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With stellar ratings and a strong fan following, it’s no
surprise that WAREHOUSE 13 was picked up by the Syfy Channel for a fourth
season and will return in 2012. FANGORIA recently chatted with WAREHOUSE 13
actress Allison Scagliotti, who spoke about how she landed the role of Claudia
Donovan, gave her thoughts on the latest episode, “Don’t Hate the Player,” and
told us what she hopes to see next season.
The most successful show on the Syfy Channel, WAREHOUSE 13
follows the adventures of two government agents, Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and
Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock), as they search for deadly supernatural
artifacts. Assigned by a top-secret facility, known only as Warehouse 13, the
agents investigate reports of the missing items, which cause uncontrollable
paranormal activity. Joining the duo in their missions are the Warehouse’s
caretaker, Artie (Saul Rubinek), and the feisty and brilliant computer hacker,
FANGORIA: Tell me what interested you in the role of Claudia
ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI: I love how smart Claudia is. I love that
the writers didn’t apologize for her. She’s been through really dark times,
being in a mental institution, searching desperately for her brother. She was
doing it all on her own, without any help. Here’s this really independent,
funny, sarcastic, deeply insecure, scared and vulnerable character. I rejoiced!
It’s so rare for a young actress to find a role that’s two-dimensional. I’ve gotten
parts based on bra size. I’ve gotten feedback that I wasn’t pretty enough.
That’s the nature of this industry, this superficial business. So I love a
character who is so full, so real, so much like myself. She doesn’t need to
giggle or do a hair flip.
FANG: How did you land the role of Claudia?
SCAGLIOTTI: Every actor will tell you that timing had a lot
to do with getting a role that they love. I had worked with our showrunner,
Jack Kenny, years and years ago on the last pilot I read. And I worked with two
of our writers, Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes, the year before on a web
series, which again was awesome. I just heard about the role and they were
looking in Canada. I think the role was originally written to be Asian. It was
an Asian character, and they didn’t quite find what they were looking for. So,
Jack called me and we had a conversation. He first wanted me to watch the pilot
before I auditioned, just to make sure it was something I was interested in;
and I did. I fell in love with it. I watched the pilot maybe three times, and I
was really nervous when I auditioned. And that was that. In the span of a week
and a half [I got the job], and I had to negotiate with my professor to let me
take my work on the road. The cast made me feel immediately welcome. We were
working together [on the same page] within a couple of hours. It just felt
natural. It felt like we’d been playing together for years.
FANG: How do you want viewers to perceive Claudia, who is
outspoken and wears punk clothing?
SCAGLIOTTI: What I hope to show is that Claudia is her own
person. She doesn’t concern herself with what people expect from her, what
people expect her to look like, or expect her to behave like. I think Claudia
is a self-starter. In addition to being insecure and figuring out who she is,
even as an adult, she knows what she likes. A number of Moms and girls reach
out to me and tell me what a role model Claudia is to young women. So what I
hope people get out of Claudia is that there’s nothing more beautiful, fun or
comfortable than doing things that you like.
FANG: The current season’s sixth episode, “Don’t Hate the
Player,” aired yesterday, Monday, August 15. In it, the Warehouse team attempts
to free gamers stuck in a fantasy/video game world. Could you tell me more
about the plot of the episode?
SCAGLIOTTI: It’s very tongue-in-cheek, and sort of lampoons
video games in general, as well as the depiction of women. It’s what the
Warehouse would look like to an outside perspective. The theme of the Warehouse
video game is called Fortress 13. All the women have large breasts. The theme
inside is actually very conflicting. There are gladiators, knights and witches.
What you get to see are cartoonish representations of our normal characters.
The great thing about this episode is that we take something
as obscure as video gaming, and somehow integrate it into what we do at the
Warehouse. And that’s because Fargo (special guest star, Neil Grayston, from
Syfy’s EUREKA) inadvertently came into contact with an artifact and integrated
it into his video game software. So it’s been pretty cool. I love this episode.
I think it’s hilarious. It’s scary, and it’s all the things that make a
WAREHOUSE 13 episode great!
FANG: In the same episode, your character has elf ears in
the video game, and, at one point during the game, is standing in front of a
giant castle. How did you prepare yourself for the special effects, such as
makeup and CGI, in the episode?
SCAGLIOTTI: What’s interesting is that we shot it in
live-action. And then in post, [they made us] look stylized. We look animated
in some way, to look a little bit more like a video game. Those ears looked
really good. Putting them on was an hour-and-a-half process, and that was
before hair and makeup. There were a lot of mornings filming that episode where
I had to be in at like four a.m., which meant getting up at three. So early!
The hardest part was running around in those fancy gold heels while the crew
pumped dry ice through the stage. A lot of us fell and got hurt. We got bruised
up during filming. And that madcap energy really shows!
FANG: Claudia becomes close to Artie, who serves as her best
friend and father figure. During certain
emotional scenes, as much as they genuinely care about each other, Claudia and
Artie argue much like a father/daughter dynamic. Is it cathartic for you as an
actress to do these dramatic scenes?
SCAGLIOTTI: Always. It’s a way to express myself faithfully
behind a mask and character. It’s carrying out some truth within the context of
a character. I think the darker performances are the ones that come closer to
the truth and my vulnerability. I try to bring that to Claudia as much as I
can. It’s rewarding. It’s fun to play those cathartic, heavy scenes.
FANG: After working together for three seasons, describe the
relationships and camaraderie amongst you and the rest of the cast.
SCAGLIOTTI: Everyone’s really lovely! I don’t think that
every show can say that their cast and crew are a close-knit family. If anyone
has seen the San Diego Comic-Con panel
on Syfy.com, we basically say how much we love each other. It might be a little
disgusting and get old after awhile, but it’s true. And we’re lucky for that.
I’m able to get up every day and say that I’m going to do
work that I love; it’s the most invigorating part of it! I think any job can
get tiring, especially if you work with the same group of people all day, 16
hours a day, for six months. But at the end of the day, we come away proud of
the work we do. The reason we’re able to be so positive in these interviews is
because we’re not making it up. We’re genuinely proud of each other and proud
of what we do. I’m just incredibly lucky to be able to say that I’m 20 years
old and I’m living my dream.
FANG: On the Syfy Channel, HAVEN’s writers and producers
have crafted a storyline that moves seamlessly between the TV show and Twitter.
The characters from HAVEN will be posting their thoughts on Twitter while
viewers are watching the show. Would you want your character to use this social
media device for an episode?
SCAGLIOTTI: I actually would not. The reason is that
WAREHOUSE 13 has established in its mythology that it’s a top-secret government
facility. We’re sort of removed from the FBI. Even the Secret Service doesn’t
really know about it. To integrate something as public and difficult to control
as Twitter into this mythology, I think it would sort of devalue the stakes and
the secrecy of the show. However, I’m sure it will do great for HAVEN. I
actually didn’t know they were doing that.
FANG: Next season, what direction would you like to see your
character go in? What would you like to see develop with your character?
SCAGLIOTTI: I would really like to see Claudia go dark. I
think she’s earned the right to go to the dark side for a bit. Only to come
back, and not be evil. She can lose herself in the darkness. It would be really
cool to explore that.
FANG: What direction would you like to take with your acting
SCAGLIOTTI: I can honestly say I want to do everything. I
want to do films, more TV, transmedia. I just never want to stop. I’m living
out my dream, and I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with the next project.
I’m constantly thinking about what else I would like to do. I honestly don’t
just want the roles to come to me. I want to pick them, to create them. I’m
FANG: Why do you think viewers are so hooked to WAREHOUSE
SCAGLIOTTI: I think it’s the relationships between the
character, and the fact that we’re a sort of misfit family unit that people can
somehow relate to. We hear feedback all the time from families who watch the
show together, or from older and younger people alike. I think we have a really
diverse audience. Our show is a lot of fantasy, which is a great way to escape
from the perils of what our country, our times have become. It’s the tension
between Myka and Peter, the father/daughter, master/apprentice between Artie
and Claudia. In addition to the show’s artifacts and action, that’s exciting to
watch, and that’s the reason why people come back.
FANG: What are you working on now?
SCAGLIOTTI: I’m doing what every other actor does. I’m back
in L.A. I’m reconvening with my representation to look for more work. I’ve got
a couple of things I’m waiting to hear back from. I’m continuing to play music,
taking as many lessons as often as possible and doing interviews like this for
the rest of the season!
WAREHOUSE 13 can be seen Mondays at 9 p.m. on the Syfy
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