Interview with Patrick Sabongui on ‘The Flash’ – Exclusive
Patrick Sabongui can currently be seen as a series regular on the new hit CW series The Flash. After premiering on October 7th, The Flash has become the Most-Watched series premiere in the network’s history. Patrick Sabongui stars as Police Captain David Singh, the first openly gay character in the DC universe.
We had the chance to chat with Patrick about what viewers and fans can expect from him in season 1 of The Flash, his many talents and attributes both as an actor and behind the scenes, and what his fans can look forward to from him next.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Patrick Sabongui below:
To start off, can you talk a little about how you got into acting and entertainment? Has anyone influenced or inspired you as an actor?
When you say entertainment, it makes me think of my days as a DJ. I guess that started when I was about 14. I DJ’d for several years: weddings, school dances, and special events – I guess MCing and hosting kind of fed in to my acting career. I always felt comfortable in front of crowds, public speaking, student government, reading passages from the Bible at church and so on… I guess I always felt I’d be an actor of some sort. I used to study and perform in the dance program all through high school. In my senior year, I took a drama class instead of dance and I knew I was in my element. Our final project was an improvised trial where civilization itself was being prosecuted! It went on for three or more classes and at the end our drama teacher, Mr. Sheldon Cohen, ruled. I learned about the power of theatre and drama in that class. That inspired me.
You’ve worked with some amazing names over the years. Is there anyone you would love to work with someday, if you could pick anyone?
There are a lot of folks I’d love to work with. There are so many actors and directors I’ve worked with in passing that I’d love to collaborate with on larger scale. Too many to name, but I’d love to work with directors like Robert LePage or the Cohen Brothers or Kathryn Bigelow.
Can you talk about your role of Police Captain David Singh on The Flash and what attracted you to it?
I first fell in love with David Singh’s drive and his self-confidence. In the comics he was notorious for cleaning up Central City’s streets, but had a reputation for cutting corners and doing almost anything to get the collar. Meanwhile, he has this tumultuous personal relationship – not because he’s gay, but because his partner is a vigilante who breaks the law. What an interesting guy. I also love that the character adds some cultural diversity.
Your character is described as the first openly gay character in the DC Universe. How does it feel to play a character that both “pushes boundaries” and is inspirational to viewers?
It’s very rewarding. It’s such a huge honor to play a DC Comics character, let alone a character that represents so much diversity and is taken seriously. Singh is treated with respect around the CCPD, and if that inspires or empowers even one viewer who feels marginalized for any reason, then my job just became that much more meaningful.
Has your athletic background and knowledge of martial arts come in handy with your action-packed roles?
Absolutely. Whether there’s action or not, every character has a physical life; I’ve always enjoyed using my body to step into roles. It’s always been a part of who I am and a way for me to connect to characters and stories. The martial arts and stage-combat are a significant part of my repertoire as an actor – and I love doing that stuff, so it works out fabulously!
You’ve also dabbled in directing, producing, and writing as well. What do you enjoy most about branching out and trying new things? Is that something we can expect to see you continue?
I hope so! As I’ve mentioned before, I work with so many incredibly talented artists and technicians; they inspire me. As an artist I think it’s important to create. You gotta stay busy, stay inspired, stay sharp. Working on my own projects is a way to play with creativity and to affirm what I believe in as an artist. And I dig collaborating, telling stories, directing, pulling people together. I value the community that exists when you help each other make films or theatre. It’s all part of expanding your artistry and your net-worth as a creative person. And if one day soon people wanna come along and pay me to make films, sweet!
What can you tease about what viewers can expect from you and the upcoming episodes of The Flash?
Well, we get to see a few different sides of Singh, and we may start to gain some insights into his personal life soon enough.
Social media has made it so much easier nowadays to be in contact with your audience. How has the fan support been?
I’ve never really experienced anything like this before. I love hearing from fans, and this is the first time for me it’s been on an on-going basis. It’s cool to see/hear the chatter about the character and where the show is going with Singh… I love that people care about what happens to him. It’s an awesome thing to be a part of! And I’m glad the fans are along for the ride.
What would you say sets this series apart from similar shows out there? What are you most excited for the viewers to see in the rest of the season?
I think the tone of the show is different from a lot of the shows out there. Yeah, it’s got its dark moments and action sequences, but The Flash is also full of humour and heart. And the cast is so talented that the relationships and personal stories are what really suck you in. I’m always jazzed to see what villains will pop-up in the next script. We’ve got 23 episodes this season… there are so many cool bad-guys (and gals), we still have to meet and all kinds of crazy storylines from the comics that we haven’t seen yet. I honestly have no idea who or what is actually going to happen, but there’s no shortage of fodder.
Finally, is there anything else you’re working on? What can your fans expect from you next?
I’ve been busy on several things… You’ll see me in Night At the Museum 3 (Dec 2014), I recently guest-starred on Motive so that’ll be coming out this season and I have a TV movie directed by Jesse James Miller coming out next year called Sorority Murder. And you never know… I might get around to directing a feature before we chat next time.
We’d like to thank Patrick Sabongui for taking the time to answer some questions for us. We really appreciate it!
Be sure to keep up to date with Patrick Sabongui by following him on Twitter @PatrickSabongui.
Tune in to The Flash, Tuesdays on The CW and “Night at the Museum 3” in theaters this December.