Pointy ears & guitars: Allison Scagliotti's wild 'Warehouse 13' ride


August 15, 2011|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

Allison Scagliotti isn’t quite herself in the latest episode of “Warehouse 13.” Actually, I should say her character, Claudia Donovan, isn’t quite herself.

In “Don’t Hate the Player” (8 p.m. Aug. 15, Syfy), Claudia and Pete (Eddie McClintock) jump into the fantasy world of an online game created by “Eureka’s” Dr. Douglas Fargo (guest star Neil Grayston) and they become avatars of their own choosing.

Pete asks to be a gladiator, while Claudia says she wants to be “herself.” Poof, suddenly she’s an elf. (“Enunciate!” Pete tells her, but too late.) Claudia also appears as a different avatar, which is more to Fargo’s liking.

“Oh my God. I don’t want to spoil that for the fans,” Scagliotti said last week about the other image. “But the thing with playing an elf is that—so pointy ears was really good, right?—putting on those ears was an hour-and-a-half process and that was before the hair and makeup.

“So there were a lot of mornings filming that episode where I had to be in at, like, 4 a.m., which meant getting up at 3 [a.m.] and going to bed early … But it was really fun.”

Scagliotti said the Ian Stokes, who wrote this episode and last season’s “Eureka” crossover, “apologized to me over and over about the ears and how that cut into my sleep.”

But, she said, she couldn’t be made at the 28-year-old Stokes.

“I love what Ian writes and I love the way he writes my character actually,” she said. “I think that Ian, being our youngest writer in the room, really kind of just gets my voice and so I’m always excited to see what he writes next for me.”

Even though the episode has all kinds of comic moments, Scagliotti shows her dramatic chops as well. Claudia is forced to face her fears about some episodes in her past. Scagliotti said that acting in those carthatic Claudia scenes often helps her to deal with her own issues.

“I think that’s ultimately why being an actor works for me,” she said. “As a kid, it was a way for me to express what I was going through with a troubled home life or with depression about where I was living and my school. And it was a way to express myself safely behind the mask of a character.”

“Don’t Hate the Player” is Scagliotti’s “favorite episode of the season so far.” She talked more with reporters about playing guitar and singing in the episode, working again with “Eureka” star and her bud Neil Grayston and about her work on the show in general. Below is a partial transcript from the call.

Were the ears the only difficult thing about the episode?
AS: The hardest part was running around in those fancy gold heels while they pumped dry ice through the stage. A lot of us fell. A lot of us got hurt. A lot of us got bruised up during the filming, but I think all of that madcap energy really shows.

Were you surprised by the whole idea that he came up with you guys existing in the game? Or did you just think, well that makes sense that Ian would write that?
AS: It made sense coming from Ian. I mean, given that our writer Ian Stokes also wrote the first crossover last season and the computer system sort of taking over the Warehouse. So I’d say this is definitely in his wheelhouse.

You get to sing and play guitar. Are we going to see an album any time?
AS: No, no. I mean, listen, never say never. But at the moment I just play a lot of covers. I just bought my first bass I’m really excited about. And I’ve been playing it non-stop. I think I’m kind of a natural at it. But, one day when I’m ready, I’ll be writing and we’ll see where that takes me. Right now … I’m just doing it for fun.

Are you self-taught or were you taking lessons for the guitar or?
AS: Both. I started teaching myself five years ago and I just started taking lessons regularly about a year ago. So I’m back into it now that I’m back in L.A.

Does this mean that you’ll probably be offering up more ideas and seeing if you get to do all your little fantasy things you want to do on the show?
AS: Oh, you know it. I never stop.

You said you’re obsessed with “Wilfred.” I knew I loved you, and now I do even more. It’s a great show.
AS: Oh great, because that show is so foul and just hilarious.

Yes, it is. Do you ever look at dogs now and wonder, “OK, I wonder what’s going on in his head?”
AS: Oh, I always wonder a lot about my dog. First of all, my dog thinks she’s an actress. And maybe she is. She definitely knows how to use her cuteness to get what she wants. So maybe I could take a lesson from her.

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