Christian Slater on ‘Breaking In’

The veteran actor tells us about the return of his Fox sitcom and how “Heathers” and “Pump Up The Volume” got it right.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

“Breaking In” got a reprieve from cancellation on Fox and its second season joins Fox comedies “New Girl” and “Raising Hope.” Christian Slater joined the network for its Television Critics Association party in January and I got some time alone with him.

Hard to believe I was watching “Heathers” and “Pump Up the Volume” on VHS and now I’m talking to Slater about the Starship Enterprise Captain’s chair, as he displayed in Oz’s office on “Breaking In.”


CraveOnline: How big is your Star Trek memorabilia collection?

Christian Slater: Well, obviously the piece de resistance is the chair. I love the chair. I’m very happy with the chair. So that’s probably the biggest part of the collection.

CraveOnline: Where is it in your house?

Christian Slater: It’s in my bedroom.

CraveOnline: In your bedroom would you sit in it just to sit?

Christian Slater: Yes, yes, yes. Look, I use the chair. I feel like now I’ve revealed too much about myself but yes, the chair is in the bedroom. Sometimes I put laundry on it. That’s how it goes. That’s how it is but it’s definitely a nice chair.

A buddy of mine got it for me for Christmas a couple years ago and I thought it was a really funny present, a really great present and when this show was coming into fruition I just threw it out there as a possibility as a chair to have in Oz’s office. Fortunately Adam Goldberg was open to the idea. Now I believe it to be becoming a cornerstone of the Oz character.

CraveOnline: Does it feel weird to be back on set after you thought you were cancelled?

Christian Slater: Not really. The only thing that’s changed is they moved it to a different stage, a larger stage. Some of our sets are larger I guess so the dollies can move around and that sort of thing but it all just feels right. It felt like home. It felt comfortable. It felt exactly how it would’ve felt if we’d gotten a second season months ago.

It was just a nice treat. It’s certainly nice to be there with “New Girl” and “Raising Hope,” two great Fox shows. To get to be a part of that kind of comedy block is great because they are wonderfully beautifully acted and greatly written.

CraveOnline: What are we going to see when you come back?

Christian Slater: The idea of this season I think is to reintroduce the characters and get to know them a little bit better and find out what makes them tick a little bit more and who they really are and what their hearts are really made of.

CraveOnline: Do you have any more of those single take flashbacks to Oz’s earlier adventures?

Christian Slater: Yes, yes, we shot a few of those. That’s the thing. Oz is an enigma so it’s always kinda hard to figure out what he’s up to. It’s fun to look at a script like this and look for the possibility of the cutaways that there could be. I’m always trying to think of them and I think we’ve come up with some good ones.

CraveOnline: Did you lose Odette Annable to “House?”

Christian Slater: No, no. She’s around. She’s going to definitely be known as the hardest working woman in Hollywood. I believe we have her for as many episodes as we can until she becomes completely unavailable for “House” but we’re going to do the best we can with what we have and make the most of it.

CraveOnline: I grew up with “Pump up the Volume.” Do you think kids today are doing radio shows like that on podcasts?

Christian Slater: Probably. I would imagine so. Look, that movie was made 20 years ago with the technology that was available then. Now, of course, you can do a radio show. Everybody’s got a radio show. Tweeting is basically an opportunity to have kind of a “Pump Up the Volume” scenario take place. I’m sure it’s happening all over the place.

CraveOnline: We don’t hear much about anything too controversial on that front though.

Christian Slater: Sure, that’s true. I’m sure if we delved and looked more deeply you could find controversy anywhere.

CraveOnline: Has anyone reached out to you about “Heathers” since real bullying and suicides has become a real issue?

Christian Slater: Nobody’s mentioned that. Of course it’s a subject we take very seriously. Last year we did an episode about cyberbullying that was actually the finale episode. So yeah, we certainly take the subject matter and issue of bullying very, very seriously.

CraveOnline: I guess good satire turns out to be prescient.

Christian Slater: Yes, I couldn’t agree more. Absolutely. Look at “Saturday Night Live.” That’s what they do.

CraveOnline: You still do lots of movies. Is there a whole world of lucrative offers you still field?

Christian Slater: Yeah, I definitely kept myself rather busy last year. It just seems to go that way. I’m grateful. I’m certainly grateful there’s opportunities out there, movies to be made especially in this day and age with the economy. They’ve certainly cut back on the amount of movies that they are making but I’m really excited about this Joel Silver movie. That was fun. I had a good time kind of reintroducing myself.

CraveOnline: But even the DVD premiere movies, has that opened up a whole new world of production?

Christian Slater: Oh, sure, sure, sure. But then at the same time even that’s changed. So the whole business has changed and it’s in the process of reinventing itself. I think it’s important to take advantage of whatever opportunities are out there because who knows how long they’ll be there.

CraveOnline: Is there a lot of action in “Bullet to the Head”?

Christian Slater: I believe there’s a lot of action. The parts I was in were hopefully more humorous and hopefully it’ll be nice to have me pop up in there.