Patrick Schwarzenegger is part of the incredible ensemble cast of The Staircase, which premiered May 5 on HBO Max. The series revolves around Michael Peterson, who went on trial for the shocking death of his wife Kathleen, who was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the actor about witnessing Colin Firth’s incredible and seamless transformation into the fascinating and enigmatic Michael Peterson.
“I almost was speechless because he’s so incredible of going in as Colin Firth, and then within a heartbeat can switch over to Michael Peterson. And that’s a hard thing to do. All the little quirky things, the eyebrows, and the mouth, and the dialect. It was jaw-dropping to watch him go fully into that,” Patrick told HollywoodLife at the New York City premiere on May 3.
Patrick plays Todd Peterson, one of Michael’s sons from his first marriage. Todd is a fervent supporter of his father’s innocence. In the first episode of the series, Todd returns home after a party to find ambulances outside his home. He comforts his father as police investigate Kathleen’s death. The Peterson home soon becomes a crime scene, and Michael would eventually be charged for murdering Kathleen.
Prior to The Staircase, Patrick had watched the documentary that was released on Netflix in 2018. He opened up about whether or not his opinion of whether or not Michael is guilty changed while playing Todd Peterson.
“I was a big fan of the documentary before starting this project so, yes, I went in with my preconceived notion of he was guilty,” Patrick admitted. “I still do think that, but things have a little bit made me open my eyes and mind to other possibilities because doing this project we just way more in-depth into what happened, what could have happened. This miniseries explores other ways that she could have died so, yes, my mind was expanded a little bit.”
The series also stars Toni Collette, Sophie Turner, Olivia DeJonge, Odessa Young, Parker Posey, Dane DeHaan, and Michael Stuhlbarg. The first three episodes are available to stream now, and new episodes will drop Thursdays on HBO Max.