If you’ve never been to one of Eddie McClintock’s panels, stop everything (after reading this, of course) and jot his name down on your must-see list for next year. He’s on this reporter’s list of top people to see every year because McClintock brings a high intensity, laugh-filled exuberance to every panel he’s on. From taking his shirt off five minutes in to creating illustrations for the charity auction to running out to the audience to hold the microphone, you just never know what you’ll hear or witness.
What you don’t often glimpse is McClintock’s more serious side. He sat down with reporters during a press conference on Saturday to discuss Dragon Con, his fans, causes that are close to his heart, and more.
According to McClintock, Dragon Con is the convention he looks forward to attending every year because he loves the people and how the convention is truly about the fans. When he started attending conventions, he decided early on to give as much of himself to every person that he meets and who attends his panels. At the end of the day, he’s exhausted, but as long as he continues to be invited back, he will continue to return every Labor Day weekend.
One encounter with a fan has really stuck with him and changed the way he interacts at the autograph table. McClintock recounted a time a few years ago at Dragon Con when a young lady shared her personal story with him about coming out to her parents and how she struggled with the decision. She discussed how his character Pete from Warehouse 13 had helped her through that time. They talked, and he gave her a big hug. She said that moment changed her life. Now, McClintock spends his autograph session on his feet in front of the table handing out numerous hugs and playful paddles. When someone leaves the table or panel, he genuinely wants them to have a memorable experience because “the fans deserve that.”
As outgoing, personable, and playful as he is, you might not guess that growing up, and even today, he worried about other people’s perception of him and how they would judge him. The irony? He chose a career where people are constantly judging him in auditions and on set.
If you worry about what you will say or do when meeting him, don’t. According to McClintock, “You can’t be as stupid in front of me as I was in front of Richard Dreyfuss…I was like, hey, Mr. Dreyfuss, I’m Eddie McClintock. I’m on this show, Warehouse 13, but oh my God, I just think you’re so fantastic. I’m such a huge fan of yours, but I’m not like a stalkery weird fan or anything like that, but want to see my tattoo?” He went on to say the encounter just spiraled downward from there. The next day at a photo op, McClintock photo bombed a picture Dreyfuss was taking and tried to recover from the previous day, but the words “weird, creepy, stalkery guy” and “see my tattoo” still came out. In the end, McClintock reiterated that “no one can ever say anything in front of me that can make me feel anything but thank you for taking the time to come up and meet me.”
McClintock wasn’t encouraged to be an actor growing up, or even knew acting was a legitimate career option. He did, however, have a passion for film and television shows from an early age, which led him to start impersonating people he knew from baseball and school to the point where the team would exuberantly ask him to impersonate them. After college, his uncle said McClintock was more of a Hollywood man and hired him to be a corporate insurance broker in Los Angeles. Despite his friends’ gasps of shock at the thought of him being an insurance agent, McClintock decided he was an insurance guy, boisterously claimed that insurance was his thing every time someone asked, and moved from Ohio. He was fired seven months later.
McClintock had to get out of the way of himself, become sober, and grow up. He started an acting class, after following a girl to it, and decided that, for the first time since sports, he’d found his passion and had realized what he wanted to do with his life. After breaking away from the friends that he’d been drinking and running around with, McClintock threw himself into his acting classes. He met the right coaches, who inspired and supported him. He worked tirelessly to make it and has been sober for 15 years.
When asked about his dream role, McClintock became uncharacteristically serious. “I’m very supportive of our veterans. I think there’s a lot of important war stories to tell.” His childhood hero was his uncle who flew gunships in Vietnam and was shot down a few times. He voraciously read books on World War II, Vietnam, and Korea. McClintock aspires to be a part of the next noble war film, one that really shines a light on the true insanity of war and informs the public about the struggles veterans face when assimilating with post-traumatic stress disorder. McClintock actively and publicly supports the VFW. Not only are the VFW and veterans important to him, but also the police officers and those who risk their lives every day for people’s safety.
Even though McClintock spoke seriously while covering topics he’s passionate about, his sense of humor is never far behind. It seems he’d like to do a movie about doo-doo. A film all about poop. One reporter replied, “And that’s the number one box office movie.” To which this reporter pointed out, “Wouldn’t it be number two?” McClintock shot back, “That’s why you’re a writer!”
He would also like to be able to fart the entire alphabet, and as for who would win in an epic battle to the death between Wizard-Eddie and Robot-Eddie, Wizard-Eddie would win because “he would be wearing a swarthy cape. And that’s why.”