Exclusive Interview: Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo in EUREKA)

Erica Cerra

Erica Cerra

Daemon’s TV had the great pleasure to chat with the charming and talented Erica Cerra who plays Jo Lupo, the tough but also wickedly cool Deputy Sheriff who works with Carter (Colin Ferguson) on hit Syfy series EUREKA.

Cerra shared what’s coming up with her character this season, what she would do if she could travel back in time, and she also had a special message for all her fans that will be at Comic Con. So enjoy and don’t forget to catch Erica Cerra in the new Eureka episode airing Friday July 16 titled “A New World” (Check out our review).

Can you talk about having three seasons of a successful show and a fourth season the way?

Erica Cerra: In one word; Fantastic. It’s really, really great. I think since I was a kid this was like my first real continual job and every season, from the pilot til now, you kind of go, ‘Okay, are we going to get one more season?’ You believe in your product and you go, ‘Are people going to like it?’ Still, even now, every single season you’re holding your breath until finally you can breathe easy, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re coming back one more time.’

No matter how much believe in the product or no matter much how much faith you have there are still things that can happen where unfortunately it falls through. But we’ve been really blessed, really lucky that we have a wonderful core audience and still get new people constantly coming and watching the show and jumping on the ‘Eureka’ bandwagon.

Since the theme of this season is time travel, if you could go back to Season 1 and talk to yourself about the role and the show, what would you say to yourself?

Erica Cerra: That’s a really awesome question and I don’t know if it would have to do with me as a character or me as a person. It’s interesting because I was really nervous from season one and from season two just as a person and you have these ideas in your mind and you have these decisions that you want to make but as a performer you don’t know whether you trust yourself or not. You don’t know whether other people trust you. You don’t know whether your ideas are good, if people are going to like them or if they think you suck. So you’ve got all these insecurities. I think that’s one of the biggest things that any actor struggles with.

I think I would go back and go, ‘Erica, just trust yourself. Make the decisions that you want to make because you do know what you’re doing.’ As a character I would say ‘Be nice to Carter. He ends up being your best friend.’

What’s coming up for Lupo this season?

Erica Cerra: What’s not coming up. My character, she gets put through the ringer this season. In the season premiere she gets puts into a new timeline and in this timeline she has no job, no significant other and even her wardrobe has changed. Her character on some level has changed and I think it’s really difficult for her to adjust and I think it’s really heartbreaking for the first ten episodes that she’s lost the person that she was potentially going to spend the rest of her life with. There’s a really great struggle that goes for the next ten episodes with that, sort of reevaluating her relationship, reevaluating the person that she thought she was dating, whether he was who she thought she was or if he wasn’t. I think the next twenty episodes are going to do really great for the character and for me as an actor.

Is there any hope for the characters of Jo and Zane getting back together?

Erica Cerra: I don’t know. We keep toying with the idea, are they going to get back together or aren’t they? I think now the writers are really excited with what Niall [Matter] and I have done with the characters and the ideas that we’ve had along with what they’ve written. I really don’t know what they’re going to do with it. It’ll be really interesting to find out. I’m enjoying what we’re doing. I’m enjoying the struggle and having all of this really fun emotional stuff to play.

How many episodes have you shot so far?

Erica Cerra: We’ve done ten. We had a month hiatus and now we’re going back to shoot the other ten and so we’re doing twenty all together.

Is there a specific storyline in the ten that you’ve done, that was fun or challenging?

Erica Cerra: Well, I think all of it. It was challenging and really fun. I guess on some level I’m a bit sadistic and morbid. Not morbid but I kind of enjoy the grief that she’s been going through. I’ve really been enjoying dealing with and learning to sort of learn to live without. It’s a really bizarre scenario. She’s got this life that she’s lived with this man and he hasn’t a clue about it. When they’re together their minds and trains of thought are totally different. From his perspective, he’s looking at her and going, ‘She’s a bitch and she’s crazy’. Then from her perspective she’s acting crazier because for her that’s her boyfriend. So it’s been a really fun dynamic to play. We’ve had some excellent episodes. The zombie episode was really fun for me. My character goes a bit nuts and that was a lot of fun to do.

James Callis is a new addition to the cast and He plays Dr. Grant in this new season. What’s it been like working with him on the set?

Erica Cerra: He’s a lovely, really lovely person. Fortunately I’ve actually had a lot to do with him just because of the storyline and because we all went back from the past together. So I’ve had the opportunity of working with him quite a bit. He’s a really lovely man, very sweet and very chivalrous. He’s a really great guy and it’s been really fun because his character is such a different era but sort of a different genre all together from what’s going on.

The 1940’s and the millennium, 2010 are two totally different worlds. So it almost feels that he’s sort of an alien in this completely different life. It’s interesting because he’s at a slower pace. We’re in this technology, moving fast with cell phones and text messages and he’s picking up a rotary phone and connecting with some person to connect him through to another person. It’s interesting and it’s been a lot of fun.

You’ve had some of the most hilarious scenes with Neil Grayston who plays Fargo. Can you talk about that?

Erica Cerra: Neil is such a character. He’s so much fun. The scene that we did in the jail cell, all I kept hearing was rave reviews about how funny it was and how great the chemistry is and that was so much fun to film because Neil is super kooky. He’s a lot of fun. His personality and his character are so similar other than the fact that Neil is way more grounded and way more intelligent. He’s not nearly as fumbly as Fargo is but he does it so well that you’d almost think that they were the same person. He’s a lot of fun to work with. I worked with Colin [Ferguson] so often and on such a regular basis and Colin is like his own comedic entity in himself along with Neil. They’re both comic geniuses that I have a lot of fun with. It’s been a good run.

Since you won’t make it to Comic Con this year, do you have a message for the fans that are going to there?

Erica Cerra: I wish I was there! I find that actors either love or hate going to conventions. It’s a sort of love and hate thing. Some people love it and some people aren’t necessarily fans of it.

For me, I have found it to be a really wonderful experience and every time that I’ve gone to any sort of convention it’s so much fun to meet the people that give you the opportunity to work on the show. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be doing what I do and they’re such great and loyal fans that they make your job worthwhile and I love how they get into it and get super excited.

If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t do this stuff. So I love meeting them and I love going to stuff like that and really feeling their appreciation for what it is you’re doing. I’m bummed. I wish I was there. That’s my message. I’m sad.

Do you have any interesting fan encounter anecdotes?

Erica Cerra: I’ve had a couple of interesting fan encounters. One of the coolest ones that I’m most impressed with is that my fiancée and I were in Venice, Italy and we were at a car rental place. We were standing in line and we were renting a car and he turned around and started talking to me. As I was responding, I hear the person behind me go, ‘Oh my God, I know that voice. Where do I know that voice? Your voice is so familiar.’ I didn’t turn around and she tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and she goes, ‘Oh my God, I know you.’ I’m in Italy. You don’t expect anyone to recognize you. She goes, ‘You’re on “Eureka”.’ I thought, ‘How the hell?’ Literally, as I was turning she goes, ‘Oh my God, you’re Jo from “Eureka”.’ I said yeah and she goes, ‘It’s your voice. I heard your voice and I know that voice.’ It was cute. She wanted a picture and she was from the U.S., from the Midwest. It was very cool and the most memorable because it was so random.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Erica Cerra: Unfortunately, other than our next ten episodes of “Eureka” I don’t have anything new coming up but I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me. I have another four or five months of TV to film. But other than that, I’m just sort of auditioning for other stuff and thinking of other jobs. There’s just a lot on my plate already. I’ve got MCM Expo which I’m probably going to be going to which is the convention in London in September. I’m going to be going to DragonCon which I’m really excited about. I’ve never been and I’ve heard it’s insane. Other than that, it’s publicity. But I’m sure there will be something.

Is there any other show on TV right now, or a cancelled show, that you’d like to guest star on?

Erica Cerra: You know what show I would’ve loved to have been on? ‘The Sopranos‘. Unfortunately the show is over. That was one of the few shows that I watched on a regular basis. ‘Mad Men’. I love era stuff and so I’d love to be on ‘Mad Men’. I love genre anything.

Nine times out of ten people say ‘Mad Men’ or ‘Breaking Bad’.

Erica Cerra: You know what else I think would be great to be on is – ‘Modern Family’! That looks absolutely hysterical. I haven’t caught the show yet but I think I would love to do something like that. That looks very good.

Erica Cerra

Erica Cerra

(Photo: David Fierro)