In the first of several Warehouse 13 panels this weekend at the Centennial Ballroom II-III on Friday, Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, and John-Paul Nickel entertained us and gave us insights into their characters. The audience welcomed all of the panelists enthusiastically. McClintock took video of the audience cheering for him and chanting “Eddie, Eddie.” As we chanted, McClintock felt compelled to take his shirt off and spike it like a football. Some of us were disappointed that he didn’t decide to toss the shirt out into the audience, but Kelly pointed out that McClintock would then have to spend the rest of the day shirtless. By the face that Kelly made, it wasn’t an appealing idea to her.
Within a few minutes of starting the Q&A from the audience, claiming to need the exercise, McClintock jumped off the stage and ran around with a wireless microphone to take the questions himself. The first fan to ask a question quickly became overwhelmed and had trouble speaking. The fan’s question was for Kelly, and McClintock quickly invited the fan to go give Kelly a hug up on stage. The fan ran for the stage and got a big hug from Kelly. She was still a little overwhelmed, now up on stage with Kelly and McClintock as well as the audience looking at her. Kelly drew the fan off to the side and answered the question privately first, and then repeated the question for all of us.
The question dealt with who Kelly would have preferred her character, Myka, end up with at the end of the series, HG Wells (played by Jamie Murray) or McClintock’s character, Pete. Myka and Pete end up together at the end of the series, but Kelly noted that for her it could have gone either way. She was and continues to be a great supporter of the relationship between the two women and said that she’s “glad that relationships like that are being portrayed in the media now and are reflective of the society that we live in.”
While Kelly was speaking with the shy fan, McClintock continued to take questions from the audience. One question was about what artifact they would create and what would be the upside and downside. Nickel replied that his artifact would be for eternal youth but that the youth would be stolen from babies, which is one of the darker replies to that question these reporters have heard. McClintock’s answer was one that he had mentioned before, Janis Joplin’s backstage pass from Woodstock. It would let the person who had it go to any concert that’s ever been, but since Joplin frequently drank Jack Daniels, the user would have to drink a bottle and then get sent to rehab with Lindsey Lohan. Kelly’s answer had to do with time travel, but the user could never be able to come back to the present moment; you’d always be a little bit forward or a little bit behind.
While there have been rumors of McClintock attempting to bring the show back via something like Kickstarter, he dashed fan’s hopes by reminding us that everyone else was too busy, working on new projects—although this explanation was briefly interrupted by a fan running up and offering him cash to get things off the ground.
Nickel recounted that his first professional job was in fact Warehouse 13 (“We popped your cherry?” Kelly inquired), where he started as a PA fetching coffee, earning his dues before being handed the reins for the second Christmas episode. This gave him his first taste of being in control—including the realization that he was in charge of coming up with new dialog on the spot—a responsibility that seemed to both overwhelm and delight him.
One of the challenges Nickel found himself facing was walking a fine line in handling the Pete and Myka dynamic, right up to the end, as he stumbled over having to edit out jokes from the scene where the characters kiss, as they played it too tender and serious to allow a typical bout of Pete’s verbal antics to break through.
Kelly and McClintock reminisced throughout the panel, about how they grew together, as actors and as characters. A fan questioned how they felt about the end relationship dynamic shift toward romance, as the fan had felt Pete and Myka had more of a brother/sister vibe. Taking the lead on this question, Kelly explained that, since so many people were not ready to let the show go, things were going to feel wrong to many people. Any ending, at that point, would have had problems for some.
Impassioned, Kelly spoke about protecting Myka—and all female characters who demonstrate agency over their lives—and how the show did “a beautiful job of not making Pete Myka’s focus.”
But, she continued, in her heart of hearts, she was happy with the outcome, because “Myka was an isolated, lonely person” when we first met her, as truly were all the characters, a group she described as “misfits that all have these missing pieces in their life that come together and form this family.” She felt Myka had found a true partner in Pete, which allowed her to feel good about the conclusion of their on-screen relationship.
Showing both her fierce protectiveness of Myka, and of women as a whole, when Nickel said there had been talk of Pete and Myka having a baby together, Kelly quickly reacted, reminding everyone that “a woman doesn’t need a child to be complete.” The audience cheered that sentiment.
With a change of pace to the conversation, the next fan wondered which artifact either they had, or wished they had taken from the set. McClintock responded that he’d “fleeced the place!” He then regaled us with how he had driven the cast bonkers with a set of bongo drums he would play between takes (with Kelly on-stage muttering “take the drums away from the child!”). Once they had wrapped the series, McClintock had everyone, cast and crew, sign the drums, which he keeps in his home. Kelly admitted she took a more practical approach—she took the patio chairs from the B&B set.
For a moment, the conversation steered away from the Warehouse, to Kelly’s upcoming film, Closet Monster. Due to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, it’s a project Kelly spoke fondly of: a story about a young man coming out in a small town and dealing with the fallout. She sounded moved and proud to be a part of the project. She has yet to see the finished product.
It was well worth going to see McClintock and Kelly talk about this show and these characters that they so clearly love.