Sean Patrick Thomas Talks “The Curse Of La Llorona” & More!
Ageless actor Sean Patrick Thomas has quietly put together an impressive career sprinkled with steady TV checks and a role in the very successful “Barbershop” franchise. Beloved for his star turn in “Save The Last Dance,” the now 47-year-old (YES, FOR-TEE-SEV-EN) husband and father serves as a shining example of Hollywood longevity who chatted with us about his return to Horror in “The Curse Of La Llorona,” staying youthful at almost 50 and much, much more.
How did you get involved with the project? What drew you to the character you play?
“I read the script and told my representation that I definitely wanted to audition for the role. I just loved the script, really, that initially was my first attraction to it and I had never heard of the La Llorona myth so that was also something that was intriguing to me”
You’re a family man now. How did that make you feel about the whole La Llorona legend?
“Well, you definitely look at it differently as a father, for sure, because you understand the stakes are through the roof when somebody is coming after your babies–you know what I mean? So I think that’s what everybody can connect to when watching the film is that.. it’s one thing to be running for your life but when you’re fighting for your children’s lives that’s a whole other deal and that’s what roots the entire movie emotionally”
What did you think seeing yourself in the midst of all this scary [La Llorona] chaos?
“It was weird for me to watch it and have sympathy for what [the mother whose kids are haunted] is going through as an audience member but as a character while I’m doing it I’m just looking at her like she’s a lunatic. And, so, it’s kinda weird to have that split consciousness of how you look at it because if you just stay with the character within the world of the film she’s trippin”
You’ve been in the industry a looong time–I don’t want to call you old–but you’re an OG–a veteran, at this point–has it hit you that you’ve put together a great career so far?
“It’s easy to forget but I was recently going through my old stuff and I realized ‘wow you’ve been doing this for over 20 years and you’re still in the game–you’re still doing it’ and I hadn’t really thought about it because you take it moment by moment, project by project and you’re busy with your kids and your family. You just don’t really think about the big picture”
Can you reflect on your most iconic movie “Save The Last Dance?” How do you think that’s helped your career?
“Save The Last Dance” is such a pivotal moment in my life because, to this day, that’s what people know me best for. It’s something that people come up to me and tell me ‘it’s my favorite movie from my childhood. It’s my favorite movie as an adult.’
I’ve heard hundreds of stories of people in mixed relationships of any sort telling me how much the movie meant to them and how much it made them feel like ‘OK, I have a place in the world and it’s gonna be OK’–and I’m very, very proud that it did that for people and made them feel like they could really love who they wanna love”
What advice do you give someone–that was like yourself–a young up-and-coming talent looking to put together a strong body of work?
“Wow, that’s a tough question because a big part of it is luck. I’ve been lucky. But, that aside, I have training. I went and got my Bachelor’s degree in Classical Acting at NYU and I spent many years in theatre learning my craft so it’s not an accident. The key is having a certain level of craft and reproducing it over and over again. That part isn’t luck. So, to me, it’s really like get that training, get that grounding in your craft and just start grindin”
You’re almost 50–did you know that???–you look good for your age, man! How do you stay lookin’ so young and vibrant?
“*laughs* I crack jokes about being West Indian but a lot of people in my family are youthful–I also make a much more conscious effort to eat well, I do CrossFit, I have two young children and I have a wife that’s never a dull moment so I think all those things keep me fresh”
Why should people go see “La Llorona?” Give us your best pitch!
“It’s the type of movie where you don’t feel like you’re watching a scary movie–you feel like you’re just watching a family dealing with their current status in life… and you get sucked into this family and you get sucked into these relationships so it’s not about sitting back waiting to get spooked or scared it’s really investing in this family and caring about them and taking the journey with them… and it’s a bigger story than just waiting to sit there and get shocked”
“The Curse Of La Llorona” hits theaters Friday!