Christian Slater’s new show Breaking In is a hilarious look at a completely odd group of espionage agents at Contra Security who work under the thumb of the mysterious and self- centered Oz, who’s played by Slater. If you haven’t watched the show, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. We think you’ll enjoy this interview with Slater, who shares secrets of his inner geek. Who knew the immense respect that Slater feels for Captain Kirk’s chair?
QUESTION: Do you think your character in Breaking In is like how your character in Heathers would have been like when he grew up?
SLATER: I just said that! How weird is that? I brought it up! We’re totally on the same page. I’ve never been in a situation where there’s been this kind of synchronicity. It’s phenomenal. That’s what I’m kind of saying. That character, JD, that he didn’t fall out and it was all kind of smoke and mirrors. And this is the job that he most likely would be doing, and the way he would have been running an office. I believe it.
This is the first time where I’ve been in a situation where the writers kind of get me. There’s a feeling of kindred spirits. Certainly Adam Goldberg and I have a lot in common, a lot more in common, I think, than I think we initially even knew. So it was only by sitting down and talking and discussing ideas… I mean, the fact that I was sort of over the moon at the opportunity of getting to meet and shake the hand of the guy who played the Gorn in the Star Trek “Arena” episode, is a big deal. For me, to get that signature. He charged me twenty bucks…
But to get the opportunity to meet Captain Pike, you know, these are, quite honestly, monumental moments for me. I can’t say that any clearer.
QUESTION: Did you pay cash or did it just come out of your paycheck?
SLATER: I’m starting to pay cash. I’m actually – my buddy wants me to use cash more. Because credit cards – you lose track of how much you’re spending if you use a credit card. You just kind of aimlessly give that person a piece of plastic and then you don’t know, really, what you’ve spent. So with cash, I’m starting to carry that around.
I’m probably going to get mugged today!
QUESTION: You feel the pain when you spend the cash.
SLATER: Yeah, you feel it! Exactly! That’s it!
QUESTION: You’re a geek just like the rest of us. That’s really cool.
SLATER: Right in there, man.
QUESTION: So what are you crazy about? What are you going to spend your cash on when you hit the convention floor?
SLATER: Well, I hit the convention floor yesterday and I walked around. I did get the autograph, which was really cool. I bought my son – he’s really into Star Wars, as I am – I think he’s into Star Wars because I sat him down like Clockwork Orange and made him watch it. I got him a 12 inch action figure of Commander Rex, I think… or Fox… the clone warrior in the blue clone suit…
QUESTION: Can you talk about where Oz’s alpha male energy comes from? You said that you drew inspiration from your own experiences in a lot of ways, and I wonder what in your life you drew on.
SLATER: Well, let’s see. I think, for this particular character. Because I’ve been asked about research. I think I’ve just been researching for this particular character, probably all my life. I think that Oz is definitely a little bit of a man of the world. He’s certainly had some experiences. I think he certainly has a lot of edginess. I mean, he says in one particular episode, we all have a bit of a past. Everybody here in this office hasn’t always done the exact right thing.
In this particular scenario, he’s managed to set up a situation where these characters all get the opportunity to break the law legally, which is nice. But also, I’ve been in this business for 34 years now and I think that Oz is the kind of guy who has a lot of relationships. I’ve been discovering, in playing this character, that I, Christian Slater, have a lot of relationships as well.
I’ve seen people that I used to work with – even like Fred Savage, who directed a couple of episodes. He and I worked together when I was 17 and he was 12, and we did that movie The Wizard. So it’s just amazing to see people grow up in this business and to have those kinds of relationships. And having those kinds of relationships certainly helps in getting a lot of things done. That’s really what it’s all about. It is relationships.
QUESTION: Yes, but the past also comes back to haunt him in funny ways.
SLATER: Oh sure. They definitely deal with some of that in the upcoming episode with Alyssa Milano. She’s definitely a woman from Oz’s past that he has to contend with. And she’s definitely a good – yeah, she’s the alpha to his omega. Is that right? Or whatever… vice versa.
QUESTION: What is your impression of Wondercon?
SLATER: I’m enjoying it. This is definitely an Arena, to quote Star Trek, that I feel quite comfortable in. I like it. It was fun to walk around there yesterday and see people and introduce myself. The idea of setting up a booth – well, it would be a kissing booth!
QUESTION: You said that this character allows you to live out some of your personal fantasies. What would some of those fantasies be?
SLATER: Well, I would like to, obviously, use this as an opportunity to live out whatever fantasies I can get away with on TV. The first one being sitting in Captain Kirk’s Star Trek chair. That was – for me – a phenomenal opportunity. It’s a weird thing, just having that chair on the set. It’s an iconic chair, there’s doubt about it. When people walk by it – even Adam Sandler – he came and visited the set. He didn’t want to sit in it. This is too – it’s a throne. It’s definitely a throne. It feels great. I definitely love the fact that it’s there. But I could definitely see Oz as the type of guy who also moonlights as a lounge singer. I can see that.