Scorpion Roundtable Interview with Katharine McPhee and Ari Stidham at SDCC 2016
We sat down with Scorpion starts Katharine McPhee and Ari Stidham at San Diego Comic Con. Katharine McPhee plays Paige Dineen, a former waitress turned Team Scorpion handler. Paige’s job for Team Scorpion is to help the geniuses translate the world and work with people who may not understand them. Ari Stidham plays Sylvester Dodd, who is described as a human calculator. Sylvester is one of the geniuses who with Paige’s help has been able to accomplish some truly amazing things. Scorpion will return with it’s third season two hour premiere on Monday October 3rd at 9pm.
When asked what it’s like to return to filming Scorpion now that they have two seasons under their belts, both Katharine and Ari had only good thoughts. Katharine shares, “Every year it feels like they get better and better and make it as easy as possible for everybody.” She goes on to say, “Second season, it felt like, ‘Okay I’m going back to school.’ And then this year it was like, ‘Oh I’m home again.’” Ari seconds her assessment saying, “Home again is a good way of putting it. It feels like I’m sort of getting back into the wetsuit that I had on and that I’m in the water.”
One of my favorite questions to come out of the interview asked if their characters came to Comic Con, what would they want to see? While Katharine didn’t really have an answer for Paige, I could imagine she would just be Mama Bear making sure that their misfit crew got to see what they wanted. Ari on the other hand had a perfect answer for Sylvester. “Well Sylvester loves Super Fun Guy, so if Super Fun Guy were real, definitely I know they’d be at comic con. That’s where he’d want to go, to the Super Fun Guy movie panel or wherever the artists would be. Maybe they wouldn’t be at this comic con. Maybe they would be at a real comics convention, so he would go to one of those. Probably I mean I’d say Sly likes the mainstream stuff… Superman, Batman, maybe the Nolan Batman and what’s going on nowadays may be too gritty for him… Sly would prefer to see the Eartha Kitt Catwoman to the Anne Hathaway Catwoman anyday.”
Although it’s usually hard to get anyone to give spoilers these days, even mild ones, both Ari and Katharine gave us some insights into the new season. “I can tell you so many character spoilers. I don’t know if you want to know any of them. Sylvester wears these pajamas that are Super Fun guy pajamas that are very special [not a onesie!]. I wish it was a onesie. But you know they don’t look flattering that’s for sure. Another spoiler about Sylvester. He’s got new shoes this season. They are tan. Another spoiler about Sylvester. He’s still a widower.”
Okay so maybe they weren’t the greatest spoilers, but Katharine did give us a tidbit about the premiere. “I can say a spoiler. You are going to see Paige and Tim kiss in the premiere. So that’s kind of a fun. That’s a big spoiler that I haven’t shared with anybody.” It looks like Scott Porter’s character, Tim Armstrong, will be sticking around for a little while at least. Ari then asked how the kiss was. Katharine replied, “As for Paige or for me as a human being?” To which he said, “You know bro to bro.” Katharine let us behind the curtain saying, “It was pretty good actually. Yeah it was nice. Scott’s a good guy.” Katharine and Ari clearly have a lot of fun working together, and it shows.
In the second season of Scorpion, Katharine’s character, Paige, must sing a song in order to create a distraction for the team. Now, this isn’t a stretch for Katharine McPhee who is a accomplished singer. When asked how her singing on the show came up she replies, “I can’t take any credit for that because it wasn’t my idea to sing on the show. I think that the showrunners are aware of a multitalented cast. Ari sings incredibly well… Elyes Gabel sings and plays. Jadyn plays piano. Eddie… you know he’s not the best singer. And Robert [Patrick] has found this new love of music and singing and is taking voice lessons with my mother actually. It’s so cute. So I think that they are very clever at utilizing their talent as much as they can. I think second season they did a better job at making it feel natural.”
While it seems like Katharine and Ari are settling back in well, they described one of the main challenges they face. Katharine says, “The hardest stuff to do for me on the show is the sequences where they are really short bits. I find talking on the comm is still really hard and making that believable.” While they don’t really do their own stunts, Katharine and Ari agree that making these crazy things feel believable to the audience can be challenging.
This was Ari’s first trip to San Diego Comic Con, and he couldn’t have been having more fun. When asked what he has enjoyed so far, Ari said, “There was a piano that I got to play for a second that I was really excited about. I had a Shirley Temple that was really good. No I’m joshing you. The fans have been incredible. To sit and see Scorpion fans. All I do with my life is sleep and read Scorpion scripts and art. And to see people that like art that I’ve worked on and they know the stories and stuff. It’s mindboggling. It feels like I’m not supposed to be there to talk in front of them. But it’s great; I love it. It’s incredible that these conventions exist”
It was a pleasure to sit down with Katharine McPhee and Ari Stidham. Make sure to tune into the two hour season premiere on Monday October 3rd at 9pm on CBS.