Pat Healy loves movies. He lives for them. It makes sense that he would carve his living out of the film industry in one way or another. Nowadays he spends most of his time as a screenwriter but you’ll recognize him from past acting performances in cult films like GhostWorld and Magnolia and now in one of his latest roles in Ti West’s The Innkeepers. He plays Luke, one of two front desk clerks holding down the fort at the Yankee Pedlar Inn in its last weekend of operation.
In honor of the release on The Innkeepers on DVD and Blu ray on Tuesday, April 24th we wanted to take a few moments to get nostalgic with Pat Healy about the beginnings of his lifelong obsession with the cinema. A bit of fore-warning, these questions might seem a bit disjointed, but they were taken from a broader interview wherein we spoke a lot about The Innkeepers, but for the purpose of this piece we stuck to some questions that fit more in line of the Strange Kids Club theme. Read Pat’s answers so you can answer the trivia question and have a shot at winning an awesome Innkeepers gatefold which includes a Blu ray copy of the film!
Do you remember your first experience watching a horror movie?
I do remember. Easily. It was the original The Blob. I didn’t make it through the first five minutes. As soon as the goo touches his hand, I bolted right up and ran out of the room. And ya know…I honestly can’t say I’ve ever finished watching it. I mean, obviously now as an adult I could do it, but I don’t think I’ve ever revisited it.
Do you have any early memories of other films that impacted you as a kid?
I can remember being 6 years old and watching One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and not having any idea that Jack Nicholson was an actor. I mean, it’s not like I had any grasp of what a documentary would’ve been either but it was a real thing to me, a real thing that ws happening. Then finding out that it was a movie, just a made-up story and this guy was acting, it just blew my mind. Granted I shouldn’t have seen that movie at 6 years old (chuckles), but I’m glad I did because I was just like “Wow, that is amazing!”
You and your brother, Jim Healy* both have a strong love for film. Where did this come from?
That’s a good question. They actually did a whole article on us in the Madison paper a few months back when I was there about this very thing. My parents are both very cultured people, they both worked corporate jobs but loved movies and music and literature and theater and all of these things and those were always in our house. My youngest brother and my oldest brother were always into music and Jim and I loved movies. My whole family loves movies, but Jim and I starting at a really young age, about the time I was 7 and he was 9, we were reading the Siskel & Ebert reviews in the paper and riding our bikes to the mall and taking a bus to the theater. We just loved them. And we were one of the first families in our town to have this thing called OnTV which was before cable television. We’d watch all the films there and then we’d watch everything on network television, sometimes with our parents there and sometimes alone. Then we started buying books about them and reading about them. I think at that point we both knew- I was primarily focused on acting, and I knew I wanted to make them and he knew he wanted to watch them and talk about them and discuss and present them. We’re both doing exactly what we knew we wanted to do when we were little kids. I don’t know too many people who can say that, but we’ve always known what we wanted to do and it’s really only been fairly recently that we realized that’s what happened. I don’t know what it is that’s so special about it to us, but it just got us at the right time. Maybe it’s just in our DNA, who knows?
*Note: Jim Healy is a former programmer of the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, current programmer of UW Cinematheque in Madison, WI.
You have been in some very well known films, namely GhostWorld and Magnolia. Do you get recognized a lot for those films?
It’s so funny because at the time that those films came out, everyone hated them. Not critically, but audiences hated them. Nobody went to see them. But over time they have become hugely popular and they are very important to people. And I am proud to be a part of them. I remember being at this one festival, and this one guy was wearing a Fight Club shirt, and we were talking about GhostWorld and Magnolia and I was thinking about that. At the time, no one cared, and now they’re so well known.
We want to thank Pat for his time while out on the road promoting his new film Compliance…and now… CONTEST TIME!
At what age did Pat watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for the first time?
The winner will be contacted by May 2nd! And don’t forget The Innkeepers is available on DVD and Blu ray Tuesday, April 24th!