Interview: Poolboy Writer Ross Patterson

Who is Ross Patterson, you ask? That’s what I wanted to know. So when I was given the opportunity to pick apart the genius of writer Ross Patterson — also known in certain circles as Saint James St. James — I felt it was my duty to the world to explore the inner workings of his mind. And if you haven’t seen “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury”, then you should stop what you’re doing and immediately atone for your sins. I know for a fact that it’s available on Netflix streaming here in the States. If you have a subscription, it would seem you have no reason to pass this one by. Plus: Kevin Sorbo and Mark Curry. That’s too fly.

I’ve gotta know: What came first, Saint James St. James or Poolboy?

That’s a lot like asking if David Hasselhoff or Dolph Lundgren came first. Does anyone really know? Scholars will probably tell you Poolboy came first, but know one really knows for sure… except my dentist. He’s the only one I trust with my darkest secrets.

What inspired the character and the movie? Did one ever exist without the other?

Tommy Wiseau the director of “The Room” inspired my character. I became obsessed with his story after hearing David Cross talk about the film at a party one night. St. James is my imagination of what he would be like during the making of that film. I just pictured him having a lot of hubris… and hummus.

How hard was it to sell other people on the idea? Was it difficult getting it off the ground?

I felt like the Wright Brothers trying to get this off the ground. The concept was so wild, people couldn’t wrap their minds around it. And yes, I’m saying this film is as important to the world as the first flight.

Tell me a little bit about Garrett Brawith. How involved was he in the creation of the Poolboy universe?

I created and wrote the script, but he believed in the project and really wanted to direct it. He was probably the only one who wanted to do it. Well, him and Uwe Boll. But Uwe was busy killing reindeer in Antarctica at the time.

Kevin Sorbo in Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury (2011) Movie Image

At what point did Kevin Sorbo get involved with the project?

K Sorbs was who I envisioned the role for, but I really didn’t think it was possible. After Hercules, I wasn’t sure he wanted to play an “action hero from 1990”. He has a great sense of humor and he is a cool motherfucker though. So much so that I hired him to be in our next film FDR American Badass! that comes out in September.

Who knew Kevin Sorbo was such a funny guy? Was he comfortable with some of the film’s off-color humor? Were there things he would do?

“He loved it! He doesn’t take himself too seriously so he was down for anything. Even the credit sequence which is just him working out on a Bowflex for 3 minutes. That wasn’t originally in my script, I came up with it on set. He thought it was hilarious and he went with it.

The film is littered with cameos. How did you talk so many people into appearing in a film like Poolboy?

Most actors just want to do stuff that they normally never get to do, and this was definitely a movie that you literally get to do the craziest shit on the planet in, so surprisingly everybody wanted in. It was really cool.

Tell me a little bit about the production. What sort of budget did you work with? How long did you shoot?

The budget was about 18 dollars and 43 cents, which surprisingly we were able to spread out over a couple weeks to shoot.

Have you been happy with the film’s reception? Do you feel that most people get the flick’s sense of humor?

The reception has been crazy. People really seem to love it… or completely hate it. There definitely is no middle ground on this one. Some people don’t get why we made the worst film of all time on purpose. I think it’s the most important film of our generation… for stoners.

You have an obvious love of the action genre. What sort of movies influenced Poolboy?

Cobra. Double Trouble. Troll 2. Driving Miss Daisy. You know, the classics.

What other projects do you have in the works? Do any of them involve Saint James St. James?

IFC is turning St. James St. James into a tv show and we’re supposed to shoot the pilot later this summer which is rad. Movie wise we have FDR AMERICAN BADASS!(Sept. 24th), DARNELL DAWKINS MOUTH GUITAR LEGEND(Aug. 28th), and $50K AND A CALLGIRL, A LOVE STORY(due out in 2013).

Any hopes for a Poolboy sequel and/or prequel?

I’d kill to do a prequel and 17 sequels of Poolboy. I love this film and these characters so much.

What one thing do you hope people take away from the Poolboy experience?

If just one person watches the film and physically shits their pants, that would be the most satisfying thing for me as a filmmaker. The day someone sends me their soiled jeans stuffed inside a ziplock bag with a note that says “You win at life”, I’ll probably retire because their is nothing else left to achieve on this earth.

If that interview didn’t blow your mind, read my review of “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury”. Still not filling your shorts with excremental excitement? Then you need to check out the trailer embedded below. But know this: Your soul might not make it out alive.