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Headshot of Scott Patterson, well known for his role as Luke Danes in Gimore Girls. (Provided by Scott Patterson)

Q&A: Scott Patterson talks ‘Gilmore Girls,’ baseball, music and more

Scott Patterson has made waves throughout the entertainment industry as an actor, musician and more

Though he is most known for his role as Luke Danes in Gilmore Girls, Patterson has also had notable roles in films, like the Saw franchise, and television programs, like The Event

Aside from his acting career, Patterson pursued his love of music with his band, Scott Patterson’s SMITHRADIO, and had a professional baseball career.

Now, Patterson is the president and CEO of his own coffee company, Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, which develops and sources high quality coffee blends from all around the world, all while creating jobs and working to be environmentally conscious.

Scott Patterson answered questions from The Post through email to talk about Gilmore Girls, baseball and more:

The Post: How did you get into acting?

Patterson: I saw Altered States in 1981 and was hooked. I had just started my baseball career but the seed was planted. In 1988 I was in Sardinia and ran into an American couple who lived in NYC and they both studied acting. I actually lived with them for a bit when I moved to NYC and entered their acting class on the upper west side. The rest, as they say, is history lol.

P: What led you to Gilmore Girls?

Patterson: Just my normal rounds of audition during yet another busy pilot season. I prepped well, went in, nailed it, left. Second audition of the day out of three and had to hustle to get across town to teach my very popular acting class. I am always busy.

P: What was the most memorable moment from your time on Gilmore Girls?

Patterson: Walking across the street avoiding all those bicycle riders racing in Stars Hollow. I thought I was going to die and they didn’t even pay me any extra stunt pay. That was not something I should have done. I’m a sucker.

P: Working in a film franchise like Saw is a huge departure from some of your other roles. What was that experience like and what did you take away from it?

Patterson: It was a chance to take over a top rated film franchise and gain a new audience. They offered a three-picture deal and I accepted because I was interested in playing an FBI profiler. Hadn’t done that before. Acting is acting and the director on the first one gave me the freedom to block my own scenes because he realized I knew what I was doing. My sole aim on set is to make any scene as good as it can be and I do not care where the ideas come from. You have to stay open. Sometimes you can get ideas from unlikely sources if you are open to them. Love the collaboration and the discovery of it all.

P: A lot of people probably don’t know you were a baseball player. What was that experience like?

Patterson: I was always very gifted as a ball player but was not a rah-rah type, itching to win all the time. It always seemed to me that the focus on winning destroyed the fun of playing. It’s a game and we are kids playing this game, so let it be fun. Adults were always ruining it by yelling and killing all the fun. That’s how I perceived it growing up. In high school I was treated like the Second Coming as a freshman and I did not like that kind of attention. I just wanted to play and have fun and I did not believe my coach when he compared me to some of the all-time greats. I thought him nuts and I did not understand why he was saying these things to me. After my sophomore year I walked away from all the BS and buried myself in my studies. 

My first year in college I was having a catch with my roommate and he was stunned at my ability to throw missiles on a line from 75 yards. He convinced me to get back into it, and long story short, I ended up getting drafted three times, eventually signing with the Atlanta Braves. Played seven years –- loved it for five, hated it for two. Learned how to win consistently as a pro year two, which was a game changer for me. Then Atlanta traded me to the NY Yankees and that was it for me. Wrong team, wrong culture for me. Suffocating and really just a fear club. Rubbed me the wrong way all the time. Was so happy to become a free agent lol. I played the game for the joy and the artistry of it. The rest of it was b------- to me -– the politics, the insane emphasis on winning and the pressure applied to achieve that end in my mind is counter-productive and misses the point of participating in that game in the first place. I see no need for managers or coaches. Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Brian Snitker I’d enjoy playing for but for the most part players can regulate themselves, teach each other and bond as a group without rules or older men constantly getting in your face. It was obnoxious and I do not miss it. 

P: What led you from baseball to acting?

Patterson: Acting offered the chance to learn a set of skills and to keep improving those skills over time. Acting is a skill set. It’s technique. It’s acquired over a period of time. I find that interesting. I also love to plum the depths of character and to attempt to put together the rubik’s cube of each project I take on.

P: What prompted you to keep the Luke Danes tradition and create your own brand of coffee?

Patterson: The desire to start and own my own company built it up over time. I’m a very disciplined person and I love a challenge, so this checked all the boxes. Being a CEO of a startup coffee company is mostly about putting out fires daily, managing capital and risk, investing in growth, etc. Love it. It’s like owning a stock that I am 100% responsible for strengthening every minute. I have a great team and that helps. We are expanding so it’s a ton of work but work never scared me. I thrive on it. Just ask my wife. We are also branching out into a different yet related space that I will announce soon. 

P: Tell me about your musical ventures. How did you get into music?

Patterson: I picked up guitar very young, was in a band from second grade through high school, but two band members did not want to keep at it and that was that. Dream over. But I always wrote songs. Have 600 of them now. Mostly they suck but I did unearth a few gems. I then started a new writing phase in 2015 and wrote better and better songs. I was fishing in the song ocean and catching some big ones. I was surprised and delighted. The gods were handing me great songs so I rode that wave for a few years. Put a band together in 2016, rehearsed, cut an EP and “HAHA SONG” debuted at #1 on the iTunes Indie Rock Top 100 Chart in November 2017 and stayed at #1 for three weeks. Rinse, repeat with “FORGOTTEN HERO.” 

Phone started to ring immediately but ultimately didn’t get a record deal, can’t do that business without big support. I put together my own acoustic tour summer 2017 and sold out 27 shows in 48 hours in 7 states. Could have kept going for a year or two as we were booking gigs like crazy, but after 20 days and 27 shows I missed my son so badly I ended the tour and flew home. He was three at the time and I was missing his life. I grew up that way so was not going to be that guy. Plus I’d been on the road for decades and had finally become tired of it. Big decision but it was the right one. Nick and I are thick as thieves and every moment with him is magic. I gig occasionally and still write a little. I’ll be collaborating with a fella who I recorded the EP with and we will do a few songs. Love it still but love my boy a hell of a lot more.

P: What is the most helpful advice you could give to your fans and people in your life?

Patterson: To discover and develop their particular talents. We all have them. It’s just a matter of figuring out what yours are and honing them. We are all imbued. Take the time to find out what your jam is. It can make your life happen in ways that will surprise you. 

Another piece of advice that will seem like it’s out of left field is this - learn how to identify sociopaths. There are more of them out there than people realize and they create a lot of damage to people and businesses. Learn to identify them and avoid them at all cost. 

I want to leave this on a positive note. Believe in yourself and do not let anyone tell you you can’t do something… Acting has given me everything I wanted in life and then some. Stay open, and when you find your jam work hard and keep the faith. If you love it then that is your success. Peace.


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