Exclusive Interview: Allison Scagliotti Talks EUREKA and WAREHOUSE 13

Neil Grayston and Allison Scagliotti on Warehouse 13

Daemon’s TV recently got a chance to talk with Allison Scagliotti who plays Claudia Donovan on Syfy’s Warehouse 13, and who guest stars in EUREKA‘s episode “Crossing Over” as the second part of the crossover between the two shows.

Allison Scagliotti talked about what we can expect from her crossing over to Eureka, what is coming up for Claudia in future episodes, her other projects, and tons more.
So don’t forget to tune in tonight, Friday August 6, and watch Eureka at 9pm on Syfy to catch Allison Scagliotti’s stint. And make sure you catch Warehouse 13 on Tuesdays at 9pm on Syfy. But for now enjoy the interview!

How did you get involved with the crossover show? Did they come to you and say Claudia was going to be a part of a crossover?

Allison Scagliotti: As a matter fact, Neil Grayston and I became fast friends at Comic Con last year and they noticed the fantastic chemistry we have together, to the point that we were finishing each other’s punch lines and saying the same thing at the same time. I respect his show-runners and I think the people at Syfy took note of our thing, our mojo. They put their heads together and realized it could be a great opportunity to marry the two shows because it’s very plausible that top secret Eureka and top secret Warehouse 13 could exist in the same universe.

Claudia is now without a boyfriend. Does that mean that some sparks might fly this Friday between her and Fargo?

Allison Scagliotti: Sparks are bound to fly. There may even be an explosion or two. Yes, Eureka will definitely find Fargo and Claudia repeating their sexual tension. But we also have not seen the last of Todd. If you get the sense that there’s something more than meets the eye with Todd than you’re very into it. He’s definitely hiding something just like Claudia is hiding where she works and how she’s spent the past ten years of her life. So we will see some resolution with the man who spurned Claudia.

Will Todd be back next week or maybe in the finale?

Allison Scagliotti: He’ll be back in episode nine. Next week’s entails Pete becoming affected by something very bad. And his behavior causes us all to wonder if maybe he’s fallen off the wagon. It’s a really great showcase episode for Eddie McClintock. He really hits it out of the park.

Can you talk about the differences between the ‘Warehouse 13’ set and the ‘Eureka’ set for you?

Allison Scagliotti: Totally. It was a lot of fun to sort of back up my operation and take it to the west coast. Neil and I have both said that it felt like visiting extended family on the other side of the country. They’re similar because both casts are really great and really warm. The atmosphere on set is very fun loving. We’re all dedicated to the work but we like to keep it light and we like to make each other laugh. I felt very supported by everyone over at Eureka when it came down to staying true to Claudia. The shows are different in that Eureka is grounded entirely in science and Warehouse 13 has a little bit more freedom with regards to content because in the warehouse we can suggest that George Washington’s teeth had some kind of power to bestow upon him. So we’ve got a little more free reign and we can play around with magic or manipulate history. But they actually have a science consultant on Eureka. We have Wikipedia.

Who’s your favorite character on ‘Eureka’?

Allison Scagliotti: Fargo, easily, but if I had to pick a second favorite I would say Jo Lupo. She’s such a badass.

What else is coming up for Claudia this season?

Allison Scagliotti: The week after next Claudia gets her first field assignment as a junior agent after Pete has to recover from what he goes through next week. Artie decides that it’s time to send Claudia out as his replacement. So in that episode it was really challenging in that my character had to struggle with being comfortable with who she is and sort of playing around with wanting to be a Secret Service agent but wanting to just attain that status because first of all you have to go through university training to be a Secret Service agent. She finds herself copying Myka who’s a totally different animal but older, wiser, season on the job. Instead of being true to herself she falls flat on her face, Claudia I mean, when she tries to mimic the actions of someone else. That episode for me was really about listening to my heart, being who I am, being comfortable with who I am, being comfortable in my own skin, and that’s the sort of revelation that comes to Claudia. It’s that we’re all good at something. We all have a different talent. Where Myka’s might be attention to detail, Claudia’s might be her quirky humor, her left of center approach to things. I think it’ll be a great episode for girls to watch and go, ‘We’re all different. We’re all like snowflakes,’ as cliché as that is. But we all have something to offer at the end of the day.

Is Claudia going to be half agent and half in the warehouse after this episode?

Allison Scagliotti: Yeah. My whole arc in season two is that Claudia’s responsibilities have increased. She’s right there in the bullpen with them whether it’s tracking someone’s bank account or following the agents on a map. In another episode Claudia gets out into the field with Artie. H.G. Wells [played by Jaime Murray] will show back up and that complicates things for all of us. Each character has a different attitude and a different relationship with H.G. So, yeah, absolutely. Toward the second to last episode a bit of Claudia’s destiny is revealed to her and it’s extremely overwhelming. I got to work one on one with CCH Pounder and Lindsay Wagner for that and that was a blast.

Is there something that Claudia does that you Allison would never do and similarly is there something you do that Claudia would never do?

Allison Scagliotti: Certainly. Well, never say never, but I wear dresses from time to time. My wardrobe though in the last two seasons, I don’t see Claudia putting on a skirt any time soon, and then as far as something that Claudia does that I would never do, Claudia I think is a bit more awkward socially than I am. But then again maybe I’m not. Maybe I just deal with it in a different way. Well, lets put it this way, I’m not a techie. So I would never hack into a top secret government facility and abduct its caretaker. However that’s the first thing that Claudia did when we met her.

As an actress, how do you prepare for each episode?

Allison Scagliotti: We’re really fortunate over on Warehouse 13 to have a room full of brilliant and insightful writers. I’m not buttering any of them up when I say that every week when we crack open a new script it’s a pleasure to see what they’ve given me. So really playing a character that’s so close to myself in sense and sensibility, strong and smart, socially awkward but talented in her own way and very snarky, I really just bring myself. I try to find a way to, as Saul [Rubinek] put it, tell the Allison truth within the context of Claudia.

What was your Comic Con experience like this year?

Allison Scagliotti: This year was only my second Comic Con but it was already vastly different from the first in that in keeping with the crossover theme Neil Grayston and I got to moderate each other’s panels. So on the train ride down from L.A. we sat together comparing notes and bullet pointing the questions that we needed to ask and collectively hyperventilating over the nerves of the situation. No matter how many episodes of a TV show that you shoot there’s something wildly different about standing up in front of a room of two dozen people as yourself and making yourself available to a ton of people like that, but I don’t think that it could’ve gone better. Neil started us off beautifully. As soon as we heard the scream of the fans it was sort of impossible not to get excited. We had our little witty banter on the Warehouse 13 panel and then I took over from there and geeked out over James Callis and Neil and that was that. It was really a blast. The only thing that I wish is that I had more time in San Diego to appreciate it all. I did get to top off the weekend with a bocce ball tournament with Josh Gates and Chris Williams from Destination Truth and Ghost Hunters, respectively on the lawn in front of Hall H. So that was amazing.

Did you have any interesting fan encounters that you can talk about?

Allison Scagliotti: Yes. As a matter of fact, half fan, half fervent supporter. The good people over at comicsoncomics.com, namely Sax, have taken charge of a viral movement to have me cast as Kathy Hack in the upcoming ‘Hack/Slash’ remake. Timothy Lee created the comic and has expressed more than once that he loves Warehouse 13 and he would love to see me play Kathy. So we’re in the midst of a serious viral campaign to snag the role. So Sax himself had a hundred t-shirts made. He handed me a handful of them to distribute accordingly. It was good to connect with someone who was in such full support of my employment.

Is there any else you have coming up?

Allison Scagliotti: The deal isn’t closed yet so I’ve been avoiding talking about it, but I guess I will give you the exclusive because we’re getting really close. In a couple of weeks I’m heading over to Memphis to start production on this little indie movie called ‘Losers Take All’ starring Kyle Gallner and David Cross. It’s from the director of ‘Prey for Rock & Roll’ with Gina Gershon. Marshall Crenshaw and Scott Bomar have been producing the original music. It’s about this punk band in 1986 and their attempt to climb the rungs and inevitably fail and then get back on the horse again. I play a sort of sexy punkette who has an ear for talent and links up with this merry band of losers, if you will, and connects them with their first record label. I’m really excited. I’ve done an ’80’s piece before in the form of ‘Endless Summer’ but I’m really excited. I’ve never been to Memphis before so I plan on hitting up Graceland and Sun Studios and who knows, donning high waist acid wash jeans and teasing my hair up real big and listening to some good old fashioned 80’s punk rock.

Are you going to sing in that?

Allison Scagliotti: I’m not. My character is not one of the musicians which is ironic because I play guitar. I love punk rock. I would love to form a band at some point. I’m sure I can muscle my way in there at some point.

If you could guest star on any other show on television which one would it be?

Allison Scagliotti: I just finished watching the first season of ‘Mad Men’ and I would love to go back to the ’60’s and do a ‘Mad Men’. I’m a big fan of ‘Community’, ’30 Rock’, ‘Parks and Rec’. I have so little time to watch TV. You know what, for a shot at me and Rue Paul I’d be a celebrity judge on Rue Paul’s ‘Drag Race’.