‘Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar: Wife Natalie Maines is His Hero

[IMG:L]Okay, Heroes fanatics, we have the least surprising scoop for you from the hit show’s second season: Nathan Petrelli lives.

Unfortunately, that’s just about the only thing we know about the oft-smarmy superpowered politician’s fate after nobly flying in to keep his brother Peter from leveling Manhattan with an accidental nuclear blast, because Adrian Pasdar ain’t talkin’. The actor has been sworn to absolute secrecy regarding upcoming story arcs, but he can’t hide the enormous beard he’s grown to kick off Nathan’s new path.

But like his outspoken wife Natalie Maines, Pasdar has plenty to say about a lot of other subjects, and gave Hollywood.com the lowdown on life with the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer, fighting for her honor in Walgreen’s and being not quite famous enough to get a pass when his credit card was declined.

Hollywood.com: So how fun is it for you to do interviews and not be able to say ANYTHING about the new season of Heroes?
Adrian Pasdar:
It’s very frustrating. Hard to be able to have your hands tied and your lips sealed. Last year we were asked to talk to anybody who’d listen. This year we’re asked not to say a word.

HW: Are you surprised at the amount of people that know exactly who you are now?
Yeah. It’s always impressive. You forget. You work on a TV show and it takes just as much effort to make a bad show as it does a good one. And God knows I’ve been part of enough good and bad in my career, so it just feels like going to work and then you step back from it and realize that there’s 170 countries that rocketed this thing to number one in every market it’s debuted in, so there’s an international aspect to it. It’s global. I mean it’s not just a small little show anymore.

HW: And the network has picked up on Heroes’ success with some of the new shows in the same genre.
It seems like, yeah, they revived the dormant sci-fi stuff. They turned into a sci-fi Monday night, right? It’s rewarding and fun to be a part of something. And just to see how well it manages to maintain its creativity is always the challenge.

HW: How’s your own vocal talent?
When you live with Natalie, it’s like trying to do magic for Houdini. “Hold on–I got a card trick.” She’s got perfect pitch, so even just listening to her sing lullabys for our children, our babies, was a beautiful thing. And that was an amazing perk of being married to her, just hearing her.

HW: What does Natalie think of the show? Is she a fan?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think she’d watch the show whether I was on it.

[IMG:R]HW: Is she a sci-fi fan in particular?
No, but I think the show’s managed to cross that bridge a little bit. You don’t have to be a sci-fi to enjoy it. It’s certainly proven that people can, as long as you can tell a good story and it’s fantasy crossed with reality. I think that makes it exciting for people to watch and you don’t have to be a sci-fi, you know…In its inception, when we first started doing it, it was just another script. It wasn’t like “Oh my god, this is going to be this international hit.” So she did read it and she loved it, but that was after I had already said yes, I’d do it.

HW: She’s hugely successful, you’re on a hugely successful show. Did that change the time that you guys have to spend together? Has that been a big adjustment for you?
Not really, no. It’s a little different than I think your average couple, but still the same things you have to deal with like raising two children and getting them to school on time and homework and dinner. It’s the same and it’s not quite as abstract when you’re inside it. From the outside it looks like it must be fantastic and really wonderful and it is, but it’s certainly not as laden with all that excitement. It’s not humdrum by any means–it’s just an average family just making their way.

HW: How are they going to be to travel with? Are you guys going to be able to…
We all get along so well. That’s one of the best things about the show, you know the camaraderie and the conviviality that exists. There is not a weak link. It certainly is helpful that we’re not all stuck in the same room for 15 hours a day. We all get to kind of get to know each other gradually and we rekindle the relationship if you haven’t seen somebody for a while. You know it’s fun that way…We have dinners every once in a while where we get together and that’s fun. We all have these like once a month, during the first season we would all get together and go down to the Pacific Dining Car and just have a nice meal together. It was fun. It’s not as easy this time because everybody’s so kind of recognizable. In the beginning we could go out and nobody knew who we were.

HW: Your recognition factor must have increased like tenfold. You must be getting approached a lot.
Yeah. I’ve always gotten, people think they went to high school with me. “Do I know you?” “Did we sleep together?” No. I really don’t get, I don’t know what it is. If I look back on it, it’s such a natural progression that you don’t really notice it while it’s happening, but I guess I get recognized more. I don’t know.

HW: Are you at the right level of fame, a comfortable level?
Yeah. I’m not really comfortable with all the…When I was in Walgreens this afternoon and my credit card was declined because whatever and I’m just trying to buy some Listerine and some toothpaste for the kids and I had this beard, I don’t look anything like my wallet picture and they had to call for authorization and I’m going, “Uh…these things don’t change. You know I’m a little late in paying the bill, I guess. I’m sorry. Can I just…? I have cash.” They’re like, “No, we need to call for authorization,” and so those things are the same. And that’s where I wish I was a little bit more famous. And people would go “Oh, dude, no problem.” You must have the money in your bank account. Everyday shit like that. And it was the same Walgreens that I got in a fight with some guy a year ago, I had a shirt on, it said something about Natalie, like ‘Free Natalie‘ or something. And the guy walked past me and said “Fuck your wife.” And he was a big, tall guy and I turned around and I pushed him into the display and as I was doing it I thought “Lawsuit–shit, don’t do this.” So I went to help him before he fell. Security was on us both. Anyway, it was the same Walgreens. I thought they would have recognized me from that. They would have remembered me. A whole different turnover in help there.

HW: You mean you haven’t been banned? Your photo’s not posted behind the sales counter?
No, but I got the beard now. They’d think I am trying to sneak in or something.

HW: While you have the beard you might as well play it up and wear like your grossest clothes out and cause all kinds of trouble.
 Greg Grunberg said to me this morning, he goes “Do you wash it?” I do, I bathe, Greg. It doesn’t mean I don’t shave. You know? He goes “What do you, shampoo it? What do you?” Water. You wash it. It’s not like it’s got little bugs in it or anything.

HW: Has everything calmed down with Natalie and the way people feel about the Dixie Chicks at this point?
I think so, yeah. It’s no longer a bold headline like it was. At the time if she said that now, it would probably be on page seven, column five. It wouldn’t be a big deal. Now that we’re all embarrassed. America, internationally, everybody has the same sentiment…We’re in definite need of course correction. I was just in Monte Carlo and you know journalists and the press, when this question came up, they would kind of look at me like they were empathetic. There was no hostility toward them. They just felt bad that I was an American. And you know it’s tough going internationally right now. They’ve really done a good job of fucking us. That’s the administration.

[IMG:L]HW: Did you guys feel good when she walked home with those Grammys? Was that kind of like, yeah, it’s all over now?
It was a great night. We look at them every night. They’re on top of the piano and every night when I go upstairs I look at them. And it’s no small thing to see five Grammy’s sitting there. Sometimes it just catches you. You go “Whoa, I’ve been taking those for granted.” You can’t. It was a great moment for her. I mean, who would have thought this little barefoot, blue eyed, blond haired girl from Texas would have sparked such an international [furor]…and she just made this big statement and it was a great thing to be a part of and I’m very proud of her. I would have stuck by her no matter what, if she’d have been a cashier at Arby’s or a lead singer saying what she said and sticking by it. It was a tremendously courageous thing.