If you're a fan of SyFy's original series Eureka, then you may know a lot about the accident prone Dr. Douglas Fargo- however, you may not know a lot about the actor who portrays him, Neil Grayston. In the following interview, you'll not only get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most original and intriguing shows currently on the air, but you will also learn about the actor's favorite cartoons, terrifying childhood experiences, first jobs, and fondest memories on the set of Eureka.
Jason Anders: So how are things going with Eureka?
Neil Grayston: Pretty good so far- I've got the first script for season four, and we have a cast dinner tomorrow night and then a read-through on Thursday.
JA: For fans of the show, give us an overview of the typical day onset of Eureka, and also what it's like to work with the cast and crew of the series.
NG: It's actually very comfortable- the crew has been together for almost ten years now, they all came from The Dead Zone originally, so they've got a process that they use to get things moving quickly. The cast is just a group of wonderful people, there's no divas in the bunch. It's a pretty efficient set, I can't believe that we get as much done as we do, given the timing restraints that SyFy can often give you with special effects and everything. It's fantastic.
JA: What's your fondest memory of being involved with the series so far?
NG: I guess my first memory with the show is always going to stick, which was my first take of my first scene on my first day- I was riding a Segway and managed to crash it into the wall and cut my hand up. That was my first entrance into the show, which set the tone for my character well. Also, there was a point in the second half of season three near the end of filming that we were all getting down to the wire. We were doing sixteen to eighteen hour days and everyone was so tired. There was this scene between Colin and Jaime Ray at the very end of the night where they had to spit out this insane "tech-talk", just paragraphs and paragraphs long- they came on set and just did it quickly with no problem at all. They were just as tired as everyone else, and it was perfect... I just kind of sat there in awe. It was a "wow" moment where I realized how great and professional the actors truly are.
JA: How did you originally become involved with the series?
NG: It was fun, even though it was just a standard audition with a bunch of people- my character wasn't fleshed out for the pilot just yet, it was just the "short, scrawny, nerdy guy". The casting director I had met while doing Wonderfalls and I guess he remembered me. During the audition he had me do the character a bunch of different ways... I suppose I did them well because I got the part a day later. It's usually not that quick of a process.
JA: Were you a fan of science fiction shows before this role?
NG: Oh yeah- but I've always been a fan of funnier science fiction, or stories with a sci-fi element to them. I always compare Eureka to stuff like The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.. Just more about the characters, mystery, and the story. I watched Star Trek ever since I can remember watching television.
JA: If you could be the star of any television show in history, which role would you take on?
NG: Growing up I was always more into cartoons, but I would say something in either the original Star Trek or in The Next Generation. Those were both trailblazing and interesting shows.
JA: What were your favorite cartoons growing up?
NG: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because I was the fifth turtle in my mind. Just the whole group of classic eighties cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe. Those were directly in my age group for the time and always on Saturday mornings. It was the only day I would really wake up early. Also the Disney shows like Ducktales and Talespin.
JA: Do you remember your first real job?
NG: I've never had a job that didn't involve acting. I was ten when I started working at my local comic book store, Hour Glass Comics, but they paid me in comic books... which is kind of the dream of any boy that age.
JA: If you had to pick three adjectives to best describe your personality, which would you use?
NG: I am always so terrible at this. Odd, fun-loving, and often at a loss for words. I guess that kind of works (laughs).
JA: What can you tell us about the new season of Eureka that we might not know about quite yet?
NG: What they're doing is so awesome, and everyone is very excited- but I can't really say that much about it. Our new tag-line is "Small Town, Big Changes". I wish that I knew what I could say and what I can't... we have a major new character coming in, which is apparently someone big that has been cast. Even I don't know who it is. I'm sure I will learn all of this information tomorrow, but I probably won't be able to give any of it away. I can say that it will be very exciting, and the script that I've read sets it up quite nicely as well. It'll be the longest season so far, at twenty episodes, so we'll have a lot of time to get a cool arc and world going on. That's about all I can say.
JA: A random question to end on, but since your character faces so many close calls in the show- what is the most frightening thing that has ever happened to you in real life?
NG: When I was three I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. I still have a scar on my face from it when the button on my jacket actually pushed into my face, so my jacket was attached to me for a while. Other than that just those general fender-benders when you can hear the brakes screeching and there's that split second of silence and then you hear the crash. I have never been truly injured or anything like that... so I am going to go with getting hit by a car when I was three.