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Posts Tagged ‘Colin Ferguson’
WAREHOUSE 13 and Eureka, the Syfy Channel’s top scripted series, are joining together for the first time ever for a pair of crossover episodes this summer, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development, Syfy, and Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions.
In the episodes, which are currently filming, Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayson) of Eureka’s Global Dynamics is sent to Warehouse 13 to help update its aging computer system. This triggers a seemingly sentient computer virus that sends the Warehouse into lockdown and traps the team inside The Warehouse 13 episode is entitled 13.1 and will air on Tuesday, August 3rd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.
The Eureka episode entitled Crossing Over, will air on Friday, August 6th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Warehouse 13‘s Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) pays a visit to Eureka, hoping to see some amazing technological wonders. She gets more than she bargains for, though, when seemingly random objects begin appearing around town. Working with Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Fargo, Claudia has to help solve the mystery before the strange anomalies have deadly consequences…particularly for newcomer Dr. Grant (James Callis).
Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) will guest-star in the Warehouse 13 episode as former Warehouse agent Hugo Miller.
EUREKA, the Syfy Channel’s popular original dramedy series, has cast actor Jamie Kennedy (Ghost Whisperer, Scream trilogy), for a guest appearance on the show’s fourth season. Eureka is currently being filmed on-location in Vancouver, British Columbia. Syfy has ordered 20 episodes of the series, which will premiere July 9th, 2010 @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Kennedy joins a line-up of previously announced guest-stars including Jaime Ray Newman, Matt Frewer and Wil Wheaton.
Jamie Kennedy will play Dr. Ramsey in the episode entitled The Story of Oz, directed by series star Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter). In the episode, Sheriff Carter leaves Eureka to visit his daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) at Harvard while the town celebrates Space Week. A new self-propagating oxygen technology developed Dr. Ramsey in order to potentially colonize on Mars mysteriously begins to build up in the atmosphere above Eureka, threatening to incinerate the entire town. The episode is scheduled to premiere Friday, July 30th, 2010.
Kennedy, who is also a comedian, writer and author, had his first film role as an extra in Dead Poet’s Society starring Robin Williams. He is best known for playing the role of the movie buff, geeky Randy Meeks in the Scream feature film trilogy. Kennedy headlined his own popular series, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, and has appeared in such films as Romeo + Juliet, Three Kings and Bowfinger.
THE Syfy Channel goes boldly where it has never gone before in Summer 2010 with its first ever Thursday night reality bloc (Mary Knows Best and Paranormal Investigators); new scripted series (Haven) based on a Stephen King novella; popular returning series (Warehouse 13, Eureka, Ghost Hunters Academy and Ghost Hunters International), and fan favorite Saturday Night Original Movies including Lake Placid 3 and Stonehenge Apocalypse.
The traditional holiday movie marathon runs from Friday, May 28th through Monday, May 31st, including “cold as ice” films (Yeti), horror flicks (premiere of Wrong Turn on Saturday, May 29th @ 9:oo p.m.), “creatures in the water” films (Lake Placid 2) and a festival of Stephen King adaptations (The Stand) on Memorial Day, May 31st.
The new Thursday night reality bloc premieres Thursday, July 15th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with Mary Knows Best (working title), a docu-soap reality series following Mary Occhino, a successful radio host, psychic intuitive and mother of three, who gives a whole new meaning to the term “mother is always right.” Her children, Jackie, Chris and Carl, are a mismatched group f siblings consisting of a skeptic, a paranormal investigator and a reluctant psychic. In each episode, viewers will meet a humorous and unforgettable cast of family characters including Mary’s outspoken older brother Charles and two adorable grandchildren. The series is produced by Atlas Media Corp.
Following @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST is Paranormal Investigators, which debunks fact from fiction by uncovering the truth behind supernatural and unexplained occurrences which have been caught on tape. In each episode, the six-person team, led by former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, searches for the most intriguing and unusual images, videos and unnatural phenomenon found online and around the world. Selecting the most intriguing images, the team heads into the field attempting to re-create the video, carrying out key experiments and searching for clues and evidence. The team uses all the latest tools CGI (computer-generated imaging) and investigative techniques at its disposal to try to answer the question, “Is it real?” Produced by Base Productions.
The new drama series Haven premieres Friday, July 9th @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST. Based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King, it follows FBI Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine to solve the murder of a local ex-con. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people with a remarkable range of supernatural abilities. Among the townspeople are local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant), who eventually becomes Audrey’s partner, and the mysterious and charming Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour).
Cable’s top paranormal franchise, Ghost Hunters Academy returns with brand-new episodes on Wednesday, June 2nd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Expert instructors Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango will once again train a group of recruits to become the newest team member, but this time, one hopeful will be voted off each week by one of the ultimate judges of paranormal investigating: Ghost Hunters‘ Jason Hawes! Jason, Steve and Tango will put the new recruits through the paces with challenging investigations at six of the most daunting and memorable past Ghost Hunters locations: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Waverly Hills, KY), Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (Weston, WV), Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT), Fort Delaware (Delaware City, DE), Mansfield Reformatory – a.k.a. “Shawshank Prison” (Mansfield, OH) and the infamous Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO).
Season two of Warehouse 13 debuts on Tuesday, July 6th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST. The series follows two Secret Service agents who find themselves abruptly transferred to a massive, top-secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota which houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government. The Warehouse’s caretaker Artie (Saul Rubinek) charges Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) with chasing down reports of supernatural and paranormal activity in search of new objects to cache at the Warehouse, as well as helping him to control the Warehouse itself. Warehouse 13 also features Allison Scagliotti, along with series guest-star CCH Pounder.
Eureka kicks off its fourth season on Friday, July 9th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with the introduction of new series regular James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) as Dr. Grant, a former resident of the town whose unexpected return is cause for serious alarm and, considering his romantic interest in Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), significant friction with Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). New and returning fans won’t want to miss the big changes in store for everyone in the small town of Eureka after a cataclysmic shift turns their lives upside-down. Eureka also stars Joe Morton (Henry Deacon), Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo) and Niall Matter (Zane Donovan).
On July 14th, new episodes of Ghost Hunters International premiere @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Like their U.S. counterparts, TAPS (The Atlantis Paranormal Society), GHI is a squad made up of everyday ordinary citizens who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherworldly activity. In the premiere episode, the team travels to the famous town of Nottingham, England and search for the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Ghost at the Galleries of Justice. Other countries on their global adventures will include Wales, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia and many more. The team includes Robb Demarest, Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Ashley Goodwin, Paul Bradford, new cast member Scott Tepperman as well as Ghost Hunters Academy winners Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer.
Saturday Night Original Movies
Lake Placid 3 premieres in June 2010. In this sequel to Lake Placid 2 (most watched Syfy Saturday Original Movie ever), a game warden, his wife and their young son move into their aunt’s cabin on Lake Placid, where the lonely boy starts feeding baby crocodiles he considers to be pets. Three years later, the crocs start looking at him and his family as food. Stars Colin Ferguson (Eureka).
Stonehenge Apocalypse premieres in June 2010. When the giant stones of Stonehenge begin to move and cataclysms occur all over the Earth, only a fringe radio talk show host who’s an expect in UFOology figures out that the ancient monument is really alien technology. Stars Hill Harper (CSI NY).
Jack Hunter And The Lost Treasure of Ugarit premieres in July 2010. Jack Hunter, an adventurous fortune hunter, goes to Syria to find an ancient treasure buried thousands of years ago, which might be cured. Stars Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13).
Goblin premieres in July 2010. A family vacations in a mountain town haunted by a goblin that steals babies. When their newborn disappears, it’s up to his older half-sister to rescue him.
Mandrake premieres in August 2010. A group of adventurers searching for a Spanish conquistador artifact find that the jungle around them is a single living being – and it’s not happy they’re there.
DURING the 2010-11 season, the Syfy Channel, one of television’s most prolific producers of original films, presents a talent-rich Original Movies line-up showcasing stars such as Hill Harper (CSI NY), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Lauren Holly (NCIS), Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet), Jewel Staite (Stargate Atlantis), Alan Cumming (Tin Man), Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ryan Carnes (Desperate Housewives, Doctor Who), Lance Henriksen (Aliens) and Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch).
Movies include Riverworld (previously reported on SciFiAndTvTalk), starring Alan Cumming in an epic adventure based on the award-winning series of Philip Jose Farmer novels; The Phantom, and 24 of the popular Stargate Original Movies, including Red, a re-imagining of the Little Red Riding Hood story starring Felicia Day, Roger Corman’s Sharktopus, starring Eric Roberts (also previously reported along with Red on this blog) and Lake Placid 3 - sequel to the most watched Saturday Original Movie ever (Lake Placid 2). Below are some highlights of these upcoming projects.
The Phantom - Four hours, premieres in June – Ryan Carnes stars as The Phantom and his alter ego Chris Walker in this re-imagined version of the classic comic strip transported to present day. A favorite costumed hero for more than six decades, The Phantom relies on his wits, physical strength and skill with weapons instead of superhuman powers. Isabella Rossellini guest-stars in a villainous turn as Lithia, the head of an experimental mind control program. Also starring are Cameron Goodman as Chris Walker’s love interest, Renny, and Sandrine Holt (24, The L Word) as The Phantom’s trusted advisor, Guran. Director: Paolo Barzman (The Last Templar). The Phantom is produced by Muse Entertainment and RHI Entertainment.
Mega Piranha - Premieres Saturday, April 10th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. An unusual alliance tries to stop a mutant strain of giant ferocious piranhas that have escaped from the Amazon and are eating their way to Florida. Stars Barry Williams, Tiffany and Paul Logan.
Mothman - Premieres Saturday, April 24th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. The legendary West Virginia monster returns to exact revenge on five childhood friends who covered up an accidental killing. Stars Jewel Staite.
Mongolian Death Worm - Premieres Saturday, May 8th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. A treasure hunter who has been searching for a tomb containing Genghis Khan’s treasure teams up with an humanitarian UN health worker to stop the Mongolian Death Worms, awakened by experimental oil drilling in the Mongolian desert. Stars Patrick Flannery and Victoria Pratt.
Witchville - Premieres Saturday, May 22nd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. This first Syfy production in China is a sweeping fantasy tale of a kingdom besieged by witches who are sucking the very life out of the land. Only the new King can save his people, but his mysterious connection to the Red Queen of the witches may be his undoing. Stars Luke Goss.
Lake Placid 3 - In this sequel , a game warden, his wife and their young son move into their aunt’s cabin on Lake Placid, where the lonely boy stars feeding baby crocodiles he views as pets. Three years later, the crocs start looking at him and his family as their food. Stars Colin Ferguson.
Stonehenge Apocalypse - When the giant stones of Stonehenge begin to move and cataclysms occur all over the Earth, only a fringe radio talk show host who’s an expert in UFOlogy figures out that the ancient monument is really alien technology. Stars Hill Harper, Misha Collins and Peter Wingfield.
The Lost Future - In a post-apocalyptic world, both humans and animals have devolved back to the Stone Age. But a small group of wise men knows there is knowledge in the mysterious artifacts called books. Now they have found a young man who knows how to read. If they can defeat the warlord who rules the city where the books are kept, the young man can help them defeat the disease that decimated the world and restart the civilization. Stars Sean Bean.
Scream of the Banshee - An archeology professor unearths a dangerous relic, releasing a creature that can kill with her bone-splitting scream. Stars Lauren Holly and Lance Henriksen.
Morlocks - An experimental time machine opens a window into the future and mutated monsters (the Morlocks) use it to come back to the present and go on a murderous rampage. Stars David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis).
8th Voyage of Sinbad - Sinbad searches for the golden head of the long lost Colossus of Rhodes and, instead, finds an island where the mythical Minotaur still rules, protecting a vast treasure. Sinbad and his crew have to battle the creature and its minions to get the treasure and save their own lives. Stars Manu Bennett.
ON March 16th, 2010, some of the Syfy Channel’s brightest stars joined network executives and invited guests for Syfy’s Upfront Event at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to help the channel celebrate its ratings success as well as promote several upcoming projects for the 2010-2011 broadcast season. Below are some photo highlights from the gathering. Enjoy!
As noted above, all photos by Jason DeCrow and copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
PRODUCTION begins this week in Vancouver on season four of Eureka, one of the Syfy Channel’s most popular original series, it was announced by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development at Syfy, and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. The dramedy’s new season welcomes an all-new regular cast member, James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) as Dr. Grant. Syfy has ordered 20 episodes of Eureka, which will once again be shot entirely on-location in and around Vancouver, Canada, and is slated to premiere on Friday, July 9th of this year.
Throughout the four-season run of Syfy’s award-winning Battlestar Galactica, James Callis starred as Dr. Gaius Baltar, garnering both critical acclaim and fan adoration for his portrayal of the self-serving, opportunistic, conniving genius. On Eureka, Callis will play scientist Dr. Grant, a former resident of the town whose unexpected return is cause for serious alarm and – considering his romantic interest in Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) – significant friction with Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). New and returning fans won’t want to miss the big changes in store for everyone in the small town of Eureka after a cataclysmic shift turns their lives upside-down.
Once again this season, series stars Colin Ferguson and Joe Morton (Henry Deacon) will direct episodes, and making her directorial debut as well is female lead Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Also, special guest-stars returning this season include Jaime Ray Newman (Dr. Tess Fontana) and Matt Frewer (Taggart).
IN the third season finale of Eureka, What Goes Around Comes Around, Sheriff Jack Carter is having a seriously bad day. Zoe is about to leave for Harvard; Tess (Jaime Ray Newman) has a job offer in Australia; a supercollider test goes awry, and now there is a magnetic disturbance hovering above Eureka. What next? What Goes Around Comes Around airs Friday, September 18th @ 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CT on The Syfy Channel.
Click the link below to view a preview clip of tonight’s episode:
As noted above, the photo is copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
Over the past several decades, the brilliant minds working at Eureka‘s Global Dynamics have been responsible for countless scientific breakthroughs intended to benefit humankind. Unfortunately, there are certain discoveries and inventions either far too dangerous or not yet perfected and must therefore be kept under tight lock and key. Such things are confined to Section 5, the most highly-secured of areas at GD. After an incident involving “the Artifact,” the section was closed down, but this (third) season, it was reopened to deal with a new threat. GD’s managing director, Dr. Allison Blake, called in an old friend, Dr. Tess Fontana, to get Section 5 up and running again. Although she has only been in town a short time, Tess has already made quite an impression on the locals, especially Sheriff Jack Carter.
“Tess is very passionate, spirited, quirky and brilliant; of course everyone in Eureka is brilliant, Jack Carter [Colin Ferguson] being in his own way the most brilliant,” says actress Jaime Ray Newman, who plays Tess on Eureka. “She is also a very focused gal who marches to her own drumbeat. My character comes to town to work on some extraterrestrial findings that have been unearthed. Tess ends up sticking around a lot longer than she ever imagined, and along the way a romance kindles between her and Jack.
“I hadn’t really done much Sci-Fi before this, so it was a matter of getting used to helping tell a story where the town and Earth are constantly in peril and about to explode. With something like that, it’s important to keep that momentum up and keep things feeling like, ‘Oh, this time it really is going to happen.’ It’s one big adventure after another, and playing that every week is a challenge, but it’s a blast as well. It’s not hard to show Tess’ enthusiasm about the science because it mirrors my own excitement about acting and working in the arts. So it’s an easy transference for me.”
Newman’s character is introduced in the season three Eureka episode Insane in the P-Brane. Tess barely has time to settle into her new office at GD when a scientist who has been studying paranormal activity appears to go mad. Are his condition and the ghostly happenings around town somehow connected to the reopening of Section 5? As Tess and Carter get close to finding out the answer to that, they end up in another dimension.
“The toughest part of my first episode was the language,” recalls Newman. “Because of the story, I was bogged down with a lot of technobabble, so the trick was getting those words out and somehow managing to act at the same time. So that was definitely a challenge, but from the get-go, Colin and the rest of the cast as well as the crew have been amazing. These are the nicest people I have ever worked with. Everyone has been very supportive and patient, and I honestly love the character they [the producers/writers] have created for me. Tess is funny and speaks the truth, which sometimes gets her in trouble,” chuckles the actress.
“I’ll never forget our last day of work on this episode. It was all done on-location with a second unit [film] crew and Matt Hastings [consulting producer] worked with us. We filmed the very first scene where Jack and Tess meet on the side of the road and she’s somewhat irreverent towards him. Then we also did the last scene where the two of them are lying on the ground looking up at the sky. It had rained every day of the shoot except this particular one. It was a gorgeous fall day and the leaves on the trees were beautiful. It’s hard to explain, but the scenes were the types of exchanges where my character and Colin’s just got to be two people who are finding each other.”
Although Tess is developing relationships with all the characters on the show, her main ones are with Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and Jack Carter. “Allison and Tess have been friends for years,” says Newman. “The two of them went to graduate school together, so they share a long history and a real kinship. Tess considers Allison to be a great pillar of strength at GD and she has a lot of respect for her. On top of that, Allison is going to be raising two kids on her own. She’s a pretty amazing woman, and Salli plays her so beautifully. Salli is such a leader and really sets a precedent on-set. Everyone does, though. Colin, Salli, Joe Morton [Henry Deacon], they all come to work and do a bang-up job and are respected by the crew.
“As for Tess and Jack, they start out at odds with one another. She’s this pistol who kind of walks in, takes her territory and Jack is like, ‘Hey, who the heck do you think you are?’ Ultimately, they go through all these crazy things together, like getting stuck in the Fifth Dimension, which creates a bond between them and they find out they have a lot in common and really like each other. One of my favorite episodes is You Don’t Know Jack, where Allison has her baby. Along the way, we all lose our memories and Jack has to help Tess piece together how she knows him. Colin and I really got to do some acting there. It wasn’t just about the planet being in danger or some nano-technological technobabble, but rather two people connecting, and that to me is always the most fun. I know the writers like writing scenes like that, but there’s not alot of time for that sort of stuff. So when we get it, I don’t waste a second of it.”
Having appeared onstage in her first Equity professional play when she was just 12 years old, Newman went on to study acting and English literature at Boston University’s School for the Arts theatre conservatory for two years before transferring to Northwestern University in Chicago. After graduating, she spent a year-and-a-half working on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital.
“Talk about a great training ground,” notes the actress. “I come from a theater background, and onstage there’s a real freedom. You can do whatever you want, within the confines of the character you’ve created, of course. Every night can be different and you don’t have to be worried about hitting your mark, being lit in a certain way, etc.
“It’s not that theater isn’t a technical craft like films, but in my mind it’s a much less self-conscious craft. When you’re in front of a camera it’s not easy to ignore that big thing in front of your face that captures your every blink. So I still feel like I’m working on having that same freedom in front of a camera. I look at someone like Colin Ferguson, and you never feel like he’s acting because he is so easy with it. So Colin has been a good role model for me to watch, especially with comedy. There’s almost a musicality to the way he performs.”
A Line in the Sand, Catch Me If You Can and the forthcoming The Gauntlet are among Newman’s feature film credits. On the small screen, she has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and guest-starred on such popular series as Supernatural, Bones, Medium, Nip/Tuck and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The actress was also seen in the recurring role of Mindy O’Dell on Veronica Mars, while her first Sci-Fi experience was on Stargate Atlantis as Lt. Laura Cadman in the episode Duet.
“Veronica Mars was awesome,” enthuses Newman. “I’m a huge fan of Rob Thomas [series creator/executive producer] and I loved working with Ed Begley Jr., who played my husband [Cyrus]. My character is a murder suspect kind of straight out of the gate, and early on I made the decision to play her in a very film noir, femme fatale, Veronica Lake-type of way. That was really different for me and I loved the challenge.
“With Stargate Atlantis, all I can say is that David Hewlett [Dr. Rodney McKay] was such a rock star. The first episode I did was sort of an homage to the movie All of Me with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. My character’s consciousness was trapped inside Dr. McKay’s body and David was so good at all the physical stuff that the storyline called for. You could just tell when we were shooting that it was going to be a classic episode, and it really was.”
It was back in college that the actress also discovered her love of music. While living in Chicago, she performed with her own jazz quartet along with the popular funk band Sweet, Sweet Candy. Nowadays when not acting, Newman spends part of her time performing with her cover band School Boy Crush. This fall, the actress will be playing Kat Rougemont opposite Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price and Paul Gross in the new ABC series Eastwick. As with all her jobs, this one is sure to be yet another learning experience.
“As an actress. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet people who are inspiring and aren’t afraid to creatively stretch themselves,” says Newman. “Again, it’s about being around someone like Colin Ferguson, who is that good all day long. A while back I did a play [Turnaround] with David Schwimmer, and watching him do eight shows a week was just amazing. I recently did a play that [writer/producer/director] Neil LaBute directed, which was incredible, too. So for me, the best part about this job is watching others who are really free within their craft and sharing in that creative energy.”
As noted above, photos by Marcel Williams or Evans Vestal Ward and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
In the second season Eureka episode E=MC…? some of the world’s smartest minds try to re-create the “Big Bang” and the first moments that the universe came into being. As is typical in this Pacific Northwest hotbed of brilliance, things go somewhat awry. The town’s geniuses suddenly lose their smarts, and it is up to Sheriff Jack Carter and a young, cocky know-it-all, Zane Donovan, to save the day. It is no accident that Zane came to Eureka, and he has since ended up sticking around, which was a pleasant surprise for the actor who plays him, Niall Matter.
“When I first heard about the audition for the character I was told that it was a guest-star role and a possible recurring one,” recalls Matter. “So I went in to read and the director of the episode, Tim Matheson, seemed to like what I did. He gave me a little bit of direction as did the casting director, then I came in for a callback, ended up booking the role and before I knew it I was on-set working on Eureka.
“My first day on the job I was immediately impressed by Colin Ferguson [Sheriff Jack Carter] and the amount of energy that he has. It carries through the entire day, too, and it doesn’t matter if that day lasts eight hours or sixteen hours. Colin is ‘present’ the entire time and ready to go. With him, I saw what it takes to be the number one on a TV show.
“In this episode I was really able to get into comedy. I hadn’t done much of that before, so I was able to spread my wings. And when it comes to the cast, Joe Morton [Henry Deacon] as well as Ed Quinn [Dr. Nathan Stark] back then, along with Salli Richardson [Dr. Allison Blake], Erica Cerra [Deputy Jo Lupo], all of them, their comic timing is so different.
“So working with each of them, respectively, in whatever scene I had, it was pretty cool figuring my own timing out and where my character was going with each of the others in the story. It was like trying to piece together a puzzle and I wanted to make sure I did my best so that they [the producers] would ask me back,” jokes the actor. “I loved that my character actually got to save the day when he stopped the device from detonating. After all, you don’t get to do that every day.”
Eureka producers were obviously impressed enough with Matter’s debut that they made his character a recurring one. Having been arrested for allegedly crashing that New York Stock Exchange, Zane was originally meant to go to jail. However, rather than waste his intellectual talents, the authorities decided instead to send him to Eureka. After helping avert a disaster in E=MC…? he was offered a job at Global Dynamics. With his character now appearing in more episodes, Matter looked at giving Zane a bit of a makeover.
“I wanted to start opening him up and taking him in other directions,” he says. “As I became more confident about my work on the show, I began talking with Jaime Paglia [Eureka co-creator/executive producer] about the direction of my character as far as where he wanted to take Zane and where I was thinking he could go.
“As a result, I think we’ve shaped him into a pretty cool human being. Zane has shed a great deal of his stubbornness, because initially he was, not cold, but pretty snarky and kind of annoying. We had to tread carefully, though, with that fine line of change in order to make it believable. I mean, how quickly can someone turn that corner. So that’s been a little bit tricky for me, but the writers have been a huge help and we’ve managed to transform Zane into someone who’s much more likable. He’s grown up and matured as well as taken on some responsibility, which is nice.”
Among those Eureka residents who have changed their opinion of Zane since he first arrived in town is Deputy Lupo. Not an easy person to win over, she found herself attracted to Zane in more ways than one, and during the show’s past two seasons, they have become romantically involved.
“The relationship between Jo and Zane was somewhat ambiguous at the beginning and we weren’t really sure what was going on,” notes Matter. “Now, however, this third season it’s heading towards a very realistic and mature level, and it’s a great to see that they share a true connection and have a lot of love for one another.
“One of the neat things with their relationship is that Zane will rib her and Jo will give it right back to him. I’ve seen couples do that in real life and those are the moments that you remember and help also define a relationship, so it’s been fun to re-create those moments with Erica onscreen. There was one episode [From Fear to Eternity] where Jo and Zane were stuck together, and the moment they got unstuck, she said something to me and I said something right back at her. I can’t remember exactly what I said because it wasn’t scripted, I ad-libbed it, but it actually made the final cut [of the episode] and the crew just killed themselves laughing. Jo and Zane did plenty of kibitzing in that episode when they were stuck together and that helped create a stronger bond between them.”
In the third season Eureka story Your Face or Mine, which was directed by Colin Ferguson, Zane almost loses Jo when a scientist (Leela Savasta) uses technology that she has created to steal the deputy’s identity and…life. “That was a challenging one because I had to work with another actress who’s supposedly Jo inside this other person’s body,” says Matter. “Being directed by Colin was incredible because he’s got such a clear vision for the show. He knows exactly what he wants and where he thinks the series should be going. The actual shooting of the episode was both concise and quick, so when it comes to Colin I just think he’s a genius.”
Following Ferguson’s directorial debut on Eureka, Matter and the rest of the show’s cast and crew also had the chance to be directed this season by Joe Morton with the episode Have an Ice Day. “Obviously this story has something to do with ice, and at one point Zane becomes very cold, one could say almost freezing over,” teases the actor.
“Working with Joe Morton in the director’s chair was incredible. I grew up watching him on TV and in the movies, and I’ll never forget coming onto this show and meeting Joe for the first time and being quite intimidated by the fact that I was actually getting to hold my own in a scene opposite him. So when being directed by Joe, everything he said to me, any notes or redirection he gave me, I soaked it in. I wanted to make sure I gave him everything he wanted because I respect him so much as an actor and I really wanted to garner some respect in his eyes as a director.”
Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Matter was 13 years old when he started writing and directing his own films, and then began acting in them as well. “I’d get in front of the camera with the other actors I was working with to show them the shots I wanted,” he explains. “Then I would go into the editing room and edit all my films on my own. They were only shorts, maybe five or ten minutes long and usually in the horror genre, but that’s how I first got into this.”
Having only been in the business for a few years, the actor has already appeared in a variety of made-for-TV movies as well as recurring roles or guest-spots on such series as The Best Years, Fear Itself, Warehouse 13, Melrose Place and Stargate Atlantis.
“On Stargate Atlantis I played someone called Lt. Kemp and I worked opposite Kavan Smith, who played Major Lorne,” says Matter. “My character was a short-lived one – he was only in two episodes – but working on those sets was incredible. I had no idea how elaborate they were, and I remember just being blown away when I first saw them. I was like a kid in a candy store walking around and checking everything out.”
One of Matter’s most high-profile roles to date has to be Mothman in the big screen superhero flick Watchmen. “That was a dream come true,” he says. “It was a massive blockbuster film directed by Zack Synder, who also did 300, and I couldn’t believe I had the chance to work with him. It was kind of a surreal moment the first time I stood there on-set talking with Zack. Shooting that movie was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had because he makes the work fun, and I’ve never seen anyone more prepared than Zack. I think when he sleeps, he plans out his shots,” jokes Matter. “I had an amazing time.”
With every job he goes out for, the actor makes sure the character is as different as possible from the last one he played, and with each new role, Matter gets to entertain more and more people, which for him is what acting is all about. “The fact that you can reach so many people in this industry and bring joy into their homes, whether through TV or films, and relating to them life experiences in a truthful way is what I find most rewarding about this job,” muses the actor. “And also leaving [work] at the end of the day knowing that you emotionally connected to your scenes and, hopefully, that will transcend over into someone else’s life. I think acting is a pretty powerful tool that can actually be used to help change the world for the better, and I’m happy to play some small part in that.”
For more information about Niall check out his official website – www.niallmatter.net
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