I had the pleasure of conducting a phone interview with Patrick Flueger, who plays Shawn Farrell on the hit USA sci-fi series, The 4400. Since having things go perfectly would be a tad too boring, I was experiencing a bit of a comedy of errors with my tape recorder, where it would spontaneously stop working every time he started talking. Because of this, I was forced to manually write down his responses as he was talking. With that in mind, I whole heartedly apologize if I misquoted him in any way.
Also, for you Canuckleheads out there, the second season of The 4400 will be premiering at 8:00 PM Eastern time, on September 18th, on SPACE. Definitely make it a point to try to catch it, because it was an amazing season.
Matt Basilo: First of all, congratulations on completing an incredible season of the 4400, and to the well-deserved Emmy nominations the show earned.
Patrick Flueger: Thanks so much. I was really excited about the Emmy nominations, it’s great to know that the show is getting recognized.
MB: I would also like you to know that I felt that this was one of the strongest season finale episodes I’ve seen all year.
PF: Thank you so much. I was actually disappointed with my scene with Chad at the end, it turned out much differently than I thought it would.
MB: Really? I actually thought that that was a really powerful scene, the way your facial expression changed.
PF: Yeah, they did a lot of that in editing. The scene just came out completely mediocre, and I was really disappointed with how it came out.
MB: After the impeccable finale, are we going to have to wait until next summer before we get to see next season?
PF: You know, there have been rumors that we may start earlier, and maybe start in the fall, but we actually haven’t officially been picked up for a third season. We did good numbers and the show is popular, so we’re all expecting to be picked up, but there is no official word on when we’d start.
MB: Any idea of what we may want to expect from the third season?
PF: I couldn’t tell you. I don’t really know what happens episode to episode, let alone season to season. I like that I get to go through the series in the same way as the fans, where I don’t know what may happen next. Every time I read through a script, I keep saying “shit, can I have another?”
MB: Is there anything in particular that you’d like to see happen next season?
PF: Not really. As long as the writing stays good. You get worried with a sci-fi series, because you run the risk of getting hokey. I think that would be hard with this show, because the writing is so good. I don’t think the cast would let it happen either, because we’d all walk away before we let that happen. We all care about the show and its characters.
MB: We’ve seen your character Shawn grow up a lot this past year. How do you think he’ll be affected by the apparent return of Jordan?
PF: I don’t know. They don’t let us know too much. But I’m glad he’s back, because it’s great working with Bill. I was missing him when he left. It almost felt like I was missing my right arm. But then Garrett came in and he was great as well.
MB: In some of the reviews I’ve done for the show, I’ve noted that it was almost surreal seeing your character share scenes with Richard, Lilly, and Maia because your character so rarely interacts and comes in contact with them.
PF: Right. He’s definitely got his own thing going on. I think of Shawn as a good friend of mine, to the point that I have started to miss him. Doing that scene with Conchita was great. She’s a beautiful girl. I think she wants to marry me, so she was all pumped about doing the scene. She’s really honest, like all children are. It was great doing that scene with her, especially with the circumstances that everyone may die, and here you had this little girl breaking your heart.
MB: Do you think that part of the reason why the show is so successful is because it is filled with such strong individual characters?
PF: I would hope so. I would hope that’s the case with any television show. I would hope that the storylines keep people coming back. Yeah, I would hope so. We each really care. These people want to tell stories. We just want to make a connection to the audience. I was disappointed with that scene with Chad. We put ourselves through something, and it turned out so much differently. It just seemed so mediocre. I don’t know why I keep coming back to that scene.
MB: Well like I said, I actually really enjoyed that scene. I liked the way he was about to leave the room and you stopped him, and people weren’t sure what you were going to do. And then when the facial expression changed, and people remembered from the first season that you could hurt people with your abilities.
PF: Yeah, that’s actually the only episode I haven’t seen the whole episode all the way through yet.
MB: You already mentioned Billy Campbell, but is there anybody in particular that you especially enjoy sharing scenes with?
PF: Chad. Anytime I work with him. He’s one of my best friends in the world, so that makes sense. I would like to work with all of them. Laura is beautiful, Joel is “Uncle Joel,” Ali is my mentor.
MB: Which episode of the 4400 is your favorite?
PF: I think the second to last episode we did was one of the best. I also think the episode we did with that guy from Rwanda was written well. Everybody was so on fire in that episode.
MB: I understand you’ve played in a rock band, and we’ve started to see elements of that in Shawn this past season. Will we continue to see this side of Shawn explored?
PF: We were actually going to put music I have written into the show, but we ran out of time. Jacqueline McKenzie actually has some of her music on the show. She has a beautiful voice. I think we’ll continue seeing that side of him, but not to the point that it becomes clichÃƒÂ©. I think it will be something that’s part of who he is. It’s for him, not for others. We may see him playing guitar every once in a while.
MB: Do you have any plans of trying to break into the music industry?
PF: I don’t know. Not to where I’m actively pursuing it. My ex-girlfriend is really the only person I feel completely comfortable playing for. Like Shawn, it’s more something for me, than for other people.
MB: Aside from acting and music, what are some of your other interests? What do you do in your spare time?
PF: I have some really, really great friends in my life right now. I’ve been waiting for them for about three years, Los Angeles is a hard place to connect with people. And I’ve taken such an interest in my friends. I like to ski, I play a lot of video games. I like to go to the beach. I’m sure I have a good time there. What else? I don’t really know. God, I don’t have any interests.
MB: What are some of your favorite television shows?
PF: Arrested Development, Family Guy…
MB: Oh yeah, Family Guy, absolutely.
PF: Yeah, I think that goes without saying. But Arrested Development is great. I was getting really into Boston Legal, but I didn’t have a chance to watch it too often. James Spader and Bill Shatner are amazing. And I think I’m a little in love with Lake Bell, who was on the first season, and I’m a little bit in love with that woman. I think the Shield is really great. I don’t know if you’ve seen Deadwood.
MB: I haven’t had a chance to see that, but I know of it.
PF: I don’t see how anybody could not like that, especially guys. It’s a great guys show.
MB: Are there any future projects that you’d like to share?
PF: Well, it’s hard because most of the best stuff out there are independents, so I’m just kind of waiting. I have a movie coming out around November called The World’s Fastest Indian. I have a bit part in it, and Anthony Hopkins is in it. It’s honestly one of the most, if not the most, touching films I’ve ever seen. Anthony is fantastic, and it’s great watching the profound effect he has on the characters and audience. It’s a true story, and I’m really amped about it. It should be out a little before Christmas. I defy you to watch this without crying. I was watching it last night with a buddy of mine, and I had to keep reminding myself that boys don’t cry as I was wiping away the tears.
MB: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me, and I wish you continued success.
PF: Thank you so much. It’s nice to go out there and get some more exposure for the show, and it’s great to know that there are fans out there who appreciate the show.
The second season of The 4400 will be premiering in Canada on September 18th, 8:00 PM Eastern time, on SPACE. Definitely check out this show, it was an incredible season.