By Kurt Maitland
At a recent NYC whiskey event, I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Selznick. Patricia is an actress, producer and whiskey fan, whom you may have seen her in TV commercials or in her indie film Non-Dicktion. Patricia took some time from her busy schedule to talk to us about her career and her love of whiskey.
KM: So tell me a bit about yourself.
PS: I hail from North Carolina, where moonshine is still a common trade amongst friends, and the filmmakers rely heavily on the state’s tax incentive. I have called New York City home for the past six years, where I have focused my acting career on film, commercial and print work. I also enjoy working behind the camera and play the role of producer and/or coordinator, from time to time.
KM: So what came first, your work in commercials or your writing and production work? How did you get into the field?
PS: My story is very much similar to the whole “which came first: the egg or the chicken” scenario. While in college, I auditioned for a student short film and when the producer and DP realized I was in the university’s film program, they offered to teach me how to be an assistant cameraman. They ended up hiring me as both an actor and a crew member for their project.
Funny enough, the same thing happened to me a year later whenever I auditioned for a feature film. The producer was in the audition room and noticed on my resume that I was studying film at the local university. Coincidentally, he also graduated from the same program and offered me an internship as the pre-production assistant and on set assistant. I also had an acting role in that project and once the project wrapped, I was offered a yearlong internship at a post-production house. At a young age, I learned how to quickly tackle every aspect of filmmaking.
KM: What has been your favorite part of being in the industry?
PS: Some of the most genuine people I know have been the ones I met while on set. It’s a built-in family and support system. You all understand the love/hate relationship that goes into filmmaking and the day-to-day struggles. The opportunity to be surrounded by amazingly talented and creative people makes the whole process worthwhile.
KM: So what was your first experience with whiskey?
PS: Whiskey was first properly introduced to me in New York by my friend and collaborator, Lucy Spain, while we were developing our film Non-Dicktion. We were suffering from writer’s block and trying to figure out how to piece together our journal entries into one fluid story line. She offered some bourbon and as a result, the writer’s block quickly subsided. After that, I started exploring all different types of whiskey – from rye, wheat, Scotch, Irish – the list goes on!
KM: And I’m told you have some whiskey-based travel experience? Any you would care to share?
PS: Most of my travels have been based off of where my favorite wines and spirits originate. Last fall, my friend Rachelle and I were trying to figure out our next destination and where to celebrate ringing in the New Year based off of this concept.
At the time of planning our trip last October, I was up for a part on a tv show and it was down to me and another actress. Unfortunately, the producers went with the latter.
Rachelle that same day asked me, “What do you love more than anything in the world?” Puzzled by the question, I just sort of stared at her while racking my brain. She then she yelled, “Whiskey! We are going to Ireland for New Years. It’s settled.”
Talk about the best pick-me-up ever!
We found the people of Ireland to be extremely friendly and hospitable. Once people realized we were from the south while visiting the pubs, they would offer us bourbon from Kentucky to make us feel at home. It goes without saying that we would politely decline to stick to our theme: “only Irish while in Ireland.” Needless to say, the spirits did not disappoint.
KM: So what are your whiskey preferences? Do you have a favorite bourbon? Favorite Scotch?
PS: Well most recently I had a small batch bourbon by Michter’s at a whiskey tasting that was really great. I also met someone who works for Teeling Whiskey, which is made in Dublin, and he gave me a bottle of their Small Batch Blend that spends some of its time aging in a rum cask. I highly recommend that one if you see it on a shelf!
As for Scotch, I would have to say that Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is my go to for right now. This single malt is aged for 10 years in American white oak then two more years in Port cask. I like it so much that I recently bought it for my landlord after his baby was born.
Within a few years, I hope to partner up with a distillery to create a custom whiskey where part of the proceeds would go an organization that is dear to me. Stolen Horse International; also known as NetPosse,is an incredible organization that is ran by a family friend. Their mission to help horse owners find their stolen horses that have been sold on the black market. I think it’s definitely a cause that the whiskey community would love to get behind.