Within the strange, genius-populated little Northwestern town at the heart of Sci Fi Channel's Eureka (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET) resides Jim Taggart, the off-center "dogcatcher" who specializes in the critters, creepies and crawlies born of the burg's bizarre scientific experiments. TVGuide.com spoke with Matt Frewer (aka Max Headroom for my fellow children of the '80s) about his stay in Eureka and the series' "aggressive multiplatform media initiative." (He has no idea what I just said.)
TVGuide.com: It's always a pleasure if not a little bit clumsy to interview another person named Matt.
Matt Frewer: Oh, well, just pretend I'm wearing a name tag.
TVGuide.com: When I watched the Eureka pilot I almost didn't recognize you "Is that Matt Frewer?" because of the crazy accent and all.
Frewer: There was some debate as to whether I should use the accent, but he was written as an Australian guy so I showed up on set with an Australian accent. Everyone was like, "You're going to do it as an Australian?" and I said, "Well... yeah!"
TVGuide.com: I had to check the production notes just to confirm it was in fact you.
Frewer: And was it?
TVGuide.com: Uh, yeah, it was.
Frewer: Whew. I thought maybe I had been recast or something.
TVGuide.com: What about Eureka made you say, "I've got to do this show?"
Frewer: Taggart's involvement wasn't too high in the pilot, but I thought it had a lot of potential, and the show itself had a lot of potential, too. And there are the obvious comparisons to Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks, both of which I really liked, so it seemed like a fun thing to plunge into. And as far as the character, who could go in any direction, is concerned, I liked the idea of playing [Using accent] "a biological containment specialist."
TVGuide.com: Oh, who are you kidding you're a dogcatcher!
Frewer: Exactly. [Laughs] It's like "sanitation engineer."
TVGuide.com: What do you think of the whole multiplatform thing Sci Fi has going on? We're in this new day and age in which shows like Eureka are producing content exclusively for broadband (SciFi.com's Pulse), cell phones.... Colin Ferguson told me they're working you guys like dogs!
Frewer: Yeah, we were doing some webisode stuff to kind of help advertise the show on the Web and so on. It's a different way to go, certainly. But you're talking to the most low-tech guy around. I'm kind of the anti-technology guy.
TVGuide.com: Max Headroom is low-tech?!
Frewer: Well, when I did Max Headroom, he was supposedly a computer-generated guy, but obviously it was just me in makeup. But I've always been slightly embittered about computers because it was the only subject I failed at school. So to have this "computer thing" following me around is ironic, I guess. I'm like the Amish farmer I don't have a cell phone, I'm not on e-mail....
TVGuide.com: Since all this extra "stuff" kept you all so busy, how did you keep things fun and loose on the set?
Frewer: I think it's just a matter of having a bunch of fun and loose people on the cast. That's the key ingredient for working long hours. I've been dipping in and out of the show, but Colin has been working like a maniac, appearing on the page of every script. But he's been remarkably well-mannered and well-liked. He's keeping a good sense of humor about it all.
TVGuide.com: Can you tease what's ahead for Taggart? Anything new we might find out about him?
Frewer: He likes to be naked in the woods; you'll see that coming up. He loves the environment, and every animal he captures he adores. He appears to be a tough guy, but he's fairly mushy underneath it all.
TVGuide.com: What projects are you currently working on?
Frewer: I'm working on a show for the CBC, which I went into right after Eureka wrapped about four weeks ago, called Intelligence. It's about intelligence-sharing between the organized crime units in Vancouver, Canada's version of the CIA. It's very kind of film noir.
TVGuide.com: When are you and Jim Carrey finally going to get together and do something? The resemblance shouldn't be overlooked.
Frewer: I have no idea. The comedy that he does... most of the strings to his bow is one string to my bow, and I think it's just due to our backgrounds. I mean, he was born from a sort of stand-up realm, and I have classical training as an actor, yet I love doing that stuff as well.... It's a different laundry hamper.
TVGuide.com: You could play zany brothers!
Frewer: Zany brothers, yes! [Laughs] I'm jotting that down right now....
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