Patrick Feren was born in Germany as an army brat and was raised in California’s Bay Area. He later moved to Los Angeles while also spending eight years in New York City along the way. He has worked in all forms of media, including commercials, film, and television, which involved a stint on the TV series Lazarus Man, one of Robert Urich’s last projects. Mr. Feren continues to do a lot of independent films, usually as off-beat characters, which he enjoys playing.
Mr. Feren and his wife Rita started You and Me Productions in the early 2000s. Together, they have been producing theater and look forward to crossing over to film projects. Of note to Vantage Point Interviews readers, Mr. Feren appeared in the American inserts of Godzilla 1985 (1984) as a lab coat-clad extra in the Pentagon. In 2007, he spoke to Brett Homenick about his brush with G-filmdom.
Brett Homenick: How’d you get started in acting?
Patrick Feren: I got started in acting in high school in the Bay Area. I knew I would have to move to L.A. to actually work at it, even though San Francisco is great for theater.
BH: How did you get cast in Godzilla 1985?
PF: Danny Goldman was the casting director for Godzilla ‘85, and I auditioned for him. It was really the first film project I did. I was referred by an acting coach that I was working with at the time.
BH: What do you remember from the time you were on set?
PF: Actually, I remember a lot considering it was 22 years ago. The set was the Pentagon. I remember I had to take off my shoes in the scenes because they made too much noise. The set was great, and Raymond Burr was there with his double/stand-in. I think he read most of his lines off the teleprompter, especially the long speech at the end. I just took it all in. His voice was great.
The movie had been completed, and these were inserts for the U.S. release. The experience was great, especially being new to the business. The end when they blow up Godzilla, we had to watch a blank screen reacting as though we were watching the real thing.
BH: Why did Raymond Burr have a stand-in?
PF: His bodyguard/stand-in/assistant was always there. He didn’t want to stand for long periods while they set the lights. He was quite heavy at the time if I remember.
BH: When you watched Godzilla fall in the volcano, do you remember what direction you were given for that scene?
PF: Yes, the volcano was the big scene. He wanted us to watch the scene and build the tension and then break out into screams of victory. The build was very important to him.
BH: Did you get to work with Raymond Burr?
PF: There was only one set, so we worked with everyone. Mr. Burr was a highlight because he was a legend. I was a little intimidated, but I never let them see me sweat. A lot of my stuff was cut, but I loved the experience.
BH: Do you remember what you did that was cut from the film?
PF: I don’t remember what was cut.
BH: What about the other cast members, such as Warren Kemmerling and Travis Swords? Do you have memories of them?
PF: Everyone in the cast was great to one another. I had a small part, but everyone was treated equal.
BH: Do you have memories of working with R. J. Kizer or Tony Randel?
PF: I just remember that it was a relaxed time on the set, and that had to do with R. J., I imagine.
BH: Any other comments or things you’d like to share?
PF: A funny thing happened when the movie was released. It premiered at the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. That was the first time I ever saw myself that big. I was thrilled.