Patrick S. Fischler is an American actor best known for his roles as Jimmy Barrett on the drama series Mad Men, Dharma Initiative worker Phil on the drama series Lost and Detective Kenny No-Gun on the police drama Southland. He has had more than 60 film and television credits, including the films Mulholland Drive (2001), Ghost World (2001), Old School (2003), The Black Dahlia (2006) and Dinner for Schmucks (2010).
Fischler portrayed real-life gangster Mickey Cohen in the 2011 video game L.A. Noire, which utilized facial performance-capture technology to convert performances in the game's graphics. Two years later he played gangster Meyer Lansky in scenes with Cohen's character in the TNT mini-series Mob City. In 2012, he appeared in One for the Money, a crime thriller adapted from Janet Evanovich's novel of the same name.
The Santa Monica restaurant "Patrick's Roadhouse" was started by his father and is named for him.
View the Patrick Fischler Gallery.
Early life and career
Patrick Fischler was born in Los Angeles, California, on December 29, 1969. His father, Bill, purchased a restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, when Fischler was five years old, and named it "Patrick's Roadhouse" after him. The restaurant has since become a hotspot for such celebrities as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Penn, Goldie Hawn and Johnny Carson. After graduating from high school, Fischler attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he met and started dating his future wife, actress Lauren Bowles, the half-sister of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. After graduating from Tisch, Fischler and Bowles moved back to Los Angeles, where, along with other New York University graduates, they, formed a theater group called Neurotic Young Urbanites. An agent who saw Fischler perform at a Neurotic Young Urbanites production arranged for him to attend an audition for the 1994 action film Speed, which became Fischler's first film acting job. In the film, Fischler played one of the men trapped inside an elevator that nearly falls due to an attack by a bomber.
In 1998, Fischler starred in the independent film The Week That Girl Died, a romantic comedy about three long-time friends in a small New England fishing town. For the part, he received a best lead actor award by the American Film Institute International Film Festival's New Directions jury, which honors independent films. Fischler also appeared in David Lynch's 2001 psychological thriller Mulholland Drive as a man describing a horrible nightmare he had. He also appeared in the 2002 television film Gilda Radner: It's Always Something, a biopic about comedian Gilda Radner, where he played the real-life comedian Eugene Levy. He appeared in the films Twister (1996), Ghost World (2001), Old School (2003), The Great Buck Howard (2008), and played assistant district attorney Ellis Loew in Brian De Palma's 2006 crime film The Black Dahlia. The character was referred to in the film as "Jewboy", film reviewer Stephen Cole called his role in that film "a caricature that is as coarsely anti-Semitic as any sequence in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ." Fischler also appeared as a guest star in television shows Angel, Nash Bridges, Burn Notice, Lie to Me, Bones, Cold Case, Monk, Star Trek: Enterprise, Girlfriends, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. By 2009, he had more than 60 film and television credits.
Education and training
A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Fischler co-founded the Los Angeles-based theater group Neurotic Young Urbanites. During a performance there, he was approached by an agent to audition for the action film Speed (1994), his first film credit. After guest starring on several television shows, Fischler received increased exposure for his role on Mad Men, for which he based his character in part on entertainer Joey Bishop. Fischler filmed his parts for Lost and Southland simultaneously and, although originally only slated for two Lost episodes, he actually appeared in nine.
Fischler auditioned for the role of insult comic Jimmy Barrett on the AMC drama series Mad Men, of which he was a fan. Alex Witchel, a writer from The New York Times Magazine who sat in on Fischler's audition, said he was "breathtakingly good". The character, Jimmy Barrett, is a client of the advertising company within the show, and his wife sleeps with protagonist Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm. Series creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner cast Fischler because he felt the actor had a "New York quality" that he wanted the character to have. Weiner said of him: "Patrick has this tremendous edge. There was something very old-fashioned about the way he dealt with the character." Fischler said entertainer Joey Bishop was a major influence on how he played the role because he wanted Jimmy Barrett to have a charming element to him and make people laugh even while he said horrible things, as Bishop did. Fischler received a great deal of exposure and increase in name recognition after his role on Mad Men. During one episode, Fischler's character tells Don's wife Betty about her husband's infidelity, then confronts Don and tells him off about his cheating. Fischler called receiving that script "the highlight of my career so far", badding: "After Mad Men I got a lot of 'How dare you speak to Don Draper like that? ... People, mainly women, were mad at me that I told Don off. I took it as a compliment." Fischler had been in talks to appear on the Showtime drama series Californication, but he was unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts with Mad Men.
Starting in 2009, Fischler became a recurring cast member on both the ABC drama series Lost and the NBC police drama Southland. He was cast in Lost immediately after the pilot for Southland was filmed and worked on both shows over the course of six months. To do so, he constantly flew back and forth between Hawaii, where Lost is filmed, and Los Angeles, where Southland is filmed, while simultaneously dealing with his wife's pregnancy. Fischler said the Lost producers were "incredibly accommodating" to his schedule. On Southland he played Detective Kenny No-Gun; series creator Ann Biderman described him as a "brilliant, incredibly versatile actor". Although originally expected to appear in only two Lost episodes, he ended up guest starring in nine, appearing in the fifth season as Phil, a member of the Dharma Initiative during a part of the show set in 1977. When he auditions for the role, Fischler did not know the storyline was moving from the present to the past, and did not learn it until he was handed his first script. In a May 2009 interview, Fischler said, "This is not a joke: a year ago if you were to ask me what are the two shows I want to be on, I would have said Mad Men and Lost."