Various thoughts on The Ho Ho Ho Job

First things first: during tonight's webchat at, I wore a pretty awesome T-shirt. It's in this picture, if you can tear your eyes away from Beth for a second to look at it. It would be entirely understandable if you missed it the first time around.

Anyway, during the chat, a lot of people wanted to know where I got it, and what it's from. I got it at GenCon, and it comes from Kill Vampire Lincoln Productions.

Second things second: I am damn happy with the way this episode came together, and I'd forgotten some of the fun improvs I did during the shoot. That "Dammit, Hardison" thing was just part of me riffing on Kane, saying all the things Eliot says. I guess the amazing spacework I did where I imagined I had Kane's luxurious long hair to flip around and lovingly brush while humming a country tune was cut for time. We also had this whole thing were I just went on and on about how great it was to "be inside Lucille", which led to that line about "I wrecked that van." I'm glad they kept it, because even out of context I think it plays pretty well.

All those tunnels were under a sewage treatment plant, so we spent an entire day literally surrounded by hundreds of thousands of gallons of shit water. While it was pretty awesome in an intellectual way to be around this marvel of engineering that makes life as we know it possible, in a practical way it was pretty gross and very unsettling.

The mall scenes were shot in Portland at this place that has seen much better days. It was heartbreaking to see so many empty stores. It was just a few zombies away from Dawn of the Dead in there.

Finally, blasting Hardison's van was a lot of fun, and you can't see it, but I was strapped into that van with a whole mess of safety harnesses and stuff. Even though I knew I wasn't going to get hurt, it took a few takes before that knowledge made it into my lizard brain.

Here's a picture of me in the van that Roskin took on that day:


I'm not sure if Cha0s will be back next year, but I hope he is, because I'd love to work with the Leverage gang again, but mostly so we can see how Hardison tries to get back at him for wrecking Lucille II.

If you have questions, feel free to ask them here, and I'll do my best to answer them. Rogers is also doing the usual post-show Q&A at his blog.

26 thoughts on “Various thoughts on The Ho Ho Ho Job”

  1. I thought the show was great! The plot was really put together and very fun for Christmas. My question for you is, do you feel that you were underused in the show? You had great quotes, but I think they could have developed your character more. Great job tonight.
    Happy holidays Wil!!

  2. Poor Jantzen Beach. If it makes you feel any better Wil, technically it’s doing better now than it has since I was a kid. Who knows, maybe your episode will help draw some business there?
    Also, now you got me thinking of Christian’s hair. I’ll be having a very good night now. *Bowchikabowwow(

  3. It’s really great to see how much fun you all had making this episode.
    Chaos was definitely on his game and i hope he returns too. You play a very likable villain ๐Ÿ˜€
    Also, will you back on the Big Bang Theory or was the Indiana Jones ep the last one??

  4. Wait, wait – another nerd-friendly show I have to catch up on? Your resumurected career is really starting to piss me off, Wheeeeeatonnnnn. At this point, my only hope for having some free time is if you get caught on camera accidentally stabbing Nathan Fillion because Jim Parsons dodged the knife.

  5. Wil, I enjoyed the entire episode . . . my absolute favorite part, though, was watching the opening credits and seeing ‘Wil Wheaton’ written across the screen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Argh, totally just wanted to say “Never watched the show, only watched cause of you…yada yada” but had serious issues getting my FB to let me log in. I actually had to dredge up my twitter account to do this. Totally ruined my fun ๐Ÿ˜›
    Anywaaaay….I loved your character, I believe this is the first tv show I’ve seen you act in as an adult and its quite different from my previous viewing experiences of you, though it does remind me of Faux from the Guild, you guys bear a striking resemblence ๐Ÿ˜‰
    BTW, totally what I envisioned when you first mentioned an “evil” Wil Wheaton. }:) You just needed better minions, thats all.

  7. LOVED it! Leverage is one of my favorite shows to begin with. The writing is always clever, and the choices the actors make are always brilliant. That is one of the most talented casts on tv, IMHO. Adding you to the mix takes an already superb show and puts sprinkles on top. Gotta love that!

  8. Dear Santa,
    I’ve been a very good girl this year. Could you please wrap up Wil Wheaton and put him under the tree for me? I promise my husband won’t mind.
    In other news, loved the episode. Huz and I snapped “Dammit, Hardison!” at each other for about an hour after the show was over.

  9. Personally, the episode could have been more Cha0tic I think. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yeah, someone had to go there. Loved the “LUCILLE I AM IN YOU” reveal, and the phone convo with Sophie kinda freaked me out a little. Don’t want to meet Wil in a dark alley…
    Your “Dammit Hardison” totally needs to be added to this:

  10. After seeing the episode I am going to have to agree with Chaos, Parker looked scrumptious in that elf costume. Sorry Wil, Beth totally rocked that outfit, even if I have you gesturing at the camera as my screensaver.

  11. Wish I could have seen you pretending to have Kane’s luxurious long hair. Need a Leverage Outtake DVD ๐Ÿ˜‰
    So glad you were back and hope to see Chaos return yet again next season.
    Your lines were Great!

  12. The impression of Kane you did was awesome. I nearly fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard. It was an awesome episode with some epic lines.
    I think Chaos needs to come back. The feud between him and Hardison feels far from over.
    You guys are all so amazing. ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. You know Wil… I didn’t watch Eureka, then *you* were on it… had to catch up to every season first because you were on it… then? Loved it… I blamed you… Same with BBT. I didn’t watch it… then YOU were on it… Now??? another one??? *laughter* Guess I know what I’ll be doing over Winter Holidays…

  14. …I will now be calling Jantzen Beach “a few zombies away from Dawn of the Dead” forever and all time.
    And I seriously hope they bring you back next year; it’s great to have such a fun recurring baddie on the show!

  15. Damn, Cha0s was truly evil in that episode. That EMP gun was a very sweet prop. I can just imagine you and Aldis running around making pew pew noises with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Is it just me or were there various tributes to the Die Hard films? I was just waiting for a bloke in a bloody vest to turn up.
    I second a Cha0s comeback, this isn’t over, they need to have a proper hack-off.
    My favourite line actually was Eliot’s “Are we doing this with beards or without?”.

  16. I think Leverage works so well because of cast chemistry. The characters all feel so full that they don’t seem written. The real fun comes from the way they all interact with one another. It’s like a RL family unit, where you have all these vastly different personalities stuck together and no matter how much they bicker, argue, or fight, one can sense that deep down, they would do anything for one another, and not because theyโ€™re written that way, but because thatโ€™s just who they are. To have that depth of character and camaraderie in a show is priceless.
    Chaos has only been in a couple episodes, but what makes him so enjoyable is that he is a perfect fit for the show’s dynamic. He’s an equal, not a mark. Thatโ€™s why, at the end of the day, Chaos doesn’t feel like a villain-of-the-week. He feels realer than that, like he’s part of the Leverage world, much like Mark Sheppard’s Jim Sterling.
    Bringing Chaos back is an absolute must. If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d say when Chaos returns, a team up with Hardison and the rest of the team would equal comic gold. Mark my words… Team. Up. Itโ€™ll happen.

  17. This comment may show my backside and prove just how far outta the loop I am (I was never actually a geek–aspired to be a girlfriend of–yes, that far)….
    I assume the idea for the t-shirt came from the book about President Lincoln as a vampire hunter? Which was in turn a direct desendant of the rewrites of the Jane Austin novels (Pride and Prejudice, I think or maybe it was Sense and Sensibilty?–I’d have to look it up) where most of the characters where actually zombies? (I believe they were on the NYT best-seller list for awhile).
    I haven’t read them yet but plan to. If you’ve never heard of them, you should look them up, it is such a kewl idea.

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