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Australian actor Paul Ashton in his new movie, "serial friends" and his move to Hollywood

Australian actor Paul Ashton recently wrapped filming on the film “Serial Buddies,” an independent comedy labeled “the first ever serial killer buddy movie,” produced by Maria Menounos and directed by Keven Undergaro. In it he plays one of the two leading roles and acted alongside the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Christopher McDonald and David Proval. It was an experience and an opportunity that seems a long way from Wagga Wagga, the small town in Australia where Paul grew up.

Ashton began acting at the young age of seven performing with the Louise Blackett Theater Workshop. She was just a natural inclination at the time, and she had no idea what a big role acting would play in her life in the future.

She comes from a creative bunch, though her parents are both doctors (one orthodox, one alternative, a lively combination, she assures me), her three siblings are also artists. One of her sisters, Alexa Ashton, is also a successful actress. She starred in ‘Home and Away’ and, like Paul, has worked for the prestigious Bell Shakespeare Company.

Asked about his family’s thoughts on his career choice, Ashton was quick to say: “My family is very supportive. I think my dad would have preferred that I had finished my law degree before going to drama school. , but never once did my parents try to stop me from doing what I love to do. They’ve been there supporting me and giving me 100% and are proud of the paths we’ve all chosen.”

After his family moved to Canberra when he was 12, Ashton saw a school production of Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’. He nurtured his love of acting on the stage, and soon after he saw the first production of the Bell Shakespeare Company, it was ‘Hamlet’, and knew that this was what he was destined to do.


Discussing early influences, Paul mentions Rob Sitch, the Australian actor/director who was part of “The Late Show” and who, along with his colleagues, produced some of Australia’s best-loved films, most notably “The Castle “.

Other early influences included Baz Lurhmann, Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins, John Cleese, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Michael Winterbottom, Ben Kingsley, and Kate Winslet. He trained at Melbourne’s VCA Drama School, where teachers like Lindy Davies, Tanya Gerstle and Leisa Shelton, and directors Peter Evans and Brian Lipson also had a huge impact on him during those formative years.

But he cites John Bell, who created the renowned Bell Shakespeare Company, as making a big impression on him. Paul recalls: ‘Watching his productions every year in Canberra and meeting him and some of the other actors as a teenager was really inspiring to me. He was a drama nerd in its purest form – I used to get his autographs. It was a mi I dream of working for them.”

In a truly defining moment for his career, John Bell came by and saw Ashton play Orlando in As You Like It in his senior year of drama school (Paul had written him a letter inviting him to come along and was surprised when he got a call from the assistant of Bell). confirming the dates). He worked for the Bell company a year later, a dream come true.

Earlier that year, Paul had been cast in the role of Ben in the award-winning Australian show “The Secret Life of Us.”

They would spend four years living and working in Sydney before Hollywood called. During this time, Ashton was also the front man for the popular local indie rock act, Minder.

She reflects on that time: “I moved to Los Angeles, like so many other of my compatriots, because it is the center of the global entertainment industry and offers the most diverse range of opportunities possible. That diversity appeals to me and I think it’s a better fit for me as a actor”.

In an interview at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Ashton shared with me his thoughts on his new life in the mecca of the entertainment business.


Bobbi -Q: Paul, what is one of the main differences between being an actor in Los Angeles and in Australia?

Paul -A: Without a doubt, the first thing you discover when you arrive is the scale of it. The size of the city itself is a good indicator, there are a lot of people and it is very competitive. It can be difficult to know where to start. You go from knowing most of the people in the industry and most of the people knowing you, to knowing no one and, in a way, starting over.

But there is a real sense of possibility and that anyone has a chance. There is a ‘yes’ attitude that underpins much of the American psyche, and I really respond to that.

Bobbi- Q: How did you get the role in “Serial Buddies?”

Paul-A: I got the role by auditioning. The casting director, Jen Cooper, had seen some of my work last year and called me to read the part. At first they didn’t think it was right for Gregory, but luckily I won them over.

Bobbi-Q: Was it easy for you to play the character?

Paul-A: There were certain parts of Gregory that I had to work very hard on: he has a very dark past and was damaged by years of abuse and neglect.

But his flamboyance and physique were a lot of fun to take on, and in that sense, it was easier. But he was demanding at all times and I had to stretch myself as an actor to get there.

Bobbi-Q: What acting technique do you use? Are there elements that are essential for success?

Paul-A: I don’t work with any specific technique. Without a doubt, my training had a huge influence on the way I approach my work, and over the years I have adapted the principles I learned into something more my own.

Elements that I consider essential? Nothing new: research and analysis of scripts, using your imagination and understanding your character’s point of view. And then, most importantly, play the moment.

Bobbi-Q: What was it like working with the cast of “Serial Buddies”?

Paul-A: I felt extremely privileged to work with such a long list of well-established and very talented actors.

We had a core group of guys who were a joy to spend time with on set. The other 3 guys have a background in comedy and improv so there was always a lot of laughs, a lot of innovation and creativity when the cameras were rolling.

Working with an iconic actor like Christopher Lloyd. Playing my dad! It was wild, and a career highlight for sure. He was a gentleman and a pleasure to work with. And Chris McDonald too? No way. Comedic genius right there. We had a lot of fun doing our scene together.

And to top it off, having Hal Rudnick as Gary, perfect for my Gregory.

Bobbi-Q: What characters or roles would you like to see yourself playing?

Paul-A: I love both comedy and drama, and I never want to restrict myself to just one genre or form.

Bobbi-Q: What are you currently doing?

Paul-A: I’m currently in post-production on a short film I made before shooting “Serial Buddies.” It’s called “Champion” and I plan to participate in Tropfest in Australia early next year. It was a script that I wrote, directed and produced.

Other than that, auditioning and entertaining lots of friends from Australia!

Bobbi-Q: What is your goal for this coming year?

Paul-A: Keep challenging myself to be better. Of course, I’d love to see “Serial Buddies” hit the submission deadline for Sundance and then, of course, get in, although that’s out of my hands right now. That would make it a good year. And I want to start working on my next self-created project. I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet.

Bobbi-Q: How do you have fun and relax?

Paul-A: Spending time with friends, going to the movies, exercising, playing music, doing yoga, and when I can, skiing.

Bobbi-Q: Are you married, single or dating?

Paul-A: Single, but open to meeting someone.

Bobbi -Q: In what city did you live before here?

Paul-A: I lived in Sydney before moving here, but my family lives in Canberra, so that’s really my home. Mom and dad have a beautiful house there, a great garden in the back, and the place is full of amazing organic and biodynamic food and healthy, life-affirming things. My mother is an alternative medicine practitioner and my father is a doctor, so it’s always interesting.

Bobbi-Q: Tell us about your music.

Paul-A: I’ve been playing music since I was 5 years old. I started with the piano and then I also played the viola and the guitar. I played in my school orchestras and sang in my school choirs. Music has always been there as something I did. But it wasn’t until I learned to play the guitar at the age of 18 that I started to write and play a little on my own. Before I moved to Los Angeles, I was actually part of an indie rock band in Sydney. I had written a bunch of songs over a few years and a mate suggested we start a band together, so we did.

In fact, I’m going to play my first concert in Los Angeles in a month. Just some low key acoustic originals. It should be fun.

Bobbi -Q: What ‘original music’ are you providing for the movie “Serial Buddies”?

Paul-A: There is a song in the movie that Gregory sings to his father. He was trying to find a tune for it, so he knew what he was doing when we shot it. It became a little more than what was on the page. I liked the way it sounded, so I recorded it and felt it for Keven. He loved it, so we arranged it and recorded it with the genius musician Giulio Carmassi. He should be in the movie now, which is great.

Bobbi-Q: Tell me about these YouTube vlogs you posted while filming “Serial Buddies.” That was original, why did you do it?

Paul-A: They were just a way to document/blog my time on set so there would be a fun record and so anyone including my friends and family could get a behind the scenes look. And try to make the name of the movie a little known. With independent movies, everything helps.

Bobbi -Q: Do you have any special thanks to give to someone in your life?

Paul-A: Where do I start? First of all my parents. They are the most generous and caring people I know. Even outside of our family’s care. And my brothers too, just wonderful people who have helped shape who I am. I also have an extraordinary group of friends dating back to my early days at Wagga Wagga. They know who they are, and we’re still in regular contact, and they’ve always believed in me and that’s a weird feeling.

Oh, and of course Steven Waugh, the greatest Australian cricket captain of all time. The greatest inspiration of my life.

Paul Ashton lives in Los Angeles, CA and is a writer, director, actor, musician, and stage performer.

It is run by Prodigy Talent Group.

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