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Adrian Pasdar has come a long way since Top Gun. Since then he's appeared in the seminal '80s vampire film Near Dark and had roles in shows such as Profit and Judging Amy. I got a chance to talk with Pasdar about his role in the NBC show Heroes, where he plays up-and-coming politician Nathan Petrelli.

UGO:Are you guys shooting this week?
Adrian Pasdar:I'm not. I'm off. I've got to go out and actually host a parade up in San Jose. I'm going to be a grand marshal representing Heroes for the affiliates up there. We're going to hand out autographs and comic books and host a few private screenings for contest winners and things like that. In a sense I'm working, but it's a little different. It's easy to promote something that's this good though. I've been on the other side of it having to turn chicken sh-- into chicken salad. It wears thin after awhile, but this one's fun because I don't have to make stuff up.

UGO:You don't have to lie.
Adrian Pasdar:I don't ever really lie, I just beat around the bush and say how proud I am to be a part of it blah blah blah.

UGO:What struck you about the pilot for Heroes?
Adrian Pasdar:Well I'll tell you. I've been working 20 years. I've had a lot of experience with a lot of different kind of genres and this is one that's always fascinated me. When I left my last job, I said to myself, "Here's what you want. You want to be part of an ensemble. You're going to be working three or four days a week. You're going to be a mutually exclusive character where the character is not dependent on someone else's actions." A lot of times on Judging Amy, my whole world was only introduced and talked about in reflection to how it affected hers. This is an instance where it's so well drawn and so well put together that all these characters exist exclusively unto themselves and I think the success or failure of the series is going to hinge on is how well they come together.

UGO:There are a lot of special effects in the show and you've been doing movies with special effects since the beginning of your career.
Adrian Pasdar:Yes, I've watched the industry grow. I've been a part of various things that they've done and it's been fun. A lot of what you see is really low-tech practical stuff. That's where the real wizardry comes in. The computer guys are great, but the guys who make it look like something terrific with really simple applications is fantastic. From Near Dark to Twilight Zone to this. It's always amazed me how they come up with this stuff.

UGO:Is doing special effects on television much different than movies?
Adrian Pasdar:Not anymore. I think the audience's expectations have risen because of the quality of what we've seen in the theaters is what they expect when they come home and watch TV. That put the onus on the effects guys to come up with exciting effects that are of a high-quality level.

UGO:How much different is it starting with series as opposed to coming in after the series has taken off?
Adrian Pasdar:It's always great because in the very beginning, we're all finding our way. You really get to grow with everybody so the entire project grows with you and you really feel like you've got a sense of accomplishment. Even after a week or two weeks you can see a marked difference in everybody's perception of what they're doing and their ability to contribute in a positive way to the overall project is just really special.

UGO:Did you audition for Heroes?
Adrian Pasdar:Yeah, I did. It was a rainy morning, I was late and I had another meeting at Disney. There were a few guys in the room ahead of me. I asked them if I could go ahead because I had a meeting. They said sure. It was one of those moments where as soon as you walk in the door, you just have a really good feeling about what you're about to do. All I knew was I couldn't have done it any better. Whether I get the job or not is often completely out of my hands but sometimes the quality of the audition is the only thing you can really control. I knew I did a dynamite job in there. It was a very short and sweet little scene, but I nailed it. I hadn't even gotten to the car yet and the phone rang and my agents told me it looked good.

UGO:Have you had that feeling before maybe with Profit?
Adrian Pasdar:Yeah, Profit was the same kind of thing. I didn't audition for Profit because had I auditioned for Profit, I would never have gotten the job.

UGO:Why is that?
Adrian Pasdar:It was just one of those shows where you cannot break that character down into an audition. It would be like giving somebody half of the ingredients to an incredible casserole and asking them to judge the final result. That part is really more about listening than it is acting. Profit was a minimal approach. People say it's some of the best work they've ever seen acting-wise and I have to smile because I actually did nothing. I just showed up, put the suit on and cocked my head a little bit and listened to everybody. I really had very little to do with the success of that show. It was all about the writing. The writers on that show were the kings.

UGO:You've had this amazingly long career with ups and downs, but you really seem to have settled into some good parts in the past few years.
Adrian Pasdar:Yeah, I've been fortunate to work with good people. I've always worked very hard at staying ready for things as they presented themselves. I've always been very focused on achieving goals. I've given priority to my family and oftentimes when you do that that's when something great taps you on the shoulder. I just take care of the priorities in my life and the other things seem to have worked out for themselves. I'm very grateful, but it is a lot of hard work.

UGO:You've played a lot of bad guys over the years, what would you consider your Heroes character?
Adrian Pasdar:That's the great thing about this show. I can't really pinpoint it. The people who start off bad are going to go good because you just don't know. All I can do is play someone ambitious and an alpha male. A guy who's very interested in following through with his ambition and his dreams. His passion for politics I think is an overriding element. He's a politician who believes in God.

UGO:What's it like working with Tim Kring?
Adrian Pasdar:It's been great. He's got a loose and a tight hold at the same time on the show. He has a very clear vision of how he wants the mood of the show to progress, but at the same time he's also given the actors enough freedom to create something personal for ourselves. There's a huge safety net because the writing is just so doggone good.

UGO:How it is working with Milo Ventimiglia [who plays his brother]?
Adrian Pasdar:This kid's just unbelievable. We met years ago when I had meeting to play his father on Gilmore Girls. They said, "You guys have incredible chemistry, but nobody's going to believe you're father and son. You look like brothers." That's eight years ago when he looked much younger than he does now. Then this came down the pipe and we just hit it off right away. He's a very talented and focused young guy. That's the kind of person I really respond to. Working with him is like playing tennis with someone who is just at the top of the game.

UGO:Were you ever into comic books?
Adrian Pasdar:Never. I'm still not. I look at them, but I'm not sure how to read the panels. I get confused.

UGO:In the past few years both Near Dark and Profit have come out on DVD, do you have any other projects you've done that you would like to see get a special edition DVD?
Adrian Pasdar:My five-year-old son would love to see Streets of Gold come out. I don't know what the heck happened to that. He loves boxing movies so I'd love to show him that. But everything comes out in due time. Things that are good manage to make it out. Things are less than good lay dormant.