Patrika Darbo is one of those approachable character actresses who fans constantly stop on the street to discuss their favorites of her many television and film roles. Now the actress who has entertained audiences for over 3 decades is Emmy nominated for Best Actress Short Form, a new Primetime Emmy category and her career is looking brighter than ever. Entertainment Scoop caught up with the vivacious red head for an exclusive Q & A before finding out if she will win the coveted gold statue.
ES: You are nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Best Actress in a short form comedy or drama for your role in the inter-net comedy series Acting Dead. Can you tell us a little bit about your role in this series and a little about the series itself?
PD: Right now it seems like zombie movies are all the rage and Acting Dead is a fun comedy series about an actor who can’t seem to book a job until he turns himself into a real zombie. The lead role is played by a wonderful actor named Brian Beacock and he is the creator of the series. I play his whacked out talent agent who is an ex-travel agent. My character’s name is Margot Mullen and let’s just say that she is less than professional.
ES: This is the first year the TV Academy is honoring “short form” for the Primetime Emmys. Can you tell us a little bit about the new category?
PD: It is great that they are having this new category. It is for projects that are 15 minutes in length or less. There are so many amazing and creative projects being done on the internet and the TV Academy is fully acknowledging this fact and honoring these wonderful projects.
ES: You are no stranger to Emmy nominations. In 2000 you were nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for your role as Nancy Wesley on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. What was your experience like working on Days of Our Lives and being nominated?
PD: I loved and fortunately I am still loving doing Days. I’ll be back on in November for a brief time. It was great going back after a long absence. It is like going to a family reunion. I have so many good friends at Days. Being nominated by my peers was an incredible honor. Your peers know how hard and challenging the work can be and when they acknowledge your hard work, it is so rewarding and humbling.
ES: Internet series are becoming very popular. Acting Dead is not the only series in which you have worked and been nominated for awards. In 2012 you were nominated for an Independent Series Award (ISA) for Best Guest Actress in Miss Behave and in 2015 for Best Guest Actress in The Bay. How do internet series differ from regular network series?
PD: Well, internet series are generally projects that are a labor of love. There is usually little or no money to speak of so you don’t get paid. You work for deferred pay and hope it makes money at some point. If it doesn’t make money, which is usually the norm, it is still worth it just to be working and creating. Getting nominated is just icing on the cake because you are already doing something that you love. The episodes of an internet series are generally shorter and a season may only be 5 to 10 episodes at the most.
ES: You have guest starred on such television shows as Devious Maids, The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, Dexter and you had a recurring role on Desperate Housewives. Did you have a favorite show out of these? Did you have any favorite actors that you worked with on any of these shows?
PD: I had a great time on all these show. It would be hard to pick a favorite show. That would also include not being able to pick a favorite actor or actress because so many of them were so nice, warm and inviting. I’ve been blessed to have worked with some great people on some great shows. The cast of The Big Bang Theory was wonderful as was the cast of Devious Maids. Eva Longoria was lovely to work with on Desperate Housewives and The Middle and Dexter were great sets too. I love them all and I am just honored to have worked on them.
Patrika Darbo In Acting Dead EP 1
ES: One of the most memorable lines in cinema history was uttered by a very famous actor about a character that you brilliantly portrayed towards the beginning of your career. We are going to say the line and we want you to tell us who said it and tell us about the line…”You shouldn’t have been from Minneapolis!”
PD: LOL! This movie is over 20 years old and I still get recognized on the street all the time for this role. It is from In The Line Of Fire. John Malkovich says the line just before he kills me and my roommate in a horribly vicious manner. He is a fabulous actor and I was so lucky to have worked with him. For me as an actor, he was mesmerizing on set. People are always telling me that I would still be alive if I hadn’t let him in and why was the dog tied up???
ES: You have a very prominent role in Speed 2: Cruise Control with Sandra Bullock. What was it like working on that big ship on the ocean in that film and what was it like working with Sandra Bullock, America’s Sweetheart?
PD: We had some rough seas on that film and the crew and actors got ill several times while shooting. I think I took seasick pills every 12 hours so I wouldn’t get sick Our staterooms were our dressing rooms and because of the rough waters we were virtually prisoners. Because we were shooting all over the ship we had to stay in our rooms if we weren’t shooting. With that being said, it still was a lot of fun with a great bunch of actors. Sandra was kind and sweet, as was Jason Patric and I am so lucky to have been locked on the Seabourn Legend with everyone. That was the name of the boat. When we finally got to stay on land, Sandra threw a beach party for the cast and crew. She is so genuine and down to earth.
ES: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil was a wonderful film where you played the nurse. It had so many great actors like Kevin Spacey, Jude Law and John Cusack. When you are cast in movies with great actors like them, does it make you feel like you have arrived in Hollywood?
PD: Clint Eastwood was very generous to give me with that role. I will always be grateful to him. I’m not sure if I’d say I felt as if I had arrived since I had been doing this for quite awhile, but it is always thrilling to be part of a big movie with major stars. I’m a character actor and I will, God willing be working for a long time to come. Yes, perhaps now I feel that I have arrived and I hope to keep traveling onward and upward to the next project.