CBS.com: That's hilarious. You've worked in the theater, in feature films and in television. Which do you prefer or do you?
Paul Blackthorne: You know, you get cars. And you can drive different cars. You can drive those Indie 500 cars, or those cross country sort of cars, or you can drive a regular car. But there's different kinds of car-driving. They're all driving; they're all driving cars, but they're different kinds. Rally driving, cross-country, and some people want to whiz. It's just the same stuff: it's driving a car, but it's different types of driving and different types of technique required for different types of driving. And depending on how you're feeling, that's all it is, the difference between TV, theater, or film, or theater and screen acting. Now, if you do a little show, a little theater, a little studio theater, that's nice because you can do your stuff there. You're not bellowing out to row Z and row E and all the rest of it. But it's different, so, so different, and there's a lot to learn about both, which I'm endeavouring to do as best I can. When I'm about ninety I might better answer that question properly; in the meantime, I'm still learning.
CBS.com: So, you'd rather drive than act?
Paul Blackthorne: Yes, I hate acting; I want to be a rally driver! No, I actually prefer the screen stuff myself. The point that I am at today, it seems that I prefer that. In a few years' time that may change, or in the past it might have been different, but it's interesting, this stuff.
CBS.com: Besides Matt Slingerland, which of the roles that you've played so far have been your favorite?
Paul Blackthorne: I think the role that I played for "Lagaan," the Indian film which was nominated for the Oscars this year: I played the bad guy in that, a sort of British Army captain, 1893. I had to talk Hindi to Indian people and English to my fellow Englishmen. It's just a magnificent film. You know, when you read a script you go, "Whoo that's a good script." When you're shooting you go, "Well yeah, this all looks good!" But you know, from that point the actor goes home and a year later he sees what ends up on the screen and you've got no idea what's going to end up on there, no idea.
When I saw this pop up on the screen I was beside myself and I thought, "Good God!" I was very lucky to be in that and have a real good fun part to play, and not only was it a good fun part, but at the end of the day you looked at the film and thought "Wow! They got that bit so right!" It was nice that you had a fun part in something that worked out nicely. That was a part! And the actor, Amir Khan, is a pretty famous Indian actor [and] an amazing person to work with, a very fine man. That was my favorite part.
CBS.com: Tell me about Matt Slingerland.
Paul Blackthorne: Matt Slingerland. He's this chap who has lived in this country since he was eighteen. He comes from the proverbial stuffy English background and he's a lot happier within the slightly more freewheeling, free-speaking American society. Especially in the medical world and with this group of doctors he's found himself with. He feels he is surrounded by like-minded sorts. Stuffy English background, oh goodness me, comes to America, nice to be able to communicate and you know, not to be so "up your own bottom," as he perceives his life and family background to be.
CBS.com: How will he interact with the other characters? Are there steamy affairs?
Paul Blackthorne: Well, we've got a little bit of a biological affair going on for a bit at the moment, which is interesting. You'll see more about that. But obviously, people come to me as the internist and I head them off into the various departments, sort of directions. There's a bit of that going on with a couple of the characters, and we're having a lot of fun creating relationships with…well just that: creating relationships between the characters. CBS.com: Biological affairs?
Paul Blackthorne: Biological affairs. Just that. You'll know exactly what I mean when you see it.
CBS.com: PRESIDIO MED has an amazing cast.
Paul Blackthorne: It's nuts, isn't it? I look around the room and I think, "Goodness me! That's…well done, thanks very much, lovely, cheers, very happy to be here!" It's extraordinary!
The performances in Lagaan are not naturalistic, but broad and theatrical leaving little room for subtlety. The real standout in the cast is star Aamir Khan, one of the biggest names in contemporary Indian cinema. He gives Bhuvan a charismatic, headstrong presence while being forthright that Bhuvan is not the brightest bulb in the land. With Khan’s handsome visage and physicality, one can easily see why Bhuvan sets women’s heads spinning. As his nemesis, Captain Russell, Paul Blackthorne is almost too dastardly. He walks around with an arrogant smirk permanently affixed to his face. Whenever he speaks, he enunciates each word as if he were spitting on the audience.
Acting came early for Paul as a ten year old when he performed with the National Youth Music Theatre in England. Fleeing at sixteen from England's wet climate, Paul first went east and landed in Norway with the same theatre company. Continuing travelling east, he landed first in Australia, then America, when New York beckoned.
Typical of New York actors breaking into the biz, Paul worked as a barman, serving up drinks and chat while appearing in a few short films, but Paul thought he could get a bigger start back in England. His instincts were correct: he was cast in a long-running Virgin Atlantic commercial in 1998, and the summer of 1998 saw Paul in a stage production of Tennessee William's Suddenly Last Summer at Nottingham Playhouse.
A two year tutelage studying the psychology of acting under John Osborne Hughes paid off when Paul landed a role as troubled Plastic Surgeon Dr Guy Morton on the beeb's Holby City. Paul had a recurring role in the British medical drama Peak Practice and has appeared on the beeb's Jonathan Creek. He appeared on The South Bank Show in August 1998 portraying Victor Ward in various skits performed from Bret Easton's Ellis' novel Glamorama.
His work with Bret Ellis on South Bank led to the silver screen role of Victor Ward in This Is Not An Exit: The Fictional World of Bret Easton Ellis (2000). During this time period, Paul also starred in the 20 minute short film, Romeo Thinks Again, and the film Rhythm & Blues.
Paul branched out into the indie film industry and portrayed the role of professionally successful but personally troubled Dan in the critically acclaimed British film The Truth Game (2001), written and directed by ___.
When the producers of Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India were casting for the role of the dictactorial Commander Andrew Russell, Paul's agent thought to send him to the audition. After several rounds of London auditions for Commander Russell's role, Paul was short-listed for the demanding part. Winning the role of Commander Russell, Paul was required to work with a language tutor to learn the Hindi lines. He starred alongside Aamir Khan, and the rest is Bollywood history: Lagaan was nominated for an Oscar and is still the reigning box-office champ in Bollywood.
Lagaan was filmed for the most part in Gujarat, India, which was later devastated by an earthquake. A photographer by hobby, Paul was spellbound by the scenery and his photographs were exhibited at London's Alphabet Bar in June 2001. He donated the proceeds of the exhibit to the Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund.
Hollywood soon called: the production team of John Wells and Lydia Woodward (China Beach; ER) were developing the medical drama Presidio Med (2002) for CBS and created the break-all-the-rules character of Dr Matt Slingerland for Paul.
Paul's latest project, Presidio
Med, was put on hold by CBS
Interests: race rallies, driving cross country, luxury cars. Paul resides in Los Angeles.
http://www.rphunt.com/danadelany/multimedia.htm#presmed4 for the video promos of Presidio Med.
page contains the video promos from Presidio Med. Uses Real Player.
I re-wrote & added to Paul's bio found on ___ :o).