On the first episode of the new NBC mystery thriller The Event, viewers saw a man named Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson) who was desperate to protect his family go to any lengths necessary to make that happen, including taking over an airplane full of passengers. When Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancee Leila (Sarah Roemer), he unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. The ripples that his actions send through the lives of a group of strangers set their futures on a collision course that could change the fate of mankind.
In an interview to promote his latest role, actor Scott Patterson talked about taking on such a different role from the Gilmore Girls character that fans loved, being given a private dossier on the mysterious man that he’s now playing, and promises that Episode 2 will start to answer some of the questions brought up in the pilot. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
How do you like playing such a different type of role for you?
SCOTT PATTERSON: It’s a little change of pace. I like him because he’s real. He’s a family guy, he loves his daughters, he loves his wife and he’s just a regular, suburban guy with a loving family, but he’s got some secrets. His family is torn apart in a very violent way, and he is compelled to do something that few people in the history of the planet have ever contemplated doing. Imagine what it takes to get from suburban Atlanta with your loving family to boarding that aircraft.
Will viewers find out why?
SCOTT PATTERSON: Yes. You’ll find out in the second episode.
What can you say about how this guy recovers from this occurrence?
SCOTT PATTERSON: There’s not a lot I can tell you. What I can tell you is that the search for the family will begin. There will be forces after me, so I am going to be running away from something and running toward trying to find my family.
How much were you told about when you signed on to do this, and how much are you learning as you get the scripts?
SCOTT PATTERSON: They gave us little private dossiers. Each character their own little packet of information, not to share with the other characters. Whether that’s going to play into the show or not, we don’t know. We don’t know if what they’re telling us is going to end up in the show. You never know. It could be old CIA tactics to debrief people before they were even briefed. I don’t know how that goes.
What’s it like to work on a show that’s so secretive? How do you develop a character under those circumstances, when you have no idea where he’s going?
SCOTT PATTERSON: The producers are very open to any questions that we might have. If we have a particular problem playing a scene because we need certain tidbits of information, they’ll give them to us. They’re really spoon-feeding it to us. They’re not giving us the full monty, so to speak. We’re in the dark, just like the audience. We’re a couple of scripts ahead, but we actually have more questions because of that, and less answers. Episode 2 is going to answer a lot of questions. It really will, I promise you. But, it will give birth to new and bigger questions with a bigger conspiracy and bigger mysteries.
Is there a lot more to this guy than meets the eye?
SCOTT PATTERSON: Yes, you are correct in assuming that.
Anything you can say?
SCOTT PATTERSON: No. He’s a wonderful chef.
Are you normally a conspiracy theorist?
SCOTT PATTERSON: Yeah. I don’t mind a good conspiracy theory. Why not? There’s some funny things that happen in the world, and with governments. They have a lot of power and ability to cover things up, so why wouldn’t they.
Will these individual’s stories remain separate, or will you find out that all of these people are connected more than you think they are?
SCOTT PATTERSON: You’ve got Jason, who is my future son-in-law. You’ve got my daughter, who is missing. You’ve got me. You’ve got my other daughter, who is missing. You’ve got the President. You have the government side, and then you have the family side. That’s pretty much the two teams. There are four concurrent storylines, and they’ll weave in and out.
Will every episode jump back and forth in time?
SCOTT PATTERSON: I believe it will. I didn’t find it confusing. You’ve got to pay attention. For me, it was intriguing enough, and I followed it beautifully in the pilot. It’s a very interesting storytelling device. It’s one that’s been tried and maybe hasn’t been so successful, but it’s about time that somebody nail it, and I think they nailed it with this. And, we’re definitely filling a void there. Lost fans, come on over. There’s some mythology here too, baby.
When will viewers find out what happened to the plane?
SCOTT PATTERSON: You will find that out in the second episode. You will also find out what the big conspiracy and cover-up is. You think that finding out what the cover-up is, is going to be the event. Believe me, it is not. It’s not even close.
Have you done any films that will be coming out?
SCOTT PATTERSON: I did a little thing called The Frankenstein Brothers in Colorado, with a team of little mad scientists led by Lee Roy Kunz. That’s a nice little role, where I played another husband/father. I did another one in Canada called Concrete Canyons, where I play a tracker and mountain guy. He’s a retired sheriff and his son gets into a little trouble in Chicago where he’s living, and disappears, and I go there to find him. It’s a little bit of a McCloud vibe, like a cowboy in the city.
What about Liberty and The Rogue? What are those?
SCOTT PATTERSON: I haven’t read scripts on those. The funding just came through for that. I know The Rogue is a go project, but I haven’t even seen a script yet. They weren’t going to happen for a couple of years there, but now the money is vetted. It’s from overseas, so it’s got to be vetted by Homeland Security.
Gilmore Girls is a show that people had so much affection for. Do you still get recognized for that?
SCOTT PATTERSON: Sure, yeah. They’re always very nervous, very nice and very respectful. They want a picture, they want an autograph and they want to tell me how much they miss the show and love the character. It’s all very touching. People loved that show. I’ve heard rumblings that there may be a movie. I don’t really have any details, except for the little details that hit me in the head about it, from time to time.
Do you keep in touch with Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel?
SCOTT PATTERSON: Not really, no. We text back and forth, every once in awhile. I ran into Lauren in the supermarket and we spent a few minutes selecting bologna.