Robert Patrick Talks About Lore, Terminator, X-Files & Scary Stories

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As October begins, and the witching hour is upon us, scary stories are at a plenty … but how are any of them true?

Well look no further my fact seekers, as Lore, which premieres on Amazon Prime on Friday October 13, is here to scare you good with history and facts on its side.

The six-part series, which started out and continues as a mega popular podcast created by Aaron Mahnke, is anthology horror at its finest. It chills you to the bone while showing that sometimes fact is scarier than fiction.

Like any good anthology, Lore will feature a plethora of talented actors, with a new, distinct cast headlining each episode. One of the actors who is part of of the Lore cast is Robert Patrick. Patrick, who is currently starring on CBS’ hit drama Scorpion, is best known for his iconic role as the T-1000 in the classic sci-fi film, Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Bet you’d never think you’d see a day where a Terminator was trapped in a haunted house — well, that’s exactly what Lore does…minus the whole being a Terminator thing.

Pop Break sat down with the man, the myth, the legend himself Robert Patrick as he discussed his upcoming episode with Lore, entitled “Passing Notes,” his love for creepy tales, and what drew him to the role.

Robert Patrick in Lore
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Robert can you tell us a little bit about your episode which I think is called “Passing Notes,” is that right?

I play a reverend, Ezekiel. There’s my last name in there somewhere, I forgot. [laughs] There’s a lot of characters between now and then. His wife dies, he’s a respected man of the community. He has a strong flock of followers in his church. He grieves over her, he remarries a widow, she has two kids. They move to Connecticut, they’re in the mansion in Connecticut. Spiritualism is coming to the fold, people are dabbling in it, he hears about it, he is curious about it. He sees it as a way to possibly communicate with his wife and in his mind prove once and for all God’s existence, which is the thing that everyone is trying to prove, even a man of the cloth, because certainty is the thing that drives fate. Uncertainty. The lack of certainty. You know what I mean?

Until we’re certain, we don’t know. So everything is based on assumption and faith. If you’re willing to have faith, you’re willing to. That was not a sound bite. [laughs] That was a big damn bite. But it was a good answer.

What drove you to this role and what do you look for in your roles nowadays?

I love working, I feel the clock ticking. I’m trying to get in as roles as I can before it’s all over. I have one purpose, and that’s to act. I love acting. I love trying to do as many different things as I can, I’m a lot more confident now, thirty years down the road, and I’m willing to try more and more things and I want to do the best work I can do and it’s still ahead of me so I’m in pursuit of some sort of elusive – I don’t know what the fuck it is – but it drives you. And I really do feel like I’m running out of time and I gotta keep going, and going, and going.

So when Scorpion was on hiatus, I tried to find something that would take me out of that and put me at the other extreme. Because Scorpion, I don’t even know if it’s a comedy, if it’s a drama, I don’t know what it is but it’s a fun show to make, I’ll tell you that much. And it’s a very unique show and it’s great writing and I love my character, but I want to do other things. And I want to do really dark things. I want to do really light things. One extreme to the other.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

And this fell in, and Gail [Ann Hurd] is involved, and she’s involved with great things. And Glen Morgan is involved with X-Files and the pedigree of the show is great. This is a unique way to do a show. There’s so many different media involved with the storytelling aspect and I just want to be a part of it. I don’t get to do period pieces that often and put on those clothes and wear a top hat. I feel like I should have mutton chops. It was great!

So kind of building off of that, have you heard of James Cameron’s return to “Terminator?”

Absolutely! Who hasn’t heard about that?

Would you go back?

Absolutely! Anybody asks me to do anything, return anywhere, I am there.

You’d have to be the T-3000.

Robert: Whatever. I’m there. Absolutely.

How much of the Ezekiel belief system is a character to you personally?

Me personally? I’m a believer. I’m a church goer, and it’s very appealing to me. And I have questions. Constantly, questions, but that’s how I choose to live. And I get a great serenity from it.

How many of his words would you say are actually your words, things that you’ve thought of and said?

Very little, because we wrote the script and I stuck to it. [laughs] But you understand how I could empathize, sympathize with him, and he kind of had those questions – because I do, you know, every day. There are challenges that are like, is that going to shake my foundation, my faith? Life’s hard.

Being part of the show though, have you started to get into the folklore itself, did you get into history, like “wow that happened to somebody?”

I know that stuff’s intriguing. I want to explore more and I want to dig deeper with Aaron and find more of his podcasts and listen to more of his stories, stuff like that. I remember when I grew up, as a kid – I grew up in Atlanta in the fifties, sixties, I moved to Ohio, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston I lived in.

And it was funny, wherever I moved, whatever neighborhood it was and new kids, there was some new story about ‘oh that house over there, you don’t want to go there.’ Why? ‘Because that’s why blah blah blah,’ You know what I mean? I’m going to tell this story, it’s kind of weird.

You’re in the right place.

It just dawned on me. I was in about the third grade, my dad was going to MIT and I was living in Boston. And I was fresh from Georgia and the people who lived next to me, their father got hit by a car changing a tire. And it was a huge tragedy. But I don’t know if it was because of the age I was at or what, but I just couldn’t look at them the same. It was like, something happened, my relationship to them. And I don’t know why I thought of that all of a sudden.

What are your thoughts are to see these bits of your past, these very good choices that you made as an actor, that are still out there, and still entertaining people. You got new X-Files coming out, you go to a theater and can see T-2 again. How do you feel about that?

I feel fantastic about that. And I didn’t really make choices. Terminator 2 was a gift, and it came to me when I was a very struggling actor and the situation worked itself out where I got an opportunity to get in front of Mallie Finn that led me to get in front of James Cameron and Billy Idol getting injured and the fact that they created this vacuum and they were looking for somebody and I had the physical presence they were looking for. And what I did in the audition is what is in the movie, and I hadn’t even read the script yet and I was coming up with this stuff. There’s a lot of things that I can’t explain, that just sort of came together that allowed this to happen.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

As a result, I’ve had this wonderful career that I do look back on and go, ‘Jesus man, you’ve been lucky as hell.

You did The X-Files and you did The Sopranos and how you get The Sopranos was such an interesting thing,’ and how you got Cop Land, because I was doing this for Striptease and I was in New York and I happened to be at the right place and the right time and met Meryl Poster and she said ‘I want you to come meet James Mangold.’ It’s weird, I’m very, very thankful. It’s fun to see The X-Files is back. I wanted to stay with that show forever. I loved it. I loved playing John Doggett. [I was] crushed, devastated when Chris Carter said ‘it’s over.’ I was like, why? The ratings are good, what’s happening? You guys brought me to TV, I’m here, now you’re gonna tell me… I was devastated.

Are you going to sidle up to them at the premiere on Sunday [of Comic Con] maybe and remind them you’re still around?

[laughs] You know what, I am so busy, I have a show and I love this show that I do, Scorpion, and we’re in our fourth season. And I want to see it run for a long time. The kids I work with on that show, it’s a different show because it’s an ensemble. And I love doing it. It’s a great thing for me to be doing right now and in my hiatus I fill it up with a bunch of different stuff. I will leave you with this: because I am so busy, goddammit, I’m proud of being so busy.

I produced a film, Last Rampage, that’s out, it’s getting great reviews, I’m proud of it. It’s getting great reviews on video, on demand. It’s a true story. And that’s the kind of stuff I want to occupy myself with. I produced it, I starred in it, my brother did the soundtrack. And I’m going to look for more and more of those kinds of opportunities for me during my hiatus from Scorpion. I’m too goddamn busy!

Catch Robert Patrick on Lore which premieres today on Amazon Prime.

Hello!
My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.