Patrick Fabian is a face you’ve seen on TV many times before but never took the time to find out who he is on imdb. This week, the long time working actor finally gets his first starring role as con-artist preacher Cotton Marcus in the demonic horror movie The Last Exorcism, which recently won Best Feature, Actor, and Screenplay at After Day Film Festival 2010.
Screen Junkies: How did you get involved with The Last Exorcism?
Patrick Fabian: They had me come into the casting office for an audition, where it was all improvisation. The first person they had me paired up with was Ashley Bell (Nell in The Last Exorcism), we worked on a scene like in the movie, where I had to convince her to go see a doctor. Daniel, the director, liked it and asked me to comeback with a preacher’s sermon next, which he liked a whole lot. They saw a lot of people for the role of Cotton Marcus and I felt really honored getting the chance to play him.
SJ: What was it like working on the set in Louisiana with director Daniel Stamm ?
PF: I found out of what creature of habit I’ve become as a working actor. Regularly you have to get a scene down in less than five takes and with Daniel we would be shooting up 25 to 35 takes at a time. It really took me out of my comfort zone, where my ego would ask me, “Did I do that right?” But it created that type of environment that became necessary for making the film feel real.
SJ: What kind of research did you do to get into the role of preacher Cotton Marcus?
PF: For an actor to play a preacher it’s such a larger than life role, from having the confidence to get up and the hubris to tell people you have all the answers, so I watched a lot Jimmy Baker and other TV preachers, but a classic film called Elmer Gantry with Burt Lancaster showed a lot for me, what type of person Cotton Marcus is.
SJ: How do you feel about winning the recent Best Actor Award at After Dark Film Festival 2010?
PF: A real honor for a cliché working Joe like me. It’s funny, Eli Roth texted me this morning saying “Our first step towards the Oscars” with a big smiley face at the end. But it’s also really another cliché in that if it wasn’t for Daniel, Ashley, and our cinematographer Zoltan Honti in creating that atmosphere I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
SJ: What are some of your upcoming projects?
PF: “Big Love” Season 5 is about to start filming. With them you’re on call during the season. They’ll call you in a week before filming to come in. It will be great to be back for a 3rd season with them. I also a completed new Nickelodeon series called “Gigantic,” where I play a movie star Dad of all things and that will be on in October.