Wednesday, July 14, 2010

James Callis on Eureka: Various Updates

In the video: clips of the first two episodes; interview snippets with James, Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Neil Grayston, Erica Cerra and Niall Matter.

So as you can deduce from that long list, it's not a particularly long interview with any one actor. But James is wearing his 40's garb, only his hair looks like it's about to burst out of that do! How cute is that? And he really didn't say anything notable other than recap the first couple of episodes. So I'm just staring at him and drooling. *stares; drools*

News: James IS booked for Comic Con, San Diego, Saturday the 24th of July! So that's next week, and he's going to be at least in the Eureka panel. No word on autographs or photos so far. I will be posting any links I find. It'll be fun with some con stuff, and I hope people ask something more in-depth about James' character and the show.

Colin Ferguson and show creator Jaime Paglia were recently asked about working with James, and they had such words of praise for him. This does the fan's heart good:

Can you talk about working with James Callis?
Colin: Sure. Way back when "Battlestar [Galactica]" and "Eureka" were on the same lot, James was one of the first and definitely most vocal people to come forward and be so supportive and encouraging and helpful. So it was really fitting that he was the one who gets to come on our show and do 10 episodes. And we were really, really happy about that. Working with James--it's sort of preposterous how nice a man he is.

He's like the sweetest guy in the world. He just extends himself so above and beyond for everybody. So that alone is a pleasure. And then it's nice to get a different energy on the set, because he's such an actor. He's always digging ... to come up with different angles for things.

(Transcript here)

Paglia calls James "the consummate actor" and says it's exciting to have him play your character.
I mean, wow. As a fan, you have to accept that not everyone sees your idol as a hero like you, but with James, especially people who work with him... kinda do see him that way? It's confusing yet delightful, every time. And you can really tell that James is an asset to work with from a professional viewpoint too, because he really cares about the character and wants to find new ways of doing it. (L)!!! (Yeah, I'm kinda beginning to like Colin Ferguson, considering all this. Just kinda.)

I forgot to link to this interview: James Callis suits up for Eureka.

"I've got well-cut suits," he says, "but they haven't given me the British accent."
Hee! :D Yet I feel like there may have been more of that answer and they only gave us this bytesized bit. I don't know why it feels a bit lacking. Maybe because, if he really wanted to do the American accent for Gabriel McDow, it would seem more likely that he wants to do it for Dr Grant also, right? I'd imagine he's ambitious to try the accents he knows. The article says "Win some, lose some" and moves on, but I'm not sure if that was James' idea. Hmmm. This is why I prefer video/audio interviews, because you hear the context in which he said something.

This is lovely though. What happens when Grant comes to the present?

"Imagine a reset button," says Callis, "that you don't press but you kind of twist round. 'OK, you thought you were like this, but you're not.' Everything is up in the air. It's a bit like classical writing, where the end of the story is exactly like the beginning of the story, but it's slightly different.

Umm. :D I'm trying very hard to imagine how you can twist round a reset button. I'd think you can only push it? But okay, I get what he means. Everything doesn't change completely when Trevor Grant is taken out of the past, but some of the things in Eureka have changed. I didn't really comment on them in my last post, because I don't know the other characters well enough. But Allison has a son who is autistic, and when they come back to the present, he is not autistic anymore; Jack Carter had broken up with someone and when he comes back, the woman is back with him; Henry Deacon is suddenly married, and so forth. It's intriguing, but obviously it would be more so if I had actually watched more before. It's not a hard show to get into, plotwise, but the emotional impact of such events isn't really there for me.

Edited to add: OK, in a rather strange twist of the reset button - hee hee! - there's a new interview of James today, and he mentions specifically wanting to do a different character. An American character. That's what I thought - actors want to do different things, not keep their own accent. (It's possible James jokingly said he got the suits but not the English accent though, but it just goes to show that you can't take what he says too seriously. He is usually joking.)

"The show is very funny," he said. "It's kind of smart, and it's light and is good-natured. I felt like, just, I needed a change, wanted to be a different person, and this character is American, and it's a chance to be somebody else. The character is clean-shaved. God, that makes a difference to me!"

LOL! .. but wait, why such a big difference? Because it's so unlike his everyday life? Because his beard grows freakishly fast and it takes more work to maintain? Because he looks more handsome in his own opinion without a beard? Very interesting.

I prefer "kind of smart" to "very smart" like he said earlier. I don't think it's always smart; it's sort of smart in a Gilmore Girls kind of way, not smart in a Mad Men kind of way. Mainstream smart, not smart smart. But maybe I'm just a snob. I definitely did enjoy the first episode of season four, so maybe more positive surprises lie ahead!

(End of edit)

There was something cute in an earlier interview that I never commented on.

As an actor, you're always coming to something that started without you. It's tough. Even the most open and generous family is still a family by themselves. It's like Tetrus. They have walls up and you have to get through those things.

What is "Tetrus"? All I found were typos of Tetris. (I was thinking it might be some Shakespeare thing. :D) So I'm guessing James said Tetris and the journalist misspelled it. But - that is so NOT how you play Tetris! It's not about getting thru walls, it's about building straight lines out of angular pieces. Right? Actually, it sounds more like he's talking about Snake. It's amusing that he'll bring up these things he doesn't actually do - like when he used to be all "The casting process was a bit like Elimidate!" and the interviewer asked him if he actually watches the show, and he said no, "but it's self-explanatory".

Tee hee. I love picking apart the things he says! I've missed this. More interviews, please.

Eureka Unscripted, the writers' blog, is having a Q&A. So if you have questions about James or Dr Trevor/Charles Grant, ask away! Questions answered on Friday by the writers.

Lots of reactions to James on Eureka all over the place, most notably on Twitter. Most of it is delightfully positive, and amusingly, James' popularity is up over 200 % at imdb. I don't think I need imdb pro to know why! However, perhaps since Twitter only allows 140 characters, the comments are mostly pretty bland - "James Callis is on Eureka?!" or alternately "Gaius Baltar is on Eureka?!!" It annoys me, maybe because I've known for four months now that he's gonna be on the show, or maybe because it's so hot and everything annoys me. But come on people, doesn't anyone else use twitter search but me? Easy way to find out that yes, it is indeed James Callis and you're not the only one who noticed. His accent is loved and hated, but like I said, I declare it good and end of story. (I think many people don't consider that it's a 1940's accent, not a modern American one.)

In two days, we'll see how Trevor Grant changes the town and perceives our time! This Saturday I will be at a family thing all day, so don't expect any posts about the new episode until Sunday the earliest. I still maintain the right to stop posting if I'm exhausted or depressed, but it feels like the Facebook/fan crisis clusterfuck may finally be over. I apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.

I guess that would be all - but if more comes up, I might want to edit this post instead of making a new one. I'll notify on Twitter in such case.

*While I was writing this post, the cat under my care almost went out the window. (I live in the third floor.) I had to pull him in by the rump. James fandom can jeopardize your pets!*

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