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Ed Quinn interview

Date of publishing: 26th March 2007

Ed Quinn interview The handsome and talented, Ed Quinn brings a charm to Hollywood that is comparable to the leading men of yester year and can currently be seen dazzling his fans on the hit TV show “Eureka” on the Sci-Fi Channel. The show is set in a small town called Eureka that is nestled in a remote part of the Pacific Northwest. The town which is very unassuming to the average onlooker is anything but ordinary! Developed after WWII by President Truman, Albert Einstein and other trusted advisors, the President brought together the nation’s top scientific minds to conduct top-secret research on behalf of the government. However, what they've unintentionally created is a place where anything imaginable can happen and usually does. On the show, Quinn plays one of three lead characters, ‘Nathan Stark’ a charming, Nobel-prize winning mathematician and Eureka's head researcher, The series had the most successful season ever for the network and brought in over 5 million new viewers and made the channel the #5 most watched cable channel on TV and “Eureka” the #1 watched show for the network! The show starts production on its second season in March 2007.

Quinn grew up in Berkeley, California, and earned a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating he worked as an actor and model in Paris, Barcelona, and Milan, tearing up the runaways and landing parts in more than 35 international television commercials. Things were going so well with his commercials/modeling that the he was encouraged to return to the States and focus on his acting, as they could see that he had a natural gift for the craft. With that encouragement, he soon returned to the States in 1995 to pursue his acting career. He has starred in feature films such as Touchstone’s Starship Troopers II and Beeper, opposite Harvey Keitel.

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Linda Craddock: Looking back on your first introduction to the script for “Eureka” what was your first impression?
Ed Quinn: Another show that looked like it would be a lot of fun, but it was going to be a very difficult show to shoot, especially to get the entire series to land in the same tone that the pilot was written, but sometimes you just got to have faith, and executive producers have to have faith, and the directors and the actors and you just kind of go for it and fortunately we were able to pull off pretty close to what we wanted. I think everybody wanted to do even better, but it was the first season, it was challenging so we’re ecstatic to get back for season 2. We’ve just read to the first two scripts. I think they’re fantastic; the show’s really picking up right where we left off. Everybody already seems to be right out of the gate, just right where we were last season. I think it's going to be a phenomenal second season. Yeah, everybody is really like excited.

Ed Quinn interview
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Linda Craddock: Great. This statement was written in October: Sci-fI’s highest-rated, most-watched series of 2006. To what do you attribute to its success?
Ed Quinn: I would say it was a blend of science fiction, first and foremost. Because the science fiction fans are so loyal and they are not only willing to give a show a chance, but stick with it. You can take risks and allow them to really grow on people. And I think the other thing is the show’s sense of humor and character development really attracts maybe a kind of an audience that doesn’t really, maybe think itself as sci-fi fan, but found the show very funny and very watch-able and very intriguing through the humor and character development.

Linda Craddock: A great deal of imagination swells into the story line with each episode. From your conversations with the writers, what would you say motivated the creation of the show?
Ed Quinn: It’s the mind of Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia. I think Andrew Cosby is one of the owners of “Boom” comics. I mean his mind is just a fountain of stories and of adventure and intrigue and Jaime Paglia has this incredible knack for putting dialogue and real sort of human characteristics with kind of larger than life archetypes. And the two of them together, this is the perfect marriage. The two of them together are able to just sort of create a show that’s really fun but also really grand and real.

Linda Craddock: Tell us a little about cast/crew chemistry on the set?
Ed Quinn: Well, we are incredibly fortunate. We inherited the crew that was working on the “Dead Zone” of Robert Petrovicz, who is our supervising producer up here in Vancouver, it's really his crew. Not only are they such a type knit family, but they are so incredibly competent, especially working on tight schedules, with tight budget, and very ambitious scripts and so, I think the crew is really what sets the foundation for allowing, and the actors we really just all get along, it's just fun. We came back, we just had a big welcome dinner and you couldn’t even hear yourself think cause of the laughter and the stories, and everybody was so excited to see everyone. It’s so hard to get a show together where everybody pretty much gets along. We just really kind of hit the jackpot.

Linda Craddock: Excellent. Any similarities between Ed Quinn and “Nathan Stark”?
Ed Quinn: I think there’s a bit. I think the sense of humor and maybe a serious side when it comes to work, but always trying to solve problems with humor first and really kind of enjoying life. I think “Nathan Stark” has these huge obsessions but, fortunately, I’m not plagued with (laughter), but besides that, yeah, I think he’s a little more metro than I am too.

Ed Quinn interviewLinda Craddock: The writers maintain this contest between “Stark” and “Carter” for “Allison’s” romantic interest. Can we expect romance to bloom with your character and his wife?
Ed Quinn: I believe so. I think, like I said because so much comes out, so much personal character development comes out through relationships, especially relationships with a love triangle, if you will, and so I believe it will continue. I think we just sort of scratched the surface in the last season and I think it will be an ongoing battle, if you will, for seasons to come.

Linda Craddock: “Stark’s” politically brilliant accomplishments and ego cause him to constantly push the boundaries of science as it is described. Do you think this is what gives your character an edge as lead researcher?
Ed Quinn: I think so. I think whether it’s the field of science. “Stark” is a pretty good politician as well. You have to have that ability to be cut throat, not only in the development of your profession and your passion, but also in your ability to enable yourself to realize your vocation and I think that’s what “Stark”, I think we saw a bit of that last season, in which he was able to we really found out yeah he is a brilliant scientist, but he also realized that he wanted to do exactly what he wanted to do, he was going to need to be able to grease the wheels, the financial wheels as well and he did that very well and how he played pretty fast and loose, and I think we’re going to see some repercussions from his nature this season.

Linda Craddock: The writers have generated a blend of entertaining stories as well as continuity with the outcome of each episode. Did you have any input regarding the direction of any episode?
Ed Quinn: Not so much, no, I mean I don’t always look at it, an actor’s main job is – an executive producer has 30 jobs. A lot of people have a lot of jobs. As an actor you just want to make sure that your character is always true and honest and if you just kind of focus both on a micro and macro sense on your characters part, script to script, scene to scene, episode, season to season, you tend to shape the outcome of an episode, almost be default.

Linda Craddock: What is your wish list for your characters development in season 2?
Ed Quinn: I hope to just get to see a little more of the personal side of him. I mean he was kind of up in that tower in “Global Dynamics” and I think not only for myself but I think much of the audience and the creators want us to see more of who “Nathan Stark” really is.

Linda Craddock: What are your views on a real life “Eureka”.
Ed Quinn: I hope there is one.

Linda Craddock: Tell us a little about your current project “The Neighbor”.
Ed Quinn: Oh, it was a phenomenal experience. I got to work with a fantastic young director named Eddie O’Flaherty, best know for directing “Fighting Tommy Riley” and he’s just such an amazing director to work with and as an actor, working with Matthew Modine. I have mutual friends who are good friends with him so I heard so many good things and they were all true and then Michele Laroque, who is just – I can’t even imagine being able to act in two different languages and be – she is rather a big star, globally and just so humble and the work load. I mean we shot the movie in 25 days. I mean, just hour upon hour of production and she, you never heard, now she would get in a car and the poor thing would fall asleep, (Laughter) on the way home, and crawl in to bed and be up at 4 in the morning where we were shooting far outside of L.A. at the time. I’ve heard the dailies look phenomenal, the scenes that are coming together are fantastic. I know they’re going to turn the movie around quickly. They want to be in the Toronto Film Festival by September. I hope that happens because I would love to see that movie out and about sooner than later.

Ed Quinn interviewLinda Craddock: Can you see yourself staying with “Eureka” for 4-5 years/seasons?
Ed Quinn: Oh, I hope so. I mean this is, I think one of the best jobs in television, to have a shooting that you love and a show that you love and people that you work with that are fantastic, but we only shoot 13 episodes. I have 7 months a year to pursue other projects. Then I can come back and do a show, I mean it’s just, yeah, this is the best scenario. Everybody wants a job like this right now, movies are getting more and more scarce and more and more corporate and people want the ability to, you want to have your day job. Eureka is just perfect, it couldn’t be more fun, it couldn’t be more intriguing and also the fact that being on a small cable network allows you to not have all the pressure needing to pull huge numbers, I mean like we started this off saying how high our ratings are and they were, the were phenomenal. We’d be cancelled on any major network show, any network channel so we’re viewed as a success. Other shows may have great potential, but failures find audiences right off the bat.

Linda Craddock: Tell us a little about the differences you encountered in your acting career between Barcelona, Paris, Milan and the U.S.
Ed Quinn: Well, Hollywood is big business, Hollywood is the Superbowl. When you can come to Los Angeles, you come to try and work with the biggest productions, I mean, I’d like to say we have our little show, but our studio is NBC Universal. I mean we’re not exactly some little tiny independent television show, syndicated show or something. I mean we have big muscle behind us where I think it was over seas which is one of the reason why you see so many provocative movies and television series come out of Europe is they don’t have the pressure to perform, the pressure to produce but there’s drawbacks to that as well, not having the finances, not having the accessibility to big budgets, big directors, big production. So there’s a balance between the both. I think most actors feel they, well, look at Michele Laroque, she was going to back to shoot two or three more films in Paris, back to back to back but she thought it was important to take a movie, it was a remake of a movie she did in Paris and she wanted to come over and do this film in English for an American audience, it is important.

Linda Craddock: I understand music is another passion of yours. Can we look forward to both talents in television or movie, in the near future?
Ed Quinn: I hope so. I’ve been working the studio, playing with a band, but music is very, very, well … I’ll always play music. Whether I ever do anything that anyone will ever hear it (laughter), that’s another story but music I’ve been playing since I was 12. I was playing music before I ever thought about acting so it’s always going to be a part of me, of my life. It’s just whether or not I will be able to have the time to sustain, it’s a lot of work, I mean I would never want to go out to, I’ve played with some pretty amazing musicians in my life and I have a great respect for the craft. I would hate to be one of those stereotypical actors whose decides he wants to be a rock star for now so, I’ve done the music thing, I’ve done tons of recordings, had a deal, it’s tough, but I’ll never stop working on it. Maybe one day if I get good enough, Universal might give me a shot.

Linda Craddock: Great! Which actor or actress would you really love to work with on the big screen?
Ed Quinn: Well, for me the reason I started acting was Clint Eastwood, I mean it’s just was, the spaghetti westerns, and “Outlaw of Josey Wales”, all the way to “Unforgiven”, he’s my icon. So hopefully one day I will get the opportunity to just (laughter), I’ll cater one of his movies, I don’t care (laughter). Just to be around that talent and that individual I would feel like I got nothing else to prove.

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© Interview by Linda Craddock for The Scifi World
Transcript by Linda Craddock


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