Eric McCormack The Andromeda Strain
Hi this is jamie bamber. And you're listening to sifi talk. Hi this is tony tomato. This edition of sci-fi talk features audio press conference with actor. Eric mccormack who plays the pivotal role. Jack nash and the new television adaptation of the andromeda strain. This is being done in the mini series. Form which airs on the anger network. Starting may twenty six. We'll get to the press conference in just a moment just like to remind all complete the audience survey at sci fi talk dot com. Pronin inscription of this podcast. This really helps me to attract new sponsors to the show. Keep us going if you do that. And submit your email address. I'll be happy to send you a free. Dvd as a token of my appreciation. Eric mccormack shirley has an impressive resume appearing in many television series and movies. He's appeared in lonesome. Dove the outlaw years and nineteen ninety eight. he began the role that would hurt him five golden globe. Nominations an emmy for leading actor in a comedy. As will truman and willingboro he also made his broadway debut in the title role in the music. Man in two thousand one and returned to the new york stage auto. Six for neela butte. Some girls eric recently starred in the independent film alien trespass and also shocked truth in advertising pilot for tnt. Now let's listen to the press conference at yours. Truly joined for actor. Eric mccormack previewing. The andromeda strain question is from an intangible with the boston herald and your line is open. Now you doing. The call browser seems more science fiction than this movie. I wanted to ask you a little bit about. What was it about this part that spoke to you and and Will and grace thought thought about getting the new parts take on In what got this into. Well i mean i definitely consciously took some time off to try some of the things. I had a production company for a while we produced a show bring international for lifetime which had a minor cult following and Producer pilots for for tnt. So i was trying my hand at other things but i think it was actively not being active hoping that that that role would come along that was very not will truman and that that i have some fun with this. This really just totally spoke to that. It's i love. I love the script. I don't think it's a really smart smart update really current and i just loved it. We're in the midst of all these people talking scientific jargon and medical jargon and was this sort of very flawed Deeply sort of sardonic reporter with cocaine addiction. And i thought well that sounds about as far from tremendous. I can get so i feel right. Thank you our next question from tony toledo with five talk. Your line is open. Mr maccormick are you very well had seen the original dramas train at all or read the book. I read the book i had seen originally ago. But i was too i was. I was too young. Probably ten to I think that the The tenor of the times and the nature of this Draft script is so different. It was not in any way kind of word for word remake. It was a complete reimagining for for two thousand eight. And i think i think that's what i'm really proud of. I think really really works And it's exciting. I think it's a really. I think the original is a little bit cerebral it's a little bit slow and very much about the science. This is a much more of an action film. Guys are gonna love this It's a real guy is sort of the. There's almost a little bourne identity to to the feel of this which is hard to believe when you hear andromeda strain but it does have that kind of disaster movie. I a movie kind of excitement to it. I think the the major differences that it was very much science fiction at the time. And i think now it's a little closer decide fact. I think once you have guys with debris getting on international flights and you have countries like china denying the sars outbreak the concept of government and the military covering up something like this and of course with the constant potential biochemical warfare It's do something about this. It felt like it could absolutely be happening And so i think it is. I think the differences are gonna make it Much more exciting. This isn't just a remake by any means. I think this is a complete reimagining of of what Something like this would be like if it really happened. Two thousand eight. Thank you our next question. From rick bentley with the fresno be and your line is open now and that could do have anybody in mind playing that television reporter for i. Actually i mean to me. He wanted to give him the kind of the seriousness of of anderson cooper when he first broke out. But i also think this guy has a geraldo rivera side too. I think that's an station list. And and i threw a little hunter thompson in there as well but they had a lovechild. That'd be a day. Yes thanks. Thanks our next from david. Martindale with hearst paper. Your line is open now higher We've talked before. I did a story on you for biography magazine years ago. I remember it very well. Thank call anyway. I felt the movie last week. I enjoyed it Like you were saying story. Seen so timely. I remember when tony lewis started playing monk very phobic about just about every kind of germ there is and we all laughed at. Hell ought is now. We're gonna time with tainted spinach and the grocery stores and fast food and bird-flu and mad cow. I don't think he's crazy anymore. No exactly yeah also Take a quick glance. The rest of the names topping this cast. And did you ever feel like you're making a completely different movie from them. Yeah i mean it is very much three films There is the the doctors locked away on underneath the ground trying to solve this problem. There's sort of the military political side of it which i think makes it very very interesting very current and look very espionage in my little movie running through the desert trying to get word to somebody. I'm like i'm like chicken little trying to tell everyone that the sky is falling. But i mean. I i like i mean i love that because because i think that is the what they call the fourth estate. It's this there is the the media nowadays is you couldn't make you couldn't remake story without some media character. We are so reliant on twenty four hour news stations And constant information and information that we trust whereas in the old days we had We had three anchorman and we had to rely that they were gonna tell us everything and we now know they didn't. Now you know the moment something happens Somebody's telling you. And the fact that uh jack. Nash is the only chance humanity has ever hearing about. This is sad but excited. It's disturbing right. Let's that we never really know how you'll react. A major crisis In real life. I'm sure you've been in smaller scale panic situations before whether it's an earthquake or an accident or whatever how did you hold up Do you your eye on the ball or win. The earthquake comes there. You standing outside the curled up in a ball. An interesting question i think. I don't think i'd do link jack nash. I don't think i'd immediately tear my shirt off but I think that I think having a child changes all of that. I mean any fears. I used to have. We all nightmares where we have feet of clay emergency situation and i now know that That if anything were to happen with my child childhood room. I would act immediately but if you know if there was an earthquake in los angeles and he was in school. I mean i. I drive like a son of a bitch across town. I mean i think something up that protective part of your kin. So i'd like to think that it an emergency. I'd be i'd be prepared and last thing for me. How how weirder how. How much does out phobic are you if at all about germs and contagion Did this movie and in fact you're thinking in any way you know. I think i am a typical of of sort of the other side. You know someone else. Talking to the monk character i. I tend to be extremely trusting. I just sort of have the feeling that the good people at the supermarket probably watched that lettuce. I'm sure it's And i probably shouldn't. I probably should've let the movie effect before and not just a movie but the the news everything it's It is a world where the next germ could be a killer and then every disease the worst of course being cantered just seems to mutate and a constant basis. So i will say i am washing my hands more. Somebody telling me one was really disturbing. He said. Do they actually have somebody who washes the menus in restaurants. That's going. Oh my god wants you to order your meal. I then wash your hands. I think that should be the got anyway. Thanks so much. Thank you sci-fi talks coverage of the press conference with every mccormack on andromeda strain will continue in a moment you're on farscape. You're listening to this. I thought this is ben. Browder from farscape. You're listening to by talk. Thank you are an extra from andrew ryan with global mail. Your lines open eric. Hi hi andrew. How are you. How are you good. Great job in the movie. Thanks man very good. I mean there's a lot of action. Obviously i mean for you. I think even more so than the other characters. I mean how big i mean. How stressful after you. 'cause you're running the desert or you know it was. It was nice to be macho again. The the much will truman ever got was beating eggs. So i think this is a nice. I love that does it stuff. I mean there's been like a new thing you'd be doing. I mean that's where all the big front repellents recap all the all. The big action are the ones that are grabbing. Well you know your lips still here. I i'd love that. I mean. I think time during the shooting of this thought jacking. That sounds like a tv show. You know what i mean. He just he had the kind of dc episode of a bitch. And you'll use going to get story one way or the other sort of a coward but he ends up finding his metal so I i would love to do more that. Certainly that'll help blowing up. The helicopter and all that stuff from jack goes through a lot of growth. I mean to stop the app. I won't give it away from where you start at. The beginning is considered rehab to like where he ends up at the end of the movies that as beautiful air. Yeah totally. I mean i think you know any any actual tell you that no matter. How much fun something is there has to be some kind of the only you rarely get it with the villain with a guy like i mean. Nowadays most people Most heroes on television shows are are flawed because we retired the white hat. When i love with this guy isn't he. He's gonna get his story beginning but he's gonna get a story for selfish rates for the glory. He's jack nash. And by the end he's gonna get that story out to say people and that is that's really nice. Gross i'm guessing. Part of the movie was filmed canada. Just because they're flatman other actors. Yes i recognize but it'd be where were you. What did you look. I was a little vancouver mostly of a five hours north ashcroft and cache creek which i even have lived in vancouver for years. I didn't realize how much of a desert territory we have up there. I mean it really passing for for desert america. So wow it sure looks like that's great. Well thanks very much air. Nice to hear from toronto. Boy thank thank you our next from acquaintance johnson was saying. Cast your say hi eric. How are you excellent. thank you good. He's starts out. And sort of self tanner guy and in a way this movie also or is this remaking train sort of great for all survivors of all that disaster is that we're having you know. Well i mean it's that's what's really bizarre that it's airing weeks now. I've i've kind of just like most of the country slack jawed the first four or five stories on the national news our oldest astor's you know and in different countries and in each case a big part of the story is how the government reacts slow. How not at all in the case of miramar. So i just couldn't be more timely ca mean just saying you're right about one hundred and like manoir like covering up the doctor so here you are sort of like there is a conspiracy on this one. Yeah exactly i mean Give too much away. But i mean that's what what happened to the pieces is. Is the government doing what what china did with sars years ago is is just is denial. Denial blame it on someone else and and there. We are at home just watching the news hoping that. Somebody's telling us the truth. I'm also i guess that's the That's the function of disaster movies to make us all feel. I'll feel united right. Yeah absolutely. I mean i this. This reminded me a little of the stand. The stephen king star which is one of my favorite books that sense of when a when everything's falling apart and you simply you simply have to come together and it's always the opposite spent for the project mash in the second half thing as we're they were creating it from scratch. There's nothing like this in the novel. they were trying to figure out who is it that he's gonna meet in the desert and initially i was like four kids real smoking dope or something and then it became a mother mother with her very young child. We're just trying to find the thing that most Most exciting and also little sexy so we ended up in the end. It was just that the one girl but There was a key moment where she tempts him but his own demons and he overcomes that. So i think i think the story. It's so separate from what everybody else doing part too. But it's a it's a really great road. Thanks our next question from ashley dean with top culture madness. Your line is open. thanks for talking to me. i actually. I was wondering if you had read michael books research or did he want to approach the script with fresh. I yeah i didn't do. I didn't do a lot of Of crichton reading beforehand. It very very close to start shoot so it was more i just i think was exciting was that i thought the script was already really good. there wasn't a sense of of going into it and think well i'll fix that on the day. I mean it was really strong am and the directors is great. I knew i just knew. Visually this thing's gonna look like a feature and And the special effects we're going to be great for not just for tv. Until i think this looks great on the big screen. So i just let i let the let the work speak for itself. More sci fi taught so stay tuned. Back on sci fi talk. I'm tony to lauder related arts and asher serta like doing i think for me Used to as actors playing doctors and lawyers and cops and really. I mean there's not that much we have in common with them. Their works to their workers so much more dangerous important and complicated and whereas with nash. I mean being someone that is front of the camera being some of that. I mean with slightly different gene. And i rather than an actor might have been an camera reporter so i definitely related to to him to. What i liked is that i was saying before. I mean i think he's on camera for the glory. I think he's he's a selfish pompous ass. A little bit that In that geraldo rivera away. But i think he also through the story discovers his That there was another reason that he became a journalist in the first place. The more reasons. I was also wondering if you had a favorite part of filming it. No matter funny moment Well probably i i. Certainly i loved the The stunt stuff when the when the helicopter went down there was a stunt guy involved in some of it. But i got to leap out of the helicopter. Running have explode get to do a lot of that. I want to grow so yeah but that was probably one of my favorite days. And there's just a speech that i have in the second act i've been wandering the desert and i fall on my knees and pray to god that it just lets me through this one. I'll never snort coke again and there's probably my favorite piece of writing. That's a pretty big deal to me to our next question from tony. Tomato sifi talk. Your line is open. How did like your past experiences working. I like the outer limits and highland or even the lost world. kind of. Help you in doing this kind of scifi project. Oddly i have ended up a lot of scifi over the years And in fact between and drama and truth and everything. I did another thing which i think your readers will like it when it eventually hits the ground running called trespass gosh to Fifties fi i know it feels like it. My wife is a huge science fiction fan. There's lot of reading of sci-fi fantasy. So i feel like while. It's not exactly my domain. It's a world. I've lived in a lot. So i i think i understand the audience a little bit and can you also tell us about your project. Imperfect union union was a A pilot that. I made it to producer Four t and t. It did not get picked up but it did. Star zachary levi. Who has gone on to fame chuck. So i i must say i discovered him. I'm just saying. I knew and then just one last thing. What about What you wish for where you're producing directing and writing it I'm sorry what you wish for is is an ongoing project that may eventually happen It's a romantic comedy feature that. I hope to direct. It's been around for about five years now but it's It's we're just waiting to find the right time. And the right to the right cast and we got a couple of producers. That are interested in doing it but it doesn't happen yet. Well thank you mcintyre with monsters and critics your life open. Hey thanks for taking our calls. And i'm rob him. I'm late to the party. So if i've been asked i apologize Head time i noticed that You got a lot of cool gadgets to play with your character and also kind of between the visual effects. You guys had some really interesting. Prop and i was wondering what dean eyler. Stand your problem master who your character Trying to think of gadgets. I had i mostly. I mostly have my cell phone and that was the other guys. Everybody got the cool gadgets really. They didn't with their an iphone. You had or some sort of something iphone edition that but i mean a lot of what was on it of course was sort of put in after the fact that I mean definitely the phone. The whole phone thing is crucial. Because the only real connection. I have to benjamin bratt. We're supposed to be central coast oregon this thing and yet we only have one major seem together and that's over the phone and the iphone does play. It's a character like new york. He didn't have a lot of gadgets. he didn't have. I did not have a lot of gadgets. I had A flak jacket three days. Girls did What was the most challenging scene for you to pull off on physically in this series There were a few. I mean i. I was talking before you got on about The the helicopter explosion and jumping running indicting alive stuff. There was also Chasing which. I'm driving i want to get the ending away. But i'm driving rather faster the desert and that was pretty cool because i do all that myself and never. I'm given permission to drive really fast. Were there any injuries sustained in the making of android strain for you or did you come on skates from the whole experience. I think i came on fence game. They would have been a slight bruise. If i threw myself on the ground past time but but no it wasn't it wasn't too strenuous that way. More most importantly did you get a chance to go through the slum. Oh car wash that they decontaminate people or the phone sixteen and everything and they're kind of twirled around profiling left that to the bed into the melon krista to get naked okay. Great thanks so much for your time. Thank you andrew ryan with globe and mail your lines. Open ohi eric again. Welcome back. And i've got to ask you before. I know you're a film buff. You love movies for you. Was there something extra about this. Because it's you know. Ridley scott and tony. Scott like yeah. That was Quite a pedigree. I went into it knowing that. I'm probably not going to beat them. Because they're executive producers. They got other things going on but when it was finished We saw a cut it on a big screen kind of a post production facility. I said the producers on my dad is coming down tomorrow. Would you guys can show this to them. We do another screening and they said sure at the office like drove my dad to hollywood and to the car and they're standing in front of scott. Free productions was ridley just having a breath of fresh air. And i walked up. I don't think with a cliche but at the time. I don't think he recognized me for a minute so we said hello. We went and sat down and all of a sudden someone came up and really wants to talk to you. They came up and he was very few tiven. Lovely and i was able to introduce my dad wanting to watch the screening and Assistant came in with a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses and said this is from ridley. I the watch reading of this with the bottle of wine. Courtesy ridley scott which is pretty neat because get much better. It does not aid in One more question. I mean for you. Was there ever a time. Because i know you both high school went to you. Went to ryerson. I believe yes but it was every time that you like considered becoming tv reporter or going into that side of the business. Or i don't know that. I ever considered it. But i've always i mean one of the things. I love doing it as movie. It's a. It's a short bit. But i get to do the kind of the interview i mean w and then i turned. Speak to the camera and i always wanted to sign. The sign off is my favorite thing. You know they're cormac. Cbs news or whatever. Just love doing that particularly. I always wanted to play an english journalist. I think i've always loved the way that everything goes up at the end of a sentence have a before it goes down. It is different different. Great thanks very much eric. Thanks take care. Thank you next question from amy. Am tangible boston. Herald your line then. I think the i'm back. I wanted to talk. And we. But i had my first question about the production company. And how you were involved in. That and i was just wondering. Are you planning to do anything Like that going forward and and kind of what did you learn from that experience and maybe being a little bit on the other side of the business. Oh i just. I learned a lot for sure and i think we were mostly trying to because it was a nbc money that we were playing with Trying to develop series. And i think the main thing i learned was that i i think in the future i if i if i do work as a producer again. I don't know that it would be as a long running series. I think i'll start focusing more on On whether it be television films or or just feature small features independent features because the idea. You know the the the mind that it takes to come up with not just a the concept for show but one hundred episodes of it is. That's a whole other kind of thing and so i think The main thing i learned is that i want to focus a little bit more onto developing things that i might actually be in northern. I might direct rather than just sort of creating television as a producer and having of character on tv And that was it. We knew for so long viewers. Did you find any resistance. People think you and other part or or something you don't we don't see it happen as much anymore. Get gets there. And i think it's it's they're as much in the people that do the hiring as it is in the people that do the watching you know And it's it's sometimes it's not a terrible thing it's like it's a good problem to have that. So many people saw the show respect to show It's ultimately my own problem. That i have to choose wisely and And once i get the work do it well and make people you know. Forget the other guy. And that's that just takes time I think i think that a lot of us for a while. There's a part of me going. Come on what's the big deal. I was gay and that straighten but it. Television is a very powerful medium. And so i have to. I can't underestimate the effect that eight years of of a show and constant reruns Can can have people. Hey thank you so much. Thank you mike. Coverage of the press conference with. Eric mccormack on drama to strain will return in a moment. Guys this is james. Cohen writer director. Yesterday was a lie. And you're listening to sifi. Talk our next question from ashley. Dane with pop culture madness. Your line is open eye. Eric had another question for you. To say you played a gay man and willing and then the plane and added. So what do you look for in characters and scripts either gay or addiction. One of the. It's pretty much all the who knows your for me. The main the main thing. I'm looking for. I'm sure i'm not alone in this. Is i want to a story that surprises me. I want dialogue. That is that is smart. And luckily i got a little funny in this to a comedy but jack national very sort of better sense of humor but I just i. The main thing is a with something like Miniseries you're committing to six weeks to months of of your life and it's something that you look forward to do every day particularly series and when committing to a new series. It's be that just that magic. Something that usually is has to do with with how well the dialogue is written. It makes you wanna go to work every day. Uh-huh what's next for you What is next is series for tnt canadian. Tom cavanagh Personally called truth in advertising in new york last week and we shot the pilot last october. Right after i shot strain and we're going to start doing twelve episodes in the fall. I think it's gonna air on tnt after the closer In january oh very cool. Good luck with that. Thank you very much. Our next question from combined with fantastic is higher just A kind of fun follow up. I guess Ricky schroder and then brat play chess a lot whenever kinda hanging out between sane other any kind the same kind of fun things that you did on the set. Well let us say before. I was kind of in my own movie. Yeah i mean. I i i have never with those guys. I never had a scene with with rick. I have one with with ben So i was. I was mostly read the paper in betrayer So it's the truth It was very strange one day when we shot the very final scene where i got to meet everyone else in the movie and And i was. I was just full of conversation that day. I thought this was like like a thirsty man. Finding a found. And i was just like. Hey let's talk about what's going on but mostly it was It was like a one man. Show my but just following up with all the disasters that were happening. You mentioned earlier like it was just like shock after shock like this probe the world is after that one. And that's that's been lately. Yeah for sure. At the time. I mean i was just like there. Were you know. I mean it's global warming and all these other things so i don't know if that was affecting I'm not sure that's okay I didn't I mean it just all. It was was finding what you did in. Your downtime was reading the paper well afraid. i don't have a really i. I was doing some writing at the time but But i i can't. I don't know that. I can talk about what is ready at the time. So it's not a very good story but We you know. Like i say a lot of my stuff shot up in the desert areas of northern bc. So we were in. We're in cache creek. Which is basically a one horse town With a couple of chinese restaurants there wasn't a lot to do wasn't a lot to do during those days. thank you. Our final question is from tony. Tomato was talk. Your line is open. So do you like his wit. I just loved his sarcasm. I think he had plenty of it. Yeah i i whenever possible. I try to find something. Throw a little in there because i just i think that's that for me is the is is historian is not just that he has he offers a few witticisms once in a while or or sarcastic remarks but that he turns from sarcastic. Bastard into someone. That actually has to do something to help somebody else. Thank you very much. thank you everybody. Eric thank emily's batallio network for allowing me to attend a press conference until the very next sci-fi talk. This is tony tomato. Thanks so much for listening.