Warehouse 13 Q&A with Aaron Ashmore and Jack Kenny

Jack Kenny is executive producer of Warehouse 13, and Aaron Ashmore will be joining the cast as new Agent Steve Jinks. Season 3 of Warehouse 13 premieres Monday, July 11th on Syfy.

Aaron, can you talk about Steve Jinks and his ability to detect lying?

Aaron Ashmore: Well I think I thought about it and was maybe overcomplicating it — this idea of being able to tell when someone’s lying. But, talking to Jack and when we kind of got into it, it was a very simple thing of just looking at somebody and being able to tell whether they’re lying or not.

I mean I think that the ability is quite simple in the way it works, but the way that it affects the character, I think, makes him very tentative when it comes to people and trusting people. He knows that everybody lies. And I think as human beings we know that anyways but being able to tell exactly when those things are happening, I think makes him put a little bit of a wall up around him.

And I think that that’s the real thing that when you’re playing – when I’m playing Steve that I had to think about him and be aware of. So I think that that’s really the big part of the character that there’s these walls up because of his ability to tell when people are lying.

With Steve coming in as Pete’s new partner, where that leave Myka?

Jack Kenny: Well just to keep myself from getting into trouble I never said she would definitely be back. They’ll hunt me down and shoot me. No, what I’ve always – what I kept saying to people is don’t worry. We have our fans’ best interest at heart and everybody should just relax and enjoy the ride.

Remember at the end of the first season we killed Artie… So everybody should just not worry. It’s going to be a great year and everybody’s going to be thrilled. That said, that’s part of the fun of the season this year is in the first episode is Myka coming back? If she does, how is she coming back? How does Aaron fit into all this?

It’s a nice fun beat. But honestly it’s just, as I keep saying and I’m surprised because I never really thought about it — Aaron fits so well into this family that it hasn’t felt like an issue. There’s been plenty of room in this show to have this new character. And I got to tell you, just separately of the writing and the acting and the shooting, everybody in the cast just loves Aaron.

So it would be different if we had somebody who was a jerk. But he’s such a terrific human being and brings so much warmth and professionalism to the set that I think people look forward to doing scenes with him and seeing him. So it’s been – it’s just been a real kind of a joy this year.

Will the show be visiting other warehouses again this year?

Jack Kenny: Well, kind of. We have – it’s hard to be specific but there are elements of Warehouse 7 and we’ll be – that we’ll be touching on in Mogul – in the Mongol Empire. And Warehouse 2, the beginning of the season, the stuff’s been excavated from Warehouse 2 and has been delivered to the warehouse and into a place we’re calling the Ovoid Quarantine, which is where a sort of an egg-shaped purple-lit structure that when there are large caches of artifacts brought in, that’s where they go first, into the quarantine.

So we’ll be talking a lot about Warehouse 2 and dealing with a bunch of Warehouse 2 artifacts. I don’t think we’re actually visiting any of the other – oh, yes, no, that’s not true. We’re going to, yes, we will be seeing a little bit of Warehouse 12.

Will we get to see an in-depth backstory on Steve?

Aaron Ashmore: I think that there’s some stuff in Episode 2 and then a little bit farther — I can remember what episode, maybe 6 — where, yes, you really start to see who Steve is and you get a little bit of his backstory and you really see how his life has kind of impacted who he is.

Because, he’s very different, I think, from a lot of the other characters on the show in that he is more reserved and he’s got these walls up. And so you – throughout the season I think you really start to – I think that Jack and the writers have done a great job of kind of just putting in these little kind of nuggets of character throughout particular episodes so you start to be like, “Oh, okay, well that makes more sense and I can see, you know, why this guy is how he is.”

And, a lot of times you don’t get that in shows. They just kind of like, it’s just there or they don’t even say it and it’s just kind of like implied or whatever. So yes, I think that there’s – people will find it really interesting to see how Steve’s character develops and learn these things about his past and then understand who he is more because of knowing those things.

Jack Kenny: I think, too that, like I was saying earlier, I learn a lot about a character by – from the actor who’s playing him. And it’s not that I don’t really know anything about Aaron Ashmore’s past or his relationships or anything. I just – what I see when I look at Aaron on camera, when I look at him on the monitor it’s just – I see a guy who’s got – I see a character.

And maybe this is what Aaron brings. I see a character that’s got a complex past, maybe with some pain in it. That’s what I see when he’s playing the part. And so in my mind he comes from a complex past. Maybe when he came out or if he came out to his parents it wasn’t well-received. And maybe that’s brought some pain.

There’s other things you’ll learn about his character — because I don’t want to give away here because they come as a surprise to, you know, various members of the cast. He gets to be besties with Claudia, so they learn a lot about each other.

I get the sense that he’s been hurt in a relationship or two. And that he’s emotionally conservative. He plays his cards close to the vest. A lot because of what Aaron was saying earlier about if you can look into somebody’s eyes and tell if they’re lying to you or not that affects the way you relate to people.

You look at people differently. It’s a little bit like Sookie on True Blood where she can hear people’s thoughts — it’s kind of annoying. You don’t want to necessarily know all that. So it’s a – I think he’s a vulnerable and tentative character who makes friends – doesn’t make friends easily but when he does he makes them forever.

Aaron, could you talk a bit about working on Fringe?

Aaron Ashmore: Yes, it was great. I mean, … doing work with my brother, that was awesome because I hadn’t worked with Shawn for years and years and years, so getting a chance to play a character with my brother and on a show like Fringe that I don’t watch a ton, but whenever I have seen it I’ve really enjoyed it and I know it’s got a good fan following.

But we had a lot of fun, you know, trying to be as identical as possible. Because most of the time when you’re growing up a twin you’re trying to define yourself separately and that role is basically, yes, can you guys act as much as you can alike and look as much as you can, you know, alike with what, you know, a wig and with facial hair and all that stuff. So it was a really interesting experience.

Are you both fans of science fiction?

Aaron Ashmore: Yes. Yes, I certainly am. I love – well, I mean just generally, like comic books and video games and sci-fi movies and stuff. I’ve always been a big fan of that stuff. I think I read more comic books now than when I was a kid. So I think I’m definitely a big fan of the genre and fantasy and all that kind of stuff. And I like a good escape, you know, in my mind.

I love these worlds that writers and stuff create that are so different from our own. And I think a lot of it’s very intelligent. A lot of it has a lot of commentary on what’s going on in the world. So I really appreciate it as an art form.

Jack Kenny: I was not – I was, you know, I got into Star Trek when I was, you know, we get into all the reruns for a while. My husband and I used to really get into watching all the reruns of Star Trek and loved it. But more for the kitsch value than the sci-fi value, because it was just so fun to see William Shatner act.

But I – when I was a kid I was into comedy. I wanted to be a comic actor when I was six years old. My father always supported it. I did my seventh grade term paper on W.C. Fields and my eighth grade term paper on Groucho Marx. So I’ve always been enamored of comedy. And so I’ve learned – I’ve studied them inside and out and I know all of that. And – but when I got, you know, the thing is I’ve always loved the movies that everybody loves — you know, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Star Wars. I saw Star Wars 11 times the summer it came out, which just dated me, but there it is.

So I was – I’ve always been into that. And when I talked to SyFy about this show, my initial interview, I just said, “This is your cross-over show. This is the show that gets people like me to watch the SyFy Channel. Because it doesn’t scare me. There’s not so much sci-fi talk that it scares away non-specialists. And there’s enough sci-fi that it’s exciting to the sci-fi fans. It’s a nice mix. Everybody can enjoy it.” So that’s what excited me about, like getting involved with Warehouse 13.

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