Hollywood is constantly trying to crack the formula for a hit film, but, as Sean Patrick Flanery told Supanova TV host Bec during his trip to Adelaide earlier this month, it’s unlikely they’ll stumble across it anytime soon.
“If I knew [the recipe], I’d be a multi-billionaire,” Flanery said.
“You read the script and you think it’s amazing, but here’s the bad part about filmmaking; there are hundreds of people involved and anyone could screw it up, myself included.
“When magic happens, you can’t go back and recreate it. Everything on paper sounds good but every decision takes away from the script. One example is, if a script says, ‘The most beautiful man walks into the room.’ That’s a different casting choice for you to the next person. The films that everyone knows I’ve done are about 2% of the films I’ve made, and I’m not kidding when I say, some of my favourite scripts I have ever read never saw the light of day.
“There are so many wonderful variables that come into making a great film and then there’s a lot of times you can ruin a film with wrong casting choices or a director making a bizarre decision, or myself being a bad actor – there are a lot of things that can happen.”
The Boondock Saints, in which Flanery stars alongside The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus, has become a cult hit since its release 20 years ago.
“The fact that they cast two best friends, it was unheard of, but they didn’t know at the time,” Flanery said.
“And being one of my best friends, there was a certain chemistry there anyway, so maybe that’s something to apt into, but we had an absolute ball.”
Flanery joked that he has made a career from “movies that nobody has seen”, which is why he finds TV so exciting.
“When there is an opportunity to do a TV show where there are five million viewers a week, it’s kind of crazy. You know that the work you are doing is going to see the light of day and people will check it out.
“Getting the opportunity to be on Dexter was like, ‘People are going to watch this, it’s crazy!’
“But some of my favourite characters to play are the ones who are furthest removed from who I am, and I did a single episode of Criminal Minds, and the character was completely polar-opposite of who I am.
“And to become a character, it’s all in the writing and your imagination, I never had to go to a ‘dark place’ to play a certain character, I can imagine, and my body will react accordingly.”
Keep an eye out for the full Supanova TV episode!
Lead image: Sean Patrick Flanery at Supanova 2019 – Adelaide. Photo by Steven Yee.