Eureka's Dr. Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield)
If you happen to live in the small Pacific Northwest town of Eureka, you never quite know what kind of day you are going to wake up to. Dr. Allison Blake, former head of the local think-tank, Global Dynamics, knows that only too well. When Eureka’s fourth season opened, she and four fellow residents were unexpectedly sent back in time to 1947 when the town was just being established by the government as a base of scientific research.
Allison and the others eventually managed to find a way back to the present, but an unexpected passenger hitched a ride. This altered the established time line, changing everyone’s lives, including Allison’s. She is still a single parent to her baby girl and teenage son Kevin, whose autism has completely vanished. Work-wise, Allison is now Head of Medical Science at Global.
With one or two exceptions, our heroes have so far managed to keep their time traveling secret, but that could all change in season 4.5 of Eureka, which premieres Monday, July 11th @ 8:00 p.m. EST/PST on Syfy.
Earlier this year, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who plays Allison, along with the rest of the Eureka cast and crew returned to Vancouver to begin filming the show’s fifth season. The busy wife, mother and actress recently took some time out of her day to speak with reporters about her work on the series. Here are some highlights from that Q & A. Enjoy!
In what ways would you say you are the least like and the most like your character of Allison?
Our characters have actually become even more like we are in real life as the show has gone on. I mean, I don’t think that I’m quite as hard and tough as Allison sometimes seems to be onscreen. And during the last season or so, we’ve gotten to see a much softer side of my character, with her being a mom but still having to juggle work. So I think she’s very much like me now.
Eureka is such an unusual show in that you can pick up a script and have no idea what weird direction the story may take. They range all the way from comedy to romance and dead-serious drama. What’s it like to pick up a script and find one of these “weird” surprises?
What’s so fun about doing this show is that we’re not stuck in a goofy comedy all the time our just doing straight drama or straight little set-ups. You really get to do different things all the time, and I think that’s what keeps it fresh for us and why we continue to get better in it because you get to stretch yourself (as an actor). And I think that’s also why the fans like the show - they’re not bored by the same thing every week.
You and Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter) are really fun to watch onscreen together and you have great chemistry. Can you talk a little bit about that process and how it has evolved?
You never know if you’re going to have chemistry with someone, and ours it’s just naturally there. It’s been that way since the very beginning when Colin and I did our first scene together. I feel corny when I say this, but there’s something that clicks, because off-camera we’re very brotherly/sisterly and joke around, especially when it comes to, “Oh, God, Allison and Jack have to kiss.”
As soon as the camera starts rolling, though, and I look into Colin’s eyes, there’s something that clicks. I always find an instant connection that makes all my emotions sort of come right to the forefront and I feel everything that I’m saying to him.
What have you learned about yourself since starting work on this show, or maybe how your life has changed the most?
Honestly I feel like I have grown so much as an actress. I’ve learned that I’m better than I thought I was and to really trust myself. We’ve been doing Eureka for a number of years now, and although I didn’t come in as a 20-year-old girl, I’ve definitely grown up on this show. I feel like there’s nothing you could throw at me, in particular as an actress, that I couldn’t do, and I’ve learned that from.