Close Up with Sean Patrick Flanery

by Steven Uhler in Summer 2016

Most folks know Sean Patrick Flanery as a versatile actor – from his early days in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, through such popular films as Boondock Saints and Powder. The Texas-raised actor has just penned his first novel, Jane Two, an evocative, semi-autobiographical look back at his youth in Sugar Land, Texas.

 

Texas Lifestyle: How long did you have the idea for writing this novel?

Sean Patrick Flanery: The desire to put pen to paper [began] around 1997. I took two years off to focus on it. You learn a lot about yourself, opening an immense closet.

 

TLM: What are the differences between interpreting a character as an actor, and creating one as a writer?

SPF: The tools you have are completely different, but the method is exactly the same. As both an actor and a writer you want brevity and concision. In a film, if an actor’s really good, he can cut lines out because he can translate feeling with no words at all. Writing is very different. It’s a very strategic type of elimination.

 

TLM: Your depiction of family life in a small Texas town is remarkably on-target.

SPF: When I look back on my life, I wasn’t raised with a lot. But, I wanted for nothing. My folks gave me a wealth of tools to pursue and attempt to achieve anything in the world.

 

TLM: Do you have plans to make Jane Two into a movie?

SPF: I do. I know an actor writing a book is accompanied by a handful of eye-rolls. So my first goal is to get a couple of people to read it. I think it would play on the screen as a wonderful story. I know that sounds incredibly arrogant because I wrote it… I wrote the screenplay before I wrote the book, to be honest.

 

TLM:  You’ve lived in L.A. for years. Do you still carry a lot of Texas in you?

SPF: So much so that I’ve been scouring Zillow to bring my family back to Houston. I want my kids to be raised the way I was raised, in the same culture. I haven’t been able to find that in LA.

TLM: But as you point out in the book, there are some things you can go back to and other things you can’t.

SPF: I think I’m going to find the things that are important. I’ll have a great family wherever I land, but Texas is closer to the heart.

 

TLM: Are you still in touch with your Boondock Saints co-star, Norman Reedus? He’s become such a mega-star with Walking Dead.

SPF: I speak to him at least once a week. I knew him before we did Boondock Saints. I’ve never seen that level of success come to someone and have it change them less. He’s a genuinely wonderful cat. (Editor’s note: Reedus does the intro on Flanery’s book trailer.)

 

TLM: What are the odds of a third Boondock Saints film?

SPF: I wouldn’t bet against it. The script is written. It’s just a matter of putting all the pieces together and getting [us] lined up.
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