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TV Goodness Q&A: EP Jack Kenny, Missi Pyle and Enrico Colantoni Discuss Warehouse 13 “The Big Snag” [INTERVIEW + PREVIEW] 

Photo Credit: Syfy
Photo Credit: Syfy

Some of my favorite things include film noir (be it in the form of movies, writing, or episodes of TV shows) and anything having to do with Galaxy Quest. So when I heard that “The Big Snag” was not only reuniting Galaxy Quest’s Enrico Colantoni and Missi Pyle AND that it’s a black and white film noir episode, I got a little excited. Ok, a lot excited.

TV Goodness participated in a press call with EP Jack Kenny as well as actors Enrico Colantoni and Missi Pyle. They talked about working on the episode and shared memories from their Galaxy Quest days. Read below for more.

Photo Credit: Syfy
Photo Credit: Syfy

Q: Can you talk about what it’s like joining an already established cast and what is was like to work with them?

Missi Pyle: “It was very painful.”

Enrico Colantoni: “It was painful. It’s hard to come into someone else’s house. But they were-”

Jack Kenny: “Enrico has terrible gas. He was hard to hang out with.”

Enrico: “The good thing is that no one noticed with all the gas that was already there… No, I think I said this even off the record that it was one of the most enjoyable casts and crew experiences I’ve ever had. Missi was there at the beginning. Jack was just-”

Jack: “I was in and out.”

Enrico: “Crazy off the wall, just happy energized. I think I went back months later just to watch them work.”

Jack: “You did. You said, ‘Can I just come back and hang out at the set?'”

Enrico: “Yes just hang out with you guys because it was so delightful to be there. That was my experience.”

Missi: “It was very delightful. I had a ball when they told me Enrico was doing it. He told me that. I think they told us both that the other was doing it before-”

Jack: “Before we got you each to agree.”

Missi: “I was like gosh — and I was like they told me and he was like they told me. Dr. Eddie was so excited to have company.”

Jack: “We talked about Galaxy Quest. We talk about Galaxy Quest all the time. We even quoted it on our season premiere last year. (Claudia) quoted, ‘Never give up, never surrender.’ We’re all huge Galaxy Quest fans so when we had this little mini reunion we were all just so excited. My gosh, oh my gosh. I was little disappointed that we didn’t have to show up in Thermian.”

Enrico: “Yes well I don’t know if it was illegal action.”

Jack: “Well you’re doing black and white. I’m not sure it would play. You were black and white the whole episode right?”

Enrico: “Yeah. We sort of have this black and white tinge to us, didn’t we Missi? Black and white, sort of gray.”

Jack: “You played it in black and white too which is different.”

Enrico: “Yes totally played it in black and white.”

Missi: “The Thermians this a little — when they caught the historical document they were in black and white. When they actually created these alter – what do you call them, alter egos? When we actually created them they were in gray, shaped in gray because the man saw the TV show in black and white.”

Jack: “Wow. That’s deep. That’s a deep connection. I know I speak for the cast. I’m absolutely certain I speak to the cast when they say that they had a magnificent time working with these two. They still go on. I was out with dinner with Joanne [Kelly] last Saturday because we all went to see Eddie [McClintock’s] movie and we were talking about how much fun it was working with the two of you. (Joann) was like we’ve got to find a way to get them back on the show. She actually thought of a way to get you guys back so I guess I’ll have to tell…”

Missi: “An absolute ball. From the moment we got there everyone was so great. I was sort of like I just want to be on. I just want to keep doing this show.”

Jack: “We all do.”

Enrico: “Yes. We tried to figure out a way to keep us on. We’re going to find a way.”

Missi: “I think the best thing to do is to blackmail someone.”

Jack: “I’m not sure we answered anybody’s question. Is anybody still there?”

Q: What was that like for you as actors to totally immerse yourself in that film noir world?

Missi: “I used to do a lot of sketch comedy and I used to do the film noir lady. It’s just really fun to do that and to actually have an excuse for it to keep it real. It’s definitely a challenge but just – to stand next to you Enrico it’s like… it’s like-”

Enrico: “I loved you channeling – you kind of channeled Judy Holiday a little bit.”

Jack: “I did?”

Missi: “He’s…”

Jack: “Enrico you did. That’s what was so special about it.”

Enrico: “I think Missi and I could’ve gazed in each other’s eyes for a whole hour and a half.”

Missi: “The whole season. It was so fun.”

Jack: “The great thing that I noticed that with you guys working the noir dialogue was you really – you still sink your teeth into it because it’s not pedestrian. It’s all very – the words kind of are bitten off and I love how you guys sort of really bit into it when you were – especially in the scene in the alley Enrico with the gun.”

Enrico: “I haven’t seen it. But I’m going to trust you on that Jack.”

Jack: “No it was great – I love the way noir villains, when noir people hold guns they don’t really point them. They just hold them…”

Enrico: “They just kind of keep them right there ready to go. It’s kind of all rooted in that old sort of American set standard speech from Katherine Hepburn and how actors were even taught back in the 30s. There was a clipped sort of standard American speech that everyone had. So I don’t know if the noir that made it up or actors were trained to talk like that at that time.”

Jack: “A lot of noir too is so much of it played in the looks. We cut to somebody giving somebody the look of death, the look of fear, the look of so much in place. Dum, dum, dum, when you see somebody’s eyes and the murderer would throw strip of light across your eye like Joan Crawford.”

Enrico: “Did you keep the part where Eddie throws the gun back? Did that make the cut?”

Jack: “I loved that. Well maybe I loved it because I pitched it.”

Enrico: “It was so noir.”

Jack: “Yes. There was a moment where Eddie takes his gun away from him, Eddie takes Enrico’s gun away from him and then at the end of it just throws it back to him like be careful with that thing. I think it’s such a noir private detective move because he’s un-killable. He’s immune to danger. It was great. I’m glad it made it.”

Q: Galaxy Quest is such a beloved movie. Jack, how much did it influence casting Enrico and Missi? 

Jack: “Honestly it was the cherry on the cake that they were in that movie together and it’s fun to set that from a validity standpoint but honestly I loved Enrico on Just Shoot Me. I loved Missi Pyle in The Artist. They have such great bodies of work that that was the icing on the cake, the fact that they were together in Galaxy Quest and it’s one of my favorite movies but just working with these two was the real fun and the joy and the excitement.”

Q: And Enrico and Missi, was this presented to you as a Galaxy Quest reunion?

Enrico: “I just remember that first day Missi when we were doing the make-up tests and it just seemed so – nothing seemed real. It was such a great – it was surreal from the word go and so much fun, you and I sitting in the parking lot.”

Missi: “You mean Galaxy Quest?”

Enrico: “You remember? It was our first day.”

Missi: “I remember we were both sitting on a parking space and just chatting and we had that meeting with Dean.We walked around a little bit and I was like maybe they got a slightly backward — were together and the body was so big so maybe they just – they don’t know what it’s like to have a small body but facially it was very special, crazy fun.”

Enrico: “When someone like Tim Allen – who I haven’t seen since Galaxy Quest – still talks fondly about it I know I wasn’t imagining it. You want them to experience it like that, to keep coming back and back.”

Missi: “I think all I did was watch you and Jed and just – I was like I’ll just see what they’re doing and they’re having a ball doing it. It was so easy and fun and everybody was — was very special experiences where I don’t know if I have to do anything in how special that was.”

Enrico: “But needless to say you knowing that you – I was going to get to see you because when I read it Jack I go, ‘They want me to do what?’ Then when I knew Missi was doing it I go okay and then reading it four times over and I go it’s the film noir thing. I get to play Humphrey Bogart kind of sort of but Missi had a lot to do with it and I thought for some reason you wouldn’t remember me here.”

Missi: “That’s hilarious. I literally was like from the moment they told me it was you I told everyone – I was like, ‘Enrico’s doing it? I can’t believe it. I’m so excited, literally giddy to see him.'”

Jack: “We met to record your song and I said Enrico’s doing this and you were like my gosh.”

Enrico: “When you actually recorded it yes.”

Missi: “I’m so excited to sing. I love singing so much and the idea that somebody wanted to pay me to sing because I usually have to pay to do it. I was like yes and you were there and it was so noir and you were in love.”

Enrico: “I know.”

Missi: “I’m going to get to make out with him finally.”

Enrico: “Yes like in the 40s style.”

Jack: “You with the heels and the wig you’re about 18 inches taller than Enrico.”

Missi: “A hundred feet tall and it was so hard to get me in A frame.”

Jack: “You’re a tall girl anyway but we put you in 4 inch heels and a big blonde wig and there’s a scene at the end like I can’t see Enrico so we turned it somehow because I know he’s there. I can see his hands but that’s all I can see. There’s a little gleam coming off his head.”

Enrico: “You’re so awful. My gosh, I hate you.”

Missi: “You know, people can make you feel uncomfortable. Why do you have to be so tall? I wanted to…”

Jack: “My mother stretched me as a child.”

Missi: “I go home and stretch myself.”

Jack: “It’s just as bad for us. I’m 6 feet shorter than Enrico and we don’t like it either. I walk into a room and I have to carry a sign.”

Missi: “Rico’s like gosh you look — you look glorious and they said – I felt like the attack of the 50 foot person but the hot version and everyone was happy about it.”

Q: If you could you explain your character in one word, what would it be and why?

Missi: “Rico please go first.”

Enrico: “Stuck in a world madly in love with Missi’s character.”

Jack: “That’s – I don’t know if you heard the one word thing.”

Missi: “Mad.”

Enrico: “Still love, they’re all combined.”

Missi: “Mad, madly. I don’t mean your same theme but it’s like this platinum everything that’s hazy.”

Enrico: “I think the first word that comes to mind for you Missi is breathy. I just get the feeling that your character is very breathy. You don’t understand. You need to help me.”

Missi: “Eating bosom.”

Jack: “Maybe you can hyphenate it.”

Missi: “Yes hyphenate eating bosom. I’ll put it all together.”

Jack: “And Enrico it’s tense. You were tense, you were worried about these guys coming into your world and privacy on your girl. Tense, they’re trying to take your girl. They’re trying to shake your world up. Who are these people in the middle of your world? It’s kind of cool. You could say wider. I’m bitching on your words.”

Missi: “Wider chanteuse, is that the word?”

Jack: “Chanteuse, that’s a good one.”

Enrico: “Actually you’re punching up on words is what you’re doing Jack.”

Q: What did you find challenging about the role?

Missi: “One thing I found challenging was it’s so stylized and you just want to make a meal because it’s so much fun. So we just try to keep it real. Rico and I just have a hard time sometimes containing ourselves from having so much fun. Just the things we say to each other are so ridiculous because the dialogue is so ridiculous you want to make a meal out of it for 13 people to keep it from going real which I don’t know if we did.”

Q: What else can you tell us about the episode?

Jack: “Okay. Well I can tell you we already know that it’s a noir episode. There’s a love story and I think you know who it involves. What can I tell you about it?”

Missi: “They are two cult members who are involved.”

Jack: “They are two cult members on this call. I don’t want to give away too much but so much has already been given away. I think you can go on — you can download a whole bunch of pictures that we made into Facebook banners. But it’s honestly every season we do just a goofy fun episode like — a video game. Last year we had – what was the one we had two seasons ago? We had them fall into a video game. We like to do big – there was one with Egypt. We did a lot of weird green screen in Egypt. In this one we kind of have fun. The B stories follow the arc a little bit with him dealing with what happened last season and they’re in a different story entirely from Pete and Myka in noir but we just wanted to have fun. It started out as a town gone noir where this whole town had turned into a noir town and Pete and Myka had to go investigate it and then it turned into other story with a writer and his book and they fall into his book and they – I will say this, that Enrico plays a part that’s not yet part of the noir world but he also kind of isn’t and that’s something we find out in the story as well. My favorite part of the episode is – aside from everything Enrico does – is Missi’s singing. It was done again beautiful. It’s you know, it’s really beautiful. It’s so nice to see the episode just stops and Pete and Myka are dancing and Missi’s singing and Enrico is over at the bar smoldering. What could be better?”

Q: Missi, there are so many beloved standard versions of the song you perform “After You’ve Gone.” Do you have any favorites that inspired your take on it?

Missi: “Jack, who came up with [this] version? I think it was Iggy Gourmet?”

Jack: “It was Iggy Gourmet.”

Missi: “I googled it and looked into it and my absolute favorite is a version of [it] was a big band in the 90s. It’s such a great song.”

Jack: “You did have your own version too. You started acapella which is nice.”

Missi: “That’s true. It was probably the most fun I’ve had — I just love singing and that song is so beautiful and it’s gorgeous.”

Q: Do you have a one favorite moment from the experience?

Missi: “Kissing Enrico. Remember we kissed and we sat there holding us because we froze?”

Enrico: “I loved it. It was amazing.”

Missi: “It was literally – we were trying so hard not to laugh.”

Jack: “Her nose just kept running too. It was a long kiss too.”

Missi: “It was a long – because if you freeze, my nose is running and about to slober over on you. I’m wearing 7-inch heels. We’re kind off balance.”

Jack: “I can’t see Enrico.”

Enrico: “I have you – one take you were actually literally in my arms because we had to go-”

Missi: “-I’m like I’m falling, I’m falling. He was like I’ve got you, I’ve got you.”

Enrico: “She fell off her shoes. That was a good moment. There, we shared the same good moment.”

Q: Can talk about how much improv you had to do?

Enrico: “In front of Jack? I don’t think so.”

Jack: “Come on. We did it together.”

Enrico: “We didn’t improvise anything. It was all on the pages wasn’t it? I don’t remember it. It was four hundred years ago. It was-”

Missi: “The magic.”

Enrico: “I remember. All the magic was on the page baby.”

Jack: “That’s an actor who wants to come back on the show.”

Enrico: “Yes it’s true.”

Missi: “We just took what was on the page and brought it to life with our own personal magic.”

Enrico: “That’s what we do.”

Q: Did either of your characters have stunts and how involved were you with them if so?

Missi: “We had a few little stuntsy things.”

Enrico: “Those heels you were in, that was a stunt.”

Jack: “I think she already mentioned she had to kiss Enrico. We had to bring in doubles for that.”

Missi: “Over and over again.”

Enrico: “We actually had to get up at one point Missi right and move. The bar was very low with you. We had to – I had to walk. That was a stunt right there.”

Jack: “We had that girl fall of the balcony right when she was shot.”

Missi: “Yes.”

Jack: “We had that stunt. That wasn’t none of you guys. If somebody was shot and fell off the balcony and landed on the floor that was Enrico — place one of the other villains in the show.”

Enrico: “It’s great.”

Jack: “It’s spelled with America but it’s…I just want to do a shout out to Chris Fisher, the director of the episode. We always make sure he gets the most difficult episodes because he really makes them sing and Chris shot this with noir angles. He worked very closely with Mike McMurray, the DP to make sure it was lit with noir type lighting. He had the low angles, the wide shots and the masters that were low and close ups the way they used to do in the noir films. He really gave this such a great feeling of noir and kept that all alive. He was amazing and the script also by the way was written by JP Nichol, a young writer on our staff who’s done amazing work with the script as well. So I want to make sure I get those shout outs out there.”

Enrico: “He was the first director I ever met that wore a tie to work and I thought it was a homage to the noir genre but apparently he wears a tie to everything because-”

Jack: “He wears a tie and it’s usually a tie that has food on it. His clothes are very nice. Nice pickup there. Most of the toilets are covered with some sort of food item. He either buys them that way or he does that to them. He likes to shop in thrift stores. He wears pink suits and he’s a lot of fun on set.”

Q: A writer sometimes had to be a smuggler of sorts, especially in the old decency code days. Are there any direct topics or ideas you smuggled into the subtext of this Warehouse 13 episode that the audience might not be savvy to on first viewing?

Jack: “Comedians used to do it. WC Fields had a lot of — Godfrey Daniels instead of gosh dang it and suffering sciatica for pain in the ass. I don’t know how much smuggling we had to do because the codes then and the codes today, what you get away with today you could never put in a movie then so we’re already way over the line with that but I will say Double Indemnity is a movie that everybody on the show watched. Eddie and Joe watched it to prepare for the dialogue. So I think that’s got the best back and forth. There are a couple of scenes between Cedric Murray and Barbara — just go disco machine gun fire, back and forth and I know Joanne really worked on that for the scene she has with Missi where basically she’s reading her the right act and it’s seen with a detective tells the suspect everything she knows and sort of nails her to the wall and Pete said you’ve been waiting to play that scene your whole life haven’t you? And so we used Double Indemnity as a real model for this and do we have – you guys remember any sort of sexual sub-context we threw in there that would’ve gotten past the censors in the 40s? I’m trying to remember any. Enrico does most of it without his pants on but you don’t see it because we use different shots. But he plays everything that way in a show he ever does…”

Missi: “He’s somewhat taller.”

Jack: “Yes he can’t see…”

Missi: “He doesn’t need to wear pants.”

Jack: “His shirt goes right to his shoes anyway so-”

Enrico: “I’m going to stand here and laugh.”

Missi: “Joanne, that was so great. She nailed it to the wall. It was so funny to watch her do that.”

Jack: “I know she had fun with it too. We talked about it a lot ahead of time too, here’s the theme to watch in Double Indemnity and she watched it. She said, ‘My gosh, that was so graphic.’ She wants to go back and do those movies now.”

Missi: “Can you write a movie please?”

Jack: “Sure a noir movie. That would be huge. Okay. I’ll write you guys – let’s do a noir movie together.”

Missi: “Okay. Men.”

Q: Enrico, Jack has talked about how much you enjoyed your time on Warehouse 13. How did it compare to working on other sets? 

Enrico: “Not just to blow smoke up Jack’s ass but really Warehouse 13 has such a special energy and possibly because I was just a guest and they know how to treat their guests. But on other shows we’re usually the ones that extend ourselves so I can only compare it to other guest experiences I’ve had and I’ve never been treated better.”

Missi: “I concur.”

Enrico: “Eddie first of all is just bouncing off the wall making sure everybody’s happy and when Jack shows up suddenly you just see everybody on the crew feel relaxed and his energy is just something that he’s bringing in the moment. It didn’t feel like a machine that found its groove. It just felt like each episode seems to be a new discovery for them and they’re willing to go down that road which is just fantastic.”

Q: Tell us about doing this in black and white. 

Jack: “I don’t know what they released but the interesting thing about black and white is you have to really adjust the color of black and white. You wouldn’t use the real color that we would ordinarily use for something. The green has to be a grayer green or a brighter green to appear a certain shade of gray. So the colors of the costumes, although there’s a lot of honestly black and white costumes because for a lot of it the big scene is there and you have – Enrico’s in a white dinner jacket and he’s in a black tux. But in terms of the color we do tend to – you would use a much darker lipstick than you would ordinarily use so it comes across as red in black and white so it looks like it’s ruby red. So the colors don’t always match up to what you would normally expect to see – ordinarily expect to see but I don’t know if they released anymore or not.”

Q: How different it is for you today to be on something that’s become a cult favorite like  Warehouse 13 or some of your other shows? 

Jack: “[Enrico] was having fun back then 25 years ago. Everything you do is a cult favorite. I think I should follow you around. I thought I’d throw a compliment in there or you’re kind of a Jim Jones guy. It can go either way.”

Enrico: “Kind of. That’s one — to.”

Jack: “He was a cult favorite too until right near the end.”

Enrico: “I don’t know what people are watching these days. Everything’s a cult favorite now. There’s so many channels now for God sakes. Everything’s a cult favorite.”

Missi: “I own a house in Montana — but I — from a cult member.”

Jack: “This question has gotten so weird. You’re talking about buying a house from a cult member and Enrico’s sounding like an old man. ‘Get off my lawn. There’s too many things on television. I don’t know what to watch.'”

Missi: “There really are. I don’t watch TV.”

Enrico: “Are you guys in the same room Missi?”

Jack: “No.”

Enrico: “She just wants to know if we appeared together on the phone. Why isn’t that happening?”

Jack: “Was Friday the 13th a lot like Warehouse 13? I never saw it.”

Enrico: “Yes the TV series was. It was all about a bunch of artifacts that got-”

Jack: “You were a regular?”

Enrico: “No I did the guest slot. I was possessed by a wooden mulcher and it would give me money. And then when they threw me in the wooden mulcher all they got was blood because I wasn’t worth more than a cent.”

Missi: “Is that what you’re pitching to have us come back?”

Enrico: “Not yet, no.”

Jack: “He came back as a wooden mulcher.”


Q: Enrico you came up with the cadence of your characters talk, the way he spoke in Galaxy Quest?

Enrico: “Yes that’s true. Dean it was in the audition process that we sort of discovered it.”

Jack: “It was before you even got the part you came up with it?”

Enrico: “Yes.”

Jack: “Wow.”

Enrico: “Yes kind of, sort of. It sort of came in because he’s an alien. What does an alien look like? And then Dean said – he gave me a direction that made me think of a Jehovah’s Witness. So I took it in that direction with a happy guy knocking on your door, just happy to see you, the innocence.”

Missi: “You’re so innocent.”

Enrico: “And then he brought us to Thermian school and that’s what Missi was talking about. We spent a whole day discovering the walk and the other things.”

Missi: “How happy they all are.”

Jack: “They’re so happy. We’re so happy. Weren’t they?”

Q: Missi what was it like doing the scene with Tony Shalhoub doing the tentacles and everything and saying Rockwell’s classic line?

Enrico: “My favorite scene.”

Missi: “Well that was never in the original script. [It] happens with the couple of looks and hand hold[ing] in that one scene and at our seat were these two puppeteers with these giant tentacles with a remote – they have them – they were hovering them at our feet and they were all coated with slime and flopping and over us. It was hilarious. It was – a lot of people. There were maybe two or three puppeteers at my feet just kind of – but we did that whole thing. Tony of course – I think the magic of that movie was that every single cast member was even more incredible than the other and it was so fun. Tony is just – other than Enrico – maybe my favorite other actor I’ve ever worked with, just so much fun.”

Enrico: “Remember how torn he was? He was – just early on he’d come in and go I haven’t found him yet, I don’t know – then he found his bag? He found his little greasy bag.”

Missi: “He always had the bag. The character was in the bag.”

Enrico: “Found him, he’s right here. Tony found his character when he came with that bag.”

Missi: “To answer your question this is actually – that was really my first movie. I had this tiny part in As Good As It Gets and it was just a shocking huge wonderful thing to be able to do that movie and then to be able to – one or two small – and to just kind of get to hang out with everybody and smile pretty much.”

Jack: “Right from the first scene in the limousine – it was your voice box that broke right?”

Missi: “Yes. I remember – my voice box – the description as it was her voice box is broken and it sounds like a baby in a bagpipe. I was like — a baby in a bagpipe. I was like I’m so happy to be here.”

**Edited for space and content.

Warehouse 13 airs Mondays at 10/9c on Syfy.

Episode Description: 

In this special black and white noir episode, Eddie McClintock‘s Pete and Joanne Kelly‘s Myka are pulled into a 1940s crime thriller complete with gangsters, molls and a hunt for a deadly artifact.  Missi Pyle’s Lily Abbot and Enrico Colantoni’s Antony Bishop portray dangerous murder suspects with hidden agendas who snare Pete and Myka in their deadly crossfire.  The episode also features Pyle performing a new cover of the classic song After You’ve Gone.


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