Patrick Sabongui is easily becoming an actor many love watching on screen! Within the last year, he's tackled the boundary-pushing role of Police Captain David Singh on CW's The Flash as well as portraying a wide variety of other roles since 2002 on various TV shows, TV movies and big screen projects too.
Most recently, the Canadian actor sunk his acting chops into a new juicy role on streaming service Crackle's The Art of More, a 10-episode drama that dives into the ruthless world of the finest auction houses in New York City.
Enstars spoke with Sabongui all about The Art of More as well as The Flash. Plus, we found out about another project that Sabongui is working on.
Enstars: Crackle's original series The Art of More began streaming on Nov. 19 so tell us more about it for anyone who doesn't know what it's about.
Patrick Sabongui: It's about trying to get ahead in a cutthroat world. Graham Connor [Christian Cooke], an ex United States soldier has become an account executive at one of the biggest art auction houses in New York City. He gets caught between the rich and glamorous world of wealthy art collectors and the dangerous criminal world that supplies them with forgeries, stolen artifacts and smuggled antiquities.
Tell us about your character Hassan Al Afshar.
I play a loyal friend of Graham's from back in his Iraq days. We used to smuggle antiquities out of Iraq together when he was stationed there. Hassan is a resourceful, passionate guy. He's scrambling to get his family safely away from their war-torn home. He's a former engineer with a love for antiquities, and he does whatever he has to, to survive, make money and look after his wife and son.
How did you prepare for this role?
I did a lot of research into the world of museums, art collectors and black-market antiquities trafficking in the Middle East. Various groups who routinely destroy or steal precious ancient artifacts have overrun Hassan's home country. I wanted to understand what drives a good man to risk his life to get into smuggling.
Give three reasons why people should tune in for this series.
[One is] the cast! [Second is] because you get to peek into a world rarely explored in film and TV and [third is] because it's a world-class new drama that's streaming for free!
You're working with a very talented cast including Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth. What has that experience been like?
You can't leave out Christian Cooke and Cary Elwes. Working on The Art of More has honestly been one of the most rewarding acting experiences of my career. Everyone is so committed and positive; we're all devoted to the story. And with the level of talent involved, I come to work every day inspired to do my best work.
Can you share a particularly memorable moment from on set?
There were so many. But I'll never forget our "Day 0". It was the first day the cast and crew got to know each other. Our pilot director, Gary Fleder, wanted to get us together a day before our official schedule started so we could explore the cinematography style and our character relationships. He picked two key scenes from the pilot and we went out and shot them. Something about it felt like an independent film shoot--there was a lot of exploration and creativity. Christian and I found our working dynamic that day, and it set the tone for the rest of the season.
What has been your favorite part about portraying Hassan Al Afshar?
My favorite part of playing Hassan is how volatile he is. He's not perfect. He lets his passion get ahead of his logic, and things never seem to go as planned.
Can you tease a favorite scene you shot?
It's so tough to pick one. I am quite fond of the episode where you get to see the beginnings of the Hassan/Graham relationship. There's a flashback scene that becomes a centerpiece in that episode and it reveals so much about both of these characters and their history together.
Switching gears, you have a recurring role on The CW's The Flash as Police Captain David Singh so what can you tease that's coming up for him in future episodes this season?
It's so hard to tease anything about The Flash. It moves so fast and the universe is changing so fast, I can barely mention anything without giving secrets away. I'm happy to say CW isn't holding back. It's including everything and anything you may remember from the comic books, but isn't bound by them. You'll get to see sides of Singh you didn't know existed.
What would you like to see happen to him in future episodes?
I'm still curious to see how his relationship develops with his new husband, Rob [Jeremy Schuetze]. And dealing with the level of chaos that has befallen Central City can't be easy for a man in his position. I'd love to see him figure out a way to get more involved with stopping the meta-humans.
What has it been like portraying a character that is pushing plenty of boundaries?
As an actor, it's been a real gift to play a character that under-represented people can relate to. As the first openly gay DC Comics character, David Singh was already a milestone, add to that his East Indian heritage, and you finally had a character in mainstream media who reflects the diversity of the real world. I get messages through social media from people all over the world - particularly young people - who feel like seeing David Singh on screen is the first time they've seen themselves represented on their favorite shows. That means the world to me.
Are there any other projects coming out soon or that you're working on that you want to talk about?
I recently finished a film with director Stephen Reynolds for Lionsgate/WWE called Interrogation. I star in it along with WWE superstar Adam "Edge" Copeland. It's a smart action movie that gave me the opportunity to get very physical - I love playing physical characters.