Some of you may remember way back in September, we gave you the chance to submit questions to Alex Petrovitch, one of the mysterious men at the Listening Station at the end of the Season 2 Finale. Well finally I'm pleased to say that we now have permission from ABC to release this Interview (which was actually conducted last year).
This is my first ever interview (so please don't be too harsh with me!) and I tried to get as many of your questions in that I could. I hope you enjoy it and a massive thanks to Alex for being so cool.
The Alex Petrovitch Interview
How have you been?
Busy. I feel really bad about this. I’m not sure if you’ll mention it in the interview but my representation had received this interview and then the Powers that be were made it very clear that I lose all contact with anyone when it came to my character on Lost. Luckily everything has now been settled, so I’m fairly happy.
How did you get the role on Lost?
A mixture of luck and opportunity really. I grew up speaking Portuguese because my father is from Sao Paolo Brazil. LOST was looking for actors that could speak a foreign language. That was the opportunity part. The luck of the equation was hoping that they would pick Portuguese as the foreign language. At the audition, it was clear they weren’t certain who they were looking for. They had guys ranging from mid-20s into their 50s. And they had every different language you could imagine: Russian, German, Italian, Dutch.
How high would you rate appearing on LOST on a list of your accomplishments?
As far as acting career accomplishments, I’d have to say pretty high. I had an awesome time, and it has really opened doors for me. I am so grateful.
Were you a fan of the show before getting the role?
Actually I had never seen the show before. I knew it was a hit, but I don’t watch much television. Of course after booking the role, I netflix’ed every episode before shooting. I was hooked after that. a) How did you react to the script of your character? Even now we know nothing about your character – how is that dynamic for you as an actor?
Challenging. When you don’t know everything about your character, or if you don’t have all the answers to your questions, you have to fill them in for yourself. The most important part is to keep a high sense of purpose and urgency, high stakes, and with a script from LOST, it makes it easy. Bottom line, the best thing about LOST is its phenomenal writing. The script is awesome. There is always something going on, secrets being revealed, action, etc. In our scene, stuff happens really quick. That made it fun for us. The key to our scene was making the most out of such a short time. We wanted the scene to rock, to be a cliffhanger. So with each set of lines, you’ll notice something new happens, a new beat, a mini-discovery, nothing is wasted, no moments are dull. That is what makes LOST awesome. The script is always so powerful.
Where was the Listening Station sequence shot?
In Hawaii. Irony right? Shooting a scene that takes place in a really freakin cold place, yet we were in Hawaii. I wasn’t complaining. It was awesome.
How long did filming last and how many takes were involved?
Filming was fast. 3 days. Two travel days, and on the day of the shoot, my call time was at 430am. We were finished by Noon, and I took the rest of the day to try and pick up surfing. Pretty cool.
Do you know if you will be seen again on the show?
Hmmm….Let’s just say that the people at LOST is really good at tying up loose ends.
Which of the cast, apart from Len Cordova did you actually get to meet?
Jorge Garcia (Hurly). Absolutely the nicest guy ever.
Did the subtitles accurately portray what was spoken between you and Len Cordova?
You speak Portuguese when we see your character. Do you have a link with Naomi? Have you got a double function, one with Charles Widmore and one with Penny?
I really wish I could answer that question, but I can’t.
Well do you think that your role will get bigger in the future?
I hope it’s okay to say that I really want to see what happens to my character regardless.
How far in advance of filming were you given access to the scripts/scene info?
A couple of days before we shot we were given the scene. Because of the nature of the show, the producers are very tight about letting their scripts out. It was pretty cool. The scene I auditioned for was different from the shooting script, because they didn’t want too many people having access to the Season Finale Storyline. I never got the full episode, just what I was working on.
What was the reaction of family and friends to your role on LOST? Were any of them fans of the show before you got your role?
Actually, my family had not heard of the show because none of them are big television watchers. Obviously now, they are huge fans. It was especially cool for my Dad, since he is from Brazil, and here his son is on TV speaking Portuguese – a proud parent moment. All of our extended family in Sao Paolo loved it. Now everyone watches it.
Who is your favorite LOST character and why?
Don’t have one. It seems that in every other episode I tend to switch who I’m really into, who I’m rooting for, and who I want to see more of. As each storyline unfolds, I am just more curious to learn more. It’s all about satisfying viewer curiosity – and they are really good at that. I think that the next couple seasons are going to be intense.
So what’s next on the horizon?
I am playing a very secretive character in an on-line series that will be premiering this summer. It’s titled the Panda Chase that was created by two young up-and-coming producers (Will Lamborn and Sean Hackett). Sean is a buddy holly glasses Twilight Zone loving nerd and Will is amazing at creating thought provoking, Cohen-like moments.
Most people web projects sent to me are very MTV-ish or Soap-ish, but when I read this one it was like sharp 40 minute movie composed of 20 something scenes. I guess people plug their other work in these interviews, but when I first read it was eerily similar to something you’d see on Lost.
They aren’t letting me give too much away, but basically it’s a large action paced foot chase throughout Los Angeles, but the story starts in the middle and we have to put it together like a puzzle. Each episode is shot differently which sort of made me interested in the greater scheme of things.
About two minutes ago they showed me the final cut of the first episode and I got permission to show “the teaser” on her. I’m really excited to see what everyone has to think of it.
Notes on General Filming and Other Work
I’ve seen that you’ve been quite busy with a number of roles including the horror film “BLED”, in which you play “Eric”, the comedy “OFF THE LEDGE”, playing “Bob”, which also stars Brooke Anderson who worked on LOST, and the adventure story “PASSAGE TO ZARAHEMLA” in which you play “Hitch”. Can you tells us a little something about each of these roles and films for those who are not familiar with them?
Definitely. I have been quite fortunate in the last year or so since LOST aired. I shot the movie “BLED” this past spring, directed by Christopher Hutson, and produced by Jeffrey Allard, who produced “TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE” with Jessica Biel. It’s a movie about a bunch of artist friends hungry for success, who fall into a dangerous game, crossing paths into a dark Vampire underworld of lust and addiction. It’s a pretty sweet movie and I got to play a cool character, “Eric”, who is a womanizing, self-centered son-of-a-b*tch. Hahaha. Good times. It was great fun. It should be coming out towards the end of this year, or early next year. (www.bledmovie.com)
“OFF THE LEDGE” is an awesome movie about a bunch of people at a New Year’s Eve party, their crossing paths, and some good old sex and drugs to stir things up. Kind of a crazy mix of stuff going on – but it’s an awesome script. The director and star Brooke Anderson is amazing to work with. She rocks! I had a great time working on that production. I got to play a total pothead stoner – it was so much fun. (www.offtheledgemovie.com)
And “PASSAGE TO ZARAHEMLA” was different from anything that I have ever done. The character I played, “Hitch”, is a Hispanic, shaved head, gangster. To say the least, that was an interesting departure from my every day world. It has been in theaters since October, as a limited release in Utah. It goes into a wider release in Feb 2008. Check out www.passagetozarahemla.com for all the info.
What are the major differences in filming a TV show to that of a Movie?
Your commitment level is the same in terms of the acting work per se, (I’m always striving to do my best) but in my experience, since I haven’t yet been the series regular on a show, your attachment to a film project is much greater than in television. As a guest star in TV, you show up, you shoot your scene, then you go home. On a movie set, you work with the cast and crew for weeks, and during those weeks you are working really long hours, and you get to know one another at your best and worst. They become your family. Then there are the screenings, the premieres, and other promotional events that keep you involved with the project. It becomes a part of your life. It’s awesome. You are a lot more involved with the entire process. I still talk with the cast and crew from every project that I have worked on.
Is there any new work that you are currently involved with that you would like to tells us about, or any work that is currently in the pipeline?
I just finished a movie this past fall called “STORY”, produced by OMNI films, directed by Charles Kaufman (the nephew of Charlie Kaufman) about five different characters in Los Angeles. It’s a dark take on the Hollywood system. I play a character named “Spencer”, a cut-throat Talent Agent. We just wrapped production this past August, it should be getting out there sometime next year. (www.storythemovie.com)
I’ve see that you are working at both writing and producing, are these areas that interest you more that acting?
I would say that I’m interested in all parts of this industry. I like getting involved with great projects, and putting together talented, inspired people. So sometimes you are producing, sometimes you are writing, sometimes you are acting. That’s just the way it works. I like to be involved.
Please check out www.alexpetrovitch.com for more info and updates! Member of MySpace? Find me at www.myspace.com/alexpetrovitch