VH1: OK, so how about this character way back in your resume: “Dude” in an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D.?
MP: I remember something like a mullet. I remember, I think I was in some kind of pool hall, and I remember Doogie Howser hitting me in the nuts with a pool cue, I think. And the look with the crossed eyes I made before I dropped out of frame was pretty silly. But that’s kind of all I remember. [Neil Patrick Harris] was very smart, and you could see him as that prodigy doctor. He was so smart. He had that something. He was charismatic. I didn’t know that he was such a great singer and musical mind and all that stuff. Did you see that episode with him on Glee?
VH1: You’re a Glee fan?
MP: My wife turns me onto shows. I do end up watching them. She has to drag me in there, and when she does, I enjoy it. Glee was one of those things for the first year, especially, I got into that. I would sit down with a glass of wine and get into that. I even have a Glee CD in my car.
VH1: I was looking at your Twitter and also saw you’ve just become a One Direction fan.
MP: I saw that movie because my daughter said let’s go see it. I expected to be wanting to slit my wrists in the first 10 minutes. And those kids are really cool! It’s not just their music, ’cause kind of a rock and roll fan. I like everything, jazz and classical, and all over the spectrum. But it’s who they are that kind of blew me away. Hopefully it’s not all packaging and wasn’t just some clever gimmick. They seem like authentic kids who were thrown into what has to be the most overwhelming situation on the planet, and they handle it with a kind of grace and wisdom that 20-, 30-, 40-year-olds can’t handle it with. I thought Harry was really cool. He was my favorite.
VH1: Years after the Lost finale, I still think I’m confused about what it all meant. Did you understand it?
MP: When I was in it, definitely not. I didn’t know that Jacob’s story was a redemption story when I started. I had no idea what I had done to my brother. The only hint that they gave me was “Jesus the carpenter,” a more down-to-earth but kind of godlike figure. That was all the information I had to go on, plus whatever information was in each script that we got. But I like that it didn’t necessarily tie everything up, and it left you to imagine for yourself what the possibilities are, and they’re endless.
VH1: So you couldn’t sum it up for me?
MP: I don’t think I could. But that’s the beauty of it. I remember one time, I watched Mulholland Drive at a press screening. I had no idea what was going on … all of it freaked me out. I didn’t really like it, to be honest with you. But people have come up to me over the years who are obsessed with turning the information over in their minds and trying to get to the bottom of it, which I don’t think they will. But I realized something about art and how it can stick with you and make you think. And think and think. That’s where Lost crosses over from a TV show to something artistic, because it doesn’t give you answers that are pat. It doesn’t tie everything up for you. It makes you struggle with the puzzle long after it’s done. It ends up becoming a relationship with it in a very different way than a regular show. It becomes a relationship that died prematurely and you’re still left sorting it out.
VH1: Could The Tomorrow People end up developing that relationship with fans, even as a CW show?
MP: Supernatural has that relationship with its fans that’s very intense. This has that capability. I think what draws people into Supernatural is that when all is said and done, and the ash from the various apocalypses settle, it’s about the brothers. Even though there’s cool fights in this and cool special effects and there’s superheroes … in the end it is about family. Two families: the family by blood and family by choice. And about loyalty and all those things that I think really make for a good story.