Barnitt relishes role as bad guy opposite Trejo

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Sunday, October 18, 2015

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Patrick Barnitt, with Monica Swilling, during filming of

John Clayton

Patrick Barnitt, with Monica Swilling, during filming of "Chronology" in Greer.



Patrick Barnitt couldn't wait to be the bad guy.

Barnitt was in Greer working on the film project "Chronology", which was shooting scenes in downtown Greer.

An actor without a scene, Barnitt, a New Jersey native transplanted permanently to Los Angeles, sat down for a beer and to talk about acting, singing and getting in touch with his inner bad guy and occasionally his inner Borg when Star Trek calls.

Last Monday, Barnitt was scheduled to work with Danny Trejo, an actor known for his bad-guy and anti-hero work on the big screen in the “Machete” series and on television in the critically acclaimed series “Breaking Bad” and “Sons of Anarchy”.

"In some ways, it's fun just to be able to fly in for a few days," Barnitt said. "For me, to be able to film with Danny Trejo, I can't adequately express just how excited I am.

"Danny Trejo is about as bad-ass as it gets. He personifies it. I'm thrilled and excited to be working with him ... It's kind of a bucket-list thing in the industry for me."

Chronology, a psychological thriller encompassing companion films telling a story from two points of view, features Trejo and William Baldwin as its biggest names. 

Some of the other actors, including Barnitt, have worked before with Chronology's producers and creative forces, Kipp Tribble and Derik Wingo.

Barnitt, for instance, had a more substantial role in the production group's 2011 release, “Coffin”.

"There's a kind of intensity to that, and you have a lot of responsibility because you're in a lot of scenes and you want to hold things together."

With fewer scenes, Barnitt, a part-time singer as well as an actor, added a little harmony to a jazz standard playing in the background.

He released his debut album of standards called "When the Time is Right" in 2001 and is a regular on the L.A. club circuit.

While Barnitt is working with familiar faces on “Chronology”, he has also found repeated work as various aliens in different vehicles in the “Star Trek” franchise, appearing in “Star Trek: Insurrection”, “Star Trek: First Contact” and on television in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. He's been a Borg, a Bajoran and an Argrathi.

On his Twitter account, Barnitt refers to himself as an "Actor/Crooner/Recovering Borg."

But it was his familiarity with Tribble and Wingo, who Barnitt actually met on the “First Contact” set, that got him to a sofa in Cameroon Cigars in downtown Greer with cigar smoke wafting through the room, accompanied by spiraling jazz riffs and woman-done-me-wrong blues from B.B. King.

"(‘Chronology’) is a very powerful, compelling piece," Barnitt said. "When I read the script, I was like, 'Whoa, this is cool.'" 

He said the script has elements of supernatural, sci-fi, historical fiction and biography.

And, of course, he gets to be the bad guy alongside the Mack Daddy of all contemporary on-screen bad guys in Trejo.

"To play a bad guy and next to Danny Trejo, it's just fun," Barnitt said. "You get to kind of plumb the darker sides of human nature and visit those sides.

"You can kind of go with it. Kind of let your imagination run wild. Some of my favorite characters in screen history are villains."

Now he'll add one more to the list, albeit in a small role in a small-budget Indie film project that seems to have more promise than budget -- and not a Borg to be found.




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