From his days as a teen idol through today, the seemingly ageless (and newly married) Christian Slater has managed to survive the Hollywood game and come out on top. His artistic trajectory continues with Mind Games, a new ABC series about two brothers who solve people’s problems by psychological manipulation. We caught up with the new Coconut Grove resident to get the scoop on the show, his life in Miami and what we can expect from him next.
The concept of Mind Games is rather out there. What’s your take on it? It’s not your run-of-the-mill show, but the relationship between the two brothers is familiar. Sometimes, my co-star [Steve Zahn] and I would just look at each other wondering where the script was going. Let’s just say it takes a lot of directions. Do you even prepare for this type of character? You can’t, really. What I did was focus on my relationship with Steve and playing brothers. We didn’t get a lot of time to get to know one another, but on our first day, all our scenes were in a car… outside… in ridiculously cold temperatures. We bonded pretty quickly. You had to spend months in freezing Chicago while your new home in warm Coconut Grove laid empty. Did that get you through those long days of shooting? Let’s just put it this way, our last day of [photography] was Jan. 27 and my wife, Brittany, and I were on an early flight back here on Jan. 28. But if the show takes off you could be dealing with that for years. Are you ready? You know what? I’ll deal. The writers on this show are brilliant. It’s honestly the best thing I’ve read in a while. And when I got the news that Steve had accepted the role of my brother, it sealed the deal for me. What do you like most about living in Miami? My wife’s father has a boat, and we love to go fishing. We took my kids out a few months ago, and they had a blast. We caught and released a shark, and my wife insisted on touching it, which completely freaked me out. I told her, ‘Honey, don’t do that again, please!’ You’ve been in some pretty iconic movies. What roles do fans approach you about the most? It’s probably Clarence Worley from True Romance. Now and then, I get comments about Heathers and Broken Arrow. And, of course, Pump Up the Volume, which is my favorite movie I’ve ever done. You also have a part in Lars von Trier’s upcoming Nymphomaniac, which is generating a lot of talk for its graphic sex scenes and nudity. Is there something you’d like to share? [laughs] I play Charlotte Gainsbourg’s father in the movie, so my scenes were sweet and nice. But it was interesting. When we started filming, there was this excitement in the air, but after a while it was like, ‘Oh, you’re naked again? That’s great!’