Interview with Patrick Gilmore

Patrick Gilmore plays the part of the shady playboy Tom Drexler in the AMC series "The Killing" and the role of Dr. Dale Voler in the science fiction show "Stargate Universe". With David Blue and Elyse Levesque he's the third person from the main cast of this show we could talk to.

Foto: Copyright: Keith Munya
© Keith Munya

Note: © myFanbase 2011 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first 2 questions or up to 160 characters if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the writer's name and link to this site.

1. How did you get into acting after you studied English Literature?

My high school football coach was also the Drama teacher and he gave me the idea of legitimately being an actor. I auditioned and was accepted into a prominent theater school out of high school... I dropped out after 4 hours. I wasn’t prepared for the artistic world of dance, tap, ballet, jazz, musical theory, with one wee 30min acting class on Wednesdays. Looking back I wish I had stayed, but at the time it was not what I wanted, so I quit and got into a University. I continued to do theater throughout the city and graduated from the University of Alberta with an English Lit degree in 2000. I still wanted to act, but had no idea how to get it done. I worked construction until 2001 when a theater director passed my name onto a local TV casting director…and then…here I am.

2. Your character on "The Killing" Tom Drexler is a quite creepy person. What do you think about him and were you comfortable with all the lines you had to say?

I've rarely liked the way actors portray celebrities on TV. I'm talking about the "ripped from the headlines" type episodes of procedural dramas, where a thinly veiled version of Mel Gibson walks into the Police headquarters. He’s a bit hungover, sunglasses on, hair slicked back, talking to his agent on his cell, leather jacket with a model on each arm and "he don't care what nobody thinks"... ugh. There's no imagination in it. When I read the Drexler audition I could see exactly how this guy would be played on network TV and tried my hardest to avoid it. It wasn't hard because the characters on the Killing are so well written that you aren't restricted to two dimensions. Everyone has layers and Drexler has that public playboy persona but harbors some dark shit. Every episode that was handed to me was another insight to these levels. From loudmouth playboy talking politics on a rooftop, to coked up speedo party. I would love to see how dark and crazy this guy could get.

3. The viewers' feelings after the season 1 finale are very mixed partly because it didn't present the murderer. Can you relate to people being disappointed that the finale didn't offer any closure?

Hey, I was a die-hard "Lost" fan. I've never been that attached to a TV show, but "Lost"... oh my god... I may or may not have tried to french kiss my TV. The finale was such a controversy but I defended it. They had two things they could wrap up: 1-What happens to the characters? And 2-What is the island? The way I saw it, I had spent 6 seasons with these people, what the island was is inconsequential to the emotional journey. Sure I would have loved to explore the golden light at the heart of the island, but the way it wrapped left me emotionally drained but satisfied. It's all relative, and yet I like the way The Sopranos ended too. It was smart and a "choose your own adventure". I could go on and on, the point being, this is my type of show. We’ve conditioned North American audiences to insist upon instant gratification, to the point that they get indignant and throw tantrums if they don’t get what they want the moment they want it. But what kind of excitement would we know if our parents gave in and let us open our gifts a week before Christmas. "The Killing" is good story telling. It's a step in a direction I wish all TV shows had the courage to go.

4. What was it like working on set with all the grey, the rain and the portrayal of grief and intrigues?

I live in Vancouver. The rain doesn't get me down. The intrigue is fun to work with because it adds a vibrancy to every scene we play. "The Killing" is an exciting show to act in.

5. AMC achieved great success with "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men", and also "Rubicon" and "The Walking Dead" are outstanding character dramas. Do you think "The Killing" is somehow different from these shows regarding character development?

To be honest, I'm a new comer to AMC. Last fall I got introduced to "Mad Men". After ripping through the seasons on DVD I ordered the TV package that would give me AMC and watched the last season the traditional way, waiting each week. But aside from tuning in every time "Crocodile Dundee" airs, I haven't made the commitment to other TV shows yet. That being said, Mad Men is brilliant. It's hard to compare the shows but if other AMC shows are anything like these two, then they have a strong commitment to character. So often while watching TV we are reminded that we are, in fact, watching TV. I've never felt that with "Mad Men" & "The Killing".

6. How did you feel about the end of SGU just as your character Dale Volker had a big storyline with his illness?

…and then there's the way SGU ended. Ha. SGU was a surprise to me because I've never been an avid fan of SciFi TV. But then I get cast in this one and I start getting the scripts and I find that I'm up in the production offices every week pacing around the photo copier waiting for the next story. I became a fan of a SciFi show. I've been in others, but SGU transcended them because, as we've established, I like smart character dramas. These were dark, conflicted characters reacting to SciFi, not SciFi with a dusting of characters. As the seasons progressed my character did become more involved in plot lines, but, being so invested in the overall story, I lament the show more than Volker's arc. Even if Volker was killed off, I would have tuned in every week to see where Destiny was ultimately going.

7. You guest starred in the very funny "Supernatural" episode "#3.05 Bedtime Stories" and you were also in two of the last "Battlestar Galactica" episodes. Was shooting the former as funny as the latter was serious?

"Supernatural" was definitely fun. That was 5 years ago and my most prominent memory was having to eat piece after piece of cherry pie. It was a short spot but the stuff outside the cabin still makes me laugh. (No one thinks I'm funnier than me) As for "Battlestar"... I watched the original show in the 70s. I was really young but I remember crying when one of the main characters died. I auditioned for Lt. Gaeta back in 2003. I obviously didn’t get it and never bothered to watch the show. So when I stepped on to Galactica to film my very brief appearance I had no sense of what was going on and the significance of the scene. What I do remember was wandering away from set and finding an original Viper in the studio. I ran my hand across the nose to fulfill I childhood dream of touching one of these ships. That's what I remember. Then, a month later I started watching BSG and was so pissed that I didn't hit on Starbuck when I had the chance.

8. You had voice training and used to be the lead singer in a band. Would you like to also pursue a musical career or play the role of a musician in tv or film?

My Mom always asks if I've auditioned for any musicals. But I’ve never come across any TV or film opportunities. Being in the band during University was probably the most creative I've ever felt. I yearn for those nights with the 5 of us, lights low, jamming on a theme, finding the right lyrics, testing out a melody and vamping for hours. That moment when it clicks and we all look up from our dreams with wide eyes like we just found a treasure…damn, nothing tops that. A friend of mine just read this question over my shoulder and said "Oh god, a guy in his 30s joining a band, that's not sad and cliché at all". Haha... so, ya, there's that. It would feel too much like a mid-life crisis if I pursued music…especially if we were terrible. But if we were good... yaaaaaaaa...

9. If you could put together an entire crew for a movie or show: Who would be the director? Who would be in the leading role(s)? And what would the film/show be about?

Well, let's start with the kind of movie... I've never done a romantic comedy, but let's do an atmospheric dark kind and get Ridley Scott to direct with a script by Aaron Sorkin. Then, let's pepper the cast with Michael Keaton, Burt Reynolds, Julia Ormond, Kenneth Branagh... I've put zero thought into this. Or maybe an epic across the world race directed by Caroll Ballard starring Russell Crowe, Chevy Chase & Lisa Bonet... buying any of these? I'll get back to you.

10. Is it true that you love John Steinbeck's work? What do you enjoy most about his work?

I really do. Back in 2005 I managed a used bookstore and I set out to read everything Steinback ever wrote after I read East of Eden and got hooked. He had this way of describing our inner most thoughts with an ease as if he had been reading our minds. He would stray from the narrative with what you’d think was a tangent, describe a feeling or a secret we all have and we'd get so enthralled with his aside thoughts and then you'd realize it had everything to do with the narrative and you'd see the story in a beautiful new way. I could talk for hours on Steinbeck. Hemingway gets me going to.

11. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about TV series, do you have a favorite show?

"Community" on NBC is the best comedy on TV right now. Great to see Chevy Chase on TV. "Fringe" is another show I don't miss. It was my methadone after "Lost" ended, and also the first show I've ever done having been a fan beforehand. Aside from that, my TV is usually tuned into HBO and AMC. Oh... Dr. Steve Brule's "Check It Out"...I can't get enough.

Thank you! We wish you all the best for your future!

Thanks for the questions ;)

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase

Note: You may share the first 2 questions or up to 160 characters if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the interviewer's name and link to this site.