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Eddie McClintock is a 'Warehouse 13' showboat

July 6, 2010 |  6:30 am

Pete1 Eddie McClintock has no more need to write his novel "Living in the Shadow of Boreanaz."

[Correction: David Boreanaz' name was spelled incorrectly.] "I think I may have freed myself from the chains of Boreanazdom," says the "Warehouse 13" actor who was often mistaken for "Angel" and "Bones" actor David Boreanaz in the past. But the popularity of his own show has helped him get noticed for who he is.

"Warehouse 13," which returns for its second season Tuesday night, has been a hit for Syfy, racking up some of the highest ratings that the recently rebranded cable channel has ever seen for a series. In its first season, "Warehouse" became the all-time Syfy leader in total viewers (4.1 million), adults 25-54 (2.1 million) and household ratings (2.9), based on Live+7 DVR data. The success of the show stems primarily from the quirky chemistry between lead actors McClintock and Joanne Kelly, and from McClintock's outside-the-box instincts. Those instincts range from his approach on set to his comedic chops, which makes McClintock a bit like his character Pete Lattimer, who has almost supernatural hunches about people and situations.

"I don't have ESP or 'vibes,'" McClintock points out, but "I tend to kind of run on instinct a little, and it serves me well sometimes -- and sometimes not so well -- but I think for the most part, it has helped me. It makes me who I am, and it helps me to make Pete a more defined character."

McClintock's penchant for 'going with it' helped get him the gig he has now. In recounting the screen test/audition that he and Kelly went through, it was easy to see the character of Pete forming right before the producers' eyes.

Pete2 "So I went in with Joanne. Myka [Kelly] was supposed to call Pete a showboat, and Joanne called me a showbot. So, I started doing the robot dance and talking like a robot -- then I started to do something like a Michael Jackson kick and a 'HE-HE!' Just completely out of context to anything that was in the script or in the show. And everyone in there was looking at me and laughing and Joanne punched me in the arm and was like 'Shut up!'"

That may not have been all it took, but it went a long way in cementing the onscreen duo.

"I later found out that after we walked out, [exec producer] Mark Stern turned to everybody and said 'That's the show right there!'," McClintock said.

That quick thinking translates onscreen where some of the first season's dialogue was more spur-of-the-moment than regurgitated. But McClintock knows that the balance is delicate.

"It's improv in that we create it on the set, on the spot, but never before it's been signed off on. The writers spend a lot of time making sure all of the right words are in the right places, and personally, I don't want to step on their toes."

This marriage was not love at first sight, though. McClintock had some misgivings about jumping on board, mosty due to the network's reputation for obscure content.

"I love sci fi. Growing up I was a huge Godzilla fan, and King Kong and "War of the Worlds"....But when I turned on the Sci Fi Channel it was, like, 'Mansquito,' or 'Pteradactyl from Mars' -- I was like, 'What in the world is this?'"

Shows like "Battlestar Galactica," and reassurances from Mark Stern and Bonnie Hammer and Dave Howe, gave McClintock confidence in the network's new direction.

Pete3 As for the show's direction, McClintock sees it as more cohesive and expansive in its second season. Bringing in guest stars like Lindsay Wagner ("It's kind of like a dream come true, not to be overly dramatic..."), and having crossover episodes with other popular Syfy shows like "Eureka," can only be more exciting for the fans.

"It's sci-fi light," says McClintock. "My dream was to make a show that everyone could make some popcorn, flip the lights down, get scared a little bit cause there's some tension and suspense, but most of all just have a good time."

For fans who may want to get an up-close glimpse of the star, he, along with his other cast mates, will be attending Comic-Con this year -- and he already knows what to look out for.

"I expect to see lots of Klingons. I expect to see Linda Hamilton. I expect to see some scantily-clad girls dressed as Princess Leia from Jabba the Hut's lair ...  I love the fans. They dress up and it's still this naive position on their likes. You guys like to play golf and to hike ... we like this. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos: Top - Eric McClintock as Pete Lattimer. Middle - Pete (McClintock) and his partner Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly). Bottom - Pete looks at a serious situation in the 'Resnance' episode of "Warehouse 13." Credit: Syfy.

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