Timothy Van Patten

Director / Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour interview for the Archive of American Television, actor/director Timothy Van Patten discusses a career that has spanned East to West Coast and back again.  He recounts his early life in New York and his move to Los Angeles, where he found success as an actor playing "Salami" on the MTM production, The White Shadow. Van Patten speaks at length about mentor Bruce Paltrow and the amazing education in television and film he received on the set of several Paltrow-led productions. He talks about his challenging transition to directing, a journey that eventually led to directing episodes of several short-lived series such as Home Fires and The Road Home, and of longer reigning shows Touched By an Angel and Homicide: Life on the Street. He concludes by describing how he found his niche directing episodes of acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, and Boardwalk Empire, and expresses his deep respect for writer/producers David Chase, David Simon and Terence Winter. Van Patten also confesses that in addition to television acting and directing, he now has a hankering for writing, too. Ron Simon conducted the interview in June 26, 2009 in New York, NY.

"I think my life experience informs my directing much more than my acting skills. I think I know how to put an actor at ease, I don't know the language, if there is a language, but I think every actor comes to the set with their own needs and then you have to handle them accordingly."

Highlights
Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Wire
07:02
Timothy Van Patten on his directing style for The Sopranos
01:02
Timothy Van Patten on good directing
00:40
Timothy Van Patten on the show business education he received on the set of The White Shadow
01:12
Timothy Van Patten on advice to aspiring directors and actors
00:30
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences
On moving to California and his first acting roles
On co-starring in The White Shadow as "Salami"
On life after The White Shadow

Chapter 2

On his other acting credits in television movies and films; on his transition to directing
On NYU continuing school and getting experience as a director - on Home Fires, The Road Home, Touched By an Angel, Homicide: Life on the Street, C.P.W., and New York Undercover
On his directing style and how TV has changed over the years; on rehearsals
On his work on The Sopranos

Chapter 3

On his work on The Sopranos (continued)
On his work on Sex and the City
On his work on The Wire
On his work on Rome
On his work on Deadwood
On his work on the Spielberg miniseries Into the West
On his work on The Pacific

Chapter 4

On the HBO miniseries The Pacific
On directing Boardwalk Empire
On the state of the entertainment industry; on his advice to aspiring professionals; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Boardwalk Empire

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Timothy Van Patten on directing HBO's Boardwalk Empire
10:03
Timothy Van Patten on writing and executive producing on Boardwalk Empire
02:10

Central Park West

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Timothy Van Patten on directing C.P.W. aka Central Park West
01:27

Deadwood

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on Deadwood
04:49

Dress Gray

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Timothy Van Patten on his work acting on TV movie Dress Gray
01:02

Home Fires

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Timothy Van Patten on wanting to direct Bruce Paltrow's show Home Fires
07:44

Homicide: Life on the Street

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Timothy Van Patten on Bruce Paltrow and directing Homicide: Life on the Street
03:28

Into the West

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Timothy Van Patten on doing the miniseries Into the West with Steven Spielberg
02:24

Master, The

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Timothy Van Patten on his work acting on the short-lived series The Master
00:58

New York Undercover

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Timothy Van Patten on directing Dick Wolf's New York Undercover
00:48

Pacific, The

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Pacific
04:43
Timothy Van Patten on directing the HBO miniseries The Pacific
01:57

Road Home, The

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Timothy Van Patten on directing Bruce Paltrow's series The Road Home
02:04

Rome

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on Rome
04:32

Sex and the City

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on Sex and the City
12:22
Timothy Van Patten on directing the final 2 episodes of Sex and the City
02:11

Sex and the City: "An American Girl in Paris (Part Deux)"

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Timothy Van Patten on directing the final 2 episodes of Sex and the City
02:11

Sex and the City: "An American Girl in Paris (Part Une)"

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Timothy Van Patten on directing the final 2 episodes of Sex and the City
02:11

Sopranos, The

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Sopranos
14:43
Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53
Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Sopranos (continued)
24:04
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos episode "Amour Fou"
01:34
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos episode "Members Only"
02:02
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos finale, "Made in America" and the legacy of the series
05:14

Sopranos, The: "Amour Fou"

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Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos episode "Amour Fou"
01:34

Sopranos, The: "Made in America"

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Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos finale, "Made in America" and the legacy of the series
05:14

Sopranos, The: "Members Only"

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Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos episode "Members Only"
02:37

Sopranos, The: "Pine Barrens"

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Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53

Touched By an Angel

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Timothy Van Patten on directing Touched By an Angel
03:39

White Shadow, The

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Timothy Van Patten on co-starring in The White Shadow as "Salami"
20:48

Wire, The

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Wire
07:02
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Timothy Van Patten on his character, "Salami," on The White Shadow
00:51
Timothy Van Patten on the character "Tony Soprano"
01:34

Classic TV series episodes

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Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53

Diversity in Television

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Timothy Van Patten on diversity on The White Shadow
00:56

Drama

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Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53

Emmy Awards

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow's Emmy nominations
00:38

Fame and Celebrity

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Timothy Van Patten on his fame after The White Shadow
01:34

Minorities

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Timothy Van Patten on diversity on The White Shadow
00:56

Pop Culture

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Timothy Van Patten on his character, "Salami," on The White Shadow
00:51
Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53
Timothy Van Patten on the character "Tony Soprano"
01:34

Technological Innovation

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Timothy Van Patten on how technology has influenced directing
00:44

Television Industry

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Timothy Van Patten on his fame after The White Shadow
01:34
Professions

Actor

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Timothy Van Patten on wanting to be an actor
00:56

Directors

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Timothy Van Patten on advice to aspiring directors 
00:30

Performers

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Timothy Van Patten on wanting to be an actor
00:56
Genres

Comedy Series

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on Sex and The City
12:22

Drama Series

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Timothy Van Patten on the MTM drama The White Shadow
20:48
Timothy Van Patten on directing The Sopranos
14:43
Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Sopranos
24:04
Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Wire
07:02
Timothy Van Patten on his work on Deadwood
04:48
Timothy Van Patten on working on the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire
10:03

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on the HBO miniseries The Pacific
04:43
Timothy Van Patten on his work on the TNT miniseries Into The West
02:24
People

Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Timothy Van Patten on directing Sex and the City's Mikhail Baryshnikov
02:03

Bruce Bilson

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Timothy Van Patten on veteran TV director Bruce Bilson
00:30

Joshua Brand

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow's way with writers
01:05

Steve Buscemi

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Timothy Van Patten on his "story by" credit for the "Pine Barrens" episode of The Sopranos
03:53

Glenn Gordon Caron

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Timothy Van Patten on working with TV auteur Glenn Gordon Caron
01:45

Thomas Carter

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow director Thomas Carter
01:25

David Chase

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Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos creator David Chase
01:23
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos creator David Chase and star James Gandolfini
03:18
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos creator David Chase giving him the first episode of each season to direct
04:59
Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos writer/producers David Chase and Terence Winter
01:31
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos finale, "Made in America"
02:49
Timothy Van Patten on humor on The Sopranos
01:28

Jackie Cooper

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow director Jackie Cooper
03:16

Edie Falco

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos actress Edie Falco
02:12

John Falsey

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow's way with writers
01:05

Tom Fontana

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow's way with writers
01:05

James Gandolfini

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Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos creator David Chase and star James Gandolfini
01:46
Timothy Van Patten on The Sopranos star James Gandolfini
24:04

Kevin Hooks

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Timothy Van Patten on co-star Kevin Hooks in The White Shadow
00:30

Robert Iler

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos "kids" Robert Iler and Jamie-Lynn Sigler
01:03

Michael Imperioli

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli
01:22

Michael Patrick King

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Timothy Van Patten on Sex and the City's Michael Patrick King
01:22

Barry Levinson

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Timothy Van Patten on Barry Levinson's shooting style on Homicide: Life on the Street
01:41

Nancy Marchand

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos actress Nancy Marchand
02:08

David Milch

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on Deadwood
04:46
Timothy Van Patten on David Milch's Deadwood
04:48

Bruce Paltrow

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow
03:26
Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow
01:12
Timothy Van Patten on Bruce Paltrow fighting the network for what he wanted on The White Shadow 
00:56
Timothy Van Patten on Bruce Paltrow's advice when Van Patten decided to be a director
01:22
Timothy Van Patten on wanting to direct Bruce Paltrow's show Home Fires
07:44
Timothy Van Patten on directing on Bruce Paltrow's series The Road Home
03:10
Timothy Van Patten on mentor Bruce Paltrow
02:02

Dick Van Patten

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Timothy Van Patten on his half-brother Dick Van Patten
01:36

Martin Scorsese

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Timothy Van Patten on working with Martin Scorcese
07:07

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos "kids" Robert Iler and Jamie-Lynn Sigler
01:03

David Simon

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Timothy Van Patten on his work on The Wire
07:02
Timothy Van Patten on directing David Simon's The Wire
07:02

Steven Spielberg

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Timothy Van Patten on doing the miniseries Into the West and The Pacific with Steven Spielberg
07:07

Mark Tinker

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow director Mark Tinker
00:16

Grant Tinker

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Timothy Van Patten on The White Shadow writer/producer/director Bruce Paltrow's way with writers
01:05

Martha Williamson

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Timothy Van Patten on working with Touched By an Angel writer Martha Williamson
01:40

Terence Winter

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Timothy Van Patten on working with The Sopranos writer/producers David Chase and Terence Winter
01:31
Timothy Van Patten on working with Boardwalk Empire creator and friend Terence Winter
01:20

Dick Wolf

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Timothy Van Patten on directing Dick Wolf's New York Undercover
00:48

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