Date of publishing: 24th
Adrian Pasdar stars in NBC’s hit ensemble drama
series “Heroes” as Nathan Petrelli, Peter’s
(Milo Ventimiglia) over-achieving brother who is running
for political office, and hiding the fact he can fly.
Pasdar began his career in “Top Gun” when
he was cast as Chipper alongside Tom Cruise, Anthony
Edwards and Val Kilmer. Since then, he has starred
in other feature films such as “Secondhand Lions”
(with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall), Brian De Palma’s
“Carlito’s Way,” (opposite Al Pacino
and Sean Penn), “Solarbabies” (with Jami
Gertz, Jason Patric and Lukas Haas), “Streets
of Gold” (with Wesley Snipes), “Near Dark”
(directed by Kathryn Bigelow) and “Vital Signs,”
starring Diane Lane.
Arguably amongst the most dynamic and inventive of
world-class actors, yet one also capable of immense
charm, humor and poignancy, Malcolm McDowell has created
a gallery of iconographic characters. His place in
movie history was subsequently secured when Stanley
Kubrick finally found the actor he was searching for
to play the gleefully amoral “Alex” in
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE; when McDowell conceived the idea
for the further adventures of “Mick Travis”
in Anderson’s comedic epic O LUCKY MAN!; when
he wooed Mary Steenburgen and defeated “Jack
the Ripper” as the romantically inquisitive
H.G. Welles in Nicholas Meyer’s TIME AFTER TIME
and when he destroyed “Capt. Kirk” in
STAR TREK: GENERATIONS. Malcolm is currently recurring
on NBC’s HEROES as the famous Mr. Linderman.
Graduated from Stanford University, Cristine Rose
has played in an impressive amount of TV shows and
movies such Star Trek TNG, The Nanny, Ally McBeal,
ER, Beverly Hills 90210, Charmed, Friends, CSI, ...
You can currently see her in HEROES playing Angela
Petrelli, the mother of Nathan and Peter.
The Scifi World had the opportunity to take a part
on a press conference with them. Here is the full
report of this conference. A few audio files of this
interview are available to download. Check them below
on this page.
Malcolm, you played your
fair share of villainous roles over the years, but
how did it feel to come in and play the part of someone
whose presence had loomed so heavily throughout the
series since the first episode?
Malcolm McDowell: Well it made my job actually much
easier. Of course they've all been talking about this
character and I didn't really know until Adrian actually
told me that he'd even had sort of phone calls with
me, and nobody on the other line of course, and they
didn't even know who was going to play the part at
the time. But you're right. I have had my fair share
of villains, and this is one of the really good ones.
do you think it compares to some of your other past
roles, insofar as whether he’s evil or just
Malcolm McDowell: I never really
get into that sort of definition of characters. I
like them all. And I suppose you could make a case
for Hitler being misunderstood, couldn't you really?
But the fact is that Linderman is such a fabulous
part for an actor to do, that really I had to do no
acting at all. And it was so well written, I think
the show is really well written. Although I must say
as a viewer, you're always on the edge of your seat,
but I haven't got a clue what's going on. Although
I do - must admit it is so compelling, it's sort of
déjà vu. It's sort of like drugs or
something. I don't know. It's an amazing - an amazing
show. And they do such a great job. And I can say
that because I've been on the inside now. And of course
the regular cast members, they know all about it.
And I think they've got honestly one of the best jobs
Cristine Rose: Amen to that.
do you have any earthly idea based on how your character
was played in the first episode that she would evolve
as she has?
Cristine Rose: Not at all. It's
like a surprise package every time I open up that
script. I got a little bit of a hint of a clue in
the fall when it was alluded that I would be a little
more interested in Nathan's political career than
might normally be expected from a mother. But then
I sort of went to the back for a while and I didn't
know if I was going to come to the forefront. And
then it was terribly exciting to find out that I am
in fact in league with Linderman, and I really thought
at the beginning I was thinking that it was my husband
who had the powers, and so it's just been a thrill
ride, a real joyride. And I don't think that we are
evil. I really think that we're out to save the world,
just a little misguided.
you play a politician. Did you base your performance
on a real politician -- in someone in particular?
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
do not direct link to this file, link to the page
Adrian Pasdar: I think it's kind of a conglomerate.
I've taken the best and the worst of politicians that
have come across me in my personal life and also people
that I don't know. We haven't defined whether Nathan
is Republican or Democrat. I'm sure an argument can
be made for the earlier in many, many ways. But no,
I haven't really based this guy on anybody in particular,
just a nice mix of the worst and the best that I've
seen. The most morally liquid characters that I have
run across, I've based this guy on.
Right now there - you really
seem to be enjoying playing with the ambiguity of
Nathan. Do you have any worries that at some point
they're going to decide, okay, he's really just bad?
Adrian Pasdar: I think just when
you've had your suspicions confirmed one way or the
other, he does something that presents the opposite.
When you think he's bad he does something that might
be called heroic. If he does something that's good
he does something that's not so good. That's the beautiful
I think part of the writers' creation here is that
they've made somebody that can lean both - on both
sides of the fence and still serve his ultimate goal
without compromising his ability to be good or bad.
It's a joy to play something like this because the
writing is so good.
you following the show before you got the call for
Malcolm McDowell: To be honest no.
I wasn't following it. I don't watch that much TV,
but when it was coming up of course I tuned in. And
they sent me the pilot, which is really a wonderful
show. And I enjoyed it very much. And as soon as I
read it, my son also said, Dad, it's one of the great
shows on television. What rock have you been hiding
under? And that was it. The young guys, they know
question is for Malcolm. Earlier when you were talking
about your villainous roles, you said that you didn't
need hardly any acting at all. I was wondering is
there a sense that there could be a little villain
inside you, the little dagger with a smile guy that
might be a part of you?
Malcolm McDowell: Well, I think
that any part that you play you of course - there
is always a little bit of you.
Adrian Pasdar: I just want to tell
everybody I have seen Malcolm's left buttock and he
does have that tattoo of a little villain with a dagger.
Malcolm McDowell: You said that that would be a secret
between both of us and I'm really quite shocked that
you've let all these people know.
Adrian Pasdar: I was just sharing.
Malcolm McDowell: Shame on you.
Cristine Rose: And you showed me
Malcolm McDowell: You know what?
I am very proud of that tattoo. I am very proud of
it. And thank you for bringing it up actually. Look,
the truth is, of course one has a bit of the devil
in one. Doesn't one - doesn't every one? It's just
that they pay me to have fun with it. So of course
I do it, and I'm happy to do it. Look, I don't only
play the heavies. I suppose I am primarily known for
that. But in fact, it would only be half of my career
if I was to tot it all up. But all the well known
ones I suppose are on the heavy side. But listen,
I enjoy it. I enjoy it very much. I think the word
relish comes to mind in terms of this part, particularly.
And these wonderful scenes with Adrian, we have such
a ball together. I'm going to talk to him as well
here, and he can say whatever he wants. But I know
we had a great time and it was a pleasure.
Cristine, your character
kind of feels almost like a Jackie O, dresses almost
like that. Is there first ladies that you're drawing
inspiration or presidential mothers that you're drawing
Cristine Rose: Oh my gosh, I never
thought of it in terms of that. How lovely. No, I
just like those coats because they look good on me.
Total fashion. No, I'm not drawing on anyone in particular.
Maybe - no one in real life. I did watch ‘Manchurian
Candidate’ a while ago and there was an elegance
that Angela Lansbury carried herself with that I really
liked, but that was a long time ago. No, Jackie O,
I adore her. And she looks so much better in clothes
than I ever will hope to. So I can't possibly go down
Malcolm McDowell: I don't know. Talking about my
left buttock, and you mentioning these clothes and
Jackie O, I have to say Cristine that I did see something
of you and well I won't go into it any more. I'll
let you finish it off.
Cristine Rose: We have to keep our secrets.
Malcolm McDowell: Yeah, yeah.
Cristine Rose: But thank you.
is the net outcome of the final script? What can we
look forward to?
Adrian Pasdar: It's so frustrating
doing a conference call where they ask you to promote
the show and tell you at the same time you can't tell
anybody anything. So having said that, questions do
get resolved in a huge way. I have a big part in the
end of the - in the final decision making in the last
few moments of the finale, which all those questions
that are posited in the pilot are answered almost
to a ‘T’ in the finale. It's a beautifully
structured finale. I think I did remember at the offices
their saying - reading the first page of the script
and couldn't tell any of the secrets on penalty of
being removed from the entire project. So keeping
that in mind, there are really wonderful moments at
the very end. I just looped 22 and 23 the other day
and I got an opportunity to see the final bits. And
it's just mind blowing. It's stunning the way it's
all put together.
there any thoughts going on there, at the set amongst
the actors, with people that you talk to about why
that is, about why the show which all of a sudden
is starting to slip a little bit?
Adrian Pasdar: Well I mean demographics
have held tight the entire time. If you look at the
show basically we're doing $100 million worth of business
every time the show is on the air. If you were to
gauge it against, like say, an opening night for a
movie, that many people are watching our show every
night. And ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is
certainly something people - everybody is wrapping
up their season finales. We've destroyed Monday nights.
We own the demographics. So it has the perception
of it I think hasn't changed. We're still bringing
home the bacon on Monday nights and that's our responsibility.
Numbers aren't the first things that people look at
overall. It's the demographic that holds true. And
if we had started to slip there I think there would
be some concern, but we are still winning the demographic,
the 18 to 49 every Monday night. So, with the end
of the season everybody's numbers get compromised
a little bit because everybody is putting up their
best effort. But we are still winning that demographic,
which is the most important element.
Adrian, talk a little bit
about how far in advance you get the scripts. Are
there ever times where you’re confused by the
story line and you're wondering wow, I didn't expect
that to happen or stuff like that?
Adrian Pasdar: I do manage to pull
some information periodically from the producers from
the producorial staff and from the writing staff prior
to the scripts being released. Sometimes I don't.
I haven't been confused by anything. It's always very
well laid out for us. But having said that, at the
same time, there are surprises that we all receive
when we read the scripts. And that's part of what
makes is so exciting. I think it goes hand in hand
with nobody basing on people that came before, or
politicans, or people in real life--myself or Cristine
having answered that question earlier--because the
characters are so well defined. There’s no confusion,
that wouldn’t be the word I would use, I would
think the element of surprise is still there. We are
just as enraptured reading the scripts as the audience
is in watching it. It’s that exciting to read,
their real page turners.
you have the whole story or the season pretty much
arced out for you signed on or was it?
Adrian Pasdar: No, they don't - we have - and I think
a lot of character dynamics are what define the progress
that certain characters take, the performances, the
way that people engage however the relationships need
to manifest. They write for strength of character
portrayal. And since they have managed to pull such
great--Cristine and Malcolm both into the show--it
just enhances the writers' abilities to generate lines,
I think. So I think while they do have an overall
arc for the season, it is somewhat fluid in terms
of who seems to be playing off whom well.
there any cliffhangers that will get extended to the
next season that you know of or will things start
pretty much from a different point in the fall? I
don't know if any of you know anything. Maybe Adrian,
since you're the regular?
Adrian Pasdar: Well no. I think
we're all privy to what happens at the end. It does
posit a brand new place in that season two will pick
up with. I can't talk about where.
But we'll know something. We'll have a tease right?
We'll know something.
Adrian Pasdar: Oh absolutely. The
very end of the finale is where season two will pick
up. And it shows you a good three minutes, or two
minutes or so of where that is going to pick up. And
I don't think anybody is going to guess where. In
a very, very interesting place.
All right. And of course you can't really say whether
you'll even be there next fall, right?
Adrian Pasdar: Right, I mean I hope
to. I hope to be there. I think I'll be there. But,
like I said earlier, somebody asked me this question.
I signed on to do ‘Heroes’ and I wound
up being on ‘Survivor’. So I'm just trying
to - I'd like to stick around. But if and when it's
time for me to go I'll be just happy to be part of
a terrific season of TV.
may possibly learn more about the identity of the
Petrelli dad in this family. Was it a surprise to
you? Is it going to be a big surprise to the audience?
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
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Adrian Pasdar: I've always been under the
suspicion that--and again I'm not saying anything
with any terrific insight, but I've always thought
that, wouldn't it be interesting if Malcolm had something
more to do with being a part of the Petrelli…
McDowell: From - I think from what I understand--and
I think I can say this. I knew your father quite well.
Adrian Pasdar: I've understood he knew him maybe
a lot better than we might imagine.
Malcolm McDowell: Wait a minute.
Cristine Rose: Wait a minute.
Malcolm McDowell: Does this have anything to do with
the tattoo on my left buttock?
Adrian Pasdar: No, this would be your right buttock.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh okay.
Adrian Pasdar: No, I'm just hypothesizing. But I
do think there is this certain…
Cristine Rose: Don't they deal with part of that
with the graphic novels that they have on the Internet
right now, perhaps Malcolm is the dad?
Adrian Pasdar: Yeah, I'm curious…
Malcolm McDowell: I don't know.
Adrian Pasdar: It's been posited that Malcolm actually
did sire somebody.
Cristine Rose: That's what I'd like
to think, frankly.
Malcolm McDowell: Well look. I'd
like to take a responsibility for this. But I don't
- I think we need a blood test on this one.
Adrian Pasdar: It's just a TV show Malcolm, not real
Malcolm McDowell: Oh thank you. Thank you. Thank
Adrian Pasdar: I want to clear that up.
Malcolm McDowell: I had absolutely nothing to do
with it, by the way.
Cristine Rose: You know, there were things that happened.
This is my theory, my--no it's actually wish fulfillment,
I don't know.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh, what's that?
Cristine Rose: I would like to think that Malcolm
and I--or actually Linderman and Angela met at Woodstock
and conceived Nathan. And you might not remember because
we were in a daze of drug filled joy back in the day.
Malcolm McDowell: I do vaguely remember
something about that.
Cristine Rose: A very beautiful moment.
Malcolm McDowell: I think Joe Cocker was on the stage
at the time.
Cristine Rose: Exactly.
Malcolm McDowell: Right. Yeah that was - it was a
pretty nice moment.
Cristine Rose: Well it lasted a little longer than
that, but it was...
Adrian Pasdar: Very nice. Probably more than you
wanted to know.
Malcolm McDowell: Yeah, you see, ask a silly question.
Adrian Pasdar: These are just the thoughts of some
employed actors. Ask if we don't have a job…
Malcolm McDowell: Soon to be unemployed.
I know that ‘Heroes’
shoots sometimes up to three episodes at once. How
- do you have to do anything to adapt for those days
where you may be dealing with up to three different
directors and three different crews? Anybody who would
like to answer this.
Adrian Pasdar: I think I know personally
speaking I've had to deal with three in one day. And
it can it can be a little bit unwieldy. But I think
the continuity that we've managed to achieve over
the course of the season kind of has prevented us
from making any grievous errors in terms of it's not
that difficult overall when you're trying to portray
a single character through the arc of perhaps three
different story lines as long as they are not too
disparate and as long as they are sequential or roughly
sequential and not Episode 8, and Episode 12 and Episode
15. Usually it would be Episode 14, 15 and 16 that
are shooting at the same time because of location
issues or editing issues, editorial concerns. So it's
taxing. It's exactly what you think it would be like.
There is no mystery to it. It's a little bit more
taxing in terms of execution, but it is do-able.
you have any sort of like tricks that you have for
just keeping track of where you are and how you are
supposed to be or is it like shooting anything else
out of sequence?
Adrian Pasdar: No, it's a little more involved. You
have to make sure that you're consistent in terms
of your choices, what's coming before and what's coming
Malcolm McDowell: And whether you're in the right
Adrian Pasdar: Yes. Thank God we've got terrific
people to take care of all that stuff for us. Malcolm
has somebody who actually dresses him, so...
Malcolm McDowell: Well I need to because I do tend
to dribble too.
Adrian Pasdar: He has a professional dribble catcher.
Malcolm McDowell: Yeah, I'm a lot older than most
of them there, see.
Adrian Pasdar: And it's exactly
what you think it is. It's just a lot more staying
on the dime, making sure your choices are consistent,
there is no magic, no tricks to it. You have to be
a little more present for every choice. You can't
just make a choice in the morning and stick with it.
You have to be a little fluid.
how does the character of Linderman compare to the
character of Dr. Loomis in the Rob Zombie remake of
Malcolm McDowell: Well it's completely
different, because Loomis is a psychoanalyst of some
note. I might add, although God knows, let's face
it, for a man who's got a patient like Michael Myers.
And he certainly can't do anything to control him
or cure him in the 17 years, God knows how good of
a doctor he really is. But no, that's really - he's
a well meaning man. Whereas of course Linderman is
rather I suppose you would have to say ‘arch’.
Fascinating, I mean, he's running a big empire like
any of these people that... chairman of the boards
of multinational companies. They all have sort of
one thing in common, don't they? And we've seen the
demise in England of this poor man who ran BP, and
all that. I don't know why I'm rambling on here about
that. Anyway, they are completely different. One -
I suppose to put it in black and white terms, one
is a good guy and one is a bad guy.
And Adrian, with Nathan Petrelli
being involved in politics, have you ever had any
aspirations of running for a political office?
Adrian Pasdar: I haven't. I did
a little show called ‘Profit’ a while
back and I based some of the work on some people that
were in office at the time. And I received some stationery
from the White House. George Stephanopoulos wrote
me a letter on White House stationery. And I was so
impressed and blown away to have received something
from the White House seal and things like that. It
was really impressive to me. And I realized at that
point how I - I did have a visit to the White House
and there is so much showmanship and gamesmanship
in politics it's really not a stretch to imagine an
actor getting involved in being a figurehead for a
political party for a certain party or so. But for
myself personally, I'm involved in New York in terms
of the High Line and getting things going around here,
but nothing grand on any scape. I just - I don't think
I could do that.
Cristine Rose: I'd vote for you. I'd vote for you.
Adrian Pasdar: Well thank you, darling. I would hope
so as my mom.
is very important to most of the characters on ‘Heroes’.
Maybe Cristine and Adrian you can talk about just
what family means to Angela and Nathan, especially
with the introduction of Claire who they didn't seem
to know was still alive. Do they love her, or is she
just a tool?
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
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Cristine Rose: Well I've had a lot of thought
put into this as to what really my motives are. And
there are still a lot of questions that I hope might
be answered in the second volume called ‘Generations’.
That title might intimate there will be more news
about what has gone on before, what might go on in
the future. I've been wondering if indeed Linderman
and Angela--and others of the ‘numerati’
as Tim Kring refers to us--if these plans have been
going on for decades and if Angela might not have
borne her children to be part of this whole plan.
There is an allusion on Monday night's episode to
Suresh having been conceived in order to save his
older sister’s life. And in that photograph
we saw the very pregnant mother and the hope was that
he would be born before the sister died. And so the
idea of bearing children to save someone or in this
case to save the world, I've had to deal with that.
Is Angela's concern about her younger son dying in
Episode possibly in 2, in 12 and again when she thought
he was indeed dead. Is that concern, that overwhelming
grief, was it for the son that she loved or for the
demise possibly of a plot or a plan she had been working
on with others for so long? These are all questions
I don't know. It could be anything. But that is one
of the joys of the show. And there are so many questions,
so many mysteries that we still don't know.
Adrian Pasdar: I think that family
has played such a big part in the landscape that has
been defined by ‘Heroes’. It is really
a family oriented struggle on so many fronts. When
I discovered that Claire was my daughter, there is
a certain pragmatic approach to understanding what
needs to be done, and then there is probably a less
than pragmatic approach about trying to figure out
how she is going to fit into the future of his life.
As an alpha male who is so aggressive in terms of
succeeding politically and professionally, it all
hearkens back to trying to appease and win the approval
of your parents. And I think it's been a joy playing
it. I think there are some very interesting decisions
that are going to come up and towards the very second
half of the beginning of season two that are going
to answer - of course answer a lot of questions but
at the same time in the nature of this show open up
a lot of other questions as well. I can't get much
more specific, but I think that family as it is structured
and as it has begun to unfold in the Petrelli household,
the dynamic exists between the four of us--myself,
Peter, Cristine, and Claire--is going to open up a
little bit more. You're going to have some more insight
into how that all came to pass. But again it is a
family--we are at the center of the generation of
the Petrelli dynasty. And it's going to--it's either
going to start to unfold like a cheap sweater or it's
going to be put back together very carefully by some
talented people from the outside. I hope that's not
too confusing, but...
Cristine Rose: If I could throw this in, because
what I just talked about, that was all speculation.
Because I, like everyone else, I'm a fan. And this
storyline, all it does is one enigma wrapped in an
enigma. And I'm just speculating along with all the
other fan base.
do you have any idea what your power is?
Cristine Rose: I'd have to kill you. I can't tell
you. I can't tell you. I can't tell you.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh go on. Give us a clue.
Cristine Rose: Okay, I can change my makeup at will.
Is that something that is
made known this season or next season?
Cristine Rose: I can't tell you.
Adrian Pasdar: It's frustrating, I know.
Cristine Rose: But thank you for worrying or even
wondering. That's fun.
how surprised were you when we saw that Sylar had
taken on your identity?
Adrian Pasdar: I thought it was
just a great opportunity to play another actor. I've
always love to do that. And that morning was the culmination
of a lot of work that Zach and I had done up to that
point. He came to the set. He wasn't on call but he
came to the set and spoke to me in my trailer and
just whispered the lines in my ear for about a half
an hour. And then I just watched him walk around.
I followed him. He blocked the scene. And to be able
to take on his mannerisms and such, it was a real
joy, a lot of fun. And there is not a lot of ambivalence
in his actions and his motions. So to play somebody
like that was a lot of fun. Was it a surprise? Yeah.
There are so many surprises in the show. Found out
that I was going to embody and be playing him that
was a real surprise. Yes it was.
is a question for Mr. McDowell, although it also sort
of applies to Mr. Pasdar. Both of you have done genre
projects like this before with Mr. Pasdar in ‘Near
Dark’, and Mr. McDowell, ‘Star Trek’
and ‘Time after Time’ right up through
‘Halloween’ and ‘Heroes’.
So, what about these kind of stories attracts you
to these roles and just sort of what about them appeal
to you as an actor?
Malcolm McDowell: Well to be honest
with you, it's not so much that I'm attracted to them,
but I get asked to do them. You're only as good as
what they ask you to do. And I'm very lucky that I
was asked to do this ‘Heroes’, because
as I've said before, because it's a gift of a role.
It's really a wonderful part. And same with Loomis,
and I've been very lucky through the years to have
a few good parts here and there amongst the crap.
And let's face it, there is quite a lot of crap out
there, too. So the odd little pearl that comes my
way, you seize on it and you say thank you very much
and it was great fun getting away with doing old Kirk
in. I think he'd had a good run anyway and it was
time to move on. So that was fun. And ‘Time
After Time’ was a beautiful film and I got two
beautiful children out of that particular show, so
I'm very fond of that one. That's no fiction for me.
And so there you go. Life goes on.
the TV landscape being what it is now with being a
little more friendly to unsympathetic and sort of
amoral protagonists these days, do you think a show
like ‘Profit’ would have had a better
chance being on the air now as opposed to ten years
Adrian Pasdar: Absolutely. I think
that show would have found a home now. I think one
of the things I can be so bold that I feel like I
share with Malcolm is a kinship – maybe I’m
imagining it, but nonetheless, it feels true that
there is a perceived utility that we both display,
and that's playing someone who holds a secret, playing
someone who you like, you trust, but not 100%. Somebody
you want to have a beer with, but you hope they pick
up the tab. It's always very fun to play someone who
is somewhat enigmatic, but at the same time there
are underpinnings of real concern for mankind and
so forth like that. But there is a lack of desperation
in characters I think that we share that is always
fun to play. There is not - they're not strident but
they are also very sure about what they are doing
and why they are doing what they do.
And you don't always - that was what ‘Profit’
had a lot of too, that he is somewhat of an antihero
but he's not responsible for - he moves the story
along but he's not responsible for being liked 100%.
And when you have a show that has the writers like
our show does, you can embrace that 100%, and it's
been really, really fun.
Cristine, you mentioned ‘The
Manchurian Candidate’ a little while ago. How
- was that homework you got from the producers to
watch, or was it just something you sort of brought
Cristine Rose: Absolutely. And I only watched it
just before very, very, very, very, very late in the
game. And so I didn't base anything really on her,
but I - there was an elegance, and that's what I was
referring to in terms of I was asked the question
about how I dressed or how I carried myself. And it's
not directly applicable, but I truly only watched
it about a month ago so it's not really something
that I took directly. But she's sure a good actress.
And as someone who is not in every show, how much
are you reading scripts and following things just
as a fan?
Cristine Rose: Oh, I've been watching
from the very beginning. And I do--I ask for the scripts.
When I'm going to be in the show I request all the
scripts that have been shot in between my last show
and the show that I'm doing. So I--you sort of have
to keep tabs on what has been happening with the boys
as it were. And so yes, and as I mentioned before,
I'm a big fan. And it's hard not to be once you get
hooked on the storyline and the brilliant not only
writing, but the actors.
come in, they do these roles, wonderful jobs, wonderful
writing. But now you're asked to know so much more.
There is a graphic novel with this. There’s
web sites with this. Actors are really being put on
the spot to say what are the answers that probably
the writers know but the actors may not know. Can
you tell us a little bit about how that changes your
job? Or maybe it doesn't at all.
Malcolm McDowell: Well, I'm not
really savvy to all that, so I can tell you that it
doesn't make one bit of difference to me, because
I've never been online with it, or anything for that
matter. But I do believe, and I'm sure Adrian, he
is up to date with all these things and he knows all
these gizmos and things. But I know that it's huge
online. And I understand that even the French, even
though they are slightly, they have their election
and all the rest of it, but I hear that they even
download these shows, ‘Heroes’, in France.
And they can pay $1.99 or whatever it is, and get
it on iTunes which is amazing to me. But there you
are. So, it's just amazing at how different the business
is. And I think the online part of it is very important.
And it was very important because I went to do ADR,
and was asked if I would go step next door and record
on a video and talk about I don't know, something
that I had no idea what the hell I was talking about
actually. It was something to do with the show, which
I really didn't know much about but I sort of made
it up as I went along. So it was kind of fun doing
it. And the possibilities with this are endless, aren't
they? Anyway, I'm sure Adrian is…
Adrian Pasdar: I mean, I think we're coming to the
end of appointment television in the next few years.
It's going to spell out a marked change in terms of
what is on TV and the access that people have to what
they want to watch. And ‘Heroes’ is a
very beautiful way, graceful way to be a part of the
end of an era of television.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh dear. Are you telling me that
they won't need actors any more?
Adrian Pasdar: No, no, no. They
will need actors. It's just about the way that the
material is viewed and the media is downloaded. I
don't think, like I said appointment TV is going to
last with Tivo and video on demand, and people are
going to be able to watch whatever they want to watch
whenever they are going to want to watch it. And so
having to be home at Monday night at 9 o'clock is
not going to become as necessary as it once was. I
don't think you can remove the water cooler element
of television. People always want to gather and say,
oh, did you see this at a certain time. There still
will be that. But I think the specificity with which
television is delivered now is going to alter rapidly.
And, I mean, corporations across America are just
trying to break unions and the contract talks that
are coming up between SAG and also the writers, they've
got such strong positions being the corporations do
right now. And the unions by and large tend to fold.
And SAG is the third largest union in America. Nobody
really seems to know that.
Malcolm McDowell: I didn't.
Adrian Pasdar: In terms of money. It's an amazingly
strong work horse. But it's going to be a very interesting
time to see what happens in the next few years. So
to be a part of ‘Heroes’, that's where
the end of this part of an era is totally cool. It's
Malcolm, what are you doing
in London? Is it Vivaldi, War and Peace, Doomsday?
Bring us up to date on that.
Malcolm McDowell: It is a movie called ‘Doomsday’.
That I'm doing that is directed by a lovely director
called Neil Marshall. And actually my nephew is in
it. And he's a very good actor called - what does
he call himself? Alexander Siddig.
Malcolm McDowell: And he was in
‘Syriana’, played the good prince who
was blown up at the end. He's a very good actor and
he told me "listen they want you to do this and
it's really good, you should do it". And so that's
why I'm here. And I'm on my way to Cannes to show
my film that I did of my tribute to Lindsay Anderson,
who was a great director and a man I loved dearly
and was very important in my life. And so it's my
tribute to him. It was filmed and it's now a movie.
So I can't believe that they invited it to the Cannes
Film Festival. It's absolutely extraordinary for me,
but there you are. So I'm just on the little - on
that little trip at the moment.
and Peace’ is for which network as a miniseries?
Malcolm McDowell: I have no idea, to be honest with
not in that?
Malcolm McDowell: I am in it. Yes,
I remember, I'm not that gaga, yes. I am in it. I
play a wonderful part, Prince Bolkovsky or whatever
his name is, and all those Russian names. But - and
I do most of my scenes with Brenda Blethyn who is
a dear, dear, dear and a terrific actress of course.
And that's sort of a big ‘euro pudding’
as they say. 8 million from the Swiss, 6 million from
the Italians and 15 million from the French or whatever
it is. Anyway, there are seven or eight countries
involved in it. I don't know who's picked it up in
the States. But I know that they are going to screen
it in Rome, right the way through night, the whole
nine hours of it. And I think it's quite a remarkable
event. And it's a beautiful production. I do know
that. I've seen quite a bit of it. It's really quite
seems to be an inherent contradiction in your character
Linderman that he is orchestrating this plot that
is going to end up killing lots of people in New York
City, but his power is to heal and bring things back
to life. Is that quite how you see the character and
how you play the character?
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
do not direct link to this file, link to the page
Malcolm McDowell: Well it's not a conscious
thing. The man is a healer. He has obviously got a
wonderful side to him. He's wonderful with children,
wonderful with pets. What more can I say about him?
He's the life and soul of a party. He tells a good
joke. He's a delightful man and the kind of person
that would be a very fine uncle to your children.
But having said that, there is a side to him which
is a little bit dark, he has this power thing. And
he feels that, and I'm not saying that I feel that
which is what he feels obviously, is that the world
is in such a state that the human race is so decadent
and out of - is that me? No. Anyway that, he thinks
the answer to that is starting again. And it's obviously
a kind of strange way of going about things but there
are other people on this planet at the moment I'd
say that think the same unfortunately, and they are
dangerous. And Linderman, I don't know. He must have
had quite an unhappy childhood I think for him to
have taken it that far. But I don't know. I mean I
have to leave a big question mark open because I'm
not allowed to say anything about what happens.
is some talk of Nathan being, let's say separated
from his traditional familiar environment next season.
Have you given any thought to what Nathan is like
if he's not a man of power with resources immediately
at hand? Where does he go? How does he act differently
from how he might be now?
Adrian Pasdar: I think that's going
to be the journey. I think from what I can tell there
is going to be a little bit of story of redemption,
having to pay for the sins, not just of the father,
yeah pseudo father, and those are the choices that
he's aligned himself with. From what I can tell without
being too specific, there is going to be--that will
be the question, how do you handle who you are without
the ability to pick up a phone and get anything you
want? If you can't even put money in a phone or you
don't have a cell phone. I think you find yourself
sitting on the city streets talking to yourself, perhaps
with Christopher Eccleston. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
I think you're going to find it's a completely unexpected
place you think that Nathan might end up after the
end of --after the choices that he makes at the end
of the very last three minutes of the finale that
have a lead to the story as to what's going to happen
to him in Season 2. That's again, I'm combining, hypothesizing
with a combining of a little bit of information that
I do have.
So how the more irregular
supporting actors, Malcolm and Cristine, feel about
that. Do you now how long you're contracted on the
Cristine Rose: Well actually that passed through
my mind halfway through this season. I was-- while
wondering if I would ever get more involved in the
storyline. I was taking great comfort in the fact
that I wasn't important enough to kill. And so that
led to a little…
Adrian Pasdar: It's a double-edged sword isn't it?
Cristine Rose: Exactly. A little bit of job security
there. But no, it's all up in the air.
Malcolm McDowell: Well, if I told
you how many I'm doing then it would probably give
it away, so I better not say anything about that.
But suffice to say that I'm doing a few of these and
I'm doing other work too. So I'll go in and out, I
suppose is the answer to that, as required, as needed.
with your ‘Halloween’, are you paying
homage to Donald Pleasence or doing something completely
Malcolm McDowell: No, I have to
tell you that I've never seen ‘Halloween’
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. So I must be one of the only
people on the planet I think never to have seen any
of the films. And I'm so glad, because I asked the
director, Rob Zombie, who is a wonderful director,
whether I should, if he thought I should see them.
And said no, better not. And of course I knew Donald
Pleasence, and a brilliant actor he was with that
wonderful sinister kind of thing of his. And I could
imagine him playing Loomis of course with that sinister
kind of thing he has - but I did not want to be -
it's a new look. It's a reinvention of it. And he
is completely different, my Loomis, I presume. So
I guess there will be some people that will be sort
of disappointed if they think I'm just going to copy
him, because I'm not.
you think that it's popular among college students,
and also who you think the show's main audience is?
Malcolm McDowell: I think that sounds like an Adrian
Adrian Pasdar: I think one of the
reasons the show has reached a certain audience is
that it does combine fantasy with reality. We are
living in a pressure cooker of a - at the moment,
and that pressure isn't lost on the writers. I think
they are using it to their fullest advantage. And
they are also combining the element of fantasy and
namely having super powers in order to fight the evils
that are presented to us. I think the audience really
is beyond any particular demographic group. It is
kind of canvassing 18 to 49 fairly successful every
Monday night. So I think it's somewhat of a family
show if the children are of age. It's also a show
for older folks, as well. So it's really successful
in what it's intended to do. I just think it's pretty
much all I can think about that one.
is the show popular in London?
Malcolm McDowell: I don't think
it's on here.
think it just started BBC 2 Malcolm now.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh it is? Oh there
you are. I only watch the sport and the news, so I
wouldn't know. I'm not real (fay) with it. But if
it's on BBC 2, well then I suppose three people and
their mother or something will see it. But I think
once it catches on here it will be the same. I think
it's going to be the same everywhere. And I honestly
think as the demographics suggest, that young people
for some reason love this show. And I think they love
it because it is so open ended and sort of very oblique.
And you never really know. There is always a shifting
sand. And actually it's very compelling, when you
really haven't got a clue what's going on. Well then
you think you know what's going on or the next week
you find out that you're completely wrong, it's gone
in another direction. I think that's the brilliance
of this show that nobody can really put a finger on
it. And it's forever changing, forever moving. And
you just can't possibly predict what is going to happen.
The Dixie Chicks, every time
their albums go platinum, they get like a foot, chicken
tattoo on their foot or something. Are you guys going
to do that whenever...?
Malcolm McDowell: Oh my God. You should see her foot.
I'll tell you right now. And I've seen it, it's full
of chickens. And actually I think Adrian has got some
chickens on his foot too because there is no room
Adrian Pasdar: I don't have any chickens.
you guys going to do something like that for ‘Heroes’,
like every season it's renewed you're going to get
Malcolm McDowell: Good idea. I love that idea.
Adrian Pasdar: We're going to get
little tattoos of guys with knives on our left butt
cheek, just like Malcolm has in honor of him. My God,
I think if we were to count the success of the show
internationally and attempt to do something like that
we'd be covered in tattoos. We'd look like Rollins.
I think that was something that they decided to do
early on not realizing that they were going to be
quite as successful as they are, and they've stopped.
Because otherwise they would be covered up to their
you made a comment about Nathan being one of the most
morally liquid characters you played. How do you think
it compares to Jim Profit? Do you find yourself drawing
on some of those -- and I mean this in the best possible
way -- sliminess you perfected while playing Profit?
Adrian Pasdar: I think that Profit
was a bit more of an honest trustworthy guy. You knew
where you stood with him. He was - he had a moral
code that was more consistent, if somewhat slippery.
But it was more consistent. With Nathan he is a true
politician and you just don't know where it's coming
from. You don't know where you're headed next. I think
Profit by and large was more reliable.
Nathan is kind of Giuliani-ish and Mr. Linderman is
kind of like a James Baker or something. So - and
in that future episode of course we saw like the Guantanamo
Bay situation, patriot ex situation. Did you talk
about this - talk about these parallels on the set
and what you think about them, and maybe this is something
sci fi supernatural can address well.
Adrian Pasdar: If I understand what
the question is, yes, I think they have done a wonderful
job of creating a fictional character. And I think
whenever anything is so successfully drawn, obvious
parallels can be drawn to existing people. Again having
said that, we haven't - there haven't been any attempts
to base this on anything other than a writer's imagination.
And we don't - the conversations we have on the set
by and large tend to focus around everything but the
parallels that might be drawn between what we're doing
in real life. We just, we're just a bunch of actors
at the end of the day.
Malcolm McDowell: Speak for yourself.
Adrian Pasdar: I'm speaking for you. All you want
to do is talk about cricket.
No, the parallels that we've drawn between what we're
doing and real life people, they mainly seem to come
from the press and from questions that we get. We
are forced to answer them so we come up with them
on the spot. But, in real life, we're not making these
leaps or assumptions on a daily basis at work at all.
It's wonderful and it's flattering because there is
an element of reality to what we're doing. I think
that's why it resonates so well. Anyone else?
Cristine Rose: Just echoing what Adrian said, I've
never heard any discussion amongst the actors with
regard to the parallels. It's - we're playing it as
we would any other characters day to day, their own
Malcolm McDowell: I can't tell you
how many times people have said to me, you were playing
Rupert Murdoch, right? I mean I've had that about,
oh I don't know, at least a half a dozen characters
I've played. And the answer is no, I have nothing
to do with Rupert Murdoch whatsoever. I think that
honestly I think the writers look to the headlines
for inspiration, and quite rightly because they are
mirroring what is going on in our society. And they
are using it in a fictional way. And therefore in
a sort of a second hand way we are getting handed
down these characters that vaguely sort of in the
headlines or something. And that - I think that's
what happens, and it's a little confusing. But I don't
think they are ever meant to be a copy of, or I think
you may say they could be inspired by events or something,
but that's about it. As far as the actor goes of working
on the part, of course that's neither here nor there.
I mean you're working on the part as written, at least,
that's the way I am, and that's the way I work. I
mean everyone works in different ways of course and
but you can only take it as far as it is drawn in
Adrian Pasdar: I mean I think that
the actor draws, they have two responsibilities. One
is to be visually compelling and the other to recite
the lines as written by the writers.
Malcolm McDowell: Oh yes, well we want to look beautiful
Adrian Pasdar: Right, it's hard
Malcolm McDowell: I mean, the hell
with that – who wants to play Dick Cheney?
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