Astghik Cin Poghosyan ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With his latest movie The Delivery Man showing in theaters come Thanksgiving, in a round table interview Dave Patten gives insight into the filming process, his current projects as well as his plans for the future.
My first question would be, having done this film, have you changed your opinion on whether children should know who their fathers are?
As far as the anonymity clauses and stuff like that, it’s a tough question. Legally it’s a tough rule to go against and ultimately it deals with the morality of the issue. The movie plays on the fact Starbuck wants to be a dad and the emotional side of that situation. But it is a tough question because if a situation like this ever happened, the person would want to tell the kids who their father is. I think if it was I I would tell them.
Tell us about your character.
My character’s name is Adam and he’s a street musician who plays around in Central Park to make some spare change. He really takes the movement on his shoulders and leads the other children into the legal battle. You can tell from his dialogue that he really cares and he’s a musician so his has that artisty vibe and passion where he cares about all these other kids who gee up in father less homes. It was a big thing for him and gave him a purpose. He’s willing to step up where everyone else is shy and he’s composed.
You’re a musician yourself. Are there any experiences you share with your character?
Yeah, the first scene where I meet Vince Vaughn when he comes into the park where I’m playing and it plays into having the attention of one person. I’ve played in bars where no one has paid attention or cared. So that one person caring really affects a person.
How was the experience when it came to working with Vince?
He’s awesome! He’s very much the same off camera as he is on camera. He jokes around all the time. He carries a lot on his shoulders as well. He wasn’t just fucking around, he was always taking time before a scene shoot to get into the zone of a character that has an exponential amount of responsibility on his shoulders. I mean all I’ve seen before has been The Wedding Crashers which has a slapstick element to it, so it was cool watching him do that. Very inspiring.
How did you get cast into the film?
I signed on the CAA through my music and they also put me into the acting section as well. I’m from Philadelphia so I flew from there to New York to audition and I auditioned six times for a role, which took me a month! And it’s exhausting because it’s difficult and it’s such a head game meeting up with the director after every audition. I think I really connected with the director and a couple of the producers and I think that’s what helped me land the role. It was wild.
What was it like being around all the other ‘kids’ on set who were supposed to be your brothers and sisters? Was there chemistry between you?
Yeah we were in New York for three months and we were having a great time. There were ten of us who were constants on the sets so we didn’t really bond with the others who were extras. But the ten of us became a huge pack of friends and it was really nice. There are usually a lot of egos on set when it comes to a big cast which causes people not to get along but we didn’t have that issue.
You looked like you were having a great time shooting the film and it was great fun just watching it.
Yeah we were! The first shot that we did was the campfire scene and it was October and they wanted to shoot the scene before all the leaves had fallen. It was great fun and I really loved doing it!
What’s the difference between working in the music industry and working in the film industry?
There’s a huge difference! Film is awesome and music sucks! It’s the worst ever! It’s extremely tough and it’s really hard to make money. There’s a huge gap between people who are doing it and everybody else. It’s a long tail and there very few who are making a lot of money and everybody else is at the bottom. But I digress. Film is awesome. It’s a lucrative business but the difference is that it’s less subjective. It has a wider audience whereas when it comes to music people are more selective of the genre. That affects the success rates. There are a lot of similarities but also a lot of differences.
Getting into film, is that getting away from the music industry or just spreading out?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. When people ask me to choose between music and film I just can’t do it because too much of the same thing drives me insane so it’s nice to be able to jump back and forth. I’m trying to not make same mistakes I did in the music industry because this is my first studio film. I’ve been doing music for a long time so I’m trying to build up in the film industry instead of just starting at the bottom. It’s very exhausting and luck has never been something that’s been on my side since I don’t have connections which are the epitome of the film industry so it’s tough. I think I appreciate what I’ve got more than a lot of people and I never understood why people are reluctant to do press conferences for their upcoming films. I think they get caught up in themselves and a lot of people would kill to be in their shoes and have movies that are as successful as theirs. I just never understood that.
You have a book (Run of the Mill) coming up. Tell us about that.
Yeah I do! I’ve been working on it for quite a while and my thing is that I love Hemingway and I love the idea of being in Paris in your twenties and drinking all the time and chasing girls and writing girls. I’ve always wanted to do that! I’ve never had anything handed to me so if I want something done then I’m gonna do it. I’ve been working on the book for a couple of years and chopping it together. Everything creative and artistic is an outlet for me where I can get all my frustration out so the character is very jaded and reflects my lowest moments. An opportunity came and I met with this publishing company and we just hit it off and next thing you know I got the book on bookshelves! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! It was like writing a ten-page paper twenty times and I just get exhausted thinking about it. It was crazy and it was and awesome experience and I can’t wait to write my next one. That’s the weird thing about art. Sometimes it’s so miserable yet so addicting.
Do you feel like you’re stretching yourself too thin?
Honestly yes because in the beginning a couple of things just fall through and don’t work out. But you have to be optimistic in this industry and do what you want to do. I wake up every day and do what I want and make a living out of it. It’s a scary thought being able to do that.
What have your experiences been working in both industries?
Well I’m from Philadelphia and when I went to LA and met people who were born and raised there in the industry they had this perfectionist quality that was sometimes hindering because there’s a fear of putting yourself out there that comes with it. I’ve never had that problem. If you wanna write a book, write a book and write a second one when your first one is published. Never sit on stuff because there is no perfect moment where your fairy is going to grant you stuff. You just have to get out there and do it. It’s a slow process but it’s something you have to go through.
Are you going to write a second book?
If my publisher will keep me on, then definitely. It’s just my ideal kind of thing because I like to work. So I’ll write a book, cut an album and then shoot a film. Yes I want to write another book.
With all these art forms you’ve invested yourself into, which one is the first one that you’ve come across?
But you studied film in university?
Yeah. I didn’t want to ruin music form me by studying it because I hate school, it’s not my thing. So that’s why I went to film school.
Did you like the acting part or the filming process?
An actor’s life is an ideal life. In this film we had people taking care of our needs and we had awesome trailers. It’s tough because the time the camera is on you have to be alert and the first day of shooting was a wake up call for me because I had to wake up at four am and get on set at six am and the whole shooting process started at eight am. So then you film your scene for an additional eight hours in addition to the five hours you’ve been awake and your scene gets shot at the end of your day but your character is peppy and happy so you have to pull that off. So acting has it’s ups and downs. Directing and filming is awesome too!
You’re breaking your back directing music videos, book writing and acting. Can you see yourself doing all three?
Hell yeah! I would love to do all that. I think if one-person can collaborate all that then there’s something to be said about it.
What do you like most out of all the things that you do?
I like all of it! It has its up and downs and sometimes it’s like this traumatizing emotional roller coaster but you can’t appreciate the highs without the lows.I like it all and I hate it all. It’s that kind of relationship. What I would like to do more that I haven’t done already is make more movies and do a world tour and shoot movies with ten million dollar budgets. Just constantly moving up and never stopping.
What type of movies would you like to do?
Drama most definitely. I’m a big Christopher Nolan fan and a DiCaprio and Russell Crowe fan. They’re on the top of my list so things to similar to that.
What’s your next project?
I’m not really allowed to talk about that now. But you will see me this time next year if all goes well!
Astghik Cin Poghosyan ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer