Local actor nominated for international award
Paul Wilson portrays father returning home from war in award winning film
When Paul Wilson learned that his performance in a sixminute film had been nominated for the Best Actor category at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, he was ecstatic.
“It’s pretty freaking cool,” he told The Compass Wednesday, June 3.
The film, Before the War, was produced by Newfoundland screenwriter and director Tamara Segura. Wilson was cast as her lead actor, David.
The independent film portrays a father returning home after being in the war. A voiceover introduces and closes the film describing Wilson’s character.
“People who knew him, say that my father ... was a terribly beautiful man,” a woman’s voice is heard.
It was a role that Wilson, who lives in Harbour Grace, was born in the United Kingdom but grew up in Australia, found intriguing.
The storyline of a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a topic being brought to the forefront in recent years. The film gives a glance into the raw situations that may arise from experiencing PTSD.
Although one main scene takes place completely inside the house, the only visual is the outside of the home. It was a challenging scene for the 43year-old actor, because he had to act out a physical altercation with his wife in the film, and it was also the first time the actress that played the daughter would meet him.
“They kind of wanted her to be weirded out by me a little bit,” Wilson explained, adding her body language towards him would be more awkward and real.
In one scene, Wilson is sneaking around the bushes outside the home of the wife character’s father to try and see his daughter, which he admits can be seen as creepy or as someone who loves his daughter so much he is risking everything to see her.
The filmmaker earned the Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. It was also the showcased film during the closing gala of the same festival that same year.
Receiving that award allowed Segura to give the film some finishing touches, and when the final product was ready, producers submitted it to the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Early last week, actors and film crew were notified that Before the War was nominated for Best Drama at the festival.
It wasn’t long after Wilson received a call telling him he was up for the best actor award.
“(I’m) very happy right now,” he announced on Facebook when he heard the news.
The actor has been working steadily since the release of the film, including a returning character on the last season of Republic of Doyle. He has also been a part of different school productions and he directed and played Rooster in the production of Annie held at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre last year.
Wilson will take on some big roles this summer during performances of Shakespearean plays at the Perchance Theatre in Cupids, which will also feature fellow local man, John Sheehan.
“That film was the start of a really good year for me,” Wilson said. And he hopes it’s just the beginning.