Last night's Eureka, Glimpse, was my first episode as a non-enraged-by-the-enraginator-device Doctor Parrish. I had completely forgotten about Fargo's commercial for the Astraeus project at the top of the show; when I saw that, the excitement of shooting the entire season came flooding back to me all at once.
We filmed it so long ago, I don't remember much about it, but what I do recall, quite clearly, is how worried I was about finding the right "pitch" for Parrish's arrogance and irritation with everyone around him. He's supposed to be a guy you love to hate, a thorn in Fargo's side, and if he's just a straight out dick, I think we get tired of him really quickly.
The first scene I shot was actually at the beginning of the episode, in Café Diem, when I present the banana slugs to Fargo and Holly.* I was actually performing Parrish for the first time (remember, in All the Rage, he was only "normal" Parrish in two brief scenes before the enragenation enraginated), and I didn't really have a feel for his character beyond the notes I'd made in my script. Luckily for me, our producer Matt Hastings was on set that day, and I asked him to watch the choices I made during rehearsal. Matt assured me that I was portraying Parrish the way the writers and producers intended, and over the course of that day, I settled into him. Watching it last night, I saw a couple of moments I'd like to change, but that's just part of being an actor; I have to watch my performances with a critical eye, or I'll get lazy and stop learning.
Wasn't Felicia magnificent? I remember having so much fun with her and Neil when we shot the stuff in his office with Stan Lee**, but I had no idea that the three of us would grow so close over the next couple of months. I can't wait for Eureka viewers to see how the relationship among us develops in the weeks to come.
I also remember shooting the scene where Colin gets all that slug gel dumped on him. It was at the very end of a very long day, and none of us expected as much slug gel to come pouring out as we saw on TV. Erica and I were off camera for dialog, and I remember laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face. He kept improvising lines like, "you -- you're a bad, bad person" and "I ... I thought we were friends," and [mournful sobbing]. By the time that take was over (and we only got one), the entire crew was laughing as hard as Erica and I were.
My favorite scene in this episode, though, is the scene with Carter and Parrish in the police station. Colin and I found this relationship between the two of them where he is patient and understanding, while Parrish thinks he is just a stupid hick who doesn't know a damn thing about anything. That relationship plays out in future episodes, and it's something I just loved discovering.
Did you notice that Parrish set aside his arrogance and irritation and tried to work with Fargo when it was clear that GD was about to get all explodey? If you blink, I think you'll miss it***, but it was an important, if subtle, character modulation for me. Parrish thinks he's the smartest guy in the room (and he's usually right), but even he knows that there's a time to set personal bullshit aside and stop the world from blowing up.
If you watched the show last night, I'd love to hear what you thought about it. I'll also do my best to answer any questions you have about it ... and I hope you'll join me on #TeamParrish.
*For those wondering, the "slugs" were actually made out of figs and dates. You never really got to see them up close, but they looked totally gross, like they really were dried slugs. Parrish ate some in one scene that was cut, and they actually tasted pretty good.
**ZOMG STAN LEE.
*** Don't blink, you fools! The Angels have the phonebox!