Written and directed by Tyler Perry, Patrick Faucette plays the role of Tony Watson, the long lost father of Benny Young played by Tyler Lepley. His character creates quite a stir in the lives of the “have nots” with his renewed interest in the life of his son, it’s a point of conversation throughout the whole series including the mid-season finale! The network recently ordered 16 additional episodes due to the high ratings and great response from the audience. How cool is that for the drama lovers?! Patrick has also appeared in notable films and television shows such as: “The Office,” “Southland,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and “Cougar Town.” Patrick recently dropped in to connect with PSLoveCharli as we discussed his acting career, challenges, his role as Tony Watson in “The Haves and the Have Nots“, and future plans.
Charli >> Hi Patrick! When doing celebrity interviews, I always like to ask first, how did you get into acting? What led you to this successful career?
Patrick >> Well, my mom was a music teacher with a masters in music, so as a kid we, my brothers and sister and I, all had to take piano lessons. I hated the piano, but in my house, you had to play something. I bounced around from clarinet to violin to drums to the guitar and finally to the Bass Guitar. So I was a musician before being an actor. I played in a lot of bands in Jr. high school and high school. I went to Boston University on a football scholarship and majored in Physical Therapy. After college, I moved out to San Francisco with some friends from college and started practicing Physical Therapy. Some of my roommates majored in theater and after watching them in a few plays, I decided to take some acting classes and do some plays as well; I was hooked! I got an agent and started doing print work and commercials. Then I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue Film and Television. And here I am.
Charli >> Talk about your experiences on set of “The Office” (one of my favorite TV shows by the way), “Cougar Town”, “Southland”, and “Hot In Cleveland”.
Patrick >> When I first booked the job on “The Office”, I was really excited because I really loved the show too. When I got on the set and met Steve Carrel, Rain, and the rest of the cast, they acted just like they do on the show. It’s like they are those characters in real life. Hilarious! And while we were shooting, the cast is really working on the computers; checking bank accounts, looking up recipes etc… Super fun group. “Cougar Town” was fun because I got to play a little over the top. My scene was with Bobby Cobb played by Brian Van Holt. I’m playing a cop and I pull him over. In this episode, he’s telling everyone that his name is Ron Mexico and when he uses that name, everyone thinks it’s cool and he gets whatever he wants. When I pull him over and he tells me his name, I immediately want to hang out with him and I take him on a ride along to bust up a meth-lab. Funny stuff! With “Southland”, the cool thing is, they make everything authentic. They have real cop technical advisers telling you how to do stuff. Even the extras were real cops and retired crime scene photographers. It was the real deal! When I did “Hot in Cleveland”, it was the Pilot and it was the first scripted series for TV land so it was a really big deal. We did the table read in front of, what seemed like, every executive at the network. We rehearsed the show for a whole week, then we shot it in front of a live audience. The whole thing was a great experience. I also worked with John Schneider on that episode so it was cool to work with him again on “The Haves and Have Nots”. I was a big “Dukes of Hazard” fan.
Charli >> So awesome to be blessed with an exciting job! How has your acting discipline grown from the beginning until now? What have you learned the most?
Patrick >> At the beginning of my career, I depended a lot on my instincts. As I grew as an actor, and took more and more classes, I began to accumulate more tools to use to play more intricate characters. I tapped into my imagination more. I tapped into my own personal experiences. I study “interesting” people and to figure out what makes them so interesting; from their movement to their speech to their energy. I steal people’s traits all the time. I learned a lot in audition technique classes as well. Those classes help you put everything together so you can book the job.
Charli >> And now you’re on set of one of America’s newest drama series! “The Haves and the Have Nots”… Congrats on a getting a 2nd season! So awesome! Talk about your character, Tony. What made you audition for that role?
Patrick >> I play Tony Watson in “The Haves and the Have Nots”. Tony is introduced in episode 7 when Benny (Tyler Lepley) sets his mother Hanna (Crystal Fox) up on a blind date with a guy they know from church. Benny invites Tony over to cook his mother dinner. When his mother comes home from work she’s surprised to find Tony there. Benny leaves us alone to get to know each other. What he doesn’t know is that we have a history together. I’m actually Benny’s father. When my agent called me with the audition, it was a last minute thing. She called me late morning for an afternoon audition. It was a Friday and that evening my agent called me to let me know I booked it and Monday morning I was on a plane heading to Atlanta. The original role was just a one episode deal. It was just suppose to be a blind date Benny set up for his mom; that’s it. When I got there, Crystal Fox who plays Hanna, commented to Tyler Perry on how much I look like Tyler Lepley who plays Benny. After Hanna and I did our first scene together, I guess Mr Perry’s creative juices were flowing, he rewrote some of the first scene on the spot and made reference to me as Benny’s father. Then we improved the next scene and Mr Perry rewrote it over lunch and then we shot it. It was amazing to be part of that creative process. Then I flew back to LA for a couple of days then flew back to Atlanta for 2 more episodes.
Charli >> Ultimately, what does your character want?
Patrick >> Ultimately Tony wants to be a part of Benny’s life, and secretly I think he wants to be part of Hanna’s life as well.
Charli >> What has been your biggest challenge thus far?
Patrick >> My biggest challenge thus far has been the role of Tony Watson in “The Haves and the Have Nots”. For Mr. Perry to have the confidence in me to expand my role the way he did, was very exciting and very challenging at the same time. I had to come with my A game. I didn’t want to let him down after giving me this great opportunity. I think it went really well. Everyone was really excited about my character. I can’t wait to see what Mr. Perry has in store for Tony Watson in the next 16 episodes!
Charli >> Any other projects that you are working on besides “The Haves and the Have Nots”?
Patrick >> I’m involved in a project called Reborn that my friend Thomas Bell is producing and is written by Jaimyon Parker. It’s a series but it’s still in the early stages of development.
Charli >> Thanks so much Patrick! How can fans connect with you via social networking websites such as Facebook & Twitter?