Mitch Pileggi and Erica Cerra Talk Sci-Fi and Space Twister

Eric Willard
April 27, 2012

You never know who’s going to turn up in a Syfy Original Movie. They’re often known to feature stars from the Syfy galaxy, so seeing that Erica Cerra, Jo Lupo on Eureka, is in this Saturday’s Space Twister is welcome, but not a big surprise. But Assistant Director Skinner from The X-Files? THAT was a surprise, a welcome surprise. Happily for us, Erica Cerra and Mitch Pileggi took time out of their day on Wednesday to talk with the press about the movie, and about working in sci-fi. asked them how they first became involved in the production:

Mitch Pileggi: I was actually up there working on Supernatural and I had just finished – I think it was Supernatural, and I had just finished, I think on a Friday and then I got a call and they said that – I guess Greg Grunberg was originally scheduled to play this role and he hurt his back so they asked me if I would step in. So I said, “Well how much dialogue is there on Monday?”

So I took a look at it and I figured out that I could do it. Then I got there and then they kept adding scenes and adding scenes, and I was like, “You know what, unless you want me reading off cue cards you guys are going to have to cut back on these scenes.”

But so that’s how I got involved. It was just a matter of another actor dropping out and I happened to be in Vancouver at the time and stepped in.

Erica Cerra: I think we were on hiatus for Eureka. I remember I had a bit of time – God knows I might have been filming at the same time. I remember there was a good period of time where I was a tornado myself, I was working on too many things at once, my wedding included.

And yes, I was asked and I was excited because it was something different than – I realize I work on a science fiction show, but my character is the brawn, and this gave me an opportunity to play more of an intellectual character. So that was kind of fun for me.

They were also asked about their biggest challenges in the production:

Erica Cerra: Mitch was it memorizing your dialogue, is that what?

Mitch Pileggi: That would have been it, yes. I’m not a quick study as it is, so when I get dialogue I labor over it. But other than that there really wasn’t any great difficulty. It was a lot of fun. Everybody was really nice. And it was cold and it was wet and it was muddy. We were shooting out at the old Smallville location farm and so it was pretty muddy out there. But it was fun. Everybody was great.

Erica Cerra: Yes, my answer’s fairly the same. I guess probably the only challenge I had was, there was a couple little stunts that I had to do here and there, but that’s stuff that I really enjoy doing, so I don’t ever necessarily find it a challenge. But I live in Vancouver so the cold and wet unfortunately, I’m used to. But other than that, yes it was a really fun experience. Everybody was really, really lovely and I had a really good time.

SciFi Mafia asked if either of them researched the science involved in the movie:

Erica Cerra: I always do my research, even if I think I know what something is. Because if I have to talk about it and I don’t know what I’m talking about, oh my God. Yes, I’m always racing to the internet to go, “Why do we…” Even in scenes on Eureka when they’re talking about things and it’s not even my dialogue I’m like, “What is happening? What is going on?” So yes, I like to be informed, for sure.

Mitch Pileggi: I had to make some adaptations to a [spoiler]. So there was a lot of wiring, a lot of electronic stuff that I was dealing with. It was fun though. Yes, it was interesting playing with all those wires.

SciFi Mafia also asked them both if they enjoy working in sci-fi, or if it’s kind of a pain:

Mitch Pileggi: Well I’ve done it so much. I mean we both have. It’s pretty much my meat and potatoes. I did nine years of the X-Files and then I did Stargate Atlantis for five years, and I did Supernatural for a while. And so yes, they keep pulling me back in. (laughs) And I enjoy it. I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy/horror fan of literature, and so to be able to make my living doing it is pretty cool.

Erica Cerra: I love working in sci-fi. I am same as Mitch. I grew up – my dad and I used to watch sci-fi all the time, my dad’s a huge science fiction fan, a huge X-Files fan. And so I grew up absolutely watching all the science fiction shows.

And I always enjoyed watching things that were sort of more creative or a little bit less reality based because I live in reality every day, so to me I like the idea of watching television that takes me out of the real world and out of my own life. I would love to continue doing it. And no I don’t think it’s a pain.

I think sometimes it can be a pain because if you’re doing something that doesn’t necessarily make sense it can be kind of confusing. And if you’re trying to play a scene that’s really, you know, true to the scene or bring it down to reality, that can be a bit of a challenge.

But yes I really enjoy it.

Unfortunately for us, neither of them have any sci-fi shows in their immediate future. Mitch Pileggi reported that he has a recurring part in the upcoming return of Dallas, and that if they get a second season he’s been asked to join as a regular cast member. Erica Cerra is due with her first child in about four weeks, so that is filling her plans for the forseeable future.

Thanks so much to each of them for taking the time to speak with us. All the best to Mitch Pileggi on Dallas, and congratulations and best wishes to Erica Cerra and her husband and their upcoming new family member.

Make sure to check out our review of Space Twister published earlier today.

Space Twister, starring Mitch Pileggi, Erica Cerra, David Sutcliffe, and Leah Cairns, airs Saturday at 9/8c on Syfy.

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