Toronto Comicon brought celebrities from all mediums to the fans. Here at CGMagazine, we were lucky enough to chat with a few, including Steve Agee, Sean Gunn and Scott Patterson. There are just a few degrees of separation between the actors, with Sean Gunn and Scott Patterson working together on the long-running show Gilmore Girls, and Gunn and Steve Agee both being a part of the MCU and DCEU with Guardians of the Galaxy and Peacemaker and Suicide Squad under their belts.
Scott Patterson is best known for his role as the hunky Luke on Gilmore Girls, with fans shipping him with Lorelai (Lauren Graham) for ages. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered on Netflix in 2016, after the original series from 2000 ended in 2007. Patterson is, however, also known for a darker role in an equally popular franchise, Saw.
Patterson played Agent Strahm in the 2007 film Saw IV, as well as Saw V and was uncredited in Saw VI. The Saw franchise really put the kind of range Patterson has between comedic and dramatic roles on display. Ahead of his new show, Sullivan’s Crossing, which premiered on March 20, 2023, on CTV in Canada, CGM talked with Scott Patterson about how he prepares for his roles and where he finds inspiration.
First off, giant fan. So, I’m going to nerd out a little. Love the plaid. Life is good.
Scott Patterson: Yes, and it’s 19 degrees, so I need the plaid.
Well, in here, though, I’m not sure it’s a little toasty.
Scott Patterson: People are warm here, I’m not. I’m feeling pretty good.
Well, that’s true. You’re not on the show floor. Don’t go in there wearing plaid today, okay?
Scott Patterson: It’s a lot of body heat.
You were a part of two massive franchises between Gilmore Girls and Saw. Do you have a preferred genre between them?
Scott Patterson: No. There are not a lot of actors that have a choice, and it’s just kind of wherever the wind blows is where the opportunity lies. Saw was interesting in the way my manager put it to me because I was a little cautious, to be honest with you. And she said, “Listen, it’s a chance to lead, you’re going to take over the franchise,” because the original intent was that it was a three-picture deal. That’s what the offer was. It turned into something else, but that’s how it started.
She said, “You have an opportunity to lead the leading horror franchise in the world, maybe in the history of the business. That’s not a bad thing.” She knew me, she goes, “You’ll improve the scripts, and you’ll improve your scenes. We know how you roll,” and all that. So that’s what I did. All right.
So, I don’t want to judge a piece of work. It’s just, have I ever played a character like this? Does this interest me? Is it compelling? And it was because it was an FBI profiler, which I found fascinating because I wanted to dig into that world, and I did.
Did you have to do any research to get into that?
Scott Patterson: I went to the FBI, and really LA and I went through their training program. Okay.
What was that like?
Scott Patterson: Very intense. It was really how to ferret out potential suspects and their habits and why they are the way they are. Intellectually, it stimulated me. It’s really the only thing you can do to shed light on the character and bring a character to life because you’re not going to get the character’s psychology 100%, maybe not even 50%. You really won’t. You just sort of have to live it as much as you can so that you can portray you doing that.
I know you said actors don’t really have a choice, but do you have a preference between the more serious roles?
Scott Patterson: Most actors. Like Brad Pitt has a choice, you know what I mean? But there’s one of them.
Did you enjoy the more lighthearted comedic role more, or did you really dive into this darker side?
Scott Patterson: Yes, I did. And, you know, I like to think that I could do anything, but I know that I can’t do everything. I know I can do comedy.
And be a heartthrob.
Scott Patterson: I took a lot of classes to learn how to do that—a lot of classes.
There are classes for that, too. Good to know.
Scott Patterson: I just studied so hard.
The FBI for that too.
Scott Patterson: No, that was the CIA. And the NSA and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory as well.
You’ve got it covered, then.
Scott Patterson: I’ve taken care of that. I knew I could do comedy because I’d trained, and I’d done theatre and comedic theatre and comedic roles. But this Gilmore Girls presented a particular challenge in that he was written funny, but you really had to lay off the jokey part. You had to really lay back on it and just do the character.
That was the power of the writing. That’s good writing, where you don’t have to do much, and you have to know enough to recognize that you don’t have to do much. If you have to do too much, then the writing is bad. Unless it’s physical, campy comedy, which is not what this was. So yeah, you like to do different things. You don’t like to do the same thing all the time.
You’re on the Comic-Con circuit, obviously. Do you have anything that you’re particularly nerdy about, your own fandom?
Scott Patterson: I’m really quite taken with the great directors. It’s not a genre for me. It’s how great is the director? How great is the writer? My first experience exposed to great film was Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey. I saw that when I was ten years old, and that changed my life forever.
Altered states when I was 20 because Paddy Chayefsky wrote the script, and what a great concept. What a really, truly romantic role of a modern man, a modern academic. And how do you make an academic into a hero and sexy? He did it, and it’s just fantastic stuff. I like stuff that’s a little bit off the wall and off the beaten path but with great directors and writers driving the bus.
If you were a guest at Comic-Con, do you have one person you’d love to meet?
Scott Patterson: If he was alive, Stanley Kubrick. I would have loved to have worked with him. I think he’s one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Just. Wow. I love A Clockwork Orange so much, but it really was not a perfect film, was it? It kind of dragged the second half of it, but you still watch it. There are a couple others, but I think primarily Kubrick.
Is there anything that you are working on now or hoping to work on in the future?
Scott Patterson: I have a series that’s debuting tonight [March 20, 2023] on Canadian television called Sullivan’s Crossing. We shoot it in Halifax. It’s a Canadian American co-production with Fremantle, so Bell Media, CTV and Fremantle are partnering on this. I believe we do have American broadcast distribution. It just hasn’t been announced yet.
Canada usually gets everything last, so this is exciting! We are first for once!
Scott Patterson: You’re first! Tonight’s the premiere.