Fans who caught the premier last Monday would have caught their first look at Brent Spiner in his new role on Warehouse 13 and from the little we do know it sounds like its going to be an interesting journey.
We were lucky enough to take part in a recent phone conference with both Spiner and producer Jack Kenny, who discussed some of the things we can expect to see in the coming series.
Below are some excerpts from the conference:
One of the first questions that came up was for Brent Spiner, who was asked what it was like to be working with Saul Rubinek again, but this time as the villain as apposed to the good guy, and of course Spiner was careful with his answer to not give the farm away. The question also prompted some playful banter between Spiner and Kenny.
Brent Spiner: Well there was nothing apparent about, you’re going to have to wait and see what that’s all about really. But it was like swimming in a rainbow to work with Saul again. Don’t you love that Jack?
Jack Kenny: I do, I do. I feel that every day.
Brent Spiner: Yes, don’t you. No actually Saul is an amazing actor, he’s an amazing talent, and it was just fantastic to be back on stage with him. We have a history that goes beyond even Star Trek, we did a play together in 1978 at the New York Shakespeare Festival. So Saul and I have…
Jack Kenny: You were each ten years old.
Brent Spiner: …quite a history of working – yes we were ten. Well I think Saul was 11, because he is older than me.
Jack Kenny: You would say that.
Jack Kenny: And it’s fun watching them work because after a while it became a war of pauses. They would each say their line with so much intensity that the next one had to beat it, and you say.
Thus far from what we have seen of Brother Adrian has been that of a rather dark character. So when asked if we’d likely see any of Spiner’s famous humour imbued into the role. Both Spiner and Kenny revealed that it’s different from any other role that he has done. Especially when it comes to the well known Spiner humour.
Brent Spiner: Well I don’t know, Jack do we?
Jack Kenny: Yes, I think that it’s interesting, you get a different version of Brent Spiner humor. Because he spends the entire season basically torturing and toying with Saul. So it’s an evil humor that comes through I think in a lot of ways.
Brent Spiner: It’s the real Brent. Exactly, it’s the real Brent Spiner humor.
Jack Kenny: Yes.
Brent Spiner: It’s the evil Brent Spiner humor.
A great question which was asked was how Jack Kenny went about casting Brent and how the role of Brother Adrian came about.
Jack Kenny: The story line about Brother Adrian, well we always like to have a big bad in each season, and we kind of like to play with what that big bad is and what’s underneath. Even with someone like MacPherson or Sykes, it’s never black and white, “He’s just an evil guy,” there’s always a reasonable thing going on underneath, there’s a reasonable desire.
It’s a grey area. Everybody has their reasons for doing what they’re doing, and Brother Adrian has his reasons for going after Artie as you’ll see in the next episode. It was really about giving Artie an arc for the season, and about giving a nemesis.
I went to Saul because I knew he’d being every scene with Brother Adrian all year. And I said, “So you’re friends with Brent, right?” And he said, “Yes.” I said, “What would you think about for Brother Adrian?” And Saul was ecstatic. He said, “Oh my god, that would be my dream come true.”
Brent Spiner: And his dream did come true. And here I am. And to answer your question, from my point, Jack and Saul called me and said, “Let’s have lunch,” and I did. And they said, “Would you be interested in doing this?” And ultimately I said, “Yes, I would be very interested in doing this.” So I jumped on board and had a really amazing time in Toronto.
Jack Kenny: I remember that lunch, I remember us at the commissary at NBC Universal and my meeting you for the first time, and of course I had to pile him with accolades because he’s just like that.
I knew it had to be. I saw Brent do 1776 on Broadway, and in a weird way he’s more present in my mind as John Adams than Commander Data. And so it was a different approach from my point of view to having Brent play the part, because I knew everybody else knows him as a robot and I know him as the founder of our country.
So we approached that from a different viewpoint, and Brother Adrian is human, at least in certain ways, in certain ways maybe not. But he’s a very powerful character too, and that’s the other thing that Brent brings to the table is a sense of power without having to twirl a mustache or flex a muscle he just has a presence.
And that was what was so important for Brother Adrian is that there has to be almost a serene powerful presence that you understand when you see this guy, do what he says or you will be unhappy. And that’s very important for the relationship that we build throughout the season between Artie and Adrian.
When asked what he enjoyed most about the role of Brother Adrian. Spiner pretty much echoed what most actors have said about working with the Warehouse 13 cast.
Brent Spiner: You know honestly what I enjoyed most is working with this company, it was just a great bunch of people from the top down, and the top being Jack. See you kiss me, I kiss you.
But seriously, and it was the opportunity to work with Saul again. And the experience, I went back and forth to Toronto six times from Los Angeles, and each time I looked forward to going because I knew I was going to have a pleasant experience.
When asked if they had a favorite scene from the show that they were looking forward to the fans seeing. Both producer and actor were very careful about what they said, but Jack Kenny did say that there was one coming up in the next episode.
Jack Kenny: I can say there’s a scene in Episode 9 that is one of my favorites. And I also like the scene coming up in this week’s episode. Because as you know, Artie turned back time 24 hours so everything is back to the way it was so we know that Brother Adrian is going to be seen again. I love the first return. I love the first time we see Brother Adrian again, I think it’s so interesting the dynamics that go on are so interesting and unique between them, I love that.
Brent Spiner: The most complicated thing about playing Brother Adrian for me was figuring out who he was. I never quite knew who he was until the episode after the one we were shooting would come out.
When we were working on Episode 2, or my Episode 2, I sort of had an idea about how to play him until Episode 3 arrived. And I read that and I thought, “Oh my gosh, no, no, no, I was all wrong, let me go back.” It’s a very tricky and complicated role.
When asked about new artifacts that we’ll see this year. Jack Kenny was more than happy to tease us.
Jack Kenny: There’s an artifact that belonged to Lovecraft that’s coming. As we teased at the end of last season and at the end of the last episode you’ll be seeing Maelzel’s metronome again. There’s an artifact that creates tornados.
Bobby Fischer’s marbles show up, I think they left Bobby Fischer a while back, but then we find them. We see Scott Joplin’s cigarette case.
As you remember last season Sykes had a bunch artifacts in that airplane hangar and our gang has to go an retrieve them all, so there’s a whole bunch of artifacts there that have to be collected. We will be hearing again from Lewis Carroll’s mirror that shows up again.
We’ve done some interesting things with artifacts too. In one episode there’s an artifact that’s actually inside of someone that has to be dealt with and neutralized. So that’s unique for us.
And we’ll also see the birth of an artifact in an upcoming episode. We’ll learn how an artifact is born, and you saw the football in Episode 1 how it keeps tracks of artifacts and that it keeps track of artifacts that we know about, that are birthed, and whether or not we have to collect them.
So we do open up the mythology quite a bit with artifacts this year and learn more about how they’re made and how they’re done. And we learn a little bit more about Mrs. Frederic, who she is, how she exists and what her life has been like.
Warehouse 13 airs every Monday night on Syfy Channel
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