Although actor Robert Patrick enjoys a nice rapport with sci-fi fans these days, things haven’t always been so rosy. His joining The X-Files as FBI Special Agent John Doggett at the beginning of the eighth season in 2000 was due to the reduced role of David Duchovny, who played the highly popular role of Fox Mulder.
This was “during the early days of Internet message boards,” Patrick says. “My wife told me there were some people who were upset that I was doing The X-Files. They were saying, ‘You can’t replace David.’ ”
Patrick, who says he didn’t pay too much attention to the criticism, understands that TV viewers — especially sci-fi fans — are passionate about their favorite shows, but he believes that the anger over the situation was misguided.
“We weren’t even trying to replace David,” Patrick recalls. “We were creating a whole new character. The producers came to me and asked me to help them extend the life of the series.”
Patrick is one of several celebrities who will greet those passionate fans at this weekend’s Texas Frightmare Weekend, a horror and sci-fi expo at the Hyatt Regency DFW hotel. He is a regular on the convention circuit, where he gets a kick out of meeting, greeting and having his photo taken with fans.
“It’s delayed gratification and an acknowledgment of the work I’ve done over the years,” he says. “It’s fun talking with people who have been impacted by my work and hearing their stories about when they first saw this or that.”
Along with the John Doggett role, Patrick is well-known for his star turn as the liquid metal T-1000 shape shifter from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), where he battled the original Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although their characters fought onscreen, the men got along well during the shooting of the film, he divulges.
“Working with Arnold was terrific,” Patrick says. “He was very charismatic, had a very pleasant personality and was a lot of fun. He complimented the work I was doing and was very nice to me. I admire his ability to accomplish whatever he sets out to do. He was the top body builder in the world and proceeded to become the top actor in the world. Then he became the governor of California. He’s a man to be reckoned with.”
The “Governator” won’t be among the guests featured at Texas Frightmare Weekend. However, several other actors from the “Terminator” franchise, including Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor), Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese) and Earl Boen (Dr. Peter Silberman), will be there to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original film.
Texas Frightmare Weekend will also host celebrations of the 60th anniversary of The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), with Julie Adams and Ricou Browning in attendance, and the 15th anniversary of The Blair Witch Project (1999), with Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams.
Other featured guests include George Romero, the famed director responsible for Night of the Living Dead (1968), Tobin Bell, who played John Kramer/Jigsaw in the “Saw” films, and Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) and Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene) from The Walking Dead.
Texas Frightmare organizers say horror and heavy metal go hand in hand, explaining the inclusion of two shock rockers scheduled to appear at the convention: Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of KISS, and Dee Snyder, an actor and producer who is best known for fronting Twisted Sister.
Texas Frightmare will hardly be Patrick’s his first visit to the area. A devoted biker and humanitarian, he heads the Los Angeles chapter of the Fort Worth-based Boozefighters Motorcycle Club, which raises money to help children, veterans and the poor.
When he’s not biking or hanging out with his fans, Patrick keeps plenty busy at his day job.
“Right now I’m doing From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, the show that’s based on the movie,” he says. “I’m also filming the pilot for another new show called Scorpion, which is fantastic. I’ll be doing some episodes of True Blood and Sons of Anarchy, as well. I’m very excited.”