Patrick John Flueger is taking a break from keeping the streets safe on Chicago P.D. and embarking on an unforgettable road trip. He’s one of the stars of Loaded, a new film which arrives digitally and on demand next Tuesday, March 24, and sat down with us on Friday to discuss the adventure.
In Loaded, a trio of estranged friends – played by Flueger, Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, Archer) and Andrew W. Walker (Wedding Planner Mystery) – are reunited because one of them needs to be moved back home to enter rehab. Needless to say, it’s only a matter of time before skeletons come out of the closet and ill-advised choices are made in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, never quite predictable movie.
“It seemed like a fun film to do,” Patrick told us. “I liked the character, being able to play the straight guy. At that point, I’d played a couple bad guys in a row.
“Also, Andrew W. Walker’s a buddy of mine,” he continued, “so the opportunity to work with a friend was nice, and Kumail Nanjiani is a guy whose stand-up I’ve liked since before we started filming.”
Another selling point was the enthusiasm of director and writer Chris Zonnas. “Chris, when he spoke about the film, he was clearly passionate about it,” Patrick said. “It was very infectious. It was hard to not be on board after hearing him talk about what he wanted to do.”
Loaded rests on the audience’s belief that the main characters have known each other forever, and it’s that history and chemistry that separates it from your ordinary road trip buddy flick. How did the three actors come together to create the perception that they’d been old friends? Lots of practice.
“We had about a week of rehearsals, which I think were imperative and really helped the movie turn out the way that it did,” Patrick said, pointing out that some of the film is improvised, “and just kind of us playing off of one another and having as much fun with it as we possibly could.”
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that what sticks about the project is the journey, rather than specific happenings. “[It’s] just the arc of the film, us starting where we start and ending up where we end, and that all takes place over not a very long period of time,” Patrick said.
“We get after each other a lot, especially Kumail and Andrew’s characters, they’re pretty tough on one another. But I think that when you have that kind of history, it’s easier to do that without things cutting quite so deep,” he continued. “I think they’re all better for the small period of time that they spend together.”
It’s certainly a departure from his day job as Officer Adam Ruzek on NBC’s Chicago P.D., the Chicago Fire spin-off that’s currently airing its second season.
“On our show, I’m the guy in Intelligence that isn’t quite so affected by everything, and thinks that kicking down the door and running in guns blazing is more fun than it is a job, even though he recognizes how dangerous it is,” he explained. “In Loaded, I’m not having a very good time – until I meet the girl and then suddenly the trip starts turning around for me!”
For us, the film represents an opportunity to check out this noteworthy actor in a different light. Flueger’s been good for a long time (it’s been almost a decade since he stole the show as Shawn Farrell in USA’s The 4400), but he hasn’t always gotten the chance to show the full range of his ability. Loaded lets him play a little bit of everything. If you think you know him from Chicago P.D., prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
For Patrick, whose own favorite films include Whiplash and Locke, it was something he chose for the simplest and most fundamental of reasons – appreciation of the project and enjoyment of working with the people he was with. He loved making this film as much as you’ll love watching it. “I’m just looking for jobs that are inspiring,” he reflected, “and I was lucky enough that they gave this one to me.”
Loaded premieres March 24 from MarVista Digital Entertainment, exclusively on digital platforms and on demand. For more information on the film, visit its official website.
(c)2015 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.