An Interview with Actor Patrick Gorman (Gen. Charles F. Smith)

Over on my blog, I had the chance to interview, for the second time, actor Patrick Gorman, who is currently slated to portray Union General Charles F. Smith in To Appomattox. Our interview covered a wide variety of topics, so I will just post what is related to the show here. If you would like to view the full interview, please click here. Enjoy!

GC: You are currently slated to play Charles F. Smith in To Appomattox. Have you done any preparation for the role yet? How did you get involved with the project?

PG: A re-enactor on Facebook told me about the project initially.  I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember exactly who but it was followed by information from J. D. Petruzzi and a few others.  Early on, I learned that Hood would not figure in the story arc.  But Michael Frost Beckner, the writer and one of the producers thought there might be something for me.  Actually, Smith is someone who I immediately resonated with.  Smith was one of Michael’s favorite characters – a kind of Obi Wan Kanobi to Grant.  Okay, he’s a Yankee.  But that’s actually great because now my ancestors will be satisfied completely.  Yes, they were on both sides.  Of course, at this stage I’m just reading everything I can get my hands on about him.  Much has been supplied to me from remote resources and that can be useful.  An actor can never play the research but it does inform choices you may make.  You can never say what is going to bring the character alive for the actor but research certainly can help you ask the right questions.  Three people were instrumental in my getting involved: J. D. Petruzzi, Joel Kassay and W.E. Wolf – not to mention so many of my Civil War fans from Facebook who badgered the To Appomattox web site with recommendations in my regard.  I was really moved by that effort.  Now, that said, we’re not yet in production, so I won’t be ‘safe’ till I’m in ol’ Smith’s boots riding to the sound of the guns.  Michael has written a great series of films and folks are going to be amazed at the scope and the care of our history he has lavished on this epic.  It’s definitely not partisan, though Grant is the focal personage, it is fair and accurate.  No one can be totally objective – at least I can’t – but the stories are wonderful, sincere and lovingly crafted.  Again, the criticisms will be minimal and even the ‘button police’ may have difficulty finding fault.

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About Greg Caggiano

Greg Caggiano is a 20 year old student of history and education at New Jersey City University, where he is studying to become a high school history teacher. When he is not busy coaching hockey, he serves as a Trustee for the Proprietary House Association, which oversees Royal Governor William Franklin’s 1762-erected mansion in Perth Amboy, and enjoys blogging on his website, “From New York to San Francisco”, which he used to cover the release and world premiere of the Gods and Generals Extended Director’s Cut from November 2010 through August 2011, the event that established his blog as one of the foremost places for Civil War movie news on the web. He lists his favorite hobbies as teaching, coaching, writing (about both sports and history), playing hockey and baseball, watching movies, and listening to music.
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9 Responses to An Interview with Actor Patrick Gorman (Gen. Charles F. Smith)

  1. Scott M. Staton says:

    Looking forward to seeing you go into production. I hope that the filming is to be done in the east so there will be some work for those of us that work on both sides of the camera. Patrick is a great choice for the roll. He is a true gentleman and great journeyman actor. It will be a bit difficult not seeing Hood in a different uniform. I am sure Patrick can make the part work.

  2. I saw the Gregg Caggiano and Patrick Gorman interview, and I thought it made a good showcase for Patrick’s talents. In the interview, Patrick’s sharp intellect stands out vividly. He is witty, urbane, humble (a rarity in Hollywood) and someone you empathize with, the reason he has so many friends, many close ones and more acquaintances. He know his craft, he understands art, and he has the intellect to conceive, visualize, and present a variety of personality types in his various roles, virtually all of which have been successful. Patrick is engaging, likable, charismatic, dramatic, passionate, has all the qualities required of a first-rate actor on the brink of greatness. Given the right role and a demanding personality to portray, he has all the abilities needed to present an award-winning, memorable performance.
    –Donald L. Gilmore
    Author and lecturer

  3. M. E. Wolf says:

    Excellent actor no matter what role he portrays! More parts for Mr. Gorman!

  4. Rick Moock says:

    Patrick Gorman’s portrayals of historic characters are ultimately believable; I see him as his character almost immediately. From the first glance and the first words I am convinced that this is the man. I enjoy a film where I don’t have to work to force-fit an actor into a role. Mr. Gorman has that quality of “genuine-ness” that makes the story work.
    I look forward to his Smith portrayal.

  5. T. Wolke says:

    Patrick is much beloved by Civil War buffs, of which there are thousands, and I’m gratified to see he has a role in this production. I certainly hope this project is funded. It’s amazing how few Civil War movies have been made, given the scope and drama of that time, and this being the sesquicentennial of that bloodbath, it certainly deserves another look. I’m glad Patrick Gorman will be a part.

  6. Patrick – you have my vote. Can’t think of anyone better suited. Good luck!

  7. Will the Civil War re-enactment community be involved in filming the battle scenes?

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