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Interview with Christian Slater of "Breaking In"
on FOX 3/30/11.
I really enjoyed this. Slater is a big star, but he
comes over as just a nice, regular guy. He's been in this business a
long time. I always enjoy any project he does because he doesn't choose
anything ordinary. I was very sad when "The Forgotten" was canceled, so
I'm glad he's found something else to do. My review of the show will be
coming soon, but it's very fun!!
FBC PUBLICITY: The Breaking In/Christian Slater Call
March 30, 2011/11:00 a.m. PDT
Todd Adair Ė Fox Publicity
Christian Slater Ė Oz, Breaking In
Moderator Welcome to the Breaking In Conference Call with Christian
Slater. At this time, all lines are in a listen-only mode. Later there
will be an opportunity for your questions and comments, and instructions
will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being
At this time, Iíd like to turn the conference over to our host, Todd
T. Adair Thanks for joining the call today. Christian, thanks for being
C. Slater Thanks for having me.
T. Adair Our new and last comedy of the season, Breaking In, premieres
on Wednesday, April 6th at 9:30/8:30 Central, following American Idol.
We have a seven episode run for this season, which will bring us through
May 18th. The show will be on after Idol for all seven weeks. We also
have a copy of the pilot episode available, so if anyone who is here on
the call today has not had a chance to watch it, please contact me after
the call and weíll sign you up for our online screening room or get you
a DVD copy. At this time, we can start the Q&A.
Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Curt Wagner with
C. Wagner I feel like Iíve sort of grown up with you. Name of the Rose
and the Legend of Billie Jean were two of my favorite movies in the
Ď80s. What I was wondering about this show is that it shows your great
comic timing and it almost feels sort of like itís you and not Ö
written, and I was wondering if thereís any kind of improv going on?
C. Slater Yes thereís definitely been a little bit of improv going on,
certainly. When I first got the script, the character of Oz hadnít been
really clearly identified. So when I sat down with Doug Robinson and
Seth Gordon and Adam Goldenberg [sic], we just started talking and came
up with ideas and I figured, you know what? Iíve got nothing to lose
here so why donít I just throw out some options and some things that I
would like to particularly do in a show and see what these guys think.
They ended up popping everything I kind of suggested into the script and
I read it and I was like, ďOh boy, okay, well this is pretty exciting.
If we can actually pull off getting the Captain Kirk chair in the show
that would be wondrous!Ē
C. Wagner I was going ask, was that Captain Kirk chair your idea?
Because I know youíre a fan.
C. Slater Yes, well a buddy of mine had gotten me the chairódid I say
Goldenberg or Goldberg? I donít know what I was thinking beforeóbut a
buddy of mine had gotten me that chair for a birthday present about a
year ago so it was really just sitting in my house and I really liked it
and I just thought this chair, I think, would represent, in a way, who
this Oz character is. He is definitely the captain of this particular
ship. It does have a throne-like quality and it also has a little bit of
a throwback-type quality as well. Iím a fairly eccentric character
myself and the fact that these guys were so open to hiring people and
including a lot of their own personal eccentricities into the characters
C. Wagner Bretís coming to town tomorrow here in Chicago. Give me some
C. Slater Some dirt on Bret? Lookóreally, honestlyóthere isnít that much
to say. Heís a pretty decent guy. I mean, we did get to fly up to the
Super Bowl together and we had a great time. What can I say? He was a
total gentleman and quite hilarious. You can ask him about the poker
game we played on the way back.
C. Wagner Good working with him?
C. Slater Really everybody involved has been a total dream. Iím really
having a great time. I mean, itís a great gig. Great people. I get to
wear shades and smoke a cigar and sit in the Kirk chair. I mean, life is
Moderator Okay, weíll move on to Joshua Maloney.
J. Maloney So, I guess in sort of a similar vein as the first caller, I
was just watching Kuffs the other day and the thought occurred to me
though that everything Iíve seen you in, youíve always been really just
entertaining. But itís not just that youíre entertaining, I mean youíre
alsoóyouíre a talented actor. I kind of almost think that you were maybe
a little bit underrated in this industry a little bit. Do you think that
youíre getting the roles and the parts and the offers these days that
you really should be getting?
C. Slater Thank you. Look, I mean my ego of course wants to say, ďYeah,
Iím the greatest actor who ever lived. Iím absolutely brilliant and I
should be doing everything thatís out there.Ē But Iím going to use this
show, hopefully, as an opportunity to exercise every kind of fantasy
that I can get away with on national television.
J. Maloney Again, speaking about the cast, itís really a good crew
youíre working with; some guys that really have some good TV work
underneath their belts. What continues to be appealing to you about
working on television?
C. Slater I like the consistency of it. I like the pace of it. With the
first two experiences I had, I really did respond well to the schedule.
Itís a very, very fast moving train. I donít like sitting around. I
really like to get in there and do the job and get it done and feel good
about it at the end of the day, and that pretty much seems to be the
vibe on all the sets that Iíve gotten to be a part of.
J. Maloney Finally, I mean you have to love the fact that youíre
following American Idol, I mean from a business standpoint it probably
doesnít get any better than that.
C. Slater Sure. No, no, absolutely. We are all very thrilled and
certainly happy with the support from FOX. Iíve been thinking about it a
little bit, I kind of feel a little bit like Goldilocks. I mean I tried
out the one bed, it didnít fit. I tried out the other bed, it didnít
fit. This bed here at FOX feels just right.
Moderator Next, we will go to Alice Nugentís line.
A. Nugent Now I was just wondering, what is it about the character Oz
that makes him tick? What attracted you to that character?
C. Slater Well, I do like the fact that he is an eight-moves ahead kind
of guy. You know, he pretty much knows what the outcomes are going to be
right from the get-go, which I really appreciated and I like. I think
itís nice to have characters like that on TV. It makes people feel safe
and comfortable. Even though itís a made up character it still, I think,
makes people feel safe that thereís somebody out there like that,
potentially. I like that heís in charge. I like that he likes to have
fun, that he doesnít really take things all that seriously and heís just
kind of a guyóa very mysterious guy, and thereís definitely a lot more
going on beneath the surface than heís revealing.
A. Nugent Will the pilot show how the company got started? How he got
into this line of work?
C. Slater I donít know if the pilot necessarily shows exactly how he got
started. He is at a particular moment of need. I like the fact that he
has the ability to kind of find these little diamonds in the rough, you
know these people with these great skills that arenít really using them
to their full and utmost potential. He picks these people, like
Cameronís character whoís a brilliant computer hacker and really gives
him the opportunity to kind of flourish and have fun and sort of point
his skills in a particular direction where they could have gone down a
darker path. Now heís getting the opportunity to break the law, legally.
A. Nugent Well, I understand there are a lot of pranks on the show. Do
you guys have some of that going on behind the scenes as well?
C. Slater Behind the scenes, not yet. So far there have been so many
pranks in front of the camera that itís been difficult to get things
going, but Iím sure over time we will certainly have a lot of fun with
each other. Iíve definitely had some good pranks in the past, on other
shows that Iíve done. I mean, one prank I pulled kind of lasted even
after the show was cancelled. Yes, about six months after, finally, the
person found out that they were being pranked.
Moderator Our next question comes from Melissa Hayer.
M. Hayer With all of the different projects youíve done, is there one
particularly special to you?
C. Slater I think so. Usually when Iím doing radio interviews, it always
reminds me of Pump Up the Volume. I loved that character. I had a great
time. It certainly was in the earlier portion of my career. I loved the
director and I loved Samantha Mathis, and I just felt that the story was
just very good and very rich and very emotional.
Moderator We have a question from Laurel Brown.
L. Brown In the past, and currently on Breaking In, youíve played a lot
of really morally ambiguous characters. What tends to draw you to roles
C. Slater I love characters with edge. I love characters that are a
little bit more dangerous, a little bit unpredictable. I think theyíre
just fun to play. Theyíre definitely more interesting than just your
standard, run-of-the-mill action-y type hero. I love just being these
guys that are a little offbeat and a little twisted, and just a little
L. Brown How do you view Oz as a person? What kind of person do you see
C. Slater I think he is definitely a guy who, at times, has to rule with
a bit of an iron fist because he is dealing with a large group of
misfits that heís assembled, but my personal feeling is that heís
definitely got a heart of gold. I think he loves everyone that heís
chosen to surround himself with.
L. Brown My final question would be: Is that really Captain Kirkís
C. Slater Yes, well whatís nice is that as a way to do some research for
this particular show, me and the gang all broke into the Smithsonian and
stole the real one. Yes, so the one that they have at the Smithsonian is
a replica now.
L. Brown Oh, thatís always good to know.
C. Slater Yes, we did a little replacement surgery there. It was very
Moderator Next, weíll go to Steve Eramoís line.
S. Eramo I wanted to find outómaybe if you can tell usóa little bit
about your experiences filming the pilot episode for Breaking In, and
perhaps some of the acting challenges you maybe found stepping into the
role at first?
C. Slater Well, filming the pilotólook, Seth Gordon is certainly a
wonderful director. I loved his movie, The King of Kong. I thought it
was a great documentary and he certainly gets story and building
characters. I found him to be an absolutely wonderful director. Itís
always adventurous and exciting working with new people, figuring out
how they work and how they like to do things, so itís a process.
I think weíve really fallen into a nice groove. I mean honestly, the
last four episodes that weíve done have been a pleasure. The directors
who have come in have been great. We had Fred Savage come in and direct.
I did a movie with him when I was 17 and I think he was about 12, so
itís just kind of amazing to see people grow up and take on these new
S. Eramo What would you say has made a career as an actor rewarding for
you so far?
C. Slater I think the opportunities to experience so many different
things. To get the opportunity to, quite honestly, travel; see things.
At times, I get the opportunities to go on USO tours where if I wasnít
in the position that Iím in I wouldnít have those chances to get to go
to Bahrain or Djibouti, or get to visit the Walter Reed Medical Center.
So having those kinds of experiences are quite remarkable and certainly
S. Eramo Did you always want to get into this industry while you were
growing up or did you have other professions in mind?
C. Slater I did not really get too many opportunities to think of other
professions. My mother talked to me about being a lawyer or a doctor,
that sort of thing, but at the same time, she was a casting director so
I was surrounded by actors. I would sit in her casting sessions when she
couldnít get a babysitter and Iíd have to sit there and watch actors do
auditions over and over again and my father was an actor, so pretty much
show business was something that was just kind of ingrained into me at a
very, very early age.
Moderator We have a question from Jenny Rarden.
J. Rarden Iíve seen the premiere and I really enjoyed it. You and Bret
Harrison, especially, are terrific. Although Alphonsoís character is
just the perfect prankster, I think.
C. Slater Oh, heís adorable. Heís adorable. Iím so happy and proud with
the work everybodyís been doing and Iím telling you it just gets
J. Rarden Well I canít wait to see more. Like Iíve said, Iíve seen the
pilot but Iím anxious to see the rest of them.
C. Slater Yes, it gets crazy. Thereís a lot more going on beneath the
surface as well.
J. Rarden Oz in Breaking In are different than a lot of your roles up
until now in that itís a comedy rather than a drama. What made you
decide you wanted to do this genre of TV?
C. Slater Well, Doug Robinson told me that heíd seen me do a few comedy
things. I did a bit on Curb Your Enthusiasm and I did something on The
Office and I was pretty much playing myself inówell I was, I was playing
a version of myself in those particular shows. This was an opportunity
to create a character from the ground up and really make somebody come
to life in a comedy-esque type fashion. It was something new, it was
something different. It was something that certainly feels more geared
towards my strengths and things that I really do enjoy doing.
I definitely prefer doing comedy. I think comedy is vital in our world.
I think itís very, very important and we need as many excuses to laugh
and be jolly at this particular time.
J. Rarden A lot of viewers are hesitant to start a new show, especially
when it premieres at kind of an odd time in the season. Youíve talked a
lot about it already, but can you give them a couple of good reasons to
C. Slater Itís the greatest show ever made. I mean, youíd be crazy not
to. Thereís two reasons right there.
Moderator Weíll move along to Suzanne Lanoueís line.
S. Lanoue I was wondering, is this the most extreme, zaniest thing
youíve ever done, would you say?
C. Slater I think so, certainly on screen or in this particular venue.
When I started my career I definitely did movies like Heathers, which
was certainly a black comedy and very, very twisted in a lot of ways.
So, in a certain respect this is a little bit of a nod and a wink to, I
think, some of the earlier things that I started off doing.
S. Lanoue Now, I think you said there were seven episodes?
C. Slater There will be a total of seven. Weíve done the pilot and four
S. Lanoue Do you think weíll see a bit more character development of all
the different characters over those seven episodes?
C. Slater Oh my goodness, yes, certainly a lot more insight into each
one of these people and a deeper understanding. One of the things I
really like about Adamís concept with this particular show, itís very
much like Star Trek. They had a five-year mission to explore strange new
worlds. Oz has a five-year plan and heís hired each of these people for
very specific reasons.
S. Lanoue Well youíre a big science fiction fan, I gather, so do you
thinkówill you be going to Comic-Con this year?
C. Slater Iím going toótheyíre doing somethingó
T. Adair WonderCon
C. Slater WonderCon on Sunday, I think, in San Francisco so Iím going to
WonderCon at this point. As far as going to specifically Comic-Con I
donít know if the schedule will permit it.
Moderator Next, weíll go to Joe Hummel.
J. Hummel I wanted to ask youóbecause of a lot of your roles, the public
sees you as a dangerous, cool guy with a shady past. I know itís a role
but thatís how we always see you. Can you tell us anything about
yourself that would totally surprise or shock any Christian Slater fans?
C. Slater Iíve pretty much gone from a ďbad boyĒ to a ďdad boy.Ē
Somebody came up with that one yesterday and I really liked it. ďDad
boyĒ is definitely more a fitting moniker for me. I mean Iím going to
LEGOLAND on Thursday to check out the new Star Wars exhibit they have
there. Iím not going just myself, of course, Iím taking my son.
J. Hummel Okay, so your sonís your excuse for going?
C. Slater There you go.
J. Hummel I wanted to ask one thing, in the closing shot of the pilot,
next to the Captain Kirk chair, I saw this old book. Is that on purpose
and/or what is that?
C. Slater Well that is a bookóit was a prop that I stole from The Name
of the Rose so we figured thereís a good spot for it, so we might as
well put it in there and more will be revealed. A lot of the pages on
that are very much like they were in the movie. Theyíve all beenóitís
got that poison ink on it.
Moderator We have a question from Lance Carter.
L. Carter What would be your advice to actors?
C. Slater I think not taking yourself too seriously is vital. This is a
job; itís a gig. Building a life outside of the business is
extraordinarily important. It canít all just be about this business.
Moderator Next, we will go to Stephanie Hollandís line.
S. Holland So Iím wondering, Oz is such a man of mystery to the rest of
us. Have you been clued in on his past and what heís really all about?
C. Slater Well, yes, very kindly Adam has certainly sat me down and
exposed me to Ozís timeline, which of course, makes it a lot easier for
me to understand the character and see the direction heís going in. Now,
of course he made me swear to secrecy about it all so I canít say
anything really about Ozís true past but it certainly gripped me and I
found it very interesting. The guy whoís going to end up playing his
father is pretty phenomenal.
S. Holland Working with actors like Bret and Alphonso, did you feel that
you had to, sort of, raise your game when it came to your comedy skills?
C. Slater Yes, definitely. I definitely felt like they were setting the
bar very, very high and if I didnít show up and be as prepared as I
could possibly be then I would definitely fall behind with the timing
and the comic genius that they possess.
Moderator We have time for one final question today and that will come
from Reg Seeton.
R. Seeton How do you relate to all the high-tech security elements in
the show? Like, are you a tech-type of guy in real life?
C. Slater I do love the tech stuff. I enjoy the iPad. Iíve got the
iPhone. Iíve got a Mini Mac hooked up to my TV. Iíve got the Xbox. Iíve
got the PlayStation. Iíve got the Wii. I mean, Iím insanely techie and I
love to play all that stuff with my kids.
R. Seeton As you get older, what do you like most about the roles that
you receive now, as compared to early days?
C. Slater Well, itís funny. I mean Iím now the boss, which is very
interesting. For me, to kind ofóhave been around long enough to get the
opportunity to be the guy who can actually appropriately sit in the
captainís chair is quite shocking, but I guess thatís just what happens
when you keep breathing.
R. Seeton Can we expect any Pump Up the Volume references in the show?
C. Slater Yes, definitely. Thereíll beóas many references as we can
throw in. As many references as Adam Goldberg is comfortable throwing
in. Weíre certainly willing to take those chances and kind ofóhopefully
not overdo it but keep a nice, fine balance.
Moderator Mr. Adair, did you have any concluding remarks?
T. Adair Thank you again for everyone who asked questions and listened
in this afternoon. Once again, Breaking In premieres its first of seven
spring episodes Wednesday, April 6th, 9:30/8:30 Central, following
Christian, thanks again for your time.
FOX Breaking In "Pilot"
COPYING. FILING. HACKING. JUST A TYPICAL DAY AT THE
OFFICE IN THE SERIES PREMIERE OF ďBREAKING INĒ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, ON
FOX WED APR 6 9:30/8:30c
Contra Security, a high-tech security firm that takes extreme Ė and
often questionable Ė measures to sell its protection services is
corporate Americaís answer to ďThe A-Team,Ē giving clients a sense of
security by first ripping it away. In the opener, Contraís man of
mystery owner OZ blackmails his newest recruit, computer hacker Cameron
to join his team. Cameron quickly learns that cracking into
state-of-the-art security systems is a lot easier than dealing with his
co-workers including the alluring Melanie, prank-pulling Cash and
competitive Josh in ďPilot,Ē the series premiere episode of BREAKING IN
airing Wednesday, Apr 6 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
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