Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Interview with Eugene Robert Glazer
USA Network, December 2000
INTERVIEWER
Were you aware of the fan support that was coming through?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh yeah. Yeah. Definitely. We have been aware of the fan support for quite some time. Judging by the Web site and the E-mails and the the conventions and all of that stuff. So we had a, we had a pretty good idea about the fan base.

INTERVIEWER
Were you surprised at how ferocious they were ... in their commitment?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Um, yeah. [LAUGHTER] Actually I was yes. But it was, it was quite a compliment that they would really, you know, take to the show that well. You know it's ... it's a compliment to I guess all the actors and the writers and directors and producers. And you know it was ... it was really flattering.

INTERVIEWER
Were you surprised when they decided to bring the show back?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Um ... actually yes. I I had a feeling that they were going to do ... a movie of the week or two movies of the week. That's the one reason, I guess, they didn't take the set down. But that was probably all just smoke screens. [LAUGHTER] And you know because when they lock up a studio and nothing gets torn down, then it's rather suspicious. Not suspicious in a bad way. But suspicious that it's really actually not over. So that's what I thought. That it wasn't quite over yet. And then you know, [we] found out we're doing eight more. So that was kinda nice. I'd rather have done eight more than another season. I think if I had to do another season I'd probably...I would have gone 'postal' on the set and just killed everyone. So it would have been over. I think [LAUGHTER] I'm just joking. But I actually think everyone had really reached the limit, you know; it's, like, time to move on. You know what I mean?

INTERVIEWER
Um hum.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
So the the eight shows were kinda like a bonus. Like oh, that's nice. OK. Great.

INTERVIEWER
Was it like shooting the last eight?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh it was, it was fun. It was nice knowing that there weren't fourteen more to follow. [LAUGHTER] And I'd be getting home soon and you know the good-bye's on this one were not as sad as the good-bye's on the last one because we thought it was, like, you know, that was it. Good-bye and that was the end of it. So we basically expelled all our, [LAUGHTER] emotions on last year's good-bye. So this year it was like, oh hi guys, we're gonna do eight? OK. Well, I'll see you when I get up to Toronto again. Take care. Hey it's been good. Thank you. Good-bye and I was gone. That was it. It wasn't .. it didn't have that sadness that the first good-bye had.

INTERVIEWER
So the first one was pretty emotional?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah. The first one was really...was really tough. You know, saying good-bye to everyone. And you know it really was just so anti-climactic. And you know Alberta was dead and Matthew was killed and all that stuff. And uh yeah. Then we found out we were coming back and uh ... it was great.

INTERVIEWER
I hear from various people that you have a tendency to crack up on the set.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
[LAUGHTER] OK. All right. So I've got nailed. I I just actually...I just tend to have fun, see the absurdity of some of the stuff. And if I had directed there was stuff I would like to shoot for the outtakes. You know, 'cause just some funny things happened. You know. [CLEARS THROAT] Even by accident. Sometimes you're doing something ... you're doing a scene and another kind of ... line comes into your head that has to do with it that...it's a funny thing. You know it becomes funny instead of serious. And some times I do it. You know some times I just say, what the hell with it, I'm going to have fun doing the take. And I'll do it and then we have to do it over again. That's fine. You know they can't put it in that way. But, uh, it just makes it...it just makes it a fun set to be [on]. I mean, Alberta and I could not do a scene together without laughing. It was just absolutely, utterly impossible. When she did her close-up and I had to read off-camera dialog. I had to keep my eyes closed or not look at her. And she had to do the same for me because we we couldn't keep it together to finish the scene. Uh, it was just ... I don't know what it was. It was just this funny jag we got on. I mean there were just so many different times that we just...we couldn't do a scene standing up. We'd be falling down on the ... on the floor laughing. And of course some times the directors would get a little, you know, after 15 minutes of this laughing, then they'd get a little crazy. It's like, ok guys, it's time to go to work. So, and that makes it worse when they say stop the laughing! And then, of course, you know it's like being in school. The teacher catches you and then says you do that again and you're going to the principal. And that's all they have to say. And you have to...you have to put a gun to someone's head to have them stop laughing. But it was ...[LAUGHTER] it just made it. But you look around some times. The scene is very serious. I'd be in the scene and ...  I'm already seeing it on the screen. On the television. How people are just seeing the two actors in there, you know. And then when you pull back you have like 40 people on this one little perch bending and crouching and getting out of the way with the lights. And you're pulling back out of that and it's all, you know ,it's all fantasy world. And to say some of those lines, absolutely seriously, I just can't ... the dichotomy of the reality of it. And the reality of the world some times catches up to me and I just...I'm hysterical, laughing, it's just so funny.

INTERVIEWER
I heard stories about having to tape the briefings to other members of the cast so you could remember.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
 Oh that...that's absolute nonsense! That's absolute nonsense. First of all, I couldn't see that far. [LAUGHTER] I would some times. No, the briefings ... I would some times, uh, blow up a little bit of the briefing and tape it to my computer on the briefing desk. 'Cause when the cameras, when they're doing it on me you can't see the paper, you know, it's on there.

INTERVIEWER
Um hum.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
But no. 95% of the time, I mean, I learned the briefings, which were a pain in the neck. They were just a pain in the neck. A page and two pages of just absolute gibberish. Um. Well not gibberish but you know what I mean. I mean ... the, the ... foreign names and places. And the...the terminology. I mean these terms are used and it's just something that one doesn't use in their normal speech pattern. And then when you get a writer -- a writer has his own sort of speech pattern. You know, the way he presents words, and I have my own way of presenting words. So I I get locked into a certain way of saying things and I have to keep forcing myself to go back to the way it's written. Because that's the way it's written. So it ... no I had one term they used, I asked for cue cards. And that was in the show with the Vietnam story, with the buddy and all of that stuff.

INTERVIEWER
Um hum.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Uh, I had that long speech with Michael and Peter in Peter's apartment and it went on for pages. And I...and I just said to Brad, I said -- Brad Turner -- uh, Brad, please put this on cue cards. I mean this is ... I can't. I'm sorry. I can't do it. So they put it on cue cards and the guy they gave it to never [had] held cue cards before. So. And I never read off cue cards. So, between the two of us it looked absolutely ridiculous. 'Cause he was...he was holding it and he wouldn'traise it as I was reading so I had to keep bringing my head down. So you obviously, obviously can tell I was reading this.

INTERVIEWER
[LAUGHTER]

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
And then he started to move it around and I'm moving my head up and he's going up. It was...it was absolutely....And then Brad Turner came out. He said "That was absolutely ridiculous." [LAUGHTER] He really did. So I  finally, you know, I remembered quite a bit of it and we worked it out. And, you know, they cut around that stuff. They're not gonna keep everything I do on on film. Um. So that was the one time that I actually asked for cue cards. It was, it was just really a lot of dialog.

INTERVIEWER
Do you sense that he's (OPERATIONS) gotten more ruthless over the last four years?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh I thought he had gotten calmer. Well what's happening is, you have to understand that the power is slipping away from him. You know in the very beginning he was the absolutely power. Then you find out when it pulls back a little bit or pulls up a little bit you see that it is then Oversight. Then Oversight is the absolute power and then all of a sudden that pulls back a little bit and then Center becomes the absolute power. So the power base kept changing. And within that power base Operations sees that, um, he's losing control of what's going on because of Mr. Jones. And because of Peter and because of the relationship between Nikita and Mr. Jones. So, um, you know, he's worked hard for where he ... you know, the position he's in. And he sees it slipping away, so he's a little pissed. There's a lot of, I think...there's also some anger there. There's also, um, a little bit of vindictiveness. Yeah. He, you know, he'll do anything to to get where he has to go, and get the job done. So you might be right. There is a bit of that. And there's a bit of harshness because of the situation now that he's placed in.

INTERVIEWER
Do you find it hard to maintain that level of anger? Is it cleansing to have to act that way every day?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
No, no. I think it's quite enjoyable. I like playing....I don't like playing, um, the goody-two-shoes characters. I like playing characters that have, um, you know, some evil in them. Not evil but who...who are bad but yet are still good. And they can do...and they can go both ways with it. I think it's interesting to have a bad character. Not a bad character. How do I put it? Um. OK if you're gonna be the villain it's nice to be the villain with redeeming qualities even though you're the villain.

INTERVIEWER
Um hum.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
I think most of the time when you have a villain who has a redeeming quality and you see some goodness in him it makes you ... kind of like him. And then you don't like yourself for liking him because he's so bad. But there's something good about him. And then he...he confuses you with all of that. And it makes it more of an interesting character than just being a villain.

INTERVIEWER
Do you have an episode or a scene that was your personal favorite?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah, the scene with...the scene with, um, the guy who played my buddy in Vietnam. It's a short scene between the two of us I liked. I also liked the scene in the Italian clubhouse or whatever it was. We're in the same episode. Uh, where Operations has a scene with the...with the boss. The Italian gangster, whatever he is. And he's just very calm about everything 'cause he knows -- and he's surrounded by these terrible guys who are threatening his life, spitting in his face -- and he has that ... that knowing he's got nothing to worry about. You know these guys are fooling with the wrong person. And it was just played very simple and very quiet and very ... right to the point. And I...that's one of my favorite scenes. I liked that one' cause it's very simple and yet it had a lot of power to it. It was kinda scary.

INTERVIEWER
Definitely was.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah. I liked that one. Um. There are so many scenes. There are so many I can't even remember half of them. But yeah, there are a lot of them that ... that were interesting. I liked the show when I went absolutely nuts.

INTERVIEWER
I loved that episode.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah. That was a fun episode. That was a fun episode. I liked that one.

INTERVIEWER
Was it strange to play that and strange to watch it back?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Uh no. Not at all.That's...that's an easily acquired arena for me. That's 'cause I'm always like that anyway. See, that's really my personality. Um. No. [LAUGHTER] I enjoyed it because it ... it was a good chance to stretch the boundaries of of the character in the situation. And because of being on um ... (PAUSE) a psychotic inducing drug. A psycho -- whatever they call that. I forgot the term they used for it -- inducing drug. I was able to just do whatever I wanted. And of course the director would occasionally pull it back because it was way over the top. Or a little bit ... a little too much for a particular scene. But it was fun watching it. And it was fun doing it because I felt there were really no boundaries. And, um, it's like swinging across the canyon without a net. And it was nice. I didn't worry if I fell. Because there were no...really, there were no restrictions on it. As far as I was concerned. So I had a good time doing it and it was fun watching it. It was a little ... yeah it was a little at times saying "Whoa, where did that come from? That's a little scary." Uh, but I enjoyed it. I had fun playing in that insanity.

INTERVIEWER
Were there any plot twists that really shocked you?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Birkoff dying. That was a surprise for me. And I tried to figure out lots of what ... well,actually, I figured out one or two ways...I told the producers how to bring him back. But they figured there was no time now to do a, um, a back story about being Birkoff and mystory was that it wasn't really Birkoff who died, it was Jason who died and Birkoff went to his apartment when they first... met. And they never explained that whole story. Whatever ... what did they speak about? And, and it was actually Jason who really was posing as Birkoff and Berg...and then Jason dying and Birkoff being so terrified to tell Operations that he pulled a switch on him that he continued to play Jason until later on in one of the shows. Um, Operations would turn to him at one point and say something and use his name as Birkoff and just look at him and Birkoff knew that he knew. And that would be the end. They wouldn't say anything else about it. So therefore, Birkoff would be back. And Operations would continue on and not even care about it. You know. But they didn't want to ... they said it would have taken up too much time in only eight more episodes. If they had more time to do episodes, more episodes, they would have done that. So he's coming back as Jason.

INTERVIEWER
Do you like the action scenes or do you prefer your nice cozy perch?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
No, no, I like the action scenes. And I think too bad I didn't get out of the studio to do more of them. Would show a bit more of the character. His background. I mean we know that ... you know he was a bad-ass and all that stuff. But it's nice, it would be nice to be able to see him in action. And, uh,  the ending. I get a little bit of action. Not much. And then there's ... there's action in the show Michael directed. Uh. Little bit of that. So a couple of shows I had some action and, uh, yeah.

INTERVIEWER
OK. Here's a question that nobody has the answer to, but maybe you have a better idea than most people. How many times did Operations call for Nikita's cancellation?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh. (SIGHS) I would say at least 30 times. [LAUGHTER] At least.

INTERVIEWER
What about Michael?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh Michael probably about, uh, 15.

INTERVIEWER
So your estimates are higher than the rest of the cast. But I'm agreeing with you.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah, I think it's much more.

INTERVIEWER
They were like, I don't know. Five? Ten?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
No, no, no, no. Every three minutes I was canceling Nikita.

INTERVIEWER
Whose idea was it to dye your hair white blond for season 3?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Well actually it was my...my wife's idea for me to do my hair blonde. And she was...she said, "Why don't you try to look nice?" and I resisted for a long time. And I finally did it during the summer break. And it looked really great. And I went up to visit Joel and he loved it. And, um, when we ... when it was time to go up to shoot I re-did...I did the color again. He didn't like it for some reason. He said blond doesn't work. So we worked a couple of different patches. So it was Joel actually who got it to the platinum color.

INTERVIEWER
OK. Do you think Operations secretly has some fatherly affection for Nikita?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Um, no. I think what he has...he has respect for her. She's really good. And being that she's a woman really irks him. [LAUGHTER] That she's so good. You know, he comes a background of, you know, sort of like a "Boy's Club". You know it's all, it's all male-oriented. You don't get, you know ... you're in the armed forces. The Green Berets. You don't have special forces. And Force 1 Marine's and Navy Seals. You don't have women. It's all men, you know. So here he's got a woman who is not only beautiful but she's also lethal. It kind of pisses him off a little bit. But he kinda likes it because she's so...she's really tough. And in a way she kinda is like him because she goes against the rules. You know she doesn't care about this and that. So he likes that part of her. He likes the rebellious part of her. And maybe sometimes -- just a little bit -- he has that, maybe, that little fatherly thing. But I think it's sort of like a little, a tiny little spark. It's not the overall feeling he has for her. Um. You know I mean if he really had a fatherly thing he wouldn't be wanting to kill her half the time. [LAUGHTER] It would be a whole different thing.

INTERVIEWER
What do you think you're gonna miss most about the series?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
What will I miss most about the series? Um, the people. You know, um, I had a great time working with the cast. The crew. I mean the guys on the crew were just wonderful. I mean they were just great. And from the back office and wardrobe and the production office upstairs and the producers. I think it's a great bunch of people. And you know it's um...yeah, I'm gonna miss the people. I really am. Not that, you know, I'm gonna miss the show. I mean I'll miss the show. It's nice to be employed. And, you know, have a job to go to. But I think it's also time to move on to other things. You know, I think it's time to go. But the people I will miss. I enjoyed working with everyone.

INTERVIEWER
Can you tell us anything about your audition?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Well when I I auditioned originally for it, um, for the casting director, you know, I chewed up the scenery. And then I got a callback to read for the producers and all that stuff. And I figured I'd do the same thing. So I did the same thing. And Joel said to me: "I just want you sitting in the chair and not doing anything." So I did the scene again and he said "No, that's too much. I don't want that much. Do less." And so I continued again to, you know, and he said, "No, no, no, no, no. That's not what I want." And I finally said, "Joel, tell me what it is exactly you want!" He said "I don't want you to move your hands. I don't want you to move your body. I don't want you to do anything. He said I just want to see it coming out of your eyes." And that's...that's the way it was. I mean, I did nothing and it just ... he wanted it ... he wanted that ... Yeah. That's what it was. It was to do it in that respect instead of, you know.... He just wanted to see the...the intensity just coming right out of the eyes with nothing else and that was it.

INTERVIEWER
Do you think that is where most of the fear is generated in that character?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh yeah. Oh definitely. Definitely. It's in ...that subtle, quiet way that he, you know, he responds and the way he looks. And that's all he has to do, you know, is just give that 'look' and they go, whoops. OK. Sorry. That's where it comes from.

INTERVIEWER
And the chemistry between you and the rest of the cast. Do you think that was instant? Or did that develop over time?

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Oh I think it developed. It developed over....Al ...Alberta ... uh, I knew from Los Angeles through an old friend. I mean, I have known Alberta for 15, 16 years. Not that she was a stranger. Not that I knew her very well. But I ... you know I knew her. And, um, everyone else, I, of course, had never met before. And so it took a little while for everyone to start working together to see how each person worked. And, you know, get the feel. And then we all just sorta ... it really just, you know, clicked very well. And, um, I think the chemistry between everyone was really, really good. It was just a great time. It was great working with Don Francks. I mean I've always ... I had always heard of Don when I was up in Toronto. He's, you know, very well known. And very respected. And God knows he's been around a long time. And, uh, he's terrific. I adore him. I'm gonna miss him. He's a a real character. I really enjoy him. He's a real Renaissance Man. And interesting. And Roy's the same way. Everyone has their own special thing about them that that I will miss. And, you know, we'll all see each other I'm sure, eventually, on and off. Some times, you know, they come to LA.

INTERVIEWER
Is there's anything you want to say to your fans? They certainly have a lot to say about you.

EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER
Yeah. Well I would like to say I am, um, actually absolutely humbled by their ... by their commitment and by their kindness, their generosity, their support. They have...they have made the, um ... they have made doing this show a very, very positive experience. And they have, in many ways, made us all feel good about this show because of their commitment. They, they're absolutely outrageous. And I mean that in the best sense. Meeting some -- meeting a lot of them -- at the conventions have been, has been a really, really interesting experience. And they really, really enjoy being there and really enjoy the show. And they have a wonderful time. And, um, so part of it has...has been the excitement of what...what they bring to it at the conventions and the shows. Um. (PAUSE)  They also sent....I saved the book that they sent, which I thought was ... really blew me away. I mean it was just ... I was really amazed at the work that went into it. And, and there was, I think, Kathy, the lady who runs the website is putting in a little letter for me and thanking Anna, who sent me along a letter with the book. And I must say, Anna, that was a very, very, very touching letter. And I wanna thank you so much. It really kinda gave me the chills. Um, it was really, really very nice. It was a beautiful letter. And almost brought tears to my eyes. Yes, even Operations sometimes gets tears in his eyes. [LAUGHTER] But her letter was very, very touching. And very, very kind. And and it made me feel good, so I want to let her know that. And, um, yeah, I don't...I don't know what else to say. I would, I would love to have whoever....Wherever I go, it's great to have a fan base like that. It's fabulous. And I want to thank them.