's the first thing that comes to mind about working on the pilot. The second thing that sticks out for me is thinking how incredibly fortunate I am to have such an amazing job. And then scene-wise, there was the ferret scene in the Warehouse where I'm standing there with Joanne, who is just fantastic, along with Saul Rubenik [Artie], whose body of work I have great respect for. The ridiculousness of me holding this ferret, which was basically up my nose for most of that scene, was just so surreal, and to be acting with Saul and Joanne was the icing on the cake. It's one of those moments that remind me again how lucky I am to be able to do what I love, make money at it, and feed my family."
Growing up in Ohio, McClintock was a keen wrestler, including in college where he studied design. "I thought for sure I'd end up being a graphic illustrator or designer," notes the actor. "I always loved movies, though, and one of the major bonds I had with my dad was through films. He and I would go to the movies and then come home and recite all the lines. I was also a fan of the original Saturday Night Live cast - the Not Ready For Primetime Players - and imitating all those characters and skits, but I was never pushed in that direction as far as pursuing a career.
[caption id="attachment_2836" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The cast of Warehouse 13 (L-R): Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), Saul Rubenik (Artie Nielsen), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Genelle Williams (Leena) and Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer). Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
"After college I wanted to move to California, in particular, Los Angeles. My uncle owns an insurance company out there, so he asked me to come be a part of his company. However, he fired me after seven months, because I was useless as an insurance salesman. My heart wasn't in it and he could tell. From there, I began working as a production assistant, and after three years I met some people from a small agency called LA Talent. They did a lot of commercial work, and with their help I wound up booking a series of Coors Light beer commercials. After that I decided, 'I'm going to start taking [acting] classes.' I did that for almost three years before ever going on my first audition because I knew that compared to other people I was incredibly green and didn't want to blow any opportunities. My first national job was two lines on The Young and the Restless, and now here I am today."
When it comes to McClintock's role on Warehouse 13, the uninitiated might automatically assume that Pete Lattimer is just another in a long line of cookie-cutter government types. However, that was the further thing from the actor's mind when it came time to audition.
"David Simkins[writer/executive producer] did a great job with the pilot script and I wanted to approach it a little differently," he recalls. "With Pete being Secret Service, I figured everyone would come to the audition wearing black suits and ties, so I came in jeans and an old t-shirt and unshaven because I saw Pete as kind of down on his luck. He ends up basically getting fired from his job in the pilot because they think he stole an artifact, and I always try to find the comedy in something, even when it's not necessarily written.
"So I read for David, and he told me later that I pretty much wasn't even going to make it through to the next round of auditions. While my audition was entertaining, he hadn't really seen my character that way. However, as the day went on, he thought, 'That might be one way to do it.' So he had me back for the network test and on that day I really tried to put a comedic bend on the material. Joanne [Kelly] and I read together, and she blew a line, so I made fun of her, and she [jokingly] punched me. Joanne was supposed to call me a 'showboat,' but it came out 'showbot.' Then I began doing the robot dance with a Michael Jackson flourish - this was before his passing, obviously.
"Joanne and I kind of forgot that we were singing for our supper and just had fun up there for a minute, which, I think, is pretty much what got us the job. Mark Stern [Executive Vice President of Original Programming at Syfy] remarked, 'That's the show right there. Those two doing what they were doing.' I've said this before, but most actors, including me, are terrified to make a mistake when auditioning because you almost never get a second chance. So to actually be hired because of a mistake is ironic and interesting. It goes to show you that you're allowed to make a mistake in the audition room. It's how you then deal with it that could make all the difference."
[caption id="attachment_2837" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="(L-R): Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly and Mark Stern. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
There was a bit of a gap between filming the Warehouse 13 pilot and the start of work on the show's first season. As with all new roles, it took McClintock a little time to settle back into the groove of playing Agent Lattimer. "The greatest initial challenge for me with Pete was really not trying to figure out who he was, but, instead, just think, 'I am Pete, Pete is me,' and allow who I am to come out in my performance," explains the actor.
"I've tried to make Pete who I am because it's my desire to let everyone who's watching know that a leading man can be funny and still be strong, loyal and heroic. Most TV programs don't really let the hero show a silly side, and I guess it's important to me to let people know that you can still have a good time and be competent at what you do. I appreciate, too, that our writers have made Pete a recovering alcoholic because it gives him more depth. It makes you go, 'Wait a minute, this guy has issues.' Guess what, people have issues, and some funny people tend to have the most issues because they use their comedy to deal with things. That's there defense mechanism."
Right from the start, the relationship between Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering is not unlike that of oil and water. He addresses a problem in a more off-the-cuff manner and using his gut instinct, while she prefers to employ a more serious, by-the-book approach. Like all good partnerships, they eventually come to realize that neither way is right or wrong, but that a balance of both is the best possible way to get the job done right.
"Certainly one of the biggest ways my character continues to grow is in his relationship with Myka," says McClintock. "In the beginning, he didn't understand Myka and really didn't much care to. However, having now spent all this time with her, Pete has come to respect as well as care for her. He understands why she is the way she is, and he's constantly trying to get her to be more like him. But I think Pete has learned not to push too hard and she, in turn, has warmed up and come around and kind of loosened up a bit. So that's been a major change in my character - his willingness to accept Myka for who she is."
One of Pete's attributes that Myka has not quite come to share is his, and Artie's, passion for cookies, preferably homemade. In the Warehouse 13 pilot, Artie entices Pete into the Warehouse with an offer of freshly baked cookies. "I think the whole cookie thing is great," says McClintock with a laugh. "It's kind of a happy mistake. I don't know if we even planned on hitting on it that hard, but when, in the pilot, we got such a good reaction from Artie's line, 'I made cookies,' and Pete's, 'Oooo...,' that we decided to make my character a cookie lover. It just so happens that my wife and I are crazy about chocolate chip cookies, and every day when we get on the treadmill we ask each other, 'Why do we like them so much?'"
[caption id="attachment_2838" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="Pete Lattimer in the Warehouse 13 episode "Magnetism." Photo by Philippe Bosse and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
In the season one Warehouse 13 episode Claudia, Artie is kidnapped by a young girl from his past, Claudia Donovan, who needs his help to re-create an experiment that she believes will bring her dead brother back to life. Their efforts are rewarded, and despite Claudia's unconventional approach to procuring his assistance, Artie befriends her and invited Claudia to join his team. McClintock was happy to help his fellow cast and crew welcome actress Allison Scagliotti (Claudia) to the Warehouse family.
"Allison is great," he says. "She's sharp, sassy and young, so she brings new blood to the show, not to mention the whole geek-tech thing. And for totally selfish reasons, aside from the fact that Allison is terrific, she opens up a whole new demographic for the series, which brings in that many more viewers. I read on-line where people were talking about the fact that there's going to be all these new Claudia icons after she did the Mr. Spock 'Live Long and Prosper' Vulcan salute [in the episode Burnout], and I'm thrilled about that. It means people are really buying into the show as well as the Claudia character and I couldn't be happier.
"When you hear that they [the producers] are bringing someone new onto a show, you sometimes think, 'Will it work? Will they fit in? We've got a good thing here; what if this person doesn't make the cut?' Frankly, not only has Allison made the cut, but she also adds to much so the series, especially in her relationship with Artie, which is fun to watch because they're both amazingly good at what they do - the characters and the actors playing them."
In their short time working with Artie, Pete and Myka have collected several artifacts including a Euphoria record (Resonance), capable of producing a song that immobilizes its listeners; James Braid's chair (Magnetism), which causes those who sit in it to act out their subconscious desires; and a Native American buckskin coat (Elements) that allows its wearer to walk through solid objects. In the aforementioned Burnout, the agents race against the clock to find the Spine of the Saracen, which can turn its wearer into a killing machine capable of discharging massive amounts of electricity. When the Spine attaches itself to Pete, he must make the ultimate sacrifice in order to destroy it.
"There was a ton of exposition that I had to get out in the scene where Pete decides to commit suicide, or take a bullet as they say for the sake of the Warehouse, his country, his friends, the world," says McClintock. "When I first read that scene it was pretty terrifying. I could just picture a giant ham sandwich," chuckles the actor. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, this could be so hammy if it's not done correctly.' So on the day of filming I said to our director, who is this amazing, guy, Constantine Makris, 'Look, I have an idea of how this should be done.' So he gave me free reign, and I was pleased with how it turned out. It's probably the trickiest thing I've done so far acting-wise on the series.
[caption id="attachment_2839" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pete tries to figure out if Gilbert Radburn (James Naughton) is hiding something in "Elements." Photo by Philippe Bosse and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
"Not to sound artsy-fartsy or anything like that, but it was really freeing to be able to show that much emotion and be that connected to a scene. It's kind of like running on a treadmill for six miles. When you're done, you're exhausted, but you feel exhilarated, and that's why I do this [acting]."
Artie's response to Pete's predicament in Burnout gave viewers further insight into the relationship that is developing between both characters. "Pete's father died when was very young, so I think he considers Artie to be his surrogate father, and Artie sees Pete as one of his kids," says McClintock. "In Burnout, when Myka tells Artie and Claudia that the Spine was on Pete, you could tell it really hit them hard, and I like at the end of the episode where Pete is joking about how this mission really 'killed him,' and how Artie is truly concerned.
"There's a wonderful family dynamic that our writers have set up and I'm so thrilled about that because it gives the show heart and makes it about a lot of different things. It's not just about the silliness, or the artifacts, or Pete and Myka going off on a treasure hunt. In the end, it's about a family trying in their own way to get by, and I'm so glad that the writers have given us that to play."
Prior to Warehouse 13, McClintock was a regular in four other series, Holding the Baby, A.U.S.A., Stark Raving Mad and Crumbs. The actor has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and guest-starred on such shows as Friends, Felicity, House, Sex and the City, Spin City and Shark. Audience have also seen his work in recurring roles on Desperate Housewives and Bones.
"On Desperate Housewives I got to work with Eva Longoria [Gabrielle Solis] and Ricardo Chavira, who plays her husband [Carlos], and I have to tell you, he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met," says McClintock. "He was so nice to me that I was looking around thinking, 'Am I being punked?' Ricardo was just a really cool dude and Eva was terrific, too. So it was a positive experience and I had a ball. To be embraced by everyone who worked there meant a lot to me as well as my confidence as an actor.
"With Bones I finally got to meet David Boreanaz [Special Agent Seeley Booth], which was interesting because for the past few years I'd been saying that I was going to write a book called Living in the Shadow of Boreanaz," jokes the actor. "At least twice a week someone would come up to me thinking I was David and ask for my autograph or want to talk about Buffy or Angel. I've always found it funny, and when I was on Bones, David said to me, 'You do know who you look like, right? Craig Sheffer.' That's someone else who everyone used to think I looked like, and when I actually met Craig, he said, 'Hey, dude, you look just like me.' I said, 'I know, and we both look like David Boreanaz.' And Craig said, 'Yes, and Josh Brolin, too.'
"It was cool getting to work on Bones and I think it was also good preparation for Warehouse 13, although my character of Sully [Special Agent Tim Sullivan] wasn't quite as loose as Pete is."
[caption id="attachment_2840" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Eddie McClintock visits The Big Apple. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
Although McClintock might work in an industry that is devoted to make-believe, the things that make his career rewarding for him as very much real. "I could lie and tell you that it's not fun when I'm on a plane and the stewardess says, 'Oh, my God, you're the guy from Warehouse 13,' and starts jumping up and down like a teenager. After 12 years, to have somebody recognize me for who I am and for my work, and not as David Boreanaz or Craig Sheffer, that's rewarding, not to mention fun and exciting," says the actor.
"Another rewarding thing is being able to give my wife and children the kind of life that I think a good husband and father should provide. Then there's being able to work with people whose careers speak for themselves. I think, 'Hey, I must be doing something right.' I stood nose-to-nose in a scene with James Woods when I did an episode of Shark, and that was such a rush because he's a brilliant actor as well as an icon. It's also rewarding to have my manager, Ric Beddingfield - who took me on when I had nothing and had done nothing - stick with me. After all this time I'm able to show him that all his hard work has been for a good cause.
"This is an incredibly difficult business, and every once in a while it will let you take a small drink of success. At least that's been my path. I've continued to work, but have never had a hit series. I've done five shows and ten pilots, so for the Syfy Channel to fly me to New York to help ring the closing bell at NASDAQ, that was surreal. And on Saturday [August 15th, 2009] I'm throwing out the pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays game in front of something like 40,000 people. I'm terrified," he laughs, "but it's going to be awesome. There are so many rewards to what I'm doing, and hopefully I've kept in perspective the ones that truly matter, and then the ones that are just fun life experiences."
Steve EramoAs noted above, photos by Philippe Bosse, Heidi Gutman or Justin Stephens and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
[caption id="attachment_2258" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Allison Scagliotti as Claudia Donovan in Warehouse 13. Photo by Justin Stephens and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
Knock, knock - everyone is familiar with this opening to an age-old joke, right? It is no laughing matter, though, when a nameless hacker uses this as a calling card to announce that they have gained access to the US government's top secret storage facility for a myriad of strange objects, artifacts and relics, all of which possess unusual powers. Its caretaker, Artie Nielsen, is none-too-pleased with this trespasser, and is shocked to discover that the intruder is someone from his past - Claudia Donovan. She has a proposition for him, one he cannot refuse. It is literally a matter of life and death for her, but for Allison Scagliotti, who plays Claudia in Warehouse 13, it was the start of a brand new acting venture, thanks to not one but three people from her past.
"I know a couple of the guys in the [Warehouse 13] writers' room, Deric Hughes and Benjamin Raab; we had worked together on a web series for NBC called Gemini Division with Rosario Dawson," says Scagliotti. "We'd stayed in touch, and when the role of Claudia surfaced among the scripts in development, they called me and said, 'Allison, you're so right for this part.' They talked with the show runner, Jack Kelly, who, coincidentally, I worked with five years ago on a pilot. So everything sort of aligned perfectly. I spoke with Jack, who explained to me what the show was all about, and then said, 'Let me send you a copy of the pilot script so you can make sure you're even interested in being a part of it.'
"As soon as I read the pilot I was hooked. I was riveted by the chemistry between the Pete [Eddie McClintock] and Myka [Joanne Kelly] characters, not to mention how fascinating Saul Rubinek [Artie] is to watch, and, of course, with the prospect of being part of a show that balances fantasy with comedy. So I went in to audition with Central Casting at NBC, and within a week I went from a full-load school [university] curriculum to working long hours in Toronto. It was awesome."
Scagliotti makes her Warehouse 13 debut in the aptly titled season one episode Claudia. In it, her character of Claudia Donovan kidnaps Artie from the Warehouse and takes him to an abandoned makeshift lab. Since she was a young girl, she has blamed him for an experiment that killed her brother Joshua (Tyler Hynes). Now, however, Claudia is convinced that he did not die but is, in fact, trapped in an alternate dimension and she wants Artie to re-create the experiment in order to get him back. While Artie's colleagues, Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering, try to find him, he sees for himself that Claudia is right. The actress laughs when asked what sticks out most in her mind about her first day on the job.
"That's easy, Saul Rubinek. I was nervous. I don't get nervous a lot, but I love this project so much that I really wanted to make sure everything I did was just right. You can't always be perfect, but you are capable of being great, and I remember connecting with Saul immediately. We had chemistry like we had been working together for 30 years. He is an amazing guy and I've learned so much from him. The scene I shot on my first day is actually my first scene in the episode, and if you saw it you know that it was long and complicated. Saul and I both worked up a sweat and I roughed him up quite a bit. I was concerned that I was going to hurt him, but Saul was like, 'No, let's go. Let's commit. Let's do this.' After that day working with him, I felt right at home. I can't think of a more creative, fulfilling experience than doing scenes with Saul. It's a dream come true for me.
[caption id="attachment_2259" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Enemies turned allies - Artie (Saul Rubinek) and Claudia. Photo by Justin Stephens and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
"As far as working on the entire episode, it was definitely a challenge because the show has this neat balance of comedy with the action-adventure of pursuing artifacts and the fantastical elements and powers they possess. So it was always in the forefront of our efforts - Saul, director Steve Surjik, and me - to make sure that there was a balance. If we were delivering witty dialogue, the emotional stakes could not be compromised, and if we were in the middle of a very dramatic moment, we didn't want things to get too melodramatic and that there was some lightness as well. The [shooting] days were long, but I never got tired because I was having so much fun. I had never worked with that level of special effects before, so that was really interesting to watch. We were filming underground in a church, which was dressed as a lab, and they pumped dust and smoke in there every day to make it look mystical. It was just so exciting."
Although he is an unwilling participant at first, Artie ultimately helps Claudia save her brother. In the following episode, Elements, Artie uses his influence to get Joshua a government job where he can put his scientific genius to good use. As for Claudia, it is decided that her talents would be better served working as part of the Warehouse team as opposed to against it. While it would be easy for Scagliotti to play the stereotypical brainy young know-it-all, she has made her character much more than that.
"Claudia is smart and sassy and has an attitude, but she's also efficient and adds an important skill set to the Warehouse," explains the actress. "She identifies set goals and goes after them with passion, whether it's bringing her brother back from interdimensional space, or showing Artie what can be done with a sort of steampunk take on things, rather than his old, possibly crotchety, set-in-his-ways methods," jokes Scagliotti. "You definitely see my character go from angsty, bitter and possibly lost to feeling really at home in the Warehouse as well as having a genuine gratitude and love for her newfound family and a desire to help in every possible way.
"If Artie is our all-knowing uncle, then Claudia is like the little punk sister to the Pete and Myka characters. Myka would be the overachieving, honor student, older sister, while Pete is the goofball jock. Eddie is the best. There is never a dull moment with him on-set. We're all constantly trying to find ways to mess with each other, Eddie especially. He's kind of a prankster. For example, right before a take, he'll do something to make me laugh and then I'll have to try extra hard to keep a straight face. Eddie does a Don Knotts impression that would blow you away. It's kind of an odd impression to do, but he does it with style."
Having started out in an effects-heavy episode, the actress has grown used to working with green screen along with other visual/special effects and is enjoying that aspect of her involvement in Warehouse 13. "There's an episode coming up where my character becomes magnetized to the Warehouse ceiling," she says. "I was literally 20-something feet up in the air and perched on a steel girder, while behind me it was all green screen. I got to do a lot of cool stuff up on a wire, and I used a zip-line at one point as well. In the episode after Claudia, my character is fixing what she broke while hacking into the Warehouse and she causes a little spark in the power grid that shoots off some fireworks. That was interesting because I wasn't expecting the spark to be as big as it was during the first take. So my reaction was pretty authentic, especially when a spark landed in my hair. Fortunately, I didn't suffer any scalp burn or hair loss," jokes the actress.
[caption id="attachment_2263" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Claudia is put right to work in the episode "Elements." Photo by Philippe Bosse and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
When it comes to her favorite Warehouse 13 episode, Scagliotti wastes no time in choosing one. "It's the one where we chase after Edgar Allen Poe's pen," she says. "I geeked out over that episode because I'm a huge Poe fan. In fact, the shirt I'm wearing right now has a Poe quote on it. We had the chance to shoot inside a college of theology within the University of Toronto, which was just beautiful with its high ceilings and vaulted, Gothic-style architecture. There are a lot of stunts in that episode, too, including one where I full-on tackle a guy.
"There's also a scene in the episode, again right after Claudia, between my character and her brother Joshua wherein she becomes emotional because he's decided to move on with his life and Claudia has to figure out what to do with hers. It's sort of a transitional feeling, which was a challenge. It's always a challenge to become emotional in a scene, but the director [Ken Giotti] was extremely accommodating as far as whatever I needed, and Tyler, who played Joshua, was great in the scene, so I hope it comes across as touching as we all hoped it would."
Looking ahead to the first season finale of Warehouse 13, the actress hints at what fans can expect. "It starts hot," notes Scagliotti. "In the opening teaser there's a fire going on and the threat of a villain. I can't go into specifics, but the threat is extremely real because this individual has a past connection to the Warehouse. And there's also suspicion that security has been compromised by someone on the inside.
That's about all I can tell you. It was very, very exciting to shoot and the director [Stephen Surjik], who also directed Claudia, is a fantastic guy. During the final days of filming, we were shooting underground in this abattoir, so it was freezing and really smelly. I didn't have to work on those last few days, but I hung out on-set just to spend time with everyone because I could not imagine this amazing ride ending. We were there until four in the morning on that last day, but it was worth it. We've become quite the family team," enthuses the actress.
At the age of five, Scagliotti did an impression of actor/comedian Bill Cosby for her family's pool man. When her Mom saw that, she knew what she had to do. "My Mom was like, 'We've got to find an outlet for this [talent],'" she recalls. "So I joined my elementary school drama department. I also took ballet for eight years and learned piano as well, so if I hadn't moved to Los Angeles I would have gone to a performing arts high school and possibly moved to New York.
[caption id="attachment_2264" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Warehouse 13 family - Allison Scagliotti, Saul Rubinek, Joanne Kelly, Genelle Williams (who plays Leena) and Eddie McClintock. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
"When I was 11, I met an acting coach who was giving a seminar at a Barnes and Noble in the small town of Mandeville, Louisiana where I was living. He encouraged me to try my had at [TV] pilot season, so my Mom and I did our homework and I gave it a shot. I was very lucky to get an agent along with a manager and book a pilot with Chevy Chase, which is pretty much unheard of for an 11-year-old just starting out in the business. But that was the beginning of all this and I never looked back."
Prior to Warehouse 13, Scagliotti appeared in a handful of made-for-TV movies as well as guest-starred on several other TV shows including One Tree Hill, Drake & Josh, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and most recently in an episode of Mental, House of Mirrors, which was shot on-location in Bogota, Columbia. "I had never been to South America before," says the actress, "so that in itself was an experience. It's a place with a lot of layers, and [the city] is at the base of the Andes, which is just beautiful.
"The role itself was a tricky one for me. My character was born a boy, but through a botched circumcision was raised as a girl, her Mom committed suicide, and she developed a condition called dysmorphia. Even though it's a small statistic, it's something that does occur and I read up on the original story that this episode is based on. My main concern was making sure I was truthful as well as respectful to those who were either affected by it or know people who experienced it. It's important to me to never fake emotions going on in a scene, so in some ways I feel like perhaps I committed too much to the emotionality of what was going on. However, I don't regret it because I wouldn't have wanted to fall short of my goals for the impact of the episode.
"The hardest thing to shoot was the suicide scene. The fire was all CGI [computer-generated image] except for one flame bar that they held in front of my face for the lighting. We shot that scene for a while because of the various angles and pouring that bottle of rum, which was actually water, and lighting the match. I had worked with the director [David Jackson] a couple of years ago, and the two of us sat down and talked about how it should go. I was exhausted afterwards, but at the end of the day I'm happy with the episode. I hope it resonated with people, and for people who didn't know that that kind of thing happens, that it educated them and made them aware of this unfortunate condition."
[caption id="attachment_2265" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Claudia tries to put her own "steampunk spin" on trying to solve a problem in the episode "Elements." Photo by Philippe Bosse and copyright of The Syfy Channel"][/caption]
This summer, the actress can be seen in National Lampoon's Endless Bummer and My Name is Jerry. Next month, she starts work on a play being directed by Alden Ehrenreich, who appeared in Frances Ford Coppola's Tetro. Besides her acting commitments, she is a full-time college student and majoring in English. To some, this might sound like a lot to have on your plate, but Scagliotti would not have it any other way.
"I like to have focuses outside of the business," she says. "It's so easy to develop tunnel vision and become obsessive over projects, characters or just the way the whole machine works. And I find if I'm taking a class, it expands me as a person. I become fuller and more aware of the world as well as people and history, all of which I can bring to a performance as opposed to manufacturing it with only a script. So far I've been really fortunate to have professors who have worked with me and allowed me to continue to take my classes as I'm acting. If the workload gets too much, then I trim things. I took 10 units during season one of Warehouse 13 and it worked out just fine. I flew home to take my final and it was all good."
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