Patrick Wilson has not only demonstrated his extraordinary talents on the stage, but in the last few years he’s also proved his gifted acting abilities in films such as Little Children and Running with Scissors. ComingSoon.net had the chance to talk to Wilson on the Walnut, California set of his new thriller, Lakeview Terrace.
Q: Tell us about your character in the movie.
Patrick Wilson: I play Chris Mattson. I just moved down here from the San Francisco area with my wife who Kerry plays and I am sort of an environmentalist. I work for this company closest to probably Whole Foods and we move into this neighborhood and we’ve been together for a while and this is our first house. You imagine we probably lived in an apartment or something before that and then we come to find out that sort of the racism that we have experienced I guess pales in comparison to our lovely neighbor Mr. Abel Turner who Sam plays. It’s very clear that he doesn’t like us together or the idea of us together. It becomes a real battle of old versus new and then he just proceeds to make not mince words with what he feels about us and how we shouldn’t be in his neighborhood and basically how we should just leave so it sort of becomes not just a battle of the race issue because that’s sort of been done over and over but what was interesting to me is just the idea of people’s values and people’s morals in their own sort of no matter how much your neighborhood acts like a neighborhood, everybody’s home is still their own community I guess with their own set of morals and values and traditions and ours are sort of challenged.
Q: Was it targeted more towards you or both of you?
Wilson: That’s interesting. Probably more towards me just from the male perspective I would imagine. I mean that might be a question more for Sam. We sort of go into that a little. I think we do. There’s a few lines in there that Kerry says and I sort of just address just so we can sort of get it out on the table. We’ve experienced this before. Looks from black men.Whether it’s looks, whether it’s comments, a white man and a black woman is much different than a black man and a white woman so I think it’s very easy to target me.
Q: Are there any gray areas in the conflict?
Wilson: No, I mean well what’s interesting is it starts out by he sees us together for lack of a more detailed explanation. I mean we just moved in, we’re very much in love and have a great relationship. It’s not like we’re just starting out. You know we’ve been together for a few years so we sort of know the protocol. We are not children. It’s actually his kids who see us in the pool getting very comfortable in our new environment so that and again it’s probably more of a question for him but that’s what sort of pushes it over the edge. So you don’t know in the next day when he and I have a confrontation. He never says I don’t like you because of who you are dadada… it’s I saw what you guys did and that’s going to leave a scar on my children. So that’s sort of the route through it. It’s not so black and white. So I think that’s sort of the avenue it goes down when it becomes very clear what at least to me maybe not to the audience and that’s totally fine.
Q: Is there a point when you sort of cross towards the end and abandon principles and…
Wilson: Yeah, I think we certainly take a more physical and maybe brutal, maybe base, maybe childish. Yes, there’s much more sort of a guttural reaction to it than say, you know, other films. It’s much more of like a very sinister behind the lines. I think that’s what it is. It’s just much more sort of aggressive again it really sort of balances that line between being very brutal and I don’t mean just violent but I just mean very physical and then very childish and very sort of stupid. Looking at these sort of two men like you know she sort of points that out to us.
Q: So Sam kicks your ass in this?
Wilson: You could say that.
Q: How is it working with Samuel L. Jackson?
Wilson: It’s great. You know I try and remember what my perceptions were I guess. You know of course we’ve all seen him in quite a few films but the biggest thing that stuck out to me were the first couple of days of shooting you know I’d never seen him with a pair of sides like whatever preparation and whatever he does is so much in his world. I think that’s the fascination at least I have with other actors is how each person sort of prepares and I sort of love that. You know he comes in and it’s never “uhh, what is the scene?” That’s just a different kind of preparation but I sort of love that. Like he sort of walks in and he does it. I mean, he’s just a consonant pro. And it’s sort of obvious but you know for someone that will do it one take or two and if you ask for three and four there’s no sense of “argh okay.” You know it’s never that. He’s great. I really after our first few scenes of getting at it and going toe to toe it was fun. We sort of slapped hands afterwards and it was great. It was fun.