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August 29, 2014
Actor Paul Sparks talks about Trust Me and the Hollywood business
— Posted by Jim Alexander
Trust Me a film written, directed, and starring Clark Gregg is available everywhere on DVD and VOD. I spoke with Paul Sparks who has starred in the critically acclaimed Mud, as well as the HBO hit series Boardwalk Empire. Paul plays the role of the troubled Ray in Trust Me. We discussed the film, showbiz, and a lot more. You can read it all below.
Jim: How did you get involved with the film?
Paul: I didn’t know Clark at all, but I did know Mary Verniau the casting director, and I think she was sort of responsible for getting Clark and I together. She showed him bunch of tape of auditions I have done in the past. Then he called me, we talked on the phone, I also read the script and found it interesting. I was interested to see how he was going to handle the complexity of the character.
Jim: Paul, you have an interesting character in the film. I have seen your work before on Boardwalk Empire and you have done a lot of films where you have played a policeman or detective, but this is a different sort of character for you. How did you approach this role?
Paul: You know, I loved it. I thought it was a fascinating role. I know I have done a lot of stuff with the police and detective roles on television and film, but I have done this kind of a role a lot in the theater. I love those people who are dreamy, damaged, and make a lot of terrible decisions, but ultimately they have a nobility about what they are trying to do. They kinda can’t get out of their own way a lot of the time. To me I love to do a role like that.
Jim: The character of Ray has a lot of layers and undergoes a lot of changes. One second you think he’s a scumbag and a bad guy, then you think maybe he’s good and he’s trying to help his daughter. What did you want the audience watching the film to take away from the character?
Paul: I think that’s exactly right, I think Clark does a great job of dealing with these complexities. The way Ray presents himself to the world, doesn’t have much to do with what he’s bringing to his relationship with Lydia. We just talked a lot about where does this guy come from, it really started to add up to all his problems and things he’s dealing with. I mean it doesn’t make up for his personality. I just wanted to show a complex person not just some asshole.
Jim: On the surface the film deals a lot with agents and the crazy business of Hollywood, what was your take away regarding the film’s message, and what would you like the audience to take away after seeing the film?
Paul: I think it sometimes feels this way in Los Angeles, but also in this business what Clark tries to show in the film. It’s very easy to feel like you’re alone. No matter what you are doing, you feel alone. There are all these people in the room feeling as if they are alone. People are trying to connect with them, trying to get them to well trust. I think it’s something we all experience that need. It’s like who really can you trust. I think maybe Clark would say, for him in the end his character fully trusts Lydia, even though she kinda screws him over. He’s happy that he trusted though. It’s worth it, taking that risk caring about people. It’s what I really liked about the film. It’s easy to be jaded. I think Clark is looking for that nobility. Ultimately everyone is trying to better themselves.
Jim: Jumping on that point, you being a seasoned industry. This industry can be cruel, some of these producers and agents treat these actors as money making objects. Have you seen things like that in the industry on a personal level?
Paul: I have been very blessed, most of the people I have worked with and my representation who are like my family and I have worked with a long time I have never felt anything negative. Though I do think where the truth is at ultimately that making a movie or a television show is such a giant beast with so many moving parts. Everyone is getting asked to give everything all the time. With any director it’s like it’s not about my feelings, it’s that I need to get this done. A lot of times that’s very cold. It’s like I’m sorry it’s your birthday today but we are shooting. I’m sorry that your kids is graduating from high school, but we’re shooting today.
Jim: Any upcoming projects that you are working on or would like the fans to know about?
Paul: In the past year I just finished filming with Jeff Nichols, who’s the guy that did Mud. His film Midnight Special is coming out sometime this year. Obviously it’s the last season of Boardwalk Empire, which is very sad for all of us since we have been with it for so long. So that season starts in September. I started shooting on a role in House of Cards, which will be really interesting. It’s a pretty phenomenal show. I’ve been very lucky part of such good writing and television. I’m also supposed to be starting a new HBO show called Crime that starts up in the fall. There is a bunch of stuff, so we will see how it all goes. I’m excited about all of it. I’ve been very lucky in a business where you never forget how small of a percentage of people make it that are trying to do it. I never forget how much I’ve been given, it’s been pretty great.
Jim: Thanks for you time Paul
Paul: Of course man.
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When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.
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