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Interview with Matthew Ferguson
USA Network, December 2000
INTERVIEWER:
What was your level of awareness of the fan support you had? Once the show was cancelled, I was following it, the fans went absolutely berzerk. What was your level of awareness of that?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Um, I'm still not sure what it is. I know I received a book recently that is as thick as an encyclopedia full of all of the emails that were sent to Warner Brothers to save the show. And I was dumbfounded by that. So, I guess it keeps growing. I did a play a few months ago, or I should say about a month ago. And on opening night, or leading up to opening night, I received about a hundred emails wishing me good luck for doing this play outside the city that people somehow investigated and found out about. So, it's hard to get a sense of it. I know it's huge, and I know it's in some way responsible for bringing the show back, but to actually say that you know....I understand what, you know, a million people or five million people or whatever look like or are thinking and stuff. It's too big really to really comprehend.

INTERVIEWER:
Is it strange to see yourself die on TV?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Um, yeah, it's strange both to actually die in the show and to see it afterwards. I felt more emotionally connected to it when I was doing it than when I watched it, because after I did it it was done. But, what was the question again? Um, it's not much more strange than seeing myself on TV, period, cuz that's still pretty strange.

INTERVIEWER:
Now I read on the Internet that this decision to introduce Jason was at least in part your idea. Is that true?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
No not at all, not at all. No, I had no input in creating a twin brother or anything. Jason was invented before they knew they were gonna kill Birkoff even.

INTERVIEWER:
Really? So what happened?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
From what I understand, they had the story and they weren't satisfied with the ending of the story -- "Abort, Fail, Retry, [Terminate]" --  because, well I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to give away. But they weren't satisfied with the ending they had written, and they wanted to make it a more interesting story, in which I'm always in support of, because I try to look at each show as a story. Because that's the part I enjoy, being an actor, is telling stories. Telling good stories, you know? And so, they said, "Well, the only way to really end this show if we're gonna keep this story is to kill Birkoff in the end. Because in a way he has to take responsibility for this monster that he's created. And if he's, you know, revived with a kiss or not, somehow gets out of it, it's as if he's never really taken responsibility. So, let's kill him." And so I got a call from Jamie, the producer, saying, "Yup, we're gonna kill Birkoff." And other people, others who were at the production meeting -- when the idea of killing me was brought up -- suggested just kill him and then you can bring back Jason, if you still want to have Matthew on the show. And they did, so that's what happened.

INTERVIEWER:
How much of that Georgia accent, smarmy Don Juan thing is coming from you and how much of that is written and directed?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
I think when I first read the character, it seemed very obvious that he was like that in the writing. So I'd say first off in the writing, and then I embraced that in the writing and tried to, you know, make the character real. And I was excited, too, to do something different than Birkoff. And the directors also were really excited, especially early on, when Jason first appeared, they were really excited to see something as different as possible from Birkoff.

INTERVIEWER:
If Birkoff was actually born in Section, I want to know who his parents are? And if Walter got to decide who stayed and who went, is Walter Birkoff's father? That's my personal question to you. Do you have the answer?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
I don't have the answer, I don't have the answer. I wondered the same things though, but I don't know.

INTERVIEWER:
So Jason and Seymour -- neither one of them actually gets a lot of action from the ladies; the most I think I've ever seen, was when Birkoff got together with the evil twin-Nikita, Abby, back in "Cat And Mouse." So was that strange? I mean, was that strange for you to do that scene with Peta?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
No, no, it was quite fun. Cuz, Peta had been joking with me for a long time that she'd been begging the writers to write us a love scene. So she's been teasing me in that way for quite a while. So when it finally came into fruition, it was good fun.

INTERVIEWER:
When you all thought you were shooting the very last episode -- when you finished last season -- what was the mood on the set like?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
It was....We were individually sad to say goodbye, but as a group we were...we were still just trying to do the best story we could that day, you know. But as each of us wrapped one by one, it was sad, it was hard to say goodbye.

INTERVIEWER:
I know Section used to be in Paris; where is it now?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
They wont tell me.

INTERVIEWER:
Ok, there are a couple of episodes where Birkoff goes and gets into the action; he's in that undercover....He's undercover in that militant terrorist organization. There's one sequence where you and Walter end up in a gunfight on a roof, over a drug of some sort. And in "Face In The Mirror," he actually comes at you, and like, you like tried to hit him, or something. Do you like those actions scenes? Because you don't have a lot of them. I mean, do you ever wish that you had done more of them?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Yeah, I'm thinking of each of those scenes that I really liked doing, yeah. The rooftop was a lot of fun. There's two parts, like one is the action part, you know, where I'm not just sitting at the terminal, that's a lot of fun. And also, going out on location is great. Because mostly I got to stay inside the warm studio while the rest of the cast and crew had to trudge out through Canadian winters for four season. And then they'd come back home to the warm studio, and I'd go, "Hi, welcome home."

.....

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Well, Eugene, Alberta, and myself were on the opposite side of the Gambit room glass, where we have all these instruments supposedly for torture, which were actually little my first Sony keyboards, and if you pressed a certain button on it it would play the Hokey-Pokey. And while we were waiting for lights and camera and whatnot to be set up, we were pressing the button and doing the Hokey-Pokey dance. Now, we couldn't see the director where he was, cuz he was behind another partition and just watching what was going on on the monitor. And he was growing more and more frustrated with this sound, unbeknownst to us. And the assistant director came over to us and said, "It's so funny what you guys are doing." She was also unaware of how frustrated he was getting. She said, "This is so funny. At the end of the scene when he yells cut, we're gonna keep the cameras rolling, and you guys do your Hokey-Pokey dance and stuff, it'll be hysterical." So he says, "Ok, ok," cuz we were having a good time. So meanwhile, he's just fuming at the sound of this electronic Hokey-Pokey song happening again and again as he's trying to focus on his job. They roll the scene, we do the scene, he yells cut, they don't cut the cameras, I press the button, and we start doing the Hokey-Pokey. And we're only about four notes into it, when we hear, "Who is the one who keeps making that noise?" And we all just freeze. And I put up my hand, slowly raising my hand like a kid in class, admitting that I'm the person. And I turn my head expecting to see Eugene and Alberta with their hands up too, and they're gone. They've vanished, they're nowhere to be seen. And I'm left alone going, "It was me, I made the Hokey-Pokey sound."

INTERVIEWER:
Were there any plot twists in any other seasons that really surprised you?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
There were. Man, almost every show had a plot twist that surprised me. Some of my favorites I think....Well, one I remember, was Alberta's husband, played by Steven Berkoff ironically. When we discovered that he was not only a Section agent trying to get back into Section, but that he was her husband. That was great, that show was full of really good plot twists. That Michael had a whole family. You know, when we learned that at the beginning of Season Three, I think. That was fantastic. That was a great three-storyline arc. Um, favorite scene I was in? I cant say a favorite one, no. I definitely liked the scene with Walter in "Cat And Mouse," after I think I got shagged by Nikita.

INTERVIEWER:
Ok.

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Yeah, that was fun.

INTERVIEWER:
Do you really wear glasses?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Yeah.

INTERVIEWER:
Are they the ones you're wearing on the show?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
No.

INTERVIEWER:
Are you at all good at computers, or is that a complete myth?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Complete myth.

INTERVIEWER:
How has the Seymour and Jason characters grown and changed over the last four years? Can you, like, put that into words at all?

MATTHEW FERGUSON:
Sure, well Birkoff died. [LAUGHTER] That's kinda the end of growth right there. But yeah, well Birkoff grew a lot. He learned the reality of his job and what he was doing. Where he was able, I think earlier, to keep it at -- before he met Nikita and became more involved in missions -- he was able to keep it at arm's length, almost like a game. So that changed him a lot. Jason, I don't think, has yet absorbed the impact of meeting his twin brother, or he just started to absorb it at the end of Season Four. You know, about what that meant to him emotionally. He's a bit of a -- what's the expression I'm looking for? You know, stuff rolls off like water off a duck's back, so he can remain unaffected in surprising circumstances. But inside him, I think, something is changing through knowing he had a family firsthand.