The gritty Detroit cop drama Narc marks Jason Patric's second role as a troubled undercover narcotics detective. His first was Rush, back in 1991. For an actor whose big releases are few and far between, this kind of repetition could be seen as risky. Then again, Patric knows his career path has always been screwy, so why stop now?

"I don't work often enough to repeat myself!" grouses the 36-year-old, whose last film was 1998's disturbing Your Friends and Neighbors. "Rush was over 10 years ago," he reminds us. "I was 24 years old. I'm a different man now, with different things to show."

Older and wiser, Patric definitely hopes not to repeat mistakes like his big-budget flop, Speed 2: Cruise Control. "That was just a miserable experience," he groans. "Doing Speed 2 was really about getting me to the foreign markets where my other movies just don't play. I succumbed to the pressures of what everyone wanted me to do.

"I was doing independent movies since before there was an independent movement," he continues. "But the truth is, the idea of me working every two years like I used to do was not cutting it any more. I'm glad that [Speed 2] didn't do well. I don't think bad movies should make money."

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Well, at least Patric isn't quite as bitter about The Lost Boys — the camp classic that still has us swooning at the mere mention of his name. "It pops up on these weird [TV] stations late at night," sighs the onetime teen vampire. "I can't recognize myself in something like that. Look, I would've liked it if, when I was 18 or 19, they were making East of Edens and things like that. They weren't."