Australian actor Paul Ashton not too long ago wrapped taking pictures 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 performing 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 concept of the large function performing would play in his life sooner or later.
He hails from a artistic lot – although his dad and mom are each in drugs (one orthodox, one various – a energetic mixture he assures me) his three siblings are all artists too. One among his sisters, Alexa Ashton, can be a profitable actor. She starred in ‘Residence and Away’ and like Paul has labored for the distinguished Bell Shakespeare Firm .
In asking him about his household’s ideas on his profession alternative, 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 regulation diploma earlier than heading to drama college, however by no means as soon as have my dad and mom 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 previous, Ashton noticed a college manufacturing of ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Useless’ 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 provide a few of Australia’s best-loved movies, most notably “The Fortress.”
Different early influences included Baz Lurhmann, Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins, John Cleese, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Michael Winterbottom, Ben Kingsley and Kate Winslet. He educated at VCA Drama Faculty in Melbourne, the place lecturers resembling Lindy Davies, Tanya Gerstle and Leisa Shelton, and administrators Peter Evans and Brian Lipson additionally had a big effect on him throughout these youth.
However he websites John Bell – who created the famend Bell Shakespeare Firm – as making a very giant impression on him. Paul remembers: “Watching their productions yearly in Canberra, and assembly him and a few of the different actors as a young person 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 college (Paul had written a letter inviting him to return alongside, and was shocked when he obtained 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 forged because the function of Ben on the award profitable Australian present “The Secret Lifetime of Us.”
It might be 4 years of residing and dealing in Sydney earlier than Hollywood known as. Throughout this time, Ashton additionally was the frontman for in style 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 business and gives essentially the most numerous vary of alternatives potential. That range 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 without doubt one of the principal variations between being an actor in Los Angeles versus Australia?
Paul -A: Undoubtedly the very first thing you uncover whenever you arrive is the dimensions of it. The sheer measurement of the town itself is an effective indicator, there are simply so many individuals and it is so aggressive. It may be onerous to know the place to start out. You go from figuring out most individuals within the business and most of the people figuring out you, to figuring out nobody and in a method, beginning once more.
However there’s an actual sense of chance and that anybody’s bought a shot. There is a ‘sure’ perspective that underpins a lot of the American psyche, and I actually reply to that.
Bobbi- Q: How did you get the function in “Serial Buddies?”
Paul- A: I bought the function by auditioning. Casting Director Jen Cooper had seen a few of my work final yr and she or he known as me in to learn for the function. At first they did not assume I used to be proper for Gregory, however fortuitously I gained them over.
Bobbi -Q: Was the character simple to play for you?
Paul -A: There have been sure components of Gregory I needed to work very onerous on – he has a really darkish previous and was broken from years of abuse and neglect.
However his flamboyance and physicality had 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 performing method do you employ? Are there components which are important to success?
Paul-A: I do not work with any particular method. Actually my coaching had a giant affect on how I strategy my work, and over time I’ve tailored the rules I realized 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 forged of “Serial Buddies?”
Paul-A: I felt extraordinarily privileged to work with an extended record of effectively established and really gifted actors.
We had core group of fellows that had been a pleasure to spend time with on set. The opposite 3 guys all have comedy and improv backgrounds, so there have been all the time loads of laughs, with numerous innovation and creativity when the cameras had 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 method. Comedian genius proper there. We had a variety of enjoyable doing our scene collectively.
And to prime it off – to have Hal Rudnick as Gary, to my Gregory-perfect.
Bobbi-Q: What characters or roles do you wish to see your self enjoying?
Paul-A: I really like each comedy and drama, and by no means wish 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 getting into it into Tropfest in Australia early subsequent yr. It was a script I wrote, directed and produced.
Aside from that, auditioning and entertaining numerous buddies from Australia!
Bobbi-Q: What’s your objective for this upcoming yr?
Paul-A: To proceed to problem myself to be higher. In fact, 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 arms. That may make it an excellent yr straight up. And I wish to begin engaged on my subsequent self-devised challenge. I am simply unsure what it’ll be but.
Bobbi-Q: How do you will have enjoyable and calm down?
Paul-A: Spending time with buddies, going to the films, exercising, enjoying music, yoga, and after I can- snowboarding.
Bobbi -Q: Are you married, single, or courting?
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 gorgeous home there, large 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 health care provider, so it is all the time attention-grabbing.
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 college orchestras and sang in my college choirs, Music’s simply all the time been there as one thing I did. Nevertheless it 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 transferring 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 instructed 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 ‘authentic music’ are you offering for the movie “Serial Buddies?”
Paul-A: There is a music within the movie that Gregory sings to his father. I used to be making an attempt to give you a tune for it – so I knew what I used to be doing after we shot it. It developed into a bit greater than what was on the web page. I preferred the sound of it, so recorded and despatched it to Keven. He cherished 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 authentic, why did you do it?
Paul-A: They had been only a technique to doc/weblog concerning the time on set in order that there was a enjoyable report of it, and in order that anybody , together with my family and friends, may have a peak behind the scenes. And to try to get the title of the movie on the market a bit. With indie movies, each little bit helps.
Bobbi -Q: Do you will have any particular thanks to provide anybody in your life?
Paul-A: The place do I begin? Initially my dad and mom. They’re essentially 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 frequently, they usually’ve all the time believed in me and that is a uncommon feeling.
Oh, and naturally, Steven Waugh – the best Australian cricket captain of all time. The final 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.
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