Sullivan’s Crossing: Scott Patterson Talks Sully and Maggie’s Complicated Relationship, Finally Sharing the Screen With Chad Michael Murray

Scott Patterson returned to The CW this week with the series premiere of Sullivan’s Crossing, playing the role of Harry “Sully” Sullivan.

TV Fanatic got the chance to chat about the actor’s return to the network, the complicated dynamic between Sully and his daughter, Maggie, and finally getting to work with Chad Michael Murray.

Check out snippets of our chat below.

Returning to The CW

Patterson returned to the network after starring on Gilmore Girls and 90210.

The actor fondly remembers being on the network in 2006 while starring on Gilmore Girls when the network launched.

He says being part of the relaunch is interesting because he believes the network is not messing around now.

“They’re a big network getting respect now,” he noted, adding that The CW is now in many more homes.

“You can feel the difference, too. It feels like a weighty, large network now with real resources, so it’s very exciting to join them as Nexstar’s taking an ownership position.”

“It’s just a wonderful family to be a part of again, so I appreciate it.”

Patterson praised Sullivan’s Crossing showrunner Roma Roth because she made the series collaborative, asking his opinion on storylines and more.

“That’s never happened to me before. That’s kind of a rare thing in this business.”

He believes Roma is approachable because she gets to know everyone she works with.

“You’re a human being; you’re a real person with a brain and heart, and she wants to hear you.”

Working With Chad Michael Murray

Scott and Chad worked together on Gilmore Girls but never got to share the screen.

Now, they’re working together.

Scott always wanted to work with Chad, so hearing he would be a part of Sullivan’s Crossing made it easier for him to say yes to the show.

“We have a great working relationship. He’s a very talented guy, and what I love the most is that he knows how to be in front of the camera.”

“He’s very relaxed. He’s very confident and has a real ease in his approach to Cal, which is wonderful to work with and watch.”

“As actors in an ensemble, we all need to know our roles. We need to know what we’re being asked to do.”

“He understands what he’s being asked to do. A lot of people misinterpret what they are being asked to do and do something different.”

“They have to be told that’s not what you’re being asked to do, but he’s got a real emotional intelligence as a person, and he puts that into his work, so it’s great reconnecting with him and working with him.”

“I hope we get to do more and more scenes together.”

A Fractured Relationship Between a Father and Daughter

Patterson says his attraction to the show was the dynamic between Sully and Maggie.

“It was that estrangement and the potential of coming back together,” he shared, adding that the only way these two can find common ground is if they confront their own issues and deal with their own demons.

Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 Episode 1 showed just how far apart Sully and Maggie are, setting the stage for plenty of drama throughout the season.

I noted that Sully seems afraid to reconnect with his daughter and wondered whether he maybe felt like she abandoned him for the big city and whether he believes that there are some things he could have done better to maintain that father-daughter relationship.

“I think all of the above. At times, he did feel like she abandoned him.”

“He’s not willing to admit that he probably had something to do with the fracture of their relationship and the breakup of his marriage.”

The biggest shocker on the premiere found Maggie learning that she and the hospital were being sued for malpractice.

Before that revelation, Maggie believed returning home was a bad idea and was gearing up to leave, seemingly without saying goodbye.

“This is an emotional rollercoaster for both Maggie and Sullivan. When they come together, it’s combustible. When they’re apart, they’re exploding all by themselves.”

He believes this serves as the spine of the series.

Scott said the show will make all of the characters face their demons as Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 progresses.

“One of the show’s main themes is you’re watching these characters heal. They come to Sullivan’s Crossing to heal themselves or to have experiences that are going to force them to look in the mirror and say, ‘I need to make some changes.'”

The best part?

“They’re doing it as a community. They’re doing it as individuals within a community, and it’s very challenging,” he added.

“You need to go really deep on the emotional scale to portray these characters truthfully.”

“We’re really tired at the end of the day because we give everything of ourselves every day, and I think that’s translating on screen.”

“That’s why it’s so effective.”

“We’re like Mick Jagger. We’re stabbing ourselves in the heart and bleeding all over the stage for the audience.”

Scott says none of that would be possible without the supportive team and the safe environment.

Filming in Nova Scotia

I told Scott that the filming locations look picturesque on-screen.

“That’s what all of Nova Scotia looks like. It’s everywhere. I’m sitting here talking to you, looking out at the coastline,” he responded.

“It’s beautiful. All you have to do is drive around, and you realize it’s just prettier over here, and let’s drive another mile. Oh, it’s even prettier than the mile before.”

“Your breath just keeps getting taken away, and the people are wonderful. The food is wonderful. Everything is warm and welcoming.”

“Very decent people here, and they’re very friendly and considerate of one another.”

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“It’s just been a wonderful experience. It feels like you’re in a small European community where people just care, know each other, and care about each other. It’s been so wonderful so far.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Sullivan’s Crossing continues on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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