Interview: Robert Patrick on 'Safe House', being tied to 'Terminator', & his career choices

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Interview: Robert Patrick on 'Safe House', being tied to 'Terminator', & his career choices

Post by Adriana on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 11:46

By Jason Tabrys
Year: February 2012

It's been more than 20 years since Robert Patrick became an icon for his turn as the T-1000 in Terminator 2 and while he never found the flash of super stardom he has found something that is possibly more worthwhile, durability and longevity. One of our most active and skilled character actors, Patrick is the go to name when a project needs someone who can play a man of authority.

In his new project, Safe House, opening today, Patrick plays Daniel Kiefer, a CIA operative in charge of getting information out of Denzel Washington's character. The role is another in a long line of law enforcement or military roles on screens both large and small for Patrick who played an FBI Agent on The X-Files, and military men in projects like Psych, Chuck, The Unit, and Flags of Our Fathers, to name just a few.

To say that the prospect of interviewing a no bullshit guy who looks like he could lead soldiers into battle or punch someone in the throat during a bar fight, depending on his mood, is an understatement. But Patrick was gracious, answering questions on embracing The Terminator, the right and wrong reasons for choosing a role, and why rehearsals are "for pussies".

What can you tell us about Safe House and what pushed you to sign up?

Robert Patrick: Safe House is about a rogue CIA agent who has been on the run and gives himself up at an American, Embassey in Cape Town , South, Africa. He is brought to a Safe House and all hell breaks loose. I signed because the script by David Guggenheim was terrific and for the opportunity to work with Denzel Washington and Daniel Espinosa.

You're also in Jayne Mansfield's Car, can you tell us what thats about and also, this is your second time with Billy Bob Thornton as a director, how has his style evolved over the last decade?

RP: Its an anti war film about the effects of War on a family. Billy Bob is fantastic - we speak the same language. He is pretty much the same; low key, thinks rehearsals are for pussies and trusts his actors. I love him! I also got to work with my hero, Bobby Duvall. Having him play our father was definitely one of my career highlights, and I treasure our friendship.

What are you working on now?

RP: Just finished The Gangster Squad and Lovelace about to start Trouble with the Curve.

I read a line of yours where you said that 15 of the 90 films that you've made had been good, that was from an interview 3 years ago, so I'm sure the numbers have increased. You also said that you haven't had access to the best material. Do you think that people hold actors to an impossible purity standard, that they expect you to only pick projects that are artisticaly satisfying while forgetting that this is a job, that you're working to pay bills, etc? Also, have you taken roles for purely financial reasons or turned down a project that appealed to you as an artist because the pay just wasn't there?

RP: Yes, That is all true. I am an actor and I have to work. I've turned down movies because I didn't like the role, and because there was not enough money. But I've also taken roles that where great for very little money! Ultimately you are only able to control what you do in front of the camera and hope for the best.

I've talked to people who have a clear dislike for the endless connection that they had to a role and a project. You're forever tied to Terminator but you seem at peace with that. True?

RP: I am very proud of what we all accomplished and I think its so cool to be forever associated with that role.

Final question: what's your favorite film of all time, and also, I said before that you'll be forever tied to Terminator, but do you think you've played the role that you yourself will remember most? Have you nailed this thing or are you still swinging?

RP: Both films I did with James Mangold are two of my favorites. I think he is one of the best directors of my generation. I also am very excited about my role in The Gangster Squad (Max Kennard). I think its the character that is closest to the way I see myself and I enjoyed immensely working with Rueben Fleischer, I think he has made a memorable film and I look forward to working with Rueben again he has a sharp eye and a real appreciation for actors and there craft and is so secure in himself he lets others be creative and enhances the overall experience.
"PASS" - Love, Modell

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Re: Interview: Robert Patrick on 'Safe House', being tied to 'Terminator', & his career choices

Post by Cassiopeia on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 21:53

This is a great interview! Thank you for posting it here smile I didn't find time this weekend to go see "Safe House", but the plan is to go see it next week. It looks so good!

Which films are James Mangold? I can't recall.

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Re: Interview: Robert Patrick on 'Safe House', being tied to 'Terminator', & his career choices

Post by TheInvisibleMan on Sat 28 Jul 2012, 01:27

Walk The Line and Copland are the James Mangold films, and I did indeed love both films, and Robert's performances in them. biggrin
The Gun In Doggett's Pocket

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