Scott Patterson on What Attracted Him to ‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ and What He Wants ‘More’ Of

Scott Patterson has been here before—not on Sullivan’s Crossing—but on The CW and on a small town show with beautiful scenery, people, and storylines.

“Lightning has struck again and that doesn’t really happen in this business,” he said, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to appear as a core character in a series he describes as “an accurate depiction of real life set in a sort of fancy surrounding.

“If you’re gonna put people through this emotional roller coaster, just put them in a nice place” he joked, though, that’s literally the winning formula to every small town drama—and why mess with something that works?

When asked about what attracts him to small-town shows, and specifically, this script, Patterson let out a hearty laugh before throwing his support fully behind the executive producer of Sullivan’s Crossing and Virgin River, Roma Roth, along with the character he’s bringing to life—Harry “Sully” Sullivan.

While the series—which first aired in Canada earlier in the year and made its way to the U.S. this October—is based on the books by Robyn Carr, Patterson was actually drawn to the role because it was “wide open.”

“It was laid at my feet by Roma Roth and she said, create a character here,” he explained in an exclusive interview with CraveYouTV. She asked if he was going to read the books, but he firmly stated he wouldn’t because he didn’t want to “be influenced by them,” noting that since this was a work of fiction, he wanted to create his own and was glad that he got the “leeway.”

“It’s just such a pleasure to play such a rich, deep character with so many sides to him and so much to deal with and so much to come to terms with,” he said of Sully. 

While getting to create the character was the “primary driver” in signing on for the series, he was also hooked after reading the script as it was “a chance to show another side of what I can do as an actor.”

“It scared me because it was so raw and it was so deep and I thought, well, you know, if you think you’re an actor of any weight, these are the challenges that you have to take on. And this is the only way you’re gonna grow as an artist. So I said ‘yes.’ And I haven’t looked back, and it’s been the best creative experience of my life.”

And don’t let the captivating scenery fool you as the drama tackles plenty of hard-hitting issues, with Sully’s character being someone that’s very relatable to the everyday person tuning in. 

The campground he owns has been in the family since the late 1800s, Patterson explained, but it’s also a place that, as he puts it, “created wonderful tension” when it came to everyday worries like Sully’s inability to pay the bills, the fear that they might lose a place that’s been “passed down through every generation,” or even “predatory land developers.”

“These are things that a lot of people experience,” he stated, adding, “I think a lot of people relate to this character and relate to this storyline because a lot of people have been in that position in one form or another.”

“Everybody’s had trouble paying bills at one time or another, everybody’s had struggles with their personal needs,” he said, posing the question, “And how do you overcome them?”

Another issue at the core of the series is Patterson’s fractured and strained relationship with his now adult daughter, Maggie (Morgan Kohan), a neurosurgeon in Boston who returns to her hometown after running into legal trouble. 

Sullivan’s Crossing — Image Number: SUL101_DSC09984 — Pictured (L-R): Scott Patterson as Sully Sullivan and Morgan Kohan as Maggie Sullivan — Photo: Fremantle — © 2023 Fremantle. All Rights Reserved.

It’s a storyline he thinks “really hooked an audience” and is relatable even if people “haven’t personally been through it, they know people have been through it.”

“I don’t know that there’s a stronger magnetic storyline that one can come up with other than family estrangement and healing and wrestling with our demons in order to come back together and form some kind of a memorandum of understanding of the heart, if you will, and to be on a platform where you can begin mending your relationship with [a loved one],” he explained.

The road to finding common ground and healing won’t be easy, however, and it’s one Sully doesn’t expect when Maggie first arrives in town, with Patterson stating that Sully is “operating from a position of fear so he goes into protective mode and a hard shell of armor to protect himself from being hurt yet again.”

The fact that his character can be “vulnerable without showing vulnerability” is “an example of really good writing,” he noted, underscoring that the cast takes “great care in crafting these emotional scenes” and “striking the right balance” so they aren’t overplaying or underplaying them. 

Mending wounds as deep as the estrangement between Sully and Maggie isn’t going to be easy, nor will it happen overnight,  with Patterson revealing that he doesn’t “want it to change too much right away” and joking that they can “milk that cow.”

“The real risk here is what happens after they heal. What happens after it’s all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, right?  Where do you go from there? So you wanna sort of dangle the carrot, but you don’t necessarily want people to eat it. Because audiences think they know what they want, but once they get it, and if they get it too soon, it’s not necessarily a positive thing,” he quipped. 

In fact, he said his “other show” (Gilmore Girls, FYI) did a “genius thing” by dragging out the relationship between Luke and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) for “four years,” even suggesting it could’ve gone longer to keep people wanting more. 

The same can happen on Sullivan’s Crossing with his relationship with his daughter, Patterson believes, explaining that it reflects reality—”that’s how life is anyway, it doesn’t happen all at once.”

Patterson also reunited with Chad Michael Murray, who plays Cal, Sully’s employee who lends a hand around the campground and shows an interest in Maggie when she arrives in town. Though the two Gilmore Girls alums never shared any scenes together on the “indie film” (Patterson truly has a wonderful sense of humor), he expressed joy finally getting to work with him, declaring that his mantra (and that of every millennial woman’s who once obsessed over One Tree Hill) is “more Chad.”

Sullivan’s Crossing — “Detours” — Image Number: SUL103_0006r — Pictured (L-R): Chad Michael Murray as Cal Jones and Scott Patterson as Harry Sullivan — Photo: Michael Tompkins/Fremantle — © 2023 Fremantle. All Rights Reserved.

In fact, he didn’t hold back about his fondness of Murray, noting, “I love our scenes together. I want more scenes together. That’s my primary note to Roma, is to give me more Chad.”

“I love the guy and I love working with him and I think he’s a great actor, and I just want more and more,” he said before adding that he “likes creating with him” and calling him a “true artist.”

On a serious note, he does think about Cal and Sully’s storyline and “where that could go and what potential that has.”

Patterson summed up his thoughts about Sullivan’s Crossing as a show where audiences get “to watch everybody work their way through [complex issues] and hopefully not make a mess of the whole thing. But I think at times we will,” before concluding that there’s “beauty in the mess.”

Sullivan’s Crossing airs on Wednesday nights on The CW

The post Scott Patterson on What Attracted Him to ‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ and What He Wants ‘More’ Of appeared first on CraveYouTV TV Show Recaps, Reviews, Spoilers, Interviews.

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