Australian actor Paul Ashton lately wrapped capturing the function film “Serial Buddies,” an indie comedy labeled as “the first serial killer-buddy film 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 concept 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. Considered one of his sisters, Alexa Ashton, can also be a profitable actor. She starred in ‘House and Away’ and like Paul has labored for the distinguished Bell Shakespeare Firm .
In asking him about his household’s ideas on his profession selection, Ashton was fast to state: “My family is extremely supportive. I think my Dad would’ve preferred it if I’d finished my law degree before heading to drama school, but never once have my parents tried to stop me from doing what I love to do. They’ve been there supporting and providing 100% and are proud of the paths we’ve all chosen.”
After his household moved to Canberra when he was 12 years previous, Ashton noticed a faculty production 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 production – 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 Show” and who together with his colleagues, went on to supply a few of Australia’s best-loved films, most notably “The Castle.”
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 Sunrise, the place academics resembling Lindy Davies, Tanya Gerstle and Leisa Shelton, and directors Peter Evans and Brian Lipson additionally had a huge impact 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 recollects: “Watching their productions every year in Canberra, and meeting him and some of the other actors as a teenager was really inspiring for me. I was a drama nerd in its purest form – 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 Ft Lauderdale 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 forged because the position of Ben on the award profitable Australian present “The Secret Life of Us.”
It will be 4 years of dwelling and dealing in Sydney earlier than Hollywood referred to 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 move to Los Angeles, like so many other of my compatriots because it is the centre of the global entertainment industry and provides the most diverse range of opportunities possible. That diversity appeals to me, and I think is a better fit for me as an actor.”
In a sit-down interview at The 4 Seasons Lodge 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 among the principal variations between being an actor in Ft Lauderdale versus Australia?
Paul -A: Undoubtedly the very first thing you uncover if you arrive is the size 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 exhausting to know the place to start out. You go from figuring out most individuals within the business and most of the people understanding you, to figuring out nobody and in a means, beginning once more.
However there’s an actual sense of risk and that anybody’s received 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 received the position by auditioning. Casting Director Jen Cooper had seen a few of my work final yr and she or he referred to as me in to learn for the position. At first they did not assume I used to be proper for Gregory, however fortuitously I gained them over.
Bobbi -Q: Was the character straightforward to play for you?
Paul -A: There have been sure elements 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 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 method do you employ? Are there parts which might be important to success?
Paul-A: I do not work with any particular method. Definitely my coaching had an enormous affect on how I strategy my work, and through the years I’ve tailored the rules I discovered into extra of my very own factor.
Parts that I feel are important? Nothing new – analysis and script evaluation, utilizing the creativeness and understanding the perspective 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 listing of properly established and really gifted actors.
We had core group of men 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 all the time loads of laughs, with plenty 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 method. Comedian genius proper there. We had a number 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 need to see your self enjoying?
Paul-A: I really like each comedy and drama, and by no means need to prohibit 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 film I made earlier than I shot “Serial Buddies.” It is referred to 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 a lot of associates 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 might 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 might make it an excellent yr straight up. And I need to begin engaged on my subsequent self-devised venture. I am simply unsure what it is going to be but.
Q: How do you might have enjoyable and loosen up?
Paul-A: Spending time with pals, going to the films, exercising, enjoying music, yoga, and once 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 ravishing home there, huge backyard out the again, and the place is filled 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 all the time 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 all the time been there as one thing I did. However it wasn’t until I taught myself the guitar on the age of 18 that I began writing and enjoying alone a bit. Earlier than shifting to LA I truly was a part of an indie rock band in Sydney. I might written a bunch of songs over a number of years and a mate instructed we begin a band collectively so we did.
I am truly 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 film “Serial Buddies?”
Paul-A: There is a music within the film that Gregory sings to his father. I used to be making an attempt to provide you with a tune for it – so I knew what I used to be doing once we shot it. It developed into a bit of greater than what was on the web page. I favored the sound of it, so recorded and despatched it to Keven. He liked it and so we organized and recorded it with genius musician, Giulio Carmassi. It ought to seem within the film 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 option 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, might have a peak behind the scenes. And to attempt to get the identify of the film on the market a bit. With indie films, each little bit helps.
Bobbi -Q: Do you’ve any particular thanks to provide anybody in your life?
Paul-A: The place do I begin? At first my mother and father. They’re probably the most beneficiant and unconditionally supportive individuals I do know. Even outdoors of taking care of our household. And my siblings too – simply fantastic individuals who’ve helped form who I’m. I even have a unprecedented group of buddies stretching proper again to my early days in Wagga Wagga. They know who they’re, and we’re nonetheless in contact commonly, 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 last word inspiration of my life.
Paul Ashton lives in Sunrise, CA and is a author, director, actor, musician and stage performer.
He’s managed by Prodigy Expertise Group.
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