Sean Patrick Flanery chats with INFLUX Magazine
by Randy Krinsky
I had the wonderful opportunity to share a few moments with actor, director, writer Sean Patrick Flanery. An actor with over 100 film and television credits, he is perhaps best known for his role in the cult hit, Boondock Saints. Flannery has now written his first book, Jane Two, which has been released with rave reviews.
It's a coming of age novel that explores that powerful first taste of love that sets the bar for something that we’ll chase, usually unsuccessfully, for the rest of our lives. Jane Two is about that magical moment in each of our lives when we are neither too young to reason, nor too old to dream. A young Mickey navigates through the dense Texas humidity of the 70s and out onto the porch every single time his Grandaddy calls him, where he’s presented with the heirloom recipe for life, love, and manhood. But all the logic and insight in the world cannot prepare him to operate correctly in the presence of a wonderfully beautiful girl who moves in just behind his rear fence. This magical moment divides Mickey’s life into a “before and after” and permanently changes his motion down the unpaved road to which only a lucky few are granted access.
With his book tour wrapping up in Texas, I spoke briefly with Sean about his book, his cult status, and what it's like coming back home to Houston.
So, Sean, when are you going to be here in Houston again?
I'll be there on April 21st, at Blue Willow Books, and then later, in June at Comicpalooza.
Should be exciting. What do you think about coming back to your home state of Texas?
I love it there, it's my favorite place. If you do happen to read the book, it's a love story to Texas as well. It's pretty apparent in the book why I love that place.
Speaking-of, congratulations on the release of your first book, Jane Two! It's getting great reviews. That has to feel amazing.
Yeah, it does. It's very flattering. You know, coming from my industry, I'm pretty cognizant of not letting the flattery get to me. At the same time, not letting the derogatory remarks get to me, either; so I'm prepared to get skewered as well.
I hear you. Well, I was reading some of the reviews and from what I've read, for being your first book, it is being very well-received and the novel appears to be very well written. The simplicity and genuineness that you bring to your characters, it pretty much jumps right off the page, very relatable and very easy to read.
Well, I appreciate it. Any time you hear comments like that it's flattering and that is certainly your intent when you start out. You never know if it'll be realized. You certainly know it will be realized in your own eyes but you don't know if it will be realized in everybody else's eyes as well. If that's the way it turns out then I'm more than flattered, you know.
Coming from a successful career in acting, directing, and , of course, you have your martial arts studio, what made you want to make the jump and now get into writing.
You know, the story was something that happened to me when I was 10 years old and it was always a story that I wanted to write down. I've written for a number of magazines throughout the years and the editor of Jane magazine, Jane Pratt, contacted me and wanted me to write something for her magazine. So that was the first little short story, the first incarnation that the story had was published in Jane magazine. I always knew I wanted to expand it. So, I expanded it into a screenplay and I ended up selling the rights to get it made within a two year period, except they exhausted that period and wanted to extend it. I didn't want to extend it. So then I sat on it for about a year and then I turned it into a novel. So now the book is out and now I'm back to assembling a film of the story. It's kind of been a long, winding road to get to a novel and then back to its original format as a screenplay.
Well, my next question was going to be about the story being based on a real childhood experience. That comes across and this does seem like a story, and I haven't read the whole thing, I admit, but it does seem like something that came from the heart, from truth.
I'm glad you got that from it, because that's pretty accurate.
You're going be here on your book tour on the 21st, but Texas isn't your only stop, right?
I'm ending it in Texas, I'll have a couple of stops later in the year. In October, I'm doing a book festival in Nashville, but for this book tour, Texas is my last stop.
Well great, you're ending it in your home state, well, actually I believe you're originally from Louisiana but you grew up in Texas, though.
I did, yeah.
Well, Houston loves you. I'm sure you don't miss the weather, but you have a lot of fans here.
Well, I love Houston, man.
Then, you're coming back to Houston in June for Comicpalooza, right? I'm going to try to catch you there.
Oh yeah, I hope you stop by and say hi.
I have to say you have an incredible body of work. The ones that quickly come to mind: "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", Powder, "The Dead Zone", a popular role on "The Young & The Restless", "Dexter"; With all that, did you think that Boondock Saints would be such a cult hit where it would arguably become your most recognizable role?
You never know. The reality is that the public sees only the tip of the iceberg. If one film you do makes the light of day and people see it, then there's 15 others that never get released. But when we made that film, clearly we all thought it was a great film, but the odds are that it will never see the light of day. The fact that it became a cult hit... man, that was a thousand variables in the universe coming together at the right time. It's a film we love, it's a film we're proud of and me and Reedus both can say that we would like that film even if we weren't in it.
I hear you, I love that film. I just went to a screening of Boondock Saints here at the Houston Alamo Drafthouse. I don't know if you're familiar with them?
Oh yeah, sure.
They did a screening last week that sold out. So you got a huge following for that film.
It makes you feel good.
I know you do some convention appearance with Reedus, are you guys close?
Oh yeah, he's one of my best friends. I've know the cat for 20 years; he's got a motorcycle in my garage, so yeah!
Awesome, that so cool! So what are your plans for the future? I know you have some work to do to get the book flipped into a film again.
The next thing I want to focus on is getting that film made, I mean, I'm closing out the book tour, and at the same time, I'm shooting in Monterey for a film called Lasso. It's a pretty busy time.
I want to thank you for taking some time to talk with met today, I'm sure everyone is looking forward to you coming out to Blue Willow Books here in Houston for your signing.
I appreciate it and look forward to seeing everybody!
And then, of course, Comicpalooza. You have a huge fanbase looking forward to you coming out. I'm a huge fan myself. Powder was a great film, and even I own the VHS box set from "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", not to mention the Boondock Saints films.
Oh wow! That's cool! You picked some good ones. Those are some that I'm really proud of.
So, thanks again for talking with me and we look forward to seeing you when get to Houston. Take care and good luck to you.
I wanted to thank you for taking the time. I look forward to coming out!
Sean Patrick Flanery will be appearing in Texas this weekend at the following bookstores, signing his new book, Jane Two:
4/21/16, 7:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive.
Houston, TX 77079
4/22/16, 7:00 PM
603 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
4/23/16, 3:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
7700 West Northwest Highway #300
Dallas, TX 75225
(Contact the individual book stores for details.)
Also, don't you dare miss Sean at this year's Comicpalooza, Texas' largest comic and pop culture event, for a Boondock Saints cast reunion. Go to Comicpalooza.com for details. The 2016 convention runs from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19.
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, TX 77010