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10 THINGS – Patrick Heusinger

You’ve been in the business for quite some time. When did you realize that you wanted to be a performer and how did you get your start?

It was 1996 in Jacksonville, FL. It was the summer musical at the local school of the arts. Anyone that auditioned was allowed to be on stage. I think there were 150 people in this production of Annie Get Your Gun. I hadn’t even gone through my growth spurt and I played Act I Scene 1/Scene 3 “Little Boy.” I had three lines and a very active imagination. I loved how I could transport myself to a different place onstage and convince people to believe I was there. It was electric. After the first performance, I was walking back to the car with my mom and I told her “I’m gonna do this for the rest of my life.” She looked at me in the parking lot and, naturally, started laughing.

Pretty impressive to be a graduate of Juilliard. In your estimation, how did having this experience help shape your career?

The Juilliard School is an extraordinary place to get an education. The tools I learned in the classroom setting are irreplaceable and I was taught many lessons that have proved to be lifelong. But, the real treat was outside of the classroom. NYC was my campus and I was surrounded by extraordinary talent at every turn in the hallway. Violinists, dancer, singers… all the best of the best. Young, creative energy exploding out of every mind. I remember walking out of a class on masks one day and watching Itzhak Perlman, one of the greatest violinists in history, teach a room of young high school violinists. It was mesmerizing.

Throughout your career, you’ve played a variety of characters. What type of roles are you normally drawn to?

I love the psychological journey. I really enjoy playing characters that have been scarred or traumatized. I love playing off-beat people. I love playing characters that have the opportunity to take audiences on a psychological journey. I especially love playing characters that are not well-represented in the real world.

Currently, you’re on Amazon’s Absentia. How did you first hear of the series and what made you want to jump on board?

My manager, agents and I found out through the casting director Susie Farris. I had auditioned for her many times, but I’d never booked a job through her office. She thought I’d be right and sent the script in my direction. I jumped on board for the director Oded Ruskin. He’s an Israeli director that had found success with his first crime thriller in Israel called False Flag. I watched it’s entire first season in one sitting and I knew I needed to work with him.

On the series, you play the role of Nick Durand. What can you tell us about his personality?

Nick is an introvert who has had a series of psychological traumas and has barely managed to put the pieces of his life back together when our story begins. He’s fragile and cautious. Loving and sensitive. He lives for his family.

This is the first season of Absentia. What can viewers expect to see this season?

A very binge-able, fun show in the tenor of The Killing and Homeland. It’s a crime thriller with cliffhangers at every corner, but will answer all of the most appealing questions by season’s end.

The landscape of television has changed dramatically just in the last few years. You’re part of a network that allows the audience to binge a show, as opposed to the watching it in a traditional way. How have you been able to connect to the audience and taking part in their reaction to character development and various sequences of the show?

Honestly, that’s not really my purview. I think with art, it’s always good to pour your heart and soul into the creative process and then allow an audience to have their reactions. The show belongs to them now.

If you weren’t working as an actor, what type of career could you see yourself in?

I’m really not sure. I haven’t thought much about it. Off the top of my head, I’d love to be a travel writer. You know, Bill Bryson style.

When it comes to fashion, which designers have the styles and aesthetics that appeal to you most?

I’m currently in the learning process of my fashion education. I don’t know much about it. I tend to stick to my working class roots. Today, I’m wearing my “uniform.” Levi’s, Red Wing boots, a no print t-shirt and a hoodie. I look like a construction worker and I love it.

We look forward to seeing how things will develop on Amazon’s Absentia. What other projects do you have coming up in the near future?

For the first time in my life, I have time and the opportunity to travel. Acting projects have been on hold and “life-education-catch-up” phase is a full-steam go. There’s so many places to see and so little time!


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