Marietta native and actor Robert Patrick says he’s had a “fantastic year.” Look at his resume for the past year: he has worked with Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Melissa McCarthy, Kevin Bacon and Billy Bob Thornton. That’s awfully good company.
Patrick, who broke it big two decades ago as the cop who kept chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator 2,” just taped three episodes of “True Blood,” created by fellow Mariettan Alan Ball. He played Eastwood’s boss in the Eastwood film “Trouble With the Curve,” which was shot in Atlanta and came out in theaters last Friday.
And tonight, Sept. 27, he is part of an ensemble cast on ABC’s new drama “Last Resort” featuring Emmy winner Andre Braugher.
In the show, a U.S. nuclear submarine receives orders to fire on Pakistan. Braugher’s character is suspicious and defies the order. So the U.S. fires on its own submarine and the members of the sub hide out on a remote island.
It’s created by the makes of “The Unit,” a show he had previously worked on for CBS. And like “Lost,” the show is shot in Hawaii.
“It’s fantastic,” Patrick said from the set last month. “I miss my wife and kids in Los Angeles. But it’s a joy to be in Oahu.”
Patrick plays the highest-ranking enlisted man on the boat. “The boat is my boat. The men are my men,” he said. “I know the boat better than anybody. But when my captain disobeys the order, I have to do it and remind him it’s treason. I’m that guy. I don’t agree with it. I’m very adversarial. It’s based on principle. I have a code.”
The show, he said, “is more than just the fact we refused orders and ran off. There are so many layers to it. I think it’s going to be interesting.”
Atlanta is in Patrick’s blood. Patrick recalls fishing at Lake Lanier as a child with his grandfather. “I remember my Little League field, my school, my church,” he said. “I remember downtown Marietta Square. when I go back, I visit the square and walk around, go to the St. James’ Episcopal Church. All my old houses are still there.”
His father worked at Lockheed down the street and his mom raised five kids. Patrick recalls being at the first Braves game at Fulton County Stadium in 1966 with his father. “I can remember vividly the vibe of that day, one of my favorite memories,” Patrick said. He also saw Hank Aaron’s 500th home run. He remembers going on the field for fan appreciation day and get his picture taken with ballplayers.
“We have Super 8 movies of me next to Joe Torre, Hank Aaron and Rico Carty. It was a great thrill to play the general manager of the Braves as Clint Eastwood’s boss” in ‘Trouble With The Curve,” he said. He felt honored to work with a legend like Eastwood. All his scenes were shot at Turner Field.
He was thrilled to film three films in 12 months in Atlanta by pure coincidence. (Thank Georgia tax credits!) Besides “Trouble with a Curve,” he shot a Billy Bob Thornton/Kevin Bacon film “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (yet to be released) and the Melissa McCarthy film “Identity Theft,” currently in production.
“I’m a skip tracer,” he said. “I come after Melissa, who skipped out on debt and I chase her.” In the Thornton/Bacon film, “I play Billy Bob’s brother. Robert Duvall is our dad. It’s wonderful, I gotta tell ya.”
While he shot “Trouble With a Curve,” the Braves were in spring training. So while shooting “Identity Theft,” he found time to hit Turner Field for a game for the first time. “It happened to be the night they retired John Smoltz’s number. It was so exciting to watch all the pageantry.”
8 p.m., Thursdays, ABC
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk