ED- The Eerie Digest is proud to present one of the most versatile, and long standing, actors today. Patrick Kilpatrick has starred in many of the most watched television shows to date, and he has expanded talents far beyond this as well. Patrick, tell us a little about your beginnings and what made you seek out your career in acting?
PK- I began as an athlete in high school, becoming sidelined as a teenager when I had a severe car accident in which I nearly died. During the years it took to recover I became a writer for nearly every magazine in New York. Eventually, I took a sabbatical to write a novel. To save money I split a house with an actor, John Tillinger, who was becoming a big time West End of London / Broadway theatre director. As a sideline I became his assistant director, wrote a play instead of a novel, founded a theatre company and was catapulted into acting.
ED- You first appeared in 1984 in the production, ‘The Toxic Avenger’. Then later in ‘Insignificance’, ‘Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins’, and ‘Stone Pillow’. How did your performances in these strengthen your commitment towards your future in acting?
PK- ‘The Toxic Avenger’ was admirable because of its business model, but dismal because of its cinematic effect. ‘Insignificance’ was directed by one of the most visionary directors of both the 20th and 21st centuries – Nicolas Roeg. It was a great privileged to work with them on his small masterpiece. ‘Reno Williams’ was an absolute blast, it was my first studio film. It was just a wonderful experience on every level, economically, travel, introduced me to solid actors like Joel Grey, Kate Mulgrew, JA Preston, the recently deceased Michael Pataki. It was also directed by Guy Hamilton, a brilliant director out of Britain who also directed The Mirror Crack’d with Elizabeth Taylor. That was 3 brilliant British directors in a row, John Tillinger, Nicolas Roeg and Guy Hamilton. Between the 3 of those gentlemen I had a classical education that was really unparalleled. ‘Stone Pillow’ was a great privilege to participate in — notable because I got to observe Lucille Ball in her last job before she passed away and worked briefly but intensely with Daphne Zuniga.
ED- You next appeared in ‘Tales From the Darkside’, ‘The Quick and the Dead’, and ‘Cagney & Lacey’. These helped you become more versatile in your acting performances. Please tell us something about the roles you played in them.
PK- All three of those roles exposed me to extraordinary actors and amazing environments. ‘Tales From The Darkside’ with Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives fame) a highly skilled, Julliard trained actress — you can’t beat that for a leading lady. I also had the privilege to work with a little known character actor – named Harsh Nayyar, who had played Nathuram Godse in ‘Gandhi’. ‘The Quick and the Dead’ took me into Western territory with the incomparable Sam Elliott, Tom Conti, & Kate Capshaw. I also met the finest movie horse I have ever worked with named Trigger – a spirited, highly powerful horse that I was lucky to have in the role. I also got to see Arizona, the perfect environment for a Western – one of the greatest, most diverse landscapes of America. ‘Cagney & Lacey’ exposed me to Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless — 2 of the finest actress of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Those girls unlike in Miami Vice which is car chase, shoot ‘em up, car chase and 1 line… was all dialogue and they were swift practitioners of their art. These 3 productions spanned the country – from New York, Arizona, to Los Angeles.
ED- ‘Ruskies’, ‘Matlock’, ‘The Presidio’, and ‘The Cellar’ honed your performances even further. Please tell our readers about this point in your career.
PK- ‘The Presidio” put me face to face with Sean Connery, you can’t ask for more than that – mano a mano. ‘Ruskies’ had me playing with Joaquin Phoenix as a 12 year old boy – his name at the time was Leaf Phoeni — he was delightful to work with. ‘Matlock’ enabled me to catch Andy Griffith in his television prime. ‘The Cellar’ was valuable for 2 reasons – one, I got my dog, an Irish Terrier – Molly — on location from Gary Shandling’s mom. Two, I learned the invaluable lesson that you have to spend the dollars on special effects. It was an ultra low budget production which was very informative to work on. Again these productions spanned the country – Florida, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Arizona which enabled me to continue to see the country…
PK- There is nothing more fun then playing at war. Guns, helicopters, full gear and lots of laughs with a lot of ribald actors – I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my entire life. We killed the same 13 Chinese guys playing Vietcong repeatedly. Crossed the same stream and hid behind the same bush hundreds of times. Terence Knox who played the sergeant and Steve Caffrey who played the lieutenant are easily the most hysterical people on the planet on the point of criminality. Also, it was a hoot to be picked up for a series by a major network.
ED- Since this period you performed in many productions including ‘Jake and the Fatman’ and ‘The Father Dowling Mysteries’ before landing parts in two episodes of ‘Veronica Clare’. How were you able to cope with so many demanding roles?
PK- In 1 year I did 27 guest star spots on 18 different shows, 5 studio movies and 4 or so Independent films. I think that’s a world’s record. I am quite proud of the fact that it is way more than any lead of a television series. In fact I had to compete individually for all those parts including performing them. Any time things get difficult I say, “Common Pat, it’s not the same as being a real Soldier, a real Sailor or a real Marine”.
ED- The next few years saw you perform in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, and ‘The Stand’, one of my all-time favorite productions. How exciting was this for you to have parts in these venues?
PK- They were all fun for different reasons. Working on ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Chuck Norris is a great competitor. Steve King is a great prolific author which made ‘The Stand’ a delight to be part of. On ‘Lois & Clark: The Adventures Of Superman’, Dean Cain gave a dynamic performance as a timeless superhero icon. Also to be noted on the show was the strikingly beautiful Beverly Johnson, Teri Hatcher and John Shea (Lex Luther) all brilliantly talented actors as well. Each one of these shows provided fun and depth of all varieties. ‘The Stand’ allowed me to beat up Rob Lowe for 3 weeks — he was a very game stunt actor, he did all the fights himself. ‘The Stand’ was in the hands of a wonderful Director — Mick Garris. It also had one of the top 4 catering companies working for it. It truly was a pleasure eating regularly with Stephen King on the set. The other 3 top catering companies in the industry were on ‘Minority Report’ (Tom Cruise & Spielberg’s caterer) and ‘Class of ‘99’ which was shot in Seattle where every other door is an amazing restaurant. The seafood alone in Seattle is worthy of doing any number of film and television jobs for. In fact you can’t eat seafood in LA after coming back from the Seattle… (LOL) By far the number one catering on the planet is the company Moveable Feast Catering — number one in all of Seattle – it’s all organic and incredible.
ED- There were many productions that you performed in after this including ‘The Lazarus Man’, ‘Beastmaster’, ‘Eraser’, ‘The Last Man Standing’, before you became a regular in eight episodes of ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’. How did it feel to settle down with this after so many varied performances?
PK- It felt really hot (LOL) because the cavalry uniform was dense wool and we were shooting in Agoura Hills (California) and it was constantly 110 degrees (LOL). But seriously, it’s always pleasant to settle into a roll and of course I was riding again which I have been doing since I was 9 years old. Something that can be said for all the Tom Selleck roles as well.
ED- In the next few years you had played in many roles in some of the most popular television shows to date. They included ‘ER’, ‘Time Cop’, ‘Charmed’, ‘Star Trek’ (both ‘Voyager’ and ‘Deep Space Nine’), ‘Jag’, ‘Angel’, ‘The X-Files’ and so many more. How did you find time to enjoy your personal life? Your many, and varied, roles are testament enough for Television and Hollywood to mark you as an important actor in that they needed you to fill so many roles.
PK- Any actor gets enough downtime between a job in fact I would say acting is ideal for enjoying your personal life. You either get downtime when they do camera setups or you get some space in between jobs. A huge advantage of being an actor is your children are welcome in the workplace more often than not. And they get exposed to a lot of fun things as well when you’re working. My greatest joy is spending time with my sons — even early on I got the opportunity to do so both when off from work and when on.
ED- Amongst so many more, your latest appearances were in ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ’24’, ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’, ‘CSI: Miami’, and ‘Nip/Tuck’. You surely must be the envy of most stars in television and Hollywood. You even produced a project of your own, ‘Never Surrender’. Can you tell us all about it?
PK- I feel incredibly blessed to still be current and rolling along as an actor. Each one of those jobs had great people, Julian McMahon on ‘Nip/Tuck’, Kiefer Sutherland on ‘24’, Brian Austin Green, Summer Glau and Lena Headey on ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ to name a few. As I move along I collect wonderful relationships that facilitate producing when the time is right, whether we are putting together a charity event or an Independent Film. It’s also a wonderful thing to know ¾ of every crew when you get on this many shows. Every show becomes a return home. Obviously the acting styles are different and the role demands are varied but that provides a lot of additional amusement and challenges. I have been preparing for some time both as a writer as well as actor for my own producing so getting on board with ‘Never Surrender’ was a definite plus.
ED- You have recently been in several productions about to be released. ‘DaZe: Vol. Too’, ‘Wedding Day’, and ‘Dante’s Inferno Documented’. Can you tell our readers about these productions?
PK- At this point I have been simply a hired gun for these jobs. Hope springs eternal (LOL). The vast majority of what we work on is taken up with our own company, Uncommon Dialogue Films, which encompasses productions, events, as well as charity work.
ED- Patrick, to date I must admit that you have been the busiest actor that I have had the pleasure to interview. Your career has spanned so many genres in film and television that I know our readers will be totally fascinated with you. I want to thank you for all the time that you have spent with us and I can predict that the film and TV industries are long from done with you yet. Please keep in contact with us and let us know of all your future plans. Many thanks again