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Interview with Jack Kenny and Anthony
Head of "Warehouse 13" on Syfy 6/18/13
This was a truly fabulous call. These guys were SO FUNNY!
Read for yourself and see. I have long admired Head, as do
so many, especially "Buffy" fans. Kenny is an amazing writer
and show runner. So sorry to see "Warehouse 13" go. The 3
episode arc on WH was wonderful as well.
Moderator: Gary Morgenstein
June 18, 2013
1:00 pm CT
Operator: Ladies and Gentlemen thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Syfy Warehouse 13 conference call.
Gary Morgenstein: Welcome everyone to the Warehouse 13
conference call. We're delighted to have Anthony Head, who
joins Warehouse 13 as an evil, evil man, beginning Monday,
June 24 at 10:00 pm. And along with Anthony we have
Executive Producer Jack Kenny to talk about the
three-episode story arc and Warehouse 13 Season 4.5. Welcome
both of you.
Jack Kenny: Isn't it Sir Anthony Head?
Gary Morgenstein: Is it Sir? Excuse me.
Anthony Head: Yes, really.
Gary Morgenstein: Yes, I'm just a boy from Brooklyn, I don't
know about things like that.
Jack Kenny: I just want to make sure if it's Sir, it could
Anthony Head: Yes, I definitely like Lord.
Operator: Our first question does come from the line of
Jamie Ruby with Scifi Vision.
Jamie Ruby: Hi. So obviously we've seen the finale, but not
what happens before the finale. So can you both talk a bit
about how Paracelsus, who he is and how he ends up in the
Warehouse in the first place?
Jack Kenny: Just to fill Tony in; Tony, a lot of the
journalists have been given the finale episode to watch in
advance of this call.
Jack Kenny: Although I don't think we can say too much, in
terms of what - because I don't want to give away too much
about next week's episode.
Jamie Ruby: No but, in general.
Jack Kenny: But yes, you know, Anthony plays Paracelsus, a
very, very hip 16th Century alchemist. Actually, based on
the real Paracelsus who was a very hip 16th Century
alchemist who kind of bucked the trend.
Anthony Head: And he dabbles in necromancy and astrology and
all sorts of things. And was - actually was remarkable. He
was a forerunner of modern medicine. But there's nothing to
say he lived to - that if he was drunk with his own power
that he might not go a little bit dololly. And this is where
we join him in Warehouse 13.
He - am I - can I say that he is actually - he's one of the
- can I say he's a bronze?
Jamie Ruby: You just did.
Jack Kenny: Bronzed—yes, he was bronzed. Yes, I think we
give away a little bit of the end of 418, so journalists
Jamie Ruby: Yes, I don't post this.
Jack Kenny: Well no, just mention spoiler alerts if you talk
about that. But a lot of people, you know, who read this
stuff, kind of want the spoilers. They want to know stuff.
And yes, we find out that Paracelsus is a member of our
We find out why in episode 19, the next to the last episode,
he ended up in the Bronze Sector; what he did to end up
there and a lot more details about him. And then many more
details in 20 and into Season 5. We learned quite a bit,
which we start shooting a week from today, we start
unfolding even more about Paracelsus and the way he sees the
Anthony Head: But what I was going to say was, "If you've
been encased in bronze for however many hundreds of years,
you probably wouldn't be the sanest person in the room."
Jack Kenny: He does have a bone to pick. I mean, to put it
mildly, he's got a little bit of a bone to pick.
Jamie Ruby: Well, thanks.
Jack Kenny: And it'll be nice to see Tony working with James
Marsters again too. They go head to head a little bit.
Anthony Head: Yes, that was cool.
Jamie Ruby: That's true. Awesome.
Anthony Head: I've not worked with James since Buffy. We've
played music together – we share a love of music – but we
haven't acted together. And that was very cool.
Jack Kenny: Did that answer your question Jamie?
Anthony Head: Well I think the fact that I'm a bronze - that
does answer the question, "How did I get there?"
Jamie Ruby: Yes, that's true.
Jack Kenny: That's how we find him. Yes, someone else
un-bronzes him and he does have something to do with our
little family that we've been following this year: Polly
Walker and James Marsters and Josh Blalock. They're all sort
of tied together and we'll find out how and why in 419 as
Jamie Ruby: Okay great, well thank you so much.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Tim
Holquinn with Screen Fad. Please proceed.
Tim Holquinn: Hi guys, it's so great to get to speak with
Anthony Head: Hi.
Jack Kenny: Sure, thank you.
Tim Holquinn: Speaking of Buffy, I've got lots of questions,
but my first one for Anthony is because a Swedish friend of
mine getting his doctorate degree there just declared his
thesis topic to be about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I was
Anthony Head: I thought you were going to say Paracelsus.
Jack Kenny: Shoot, I could have done my thesis on Mary Tyler
Moore? I had no idea.
Tim Holquinn: Well I was wondering if you could talk just a
little bit about what it's like to be such a major part of a
story that's inspired so many millions worldwide and
continues to be a topic of doctoral-level studies, even a
decade after concluding.
Anthony Head: I got lucky, dude. All I can say is that I was
over there for pilot season. In fact, it was mid-season, it
was September, and you get a lot of scripts and you go out
for anything that you're given pretty much.
And I got the script and I remember stopping off at my
friend's house for a coffee and just saying, "I really,
really want this show." I had spent the night before, you
know, on my own in a restaurant, laughing - people looking
at me because I was laughing out loud at the script and just
like racing through to see what happened next.
And it's amazing, I mean in fact my family and I are
watching reruns now; my eldest Emily is just - she's up to
Season 4. We watched ‘Once More With Feeling’ last night.
It's still current, it's a joy to watch something which
still is resonant; it has so much to offer still that it's
just an extraordinary thing.
And it's down to Joss Whedon—he's a remarkable man. I just
watched ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and he's still surprising
himself and – well he probably isn't surprising himself –
but he's surprising everybody else just turning out
But it was a joy to work with James again on Warehouse 13.
It was great, great fun. And we shared some old times
Tim Holquinn: Thank you so much for indulging my question.
Somebody had to ask it and I'm glad it was me.
Jack Kenny: I hope somebody asks me about Titus. I'm
kidding, don't ask me about Titus. I'm not comparing the
two, I promise.
Tim Holquinn: Tell me about Titus.
Jack Kenny: Yes, I'll tell you when you're here. We'll have
a long lunch.
Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Steve
Eramo with SciFiAndTvTalk. Please proceed.
Steve Eramo: My question is actually a combo question for
the both of you. And Anthony, I wanted to find out, what
maybe were some of the particular acting challenges you
found portraying your Warehouse 13 character? And then for
Jack, what did you enjoy most about creating this particular
incarnation of this character?
Anthony Head: I did a fair amount of research about him.
He’s a fascinating character. He's actually worth looking
at. He's a Renaissance alchemist. And as I said, he actually
did an enormous amount of good in his life. But,
unfortunately he just kept following this rebellious
I mean Bombastus is in his name and I don't know if that's
where, you know, bombastic comes from him. His full name was
Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim.
With a name like that you've...
Jack Kenny: It took him 20 minutes to fill out a check.
Anthony Head: Yes, he was a very pompous guy and he believed
in himself so fervently, which is fun to play.
I watched some great actors playing madness, which was an
interesting thing to do. And just sort of, you know, little
bits of it trickled down. And it was a fun role to play
because he grows. He starts off way up there, but, needless
to say, his path of madness grows.
And it's great fun to play that because as long as you've
got people watching over you saying, "Okay, Tony, too much
now." You know you can have such fun with it. And you know,
I've always relatively self-regulated anyway. I don't like
being sort of just over the top for the sake of it. But it's
just nice to have a little bit of lunacy of late. Great fun.
Jack Kenny: I think our first exchange on the set was when
you you come out of the bronzer and I talked about, "Can you
give me a big laugh here, enjoying the amazement of this
moment and lean back into that light?"
And you didn't even - you just like got it. You knew exactly
the image I was going for, exactly the look. It was a little
bit of that madness, but well controlled and well-modulated.
But you got, "Oh I got it, I've got this, I know." And it
was like so - it was just great to just give a simple thing
like that and have an actor go, "I know exactly what you're
looking for. I know the image you want."
And it was just - it was such a joy. And I think in terms of
creating him, what I love about this show, what I love to do
on this show is peak back into history, take a historical
figure, either put the character on screen like we did with
H.G. Wells or Paracelsus.
Or even just talk about a character this way, and just twist
it a little bit; say some things - do some things with that
character or say something about the character that could
actually be true, may not be absolutely true, may not be
completely provable one way or another, but then add that -
add - also add being in bronze for 500 years and just let
that character explode a little bit in our imagination and
take a character like Paracelsus, who was indeed everything
Tony described. And that's one of the things that was so -
we found so appealing about this character was he was an
envelope pusher. He didn't - he was - he fought society. He
was an outlaw.
Anthony Head: He wasn't a postie.
Jack Kenny: No. No, not at all, he was a renegade. And take
somebody like that, and then what we've done with him going
into Season 5 as well, is give him a purity of purpose. And
whenever anybody has a purity of purpose it can twist their
And so I mean, you know, from anyone from Einstein to
Hitler, purity of purpose can make you - can create
weirdness and create danger and create madness, or create
genius. There's any number of things it can create.
Sometimes a mixture of all of the above.
And so that's what we wanted to do with Paracelsus, was take
this guy who was fully just believed so completely in
science, scientific research, experimentation, and take it
to the Nth degree. And then we put him in a world where he
can actually do it; where he can actually create incredible
things. And that's what, you know, that's how we wanted to
Anthony Head: I was just going to add that people ask me
whether I like playing bad guys, and I always answer, "I
like playing people."
Jack Kenny: Yes.
Anthony Head: Because someone didn't start out to be a bad
guy. Their actions may be questionable, but for them, in
their head, they're doing something for a good reason. It
just doesn't happen to coincide with everybody else's sort
of idea of a good reason. So I love playing something - I
love playing the pathology of a character the, "What makes
him tick, what makes him be the person he is." It's not all
black and white. And that's what makes it fun.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Tony
Tellado with Sci-Fi Talk. Please proceed.
Tony Tellado: Talk about kind of dipping into Merlin
territory a little bit here, it's pretty cool. So what led
you, Jack, to cast Anthony, besides the fact that he's a
great actor of course, but what led you to kind of go into
that? And then for Mr. Head, how were you approached and how
did that all go?
Jack Kenny: Well he said, "Yes," so that was a big plus. No
honestly, I have for quite a while been a fan of Tony's work
and his presence on screen. And you know, aside from the
fact that he's a wonderful actor, he brings a certain
And that - when you're playing a historical character, you
have to be very careful the way it's cast and the way it's
played. And it has to be played - you don't want to play it
all stuffy and historical and dusty, but there has to be a
sense of gravitas, a sense of history about the man. And
that's what Tony, you know I think in everything he plays,
either he's a thorough researcher for every character he
plays or he just has an incredible depth behind his eyes
that he brings to the character.
But you see a man there who has lived a long time and seen a
lot of things. Whatever he's doing behind his eyes to bring
that, that's what I'm getting. And that was so imperative to
We don’t just write bad guys. We always write many levels to
our big, bad characters, however we play them, which I could
see in Tony’s work. I was just so unbelievably thrilled that
he said yes to this because you can see in his work a depth
and a resonance and a historical gravitas that you would
bring to the character and that just was - that was just - I
can't imagine anybody else playing this.
Anthony Head: Thank you. Cool. In answer to your question,
basically Jack sent me an email which was just really,
really appealing. And just you know, just said, "Hey this is
our show, we have a great time on it. It's the flagship show
of the Syfy channel and we would love you to come and play,
come and join us for a couple of episodes."
And it was just so nicely written and so just bang on. And
I'm a fan of Jack Kenny. That's all I can say.
Jack Kenny: Thank you Tony.
Tony Tellado: Well gentlemen, thank you.
Anthony Head: God this is a big love-fest isn't it?
Jack Kenny: It is.
Jack Kenny: We'll get ugly in a little bit. We have a couple
of drinks in us we'll get really ugly, "That bastard changed
every word I wrote." I've got to say, even to the notion of
the accent he brings to the character.
He didn't - I mean he has a beautiful English accent anyway,
which would have sufficed, because you know, you kind of buy
that for European. But he brought - he said, "I'm going to
add just a twinge of German, of Swiss-German, just a few
accents here and there."
And it's so subtle and so beautiful, it's like another spice
in an amazing dish, and you just go, "Oh that's exactly what
it needed." And you never would have known that that's what
it needed until you saw him add it. And you go, "Oh, that -
what a beautiful icing on that cake." I mean it's just -
things like that, I just love it.
Tony Tellado: Well gentlemen, I think for the shows that are
- that you are both on that are just going to complete, you
know and Warehouse next year, I think they'll be getting a
lot of viewing at my house for quite some time. And of
course I can say the same thing about Merlin too. I think
they were both very memorable. And Warehouse is - was really
something special. There'll never be anything like it.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Sam Maggs
with The Televixen. Please proceed.
Jack Kenny: Televixen, that's so enticing.
Anthony Head: Yes, I was going there too.
Sam Maggs: Oh my goodness, okay.
Jack Kenny: We both want to ask you what you're wearing.
Sam Maggs: Stop. Go on. I'm actually calling - The
Televixen's actually located in Toronto. And I know you guys
shoot Warehouse 13 up here in Toronto. And so I was
wondering if you both could speak to your experience filming
up here in our little Canadian town and how you found it.
Jack Kenny: Go ahead, Tony.
Anthony Head: I, personally, I love Toronto. I've only
worked in Vancouver and Toronto. But they're both very, very
different cities. And I love them both for very different
I love the cosmopolitan, just the great mix of people in
Toronto. And I just like traveling around the town. It's
just got a great vibe; it's got a great energy. I'm flying
over tomorrow and I can't wait. I'm really looking forward
Jack Kenny: I would say - and that's interesting, the
actor's perspective as opposed to the show-runner's
perspective because I don't get to see too much of Toronto.
I'm mostly lashed to a director's chair or to a monitor or
something for 14 hours a day. And then on Saturday's I'm
holed up in my apartment writing.
But from a producer's standpoint, it's a gold mine. Because
you can make Toronto look like almost anywhere. I mean we've
shot it for Egypt, we've shot it for London, we've shot it
for Paris. We've shot it for Los Angeles and New York.
And we even shot it for Toronto in one episode, which was
quite a stretch. But we - you know we're shooting it for -
we found an area today that we're going to shoot for 1500s
Constantinople. I mean there's just - it's just filled with
cool places to shoot.
And you can't find one city that has that much variety and
that much spice in it – It's a gold mine. And I think that's
why so many shows are shooting up here now, because you
know, the weather is, if you're not here in January or
February, it's reasonable. So far we're having a decent
summer and I haven't started sweating yet.
So it's you know, I mean we have been up - I've been here
sometimes in the summer it was - oh my God it was hot. But
it's just - it's a paradise for production for locations.
And our show is a 6 days out, you know, one or two days in,
shoot so we're out on location all the time. And it's just -
it's always fun and always serves up what we need. So I love
it for that.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up question from the
line of Jamie Ruby with scifivision.com. Please proceed.
Jamie Ruby: From this three-episode arc, can you guys talk
about, I don't know maybe something that was your favorite
moment or - in general terms or you know, maybe even not
even - behind the scenes. Whatever, just something that
stood out for you. There, I got it out.
Jack Kenny: Whatever, just blather on for 5 minutes will
you? I've got some time to kill and they gave me the line, I
had to come up with some kind of question.
Jamie Ruby: I'm sorry.
Jack Kenny: I'm kidding.
Jamie Ruby: I can't talk today.
Anthony Head: Jack, I'm really not good at favorite moments.
Jack Kenny: Well I'll tell you, I already gave up my
favorite moment, and it was early on. Honestly it was - it's
in Episode 18 that's coming - it's coming up at the end of
Episode 18 when Paracelsus realizes what's occurred, and the
joy - he just leans back and laughs.
And the joy and the history that comes out in that laugh,
the relief, the excitement about the future, I mean it all
comes out in this beautiful moment and he leans back into
the light and laughs, and that has been one of my favorite
And I think - I'm trying to think of the other - you know,
there was so many great moments in 420 for me, because I
directed the finale, so I was - I spent a lot more time with
Tony. You know, and we were shooting in the rain to make it
look like - and we were shooting someplace that was supposed
to look like San Francisco, so the rain actually worked.
Jamie Ruby: Right.
Jack Kenny: I mean honestly, every moment - here's a quote
for Tony, it doesn't mean anything coming from a cable
show-runner, but every moment working with Tony Head is a
Because I'll tell you there are - and I'm not blowing smoke
because we've already got him, and he's - so you know, he's
already locked up, he can't ask for more money, we're done.
But - and I can't ask for less. But honestly, there aren't
too many actors that I would do anything with, and Tony is
one of them.
I just am - I immediately connected with him and we
immediately had a rapport and we understood what each other
was trying to do. And it was just fun, I mean he brings game
to the table. And everybody doesn't bring game; not right
away. Some take a while to warm up, some bring it right away
and it's not the right game, but Tony is just - he's just
We've been very lucky on this show. You know, there's a lot
of people we've worked with who bring their A-game on Day 1,
and that's - and I would say Tony is at the top of that
list, he's just fun. I had fun. And my God, if you can't
have fun in this business then you shouldn't be in it.
Right, I mean doesn't everybody in the world want to be in
Anthony Head: Absolutely. If it's purgatory, then there
really is no point. No I also had fun. I mean I'm trying to
think of a moment, I think it was - it - I had a couple of
scenes with James that I just - it was again, it was fun
being - it was the old team.
I love the cast of the show, I mean everybody is just - for
a show that's, you know, I got used to this on Buffy, that
you know, for - when a show runs for a long time, you can -
it all basically stems from the guy in charge. And again
this is a love-fest. But ultimately everybody is very fond
And you can feel the love. You - generally there is a -
everybody is in a good place and is - really relates to each
other. And there isn't that kind of like, "Okay you know,
we've done 4 years and, you know, hopefully we're going to
do 5, and okay then we go to hiatus and that's going to be
great. We're going to go on hiatus and then we're going back
to work," none of that. It's all - it really - everybody was
really into it.
And it was fun, I had a great time. Which is why when they
said, "Do you want to come back?" and I said, "Yay."
But - and I was saying to my agent, you know, "We've got to
- we have to make sure," and she was saying, "What is it
with you and this Warehouse 13?" I said, "I just want to do
Jack Kenny: You know there was another thing that happened
that I just loved, and Tony you probably do this all the
time, but there's a scene where Pete and Myka are searching
for Paracelsus and they hear his voice and you know, and
he's talking to them. And you know we - it's so - and we
never see him, I mean he's never in the scene. We - they
don't find him.
Jamie Ruby: Right.
Jack Kenny: And you know, so easily you - a script
supervisor or I would have read those lines for them and it
would have been fine. It would have been - that's usually
what's done, you don't make an actor who doesn't appear on
camera show up and sit on the set for what was essentially 6
hours and - while we shoot every version of this scene that
we were going to shoot.
And Tony insists. I even said to him, "You know you don't
have to." He said, "No, no, no, I want to come. I want to
come and be there. I want to come and do the lines." And you
know we set him up, we set him up, we set a microphone up,
we did the whole...
And it was just - it's just that kind of thing that you
don't - a lot of actors don't do that, they really don't.
They "Okay, well if he's going to read it or you can read it
that's great, I'll just go home." Tony stayed. Tony didn't
even stay, he came for it. He wasn't called that day, the
came to the set to do that only, and it was probably an
hour's drive away from his hotel so that was pretty cool.
Anthony Head: It needs to be done.
Jack Kenny: Everybody doesn't feel that way, but thank you
Anthony Head: Yes but - yes, the people are in acting for
Jack Kenny: Yes, yes, yes it's true.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Suzanne
Lanoue with TV Megasite. Please proceed.
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Jack I was wondering, at the end of the
last episode we saw this guys who's in cahoots with someone.
Is this related to Anthony's appearance at all?
Jack Kenny: Yes, it's been several months since we wrapped
these and several months since I saw the last mix. And I'm
trying to remember the last scene of Episode 17 because I
know there's a big moment with Myka. Did we play that at the
end of 17?
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, she finds out about the cancer and
Jack Kenny: Right, yes good. And then did we also play Nick
in a car with someone?
Suzanne Lanoue: I don't think so, he was just talking …
Jack Kenny: Okay that's coming up; don't want to give it
away. I couldn't remember because there were two … Here's a
little insight into show-running: that show, Episode 17,
when we looked at it on the mix stage it had two endings.
And we thought, "We can't give this two endings, it's got to
have two kind of bomb-dropping endings.”
And one was Myka finds out she might have ovarian cancer,
right? You don't want to do an ending after that. You don't
want to go to another scene after that, that's where the
show has to end, right? That's the cliff-hanger. And then so
we had another beat - and if you do it before it, it kind of
undercuts it. So we were moving things around.
And I couldn't remember where we moved it to. I think it's
in 18. It might be in - it might have been in 16 for all I
know, but I think it's in 18. But Nick is - yes, we do find
out that Nick is involved with what's going on. He is in
cahoots, as you say, with some people. Exactly how he's in
cahoots, I want to wait for you guys to find out. But yes,
Nick is - Nick has made his way into the Warehouse now.
Suzanne Lanoue: And that's related to Anthony's playing
Jack Kenny: Yes it is, in a very, very strong way. As a
matter of fact, you might say that without Nick, Anthony
wouldn't be with us.
Suzanne Lanoue: Okay, well good. Anthony, I was going to ask
a question about your accent but it's been answered. But I'm
overjoyed to talk to you. I've been a big fan of yours
actually ever since those coffee commercials so.
Anthony Head: Thank you very much. I mean I'll tell you, the
accent thing basically, you know I - because I've always
been a - I love accents and I can do accents. And I've not
been asked to do it that often in my career. And it's not
something - you know I used to turn to accents all the time
because it's a great way of escaping from yourself. But in
this particular instance it seemed to be valid because we -
the first time we meet him he's actually speaking German.
Not actually Swiss-German, because Swiss-German is the most
extraordinary language I've ever heard in my life. But it's
just German. And we basically we will buy it. But I thought
that because he, you know, he has been encased in bronze
since he was a renaissance alchemist, that his accent would
still be - there would be some semblance of it.
And I wanted that sort of - just to be reminded that he was
- you know that he is European and he's not English. And
Jack very sweetly said, "Absolutely." I said, "I don't want
it to be a heavy, you know, let's not think he's sort of -
it's not Hitler Youth." You know, it's - this is something
which is very subtle and it's just - it just underpins. And
I hope, you know keep my fingers crossed, I hope that's the
case. I'm obviously going to have to watch some of it before
I do any more.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up question from the
line of Tim Holquinn with Screen Fad. Please proceed.
Tim Holquinn: Jack, this one's for you.
Jack Kenny: If you ask about Titus I'm not going to answer.
Tim Holquinn: Amidst the sadness I was feeling regarding
Myka's condition, it struck me that although many, many
shows, especially medical shows, have dealt with the topic
of cancer, genre fans would undoubtedly argue that no series
did so as effectively or devastatingly as Buffy.
Did that intense sense memory connection involving cancer
enter your mind at all when placing Anthony into this
particular story line? Should we read it as a subliminal
preparation or clue of Myka's ultimate fate?
Jack Kenny: Unfortunately, and here's something that I don't
know, you may never forgive me for this, and I know maybe
Anthony, well maybe this will be the end of our friendship.
I've only seen a couple of episodes of Buffy. While we're
confessing, I've only seen a couple of X-Files.
I don't have time to watch a lot of television because I'm
usually busy writing it or making it in some way. So I know
there's very little TV that I can catch up on. And depending
on when shows happen in my life, like Buffy probably started
when I was heavily involved in something else and didn't
have any time at all to watch TV so that by the time it was
Season 2 or 3 or 4 I thought, "I'll never catch up," and I
just never dived in.
Now my former writing partner, Brian Hargrove, we were
partners many years ago, and it was his favorite show ever
written -- ever done. As far as Brian's concerned it is the
Gospel of Television. It's the best thing ever.
So but I didn't - so I didn't have any influence in that
regard at all. What I like doing on this show is having real
life interrupt our craziness. That to me is what's
interesting about this show is because what they tend to
forget is that there's real life too. Yes, an artifact can
kill you any minute and all this stuff is happening, we're
running and jumping from monsters chasing us off cliffs, but
there's also cancer.
And when something like that enters a life - and also we
want to throw - not just throw the audience off their guard,
but I want to throw the actors and the characters off their
guard a little bit too, for them to go "Oh shit, bad things
Bad things happen. And sometimes you have - it's not because
you didn't bag the artifact, it's just that sometimes
something ugly rears its head." You know and - but I will
say, you know to the fans, "Don't worry, we always have your
best interest at heart. I am not George R.R. Martin. I'm not
planning on a Red Wedding.”
We're not going to kill off everybody. But you know, things
happen and they have to be dealt with and sometimes they're
dangerous and scary, and sometimes people die from them. And
that world has to be. It's why we killed Lena last year is,
because you know, sometimes death is real.
It can't always be fixed by a metronome or a time-reversal
artifact. Sometimes death happens and it has to be lived
with and dealt with and gone through and healed from. And
that's why we went through Lena and Arty and everybody,
healing from that. And we'll go through Myka's - how she has
to deal with this as well, one way or another.
Tim Holquinn: Okay, well as Joss has said himself, Joss
Whedon has said as a show-runner, "You either make TV or you
Jack Kenny: Yes.
Tim Holquinn: "...it's pretty hard to do both."
Jack Kenny: Yes, I don't imagine Joss has caught a lot of
our episodes either, so I hope he's not offended.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up question from the
line of Tony Tellado with Sci-Fi Talk. Please proceed.
Tony Tellado: Just an observation question, gentlemen again.
I thought Warehouse 13 really took a major step when they
started to get - you know, to incorporate the drama into the
show and yet still have the light episodes. I just thought
the evolution just really took it on such a higher plane.
Just you know did - when you were playing something like
that Jack, do you feel that it was a bit of a risk, you
know, doing something along those lines?
Jack Kenny: You know I think honestly, because life has
that, that's why I think dramas have gone that way. Life has
comedic and dramatic moments and melodrama and action
moments and scary moments and funny moments. And usually the
funny moments happen at the height of the scary moments in
life you know?
When you know people - so jokes must be made. I feel like,
you know, it's - and we're all - I'm gifted with actors who
are very good at it. They're very good, not just at doing
humor or at telling - making a joke work, but at making a
joke work in a dire situation, in a dramatic situation, in a
They can make a joke and not make it feel like a joke, make
it feel like that character is trying to lighten the mood,
change the subject, get through this somehow and maybe it's
humor that's getting them through it. But I feel like that,
that's - that yes, that's the tenor of our show and that's
the tenor - that's kind of the way I live my life. And it's
sort of I think the way most people live their lives is
walking that fence between tragedy and comedy, you know?
Tony Tellado: Yes.
Anthony Head: It's interesting that - I was going to say,
following off on what you say, it's interesting that people
do turn to humor in moments of pathos. And it's also
something that works very well dramatically because just in
the moment you're laughing, if you turn it on a dime and
pull the rug away, it's that much further to fall.
It's certainly something that Joss Whedon did back in the
'90s when we first started Buffy. In fact when he first
wrote the film, when he was 19, he couldn't get it made
because no one got the idea of a horror film being genuinely
witty with sardonic humor. And in fact, the film itself, the
people who made the film said, "No, no, no, no, no, no, this
is - no this is, we'll show you how to make the film," and
sort of did all this larky kind of stuff that one was used
to in horror films.
But it's something that I think, you know, the likes of Joss
Whedon and J.J. Abrams and people through now, it's an
accepted - it's a very accepted form of writing. And it
makes - it just makes the whole thing work more as a little
sort of microcosm of life.
Tony Tellado: Excellently put. I have to commend you on your
performance coming back on Merlin as Uther and playing a
darker, even darker part. I mean I thought that was a blast.
That must have been a lot of fun to go at it with Merlin.
Anthony Head: Thank you. It was - unfortunately, Uther
didn't have many laughs but...
Tony Tellado: No.
Anthony Head: I did get to play in bold which was quite fun.
And I got the back of my head slapped by Gaius. And I also
got to fall in love with a grotesque, which is great fun,
who belched and farted with the best of them, played by a
very beautiful actress I have to say.
But yes, no I had a whale of a time. I had a great time on
the show and it was great fun to come back as someone really
moody. And again, he had his reasons. You know, as far as he
was concerned, old school king, old school father. His son
has got - you know, is way out of line, so you know, come
back and give him a hard time, makes sense to me.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up from Steve Eramo
with SciFiAndTvTalk. Please proceed.
Steve Eramo: Just maybe a follow-up question for Anthony,
it's a very general one as well. And I wanted to find out
Anthony, did you always want to work in this industry while
you were growing up or did you have other professions in
Anthony Head: No. I'd always wanted to - in fact, my
earliest memory was when I was about 6 and I was doing a
show that - one of my friends used to organize a show every
year or so, and I got to play the Emperor in The Emperor's
I hasten to add, I was in the - in a combination suit, I was
not naked. But I remember everyone looking at me as I was
walking up the aisle onto the stage and just thought, "This
is cool, this is where I want to be."
But it actually - it was earlier than that, when I was at a
junior school - well not even junior school, like
playschool, and the career asked my parents one day, she
said, "It's really nice that Anthony turns up in costume
every day. And it's really nice that he, you know, plays all
these characters. But it would be really nice to meet
Anthony one day." Because I used to dress up as my favorite
TV characters. My favorite was Rusty from Rin Tin Tin.
Steve Eramo: Yes.
Anthony Head: And I used to wear the hat and everything, and
the scarf. And I used to turn up, when I was Rusty, I was
Rusty, no doubt about it.
So ever since - you know, and I'd always, you know, from my
early days I used to watch - when I was a kid I used to
watch The Whirlybirds and like all the American shows that
you probably won't even know, but stuff that really
influenced. So when - I'd always wanted to go out to
Hollywood and be a part of it. So when I got my chance, I
Steve Eramo: Well I have to tell you I've been a huge fan
from Buffy to Merlin, and now Warehouse. And again I want to
thank you and Jack for all the many, many hours of enjoyable
entertainment that you've given me over the years. And I
look forward to many, many more down the road.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up from Jamie Ruby
with scifivision.com. Please proceed.
Jamie Ruby: So this one's for you Jack, it's a question from
Twitter. They want to know what your reaction is when people
say, "That Myka and H.G. are more than friends." And also I
want to add, "Is there a chance she'll be back next season?"
Jack Kenny: I currently do plan on seeing H.G. in the next -
in one of the last six episodes.
You know Twitter confuses me a little bit. Because I
actually don't go on there very much. I went on to promote
the show as Syfy had asked me to, but I find that people can
get very insistent on Twitter on having things done their
way. And I understand where that comes from.
We have always played a little PLT with Myka and H.G.,
pre-lesbian tension, and it's kind of fun. And I think that
they are both women of the world enough that they would
entertain, if not have in the past at some point had an
experience with another women.
And we've even said that H.G. has had other women lovers.
And I think that's cool. We've always played that they are
great friends, that they love each other and care very much
about each other. But I think the insistence that they get
together seems almost to push the relationship beyond where
I think it should go.
Because - just because - I mean in a way it's sort of
contradictory to what I would imagine is a solid belief in
friendship and love, that two women can - and indeed two
men, can love each other, care about each other, be
intimately close to each other, and not necessarily have sex
or become a couple.
Jamie Ruby: Right.
Jack Kenny: It happens quite often in life and I don't know
why it shouldn't be able to happen between these two women
who clearly, clearly respect and love each other and value
and admire each other to a great degree. I think that that
should be a beautiful thing that is cherished rather than
the insistence that they spend the rest of their lives
together in a - you know, in a house in the suburbs or
fighting crime across the airwaves, you know, across the
That's a different show. It's a different -you know, it's a
different - it's not that it's not a great show, and that
may be where we would have gone...
Anthony Head: Hell of a spinoff, dude.
Jack Kenny: Yes, listen, we tried to spin H.G. off into her
own series, and that indeed because she was so much more in
that world, she almost went on board with bisexuality, we
may have taken that series in that direction. But we've
never - you know we like I say, "We've touched on it, we've
flirted with it in this show and I like that."
I like that we flirted with it. I like that Pete flirts with
Steve. You know, I like that Pete says, "Oh come on, come
on, you want to see me with the shirt off right?" I mean
it's a different kind of flirting, it's a playful, toying,
you know friendship flirting, not the same kind that H.G.
and Myka have. They clearly respect and love and care about
each other a great deal as I've said. But I think the idea
of ending the series with the two of them walking off
together hand in hand in the sunset would be in many ways a
betrayal of so many other elements of the series that are
important and that are true to the world or to the life,
that you know it's just - it's - that's the - it strikes me
more in the world of fan fiction rather than the world of
Warehouse 13. Not that that's not valid, it's just not where
I would take the series or where I think Syfy would want to
take the series. It just feels like a different show, you
Jack Kenny: And I'm gay. I'm very much in favor of gay
relationships. Sorry Tony, go ahead.
Anthony Head: No I was going to say, I know this is not
directed at me, but I think that's the purpose of fan
fiction isn't it? That they take it to places that, you
know, it ain't going to go.
Jack Kenny: Absolutely.
Anthony Head: But, you know, they just follow down that road
of, "Well what if?" And you know, God bless them, let them
go that way.
Jack Kenny: No, and I love the notion that people want that.
I mean I got - there were a lot of people, I saw a lot of
comments online about when Steve and Liam had an episode
together, you know, "Why wasn't there a kiss at the end?"
Well you know, we're talking about an ATF agent and a U.S.
Marshall in a very public place with a bunch of policemen
and siren and fire. You know what, these are not two human
beings, if it was a woman they wouldn't hug and kiss. It's
not who they are. They're conservative federal agents.
And I'm not talking politically conservative, I mean just as
human beings. Steve is a conservative human being. He's not
going to lip-lock somebody in the middle of all these
people. It's just not who he is. You know? Pete would do it,
because Pete's Pete, you know.
Jamie Ruby: Yes, Pete would do it.
Jack Kenny: He would kiss Steve for that matter. Pete would
kiss anybody in public because Pete doesn't care. But Steve
and Liam, they were both so straight-laced and conservative,
of course they're not going to grab each other and kiss each
other in the middle of the - it would be insane. It would be
- that to me would be a disservice, and it would also, it
wouldn't be true to the characters.
And you know, so I'm very much about being honest and
truthful to these characters. And they're - yes, not to say
there isn't a world where Myka and H.G. could be together in
a series, a great spinoff frankly. I would love to do that
spinoff. But I don't know that it's Warehouse 13. I'm not
saying, "No," I'm just saying, "We're still working on it."
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up from Tim Holquinn
with Screen Fad. Please proceed.
Tim Holquinn: Hey, I'm going to try to squeeze in two real
quick ones. For Tony, and maybe Jack will want to answer
Jack mentioned Mary Tyler Moore, and I watched a documentary
recently where Mary Tyler Moore said that when she started
the Dick Van Dyke Show and had an especially challenging
comedic scene she would think, "What would Lucy do," meaning
Lucille Ball. And certainly many actresses in - after those
days thought, "What would Mary Tyler Moore do?"
I'm wondering is there any inspiration that comes to your
mind when you're presented with a challenging scene where
you might think, "What does Person X, Y or Z, what would
Anthony Head: I have heroes. I have, you know, I always have
people like Ian Holm and Anthony Hopkins in the back of my
mind. In this particular instance as Paracelsus I was saying
I was - I watched a few people doing mad, one of whom was
Klaus Maria Brandauer in Never Say Never.
Klaus Maria Brandauer is one of the most wonderfully
restrained and yet you just don't know where he's going to
go. He has a wonderful danger of that. And there were a
couple of moments when I wondered what Klaus Maria Brandauer
would do. And yes, I guess that answered the question.
Tim Holquinn: Thank you.
Jack Kenny: I think too that the great thing about when you
mention characters like Lucy and Mary or Archie or any of
these characters, they can be distilled down to what they
want. Lucy wanted to be a star. And when you put that
underneath any story, you kind of - the behavior shows
itself. I think that was the genius of Lucy Ricardo is that
you just had to put that in front of her.
Mary did not want to be embarrassed, "Just don't embarrass
me." That's all she cared about, I mean one of the - well
not all, but one of the things. So what do you do as a
writer? You put her in an embarrassing situation and you
have gold because you have a character who is in a situation
she knows she doesn't want to be in. How does she get out of
So when characters - when the actors know those characters
so well, the writers know the characters, what makes them
tick, that's what makes it easy to know what they would do
because it's - you just create those situation that you know
they would respond to in those ways. And that's why that - I
mean that's why I hold those characters in such high esteem
because they were brilliantly thought out.
Tim Holquinn: Certainly. Well in the same documentary
series, it was called America in Primetime, the various
show-runners talked about how series on pay channels like
HBO are entirely different animals due to their production
cost coming from subscriber fees rather than ad rates set
I'm wondering Jack, if you think NBC Universal might ever
create a premium Syfy channel offshoot and what such a
channel could mean for effects heavy shows like yours or
Eureka or Battlestar Galactica? And if that happened, would
you want to be a show-runner for that network where
overnight ratings aren't the difference between life and
Jack Kenny: Well certainly the answer to your last question
was yes because I think the ratings - the rating things are
going away anyway. I mean no one watches television in
And the networks are finally beginning to wake up to the
fact that their Nielsen overnight numbers or the - even the
Live +3s and +7s mean nothing anymore. Some people don't
watch a show until they've got all the episodes recorded on
their DVR and they sit down for a week and watch them all.
And they're going to have to find a way to record that. You
know, they're going to have to find a way to figure out
those numbers because they're going to end up canceling
shows that are huge hits. And they just have to find a way
to bring it up to the time, to the current time.
I think a lot more goes into when a show stays on TV and the
- on the Syfy channel a lot more goes into it than the
numbers. You know, there's all kinds of financial models
that I am not privy to.
I would - I'd like to - the thing I like about HBO and
Showtime, at least what I've heard anyway, is that - I beg
your pardon, I've been eating during this whole thing,
trying to get my lunch down before the next meeting. I'm a
classy guy. But that to a great extent, they let the
creators see their vision through. There are fewer
interruptions or notes, if you were given, that creators are
And the cables that are ad supported - or the channels that
are ad supported, there tends to be a lot more involvement
basically because they have a lot of bosses. They have a lot
of people buying their time on their channel, they have to
keep a lot of people happy, there are certain rules that
have to be followed, there are certain, you know, mothers
can't be bad, you know kids can't say X.
There's a lot of things that can't be done that you can get
away with on pay channels and you can tell your story more
realistically. So there's that advantage. At the same time
there are very few pay, you know, premium channels and a lot
more of the rest of us. And so we're making it work.
I mean I think it's hard to separate the two anymore because
these days so many amazing things are being done on cable,
on free cable, on basic cable, on AMC and A&E and Syfy and
USA and TNT. They're all doing incredible work that you just
go, "Wow that's - it's a step above most of the networks,"
the networks still being beholden to older models. You know
whereas the cable channels are able to take bigger steps.
So I think the cable universe is actually stepping up closer
to the premium universe. Whereas I don't think you're going
to need a premium Syfy channel, I think in a certain amount
of time the Syfy channel will be behaving like a premium
channel; they'll do the kind of shows that they want to do
and that people will follow.
Anthony Head: Can I just add that basically fear is the
greatest inhibitor; fear of stepping out of line, doing
something that's not going to be acceptable. And I've
encountered it all of my career.
And it's you know, when you do come, in a playing field
where there, you know, there is less - there's always going
to be fear because ultimately, you know, they are beholden
to their - whoever is paying the bills. But for all that,
the cable, the big cable boys, they have less fear, put it
that way. And it's hopefully it'll go down, you know, it
will - everybody will go down that road.
I mean I just did a show for a company who said they wanted
to go down the cable route. I don't think they really did.
I'm not sure they do because I don't think they know quite
what it is. But it's you know, it's an ideal.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Adam
Newland with TV Equals. Please proceed.
Adam Newland: This question is for Mr. Head, I think at this
point it's safe to say that you're considered an icon in the
sci-fi community. Is this the genre in which you feel the
most comfortable as an actor?
Anthony Head: I will not rest until I'm an icon in the
flower-selling community. Yes, I mean it's awesome. People
say, you know, "Do I choose my projects, you know because
they are, you know, they end up in the sci-fi world?" No,
I mean I've done a lot of different programs, it just so
happens that the more successful stuff that I've done, or
the most successful stuff I've done I should say, happens to
be sci-fi just because sci-fi is always story driven. It's
always, you know, it's the place where the imagination can
go wildest. And it's - you know, people like that. And you
know, a show like Buffy, which ultimately was hugely
allegorical and was about life and was about, you know,
You know when I went to Joss Whedon, said, "I don't quite
know what I'm doing in this show anymore. I kind of - I'm
miles - thousands of miles from my family and I'm just sort
of a cypher now."
Bless his heart he said, "Okay, leave that with me," and he
wrote me an episode about midlife crisis. You know, the
thing about sci-fi is that it can be allegorical, it can
tell us all about our lives. And at the same time it sets it
in a universe or a world that anything can happen.
So I just - I basically - I go on scripts. If someone sends
me a good script I say, "Yes." And they're just - you know,
stuff like Warehouse 13, you send me a good script and I
say, "Yes." That's really all it's about.
And I'm extremely happy to have been embraced by the science
fiction community. They're very generous, they're very
loving and they're extremely loyal. So yes, count me in.
Adam Newland: Thank you very much for your time.
Anthony Head: Thank you.
Gary Morgenstein: And our time - I'm sorry, but our time is
up. Thank you Anthony. Thank you Jack.
Anthony Head: Thank you.
Jack Kenny: Thanks Gary.
Gary Morgenstein: Thank you everyone for joining us. Anthony
Head's 3-episode guest star arc begins on Warehouse Monday,
June 24 at 10:00 pm. Thanks again everyone. Take care.
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