Exclusive Interview with “Travelers” Patrick Gilmore
Recently I was given the opportunity to interview someone from one of my favorite franchises, “Stargate”. I can honestly say I have never laughed so much during an interview. Patrick Gilmore is the kind of person who immediately puts you at ease. With his talent and passion for acting it’s no wonder Patrick has been working for 15 years in this, sometimes, very difficult business.
Starting on December 23rd, you can see Patrick Gilmore in his role as David Mailer on the new Netflix show Travelers.
Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I’m from what would be considered the Texas of Canada, Alberta. I’m an actor that’s moved out west. I’ve spent time in L.A. and Vancouver. I’ve been doing this for… Oh man. (laughs) Maybe 15 years?
What attracted you to the role of David Mailer on Travelers?
It wasn’t hard for me to be interested. Brad Wright, the creator, actually wrote the role for me. We had worked together a few years ago on a show called “Stargate: Universe”. So he kind of had my voice in mind for the role. So when it came time for me to audition I got the material and it was just “I know this. I can do this. This is in my wheelhouse.” It was for a good reason. I didn’t know at the time while they were audition but before the second audition Brad pulled me aside and said “Just so you know, no pressure but this role is meant for you”. So I got really lucky. I’ve been really fortunate to have someone like Brad in my life. So it was kind of meant to be.
What are the biggest challenges for David in not knowing who Marcie is?
One of the biggest challenges for David is not knowing who Marcie is. David is a complex guy. I mean he seems very simple but he’s got kind of a government job. He’s a social worker and he lives a quiet, sort of lonely existence but I think he’s in that position because I think he thinks the best of people and if he’s anything like me he’s consistently let down. (laughs) His humanity continually lets him down but I think that there’s a connection between Marcie and David. It comes down to hope and trust and I think that’s what the show is about. It’s hoping to make the future better. Hoping that this person that I have taken care of that some of that good will be reciprocated. So when she tells me to trust her I acquiesce. Even though it’s against every instinct in my body to push her for answers. I believe that’s the humanity. So I suspend my disbelief, suspend my skepticism and worry because I believe in her. I think that’s kind of what the whole show is about and we’re hoping that we can make the future better. Even though everyone is telling us that it’s an impossible job. So I think that’s kind of the tough part but it’s in him to be that type of guy. If he’s given a reason he will blindly follow you into the fray.
Will David find out why Marcie has changed?
Oh, I can’t tell you that. (we both laugh)
If you were in David’s shoes how do you think you would handle the situation?
Oh I’d most likely kick her out. (laughs) I don’t trust people nearly enough and I don’t think I believe in the good will like David does. I think I would have lost my mind right from the get go. That’s too much. That’s insane. Plus I’m pretty selfish with my time. (laughs) I’m not painting myself out to be a super nice guy. Especially as the episodes go on David’s patience gets tested more and more. I don’t think I could handle it. I mean I have a hard time when my coffee is late at Starbucks. So I have a temper. So I don’t think I would have handled it. I really should be looking up to David. I should be taking more queues on how to handle life from him.
You’ll next be seen in “Scorched Earth.” Is it a reimagining of the original 1960’s movie or will the audiences be seeing a new story?
Holy cow! I always criticize actors when, like you hear the story of the cast of Riverdale? This reimagining of Archie (comic book). So they were being interviewed and I don’t know if it was all of them or just one of them. Either way one’s enough. While they were being interviewed after filming it one of the actors says “Oh I didn’t know it was based on a comic book.” and I wanted to strangle him. I thought “how dare you”. So here I am going I didn’t know there was a “Scorched Earth” movie.
I honestly don’t know. I’ve never heard of it and yeah I’m left speechless. I will tell you that in the 90’s I was a huge fan of Peter Howitt and John Hannah’s movie “Sliding Doors”. I adore that movie so much and I had worked with Peter on a show called “Defying Gravity” which was a tv series in the mid 2000’s and not only was I so stoked to work with Peter again but I got to work with John Hannah, who I had just adored from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and of course the “Mummy” movies and “Sliding Doors”. So I even got to tell him that when I first started acting I used his eulogy from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” as a monologue for theater auditions and I told him the only note I ever got was “Please don’t do it in a Scottish accent.” (we both laugh) One of the highlights of filming that show was at some point somebody brought in a script of sliding doors for Peter and John to sign and I actually have on my video a moment where Peter started flipping through it and he found a scene between Gwyneth Paltrow and John. Peter, the director, played Gwen’s part and John played his part and to see if he could do it from memory and I filmed them doing this scene “Sliding Doors”. One day I should post that. (laughs) That was a real thrill.
It’s a gritty, gritty movie and I wish I could tell you more about it but I have no idea where it as far as production goes but I’d be looking forward to watching it.
You have done quite a few Science Fiction projects. Is this a genre that is close to your heart?
I was just telling somebody recently that you can not be a child of the 80’s and not be a sci fi fan because pop culture dictated that you were influenced by it. Whether it was “Star Trek” or “Star Wars” or “Alien” or “Blade Runner”. I mean it was the peak of genre defined sci fi shows. So wouldn’t have considered myself a sci fi fan until I got into acting. Yeah I don’t think I was until I started in “Stargate” and I got to see the fan community that exists. It’s global. It defies boarders. I’m a fan of sci fi fans. I think is where I’m at right now. I’m still impressed by sci fi right now but it’s not my go to genre. I think I just kind of jump all over the genre map just looking for influences but I will say I am a fan of sci fi fans.
How did you get into acting?
I grew up in a secluded neighborhood in the country side and I didn’t have a lot of tv so me and my best friends just really relied on our imaginations and then I got my dad’s video camera and we just started, in the mid 80’s, we just started making our own things. When it came time decide what you wanted to be when you grew up I would tell people I was an actor just to get them off my back. Not knowing how to do it. I got lucky. I was Forest Gump in that way. I just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Doing theater and this name got passed onto this name. I was very fortunate with the people that supported me. Right down to theater directors to casting directors right up to the present day, like Brad Wright. Acting is a way to prolong my childhood. I get to play in the sandbox for as long as they’ll have me. So I’ll continue to do it as long as they’ll have me.
I really like that. You’re right it’s a way of continuing your childhood.
Yeah if you remember playing around the swing set when you were a kid. “I’ll be Han Solo. You be Princess Leia” or whatever it is. I remember believing. You could see it. You could smell it. You could touch it.
This sounds like a Halmark card but power of child’s imagination is open. It’s like waking up from a dream, one of those dreams that sticks with you for the rest of the day. It felt so real and it effects you and that’s what imagination was for me when I was a kid and it’s like a drug. I’m continually trying to chase that high and I often get it. I get it more in theater. Theater is a huge kick. Film and television you get in spurts but when you get it ohhhh there’s nothing like it in the world.
You could go a year, and I have, without work and go “why am I doing this?” When you get one moment on set and they yell cut and you’ve got goosebumps and you go “This is why I do it. I’m back in. This is it.” I’m addicted to trying to find that childhood imagination.
I think the reason why it’s even more of a kick with theater is that it’s right there.
Oh it’s immediate. Yeah absolutely and it’s not just for 2 minutes at a time. It’s for 2 to 3 hours. How do you beat that? With television someone yells cut and it’s technical and there’s people right in your face. In theater you are completely immersed.
We at TNWU all have something nerdy/geeky about us. What is something nerdy or geeky about you?
I am in “Indiana Jones” fan to a degree that I often keep from the girls I date. (laughs) I guess it’s comparable to sci fi fans and everything. I’ve collected all the comic books. I think it all just comes from Harrison Ford. I’ve got Han Solo frozen in carbonite. I’ve got a life sized version of that. Of course all the little toys I can find. Anything that is “Indiana Jones” I can find I buy. It’s a compulsion. (laughs) I’m not ashamed of it.
Travelers premieres on Netflix on December 23rd.
Where you can find Patrick Gilmore