Australian actor Paul Ashton just lately wrapped capturing the function movie “Serial Buddies,” an indie comedy labeled as “the primary serial killer-buddy movie of all time,” produced by Maria Menounos and directed by Keven Undergaro. In it he performs one of many two starring roles, and carried out reverse the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Christopher McDonald and David Proval. It was an expertise and alternative that appears a far cry from Wagga Wagga, the small city in Australia the place Paul grew up.
Ashton began appearing on the younger age of seven performing with Louise Blackett’s Theatre Workshop. It was merely a pure inclination on the time, and he had no thought of the large position appearing would play in his life sooner or later.
He hails from a artistic lot – although his mother and father are each in drugs (one orthodox, one various – a vigorous mixture he assures me) his three siblings are all artists too. One in all his sisters, Alexa Ashton, can be a profitable actor. She starred in ‘Residence and Away’ and like Paul has labored for the celebrated Bell Shakespeare Firm .
In asking him about his household’s ideas on his profession selection, Ashton was fast to state: “My household is extraordinarily supportive. I feel my Dad would’ve most well-liked it if I would completed my legislation diploma earlier than heading to drama faculty, however by no means as soon as have my mother and father tried to cease me from doing what I like to do. They have been there supporting and offering 100% and are pleased with the paths we have all chosen.”
After his household moved to Canberra when he was 12 years outdated, Ashton noticed a college manufacturing of ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Lifeless’ by Tom Stoppard. It galvanized his love for acting on stage, and shortly after he noticed the primary ever Bell Shakespeare Firm manufacturing – it was ‘Hamlet’ – and he knew this was what he was destined to do.
In talking of early influences, Paul notes Rob Sitch, the Australian actor/director who was a part of “The Late Present” and who together with his colleagues, went on to supply a few of Australia’s best-loved movies, most notably “The Fort.”
Different early influences included Baz Lurhmann, Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins, John Cleese, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Michael Winterbottom, Ben Kingsley and Kate Winslet. He skilled at VCA Drama College in Melbourne, the place academics similar to Lindy Davies, Tanya Gerstle and Leisa Shelton, and administrators Peter Evans and Brian Lipson additionally had a big effect on him throughout these childhood.
However he websites John Bell – who created the famend Bell Shakespeare Firm – as making a very massive impression on him. Paul recollects: “Watching their productions yearly in Canberra, and assembly him and a few of the different actors as a youngster was actually inspiring for me. I used to be a drama nerd in its purest type – I used to get their autographs. It was a dream of mine to work for them.”
In a real profession defining second, John Bell got here and watched Ashton play Orlando in As You Like It in his last yr of drama faculty (Paul had written a letter inviting him to return alongside, and was shocked when he acquired a name from Bell’s assistant confirming the dates). He labored for Bell’s firm a yr later – a dream come true.
Earlier that very same yr, Paul had been solid because the position of Ben on the award successful Australian present “The Secret Lifetime of Us.”
It could be 4 years of dwelling and dealing in Sydney earlier than Hollywood known as. Throughout this time, Ashton additionally was the frontman for common native indie rock act, Minder.
He displays again to that point, “I made the transfer to Los Angeles, like so many different of my compatriots as a result of it’s the centre of the worldwide leisure trade and supplies probably the most various vary of alternatives potential. That variety appeals to me, and I feel is a greater match for me as an actor.”
In a sit-down interview at The 4 Seasons Resort in Beverly Hills, Ashton shared his ideas with me about his new life within the mecca of the leisure enterprise.
Bobbi -Q: Paul, what is likely one of the primary variations between being an actor in Los Angeles versus Australia?
Paul -A: Undoubtedly the very first thing you uncover once you arrive is the dimensions of it. The sheer measurement of the town itself is an efficient indicator, there are simply so many individuals and it is so aggressive. It may be exhausting to know the place to begin. You go from realizing most individuals within the trade and most of the people realizing you, to realizing nobody and in a approach, beginning once more.
However there’s an actual sense of risk and that anybody’s acquired a shot. There is a ‘sure’ angle that underpins a lot of the American psyche, and I actually reply to that.
Bobbi- Q: How did you get the position in “Serial Buddies?”
Paul- A: I acquired the position by auditioning. Casting Director Jen Cooper had seen a few of my work final yr and he or she known as me in to learn for the position. At first they did not suppose I used to be proper for Gregory, however happily I received them over.
Bobbi -Q: Was the character straightforward to play for you?
Paul -A: There have been sure components of Gregory I needed to work very exhausting on – he has a really darkish previous and was broken from years of abuse and neglect.
However his flamboyance and physicality have been an enormous quantity of enjoyable to tackle, and in that sense, got here extra simply. However he was demanding always and I needed to stretch as an actor to get there.
Bobbi-Q: What appearing approach do you employ? Are there components which are important to success?
Paul-A: I do not work with any particular approach. Definitely my coaching had a giant affect on how I method my work, and over time I’ve tailored the rules I discovered into extra of my very own factor.
Components that I feel are important? Nothing new – analysis and script evaluation, utilizing the creativeness and understanding the viewpoint of your character. After which, most significantly enjoying the second.
Bobbi-Q: What was it like working with the solid of “Serial Buddies?”
Paul-A: I felt extraordinarily privileged to work with a protracted listing of effectively established and really proficient actors.
We had core group of fellows that have been a pleasure to spend time with on set. The opposite three guys all have comedy and improv backgrounds, so there have been at all times loads of laughs, with a number of innovation and creativity when the cameras have been rolling.
To work with an iconic actor like Christopher Lloyd. Enjoying my dad! It was wild, and a profession spotlight for positive. He was a gentleman and a pleasure to work with. And Chris McDonald too? No approach. Comedian genius proper there. We had loads of enjoyable doing our scene collectively.
And to high it off – to have Hal Rudnick as Gary, to my Gregory-perfect.
Bobbi-Q: What characters or roles do you need to see your self enjoying?
Paul-A: I like each comedy and drama, and by no means need to limit myself to only one style or type.
Bobbi-Q: What are you presently doing?
Paul-A: I am presently in post-production with a brief movie I made earlier than I shot “Serial Buddies.” It is known as “Champion” and I am planning on coming into it into Tropfest in Australia early subsequent yr. It was a script I wrote, directed and produced.
Aside from that, auditioning and entertaining a number of buddies from Australia!
Bobbi-Q: What’s your aim for this upcoming yr?
Paul-A: To proceed to problem myself to be higher. After all, I would like to see ” Serial Buddies” make the submission deadline for Sundance after which in fact get in – although that is now out of my palms. That may make it a superb yr straight up. And I need to begin engaged on my subsequent self-devised mission. I am simply undecided what it will be but.
Bobbi-Q: How do you’ve gotten enjoyable and calm down?
Paul-A: Spending time with buddies, going to the flicks, exercising, enjoying music, yoga, and after I can- snowboarding.
Bobbi -Q: Are you married, single, or relationship?
Paul-A: Single, however open to assembly somebody.
Bobbi -Q: What metropolis did you reside in earlier than right here?
Paul-A: I lived in Sydney earlier than I moved right here, however my household is predicated in Canberra, in order that’s residence actually. Mum and Dad have a wonderful home there, massive backyard out the again, and the place is stuffed with superb natural and biodynamic meals and life-affirming wholesome issues. My mum is an alternate drugs practitioner, and Dad’s a physician, so it is at all times fascinating.
Bobbi -Q: Inform us about your music.
Paul-A: I performed music since I used to be 5. I began on the piano, after which later additionally performed the Viola and guitar. I performed in my faculty orchestras and sang in my faculty choirs, Music’s simply at all times been there as one thing I did. But it surely wasn’t until I taught myself the guitar on the age of 18 that I began writing and enjoying by myself a bit. Earlier than shifting to LA I really was a part of an indie rock band in Sydney. I would written a bunch of songs over just a few years and a mate recommended we begin a band collectively so we did.
I am really enjoying my first gig in LA in a month’s time. Just a few low key acoustic originals. Ought to be enjoyable.
Bobbi -Q: What ‘unique music’ are you offering for the movie “Serial Buddies?”
Paul-A: There is a track within the movie that Gregory sings to his father. I used to be attempting to give you a tune for it – so I knew what I used to be doing after we shot it. It developed into a little bit greater than what was on the web page. I favored the sound of it, so recorded and despatched it to Keven. He beloved it and so we organized and recorded it with genius musician, Giulio Carmassi. It ought to seem within the movie now, which is nice.
Bobbi-Q: Inform me about these YouTube video blogs you posted whereas filming “Serial Buddies”. That was unique, why did you do it?
Paul-A: They have been only a strategy to doc/weblog concerning the time on set in order that there was a enjoyable document of it, and in order that anybody , together with my family and friends, might have a peak behind the scenes. And to try to get the identify of the movie on the market a bit. With indie movies, each little bit helps.
Bobbi -Q: Do you’ve gotten any particular thanks to provide anybody in your life?
Paul-A: The place do I begin? At the start my mother and father. They’re probably the most beneficiant and unconditionally supportive folks I do know. Even exterior of taking care of our household. And my siblings too – simply fantastic individuals who’ve helped form who I’m. I even have a rare group of buddies stretching proper again to my early days in Wagga Wagga. They know who they’re, and we’re nonetheless in contact repeatedly, and so they’ve at all times believed in me and that is a uncommon feeling.
Oh, and naturally, Steven Waugh – the best Australian cricket captain of all time. The last word inspiration of my life.
Paul Ashton lives in Los Angeles, CA and is a author, director, actor, musician and stage performer.
He’s managed by Prodigy Expertise Group.