I recently been in contact with Paul Rawson a Hollywood Horror star – A child actor who is probably best recognized from any B-Horror movie of the 80s & 90’s. That includes ‘Bad Dreams’ ‘Star Crystal’ & ‘Trapped Alive’.
Paul took the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me and have a Q&A…
Q: When and how did you get your acting started? I read that you were only 2 months old when you got your first job?
Paul: I was actually 2 weeks old. I played a baby in ‘Striking Back’ but they later changed the title upon release, There wasn’t much acting going on as I was a genuine baby doing what two week old babies do. Pooping and crying all day long. I still have the original script for that movie. Although I could barely open my eyes at that age, never mind read a freaking script! I wonder how much its worth ha ha.
Q: You were cast in the 1990 Horror cult classic ‘The Guardian’ from the director of ‘The Exorcist’ William Friedkin. What do you remember about the audition process? And what went wrong?
Paul: Ha. Brilliant. I was indeed. It was pretty much like every other audition process: You go meet the casting director, they call you back to see the director and/or put you on tape. If the director likes you, you might get another call back to meet them and sometimes it goes to the point where you audition with the lead actor. I remember the script being amazeballs. It was this fantasy horror film for adults about a nanny who kidnapped children and sacrificed them to the evil druids who lived in trees.
I know that sounds crap but on paper it was bloody good. I knew the director was a massive deal and I desperately wanted to get booked. In the end, I did. However – about 3 weeks into principal photography,
I became rather ill. I had very bad flu and was advised to get plenty of rest.
I wasn’t having any of it and I begged the Producers to shoot my scenes later when I was not reenacting scenes from William Friedkin’s first horror film, ‘The Exorcist’. But they couldn’t afford to wait so they basically told me to ‘do one’ ha ha. I later saw the film and was very surprised at how it turned out. It was a beautiful screenplay (all over the place) but it just didn’t transfer to film like it should have.
Q: You appeared in episodes of some popular 80s television series. Anything memorable that you can share with us about your experiences?
Paul: Sweet baby Jesus. I can hardly remember. Working on an episode for a show back then was very quick fire work. In shoot scenes, no second take, out! I only did a few TV series as I didnt find it very professional
at all. I did, ‘L.A. Firefighters’ when I was about 12 and I cannot even remember shooting any scenes. It was all so quick, business, business, business. With film its much more professional. There is a director
who wants to make the best film they can possibly make. Were as TV you get to the studio nagging to get the work done as fast and as cheaply as possible. Obviously I did ‘Scare Tactics’ which was an absolute blast.
Q: Can you tell us what its like it be a child star in Hollywood and how you managed to stay on track and not derail?
Paul: I was surrounded by good people. There are so many young folks who end up in the gutter because of their surroundings. I was lucky, I worked when I wanted to not because I needed to. I did my job and went home. Sometimes it can consume young kids when having so much attention being focused on them. I enjoyed the acting part.
There’s so much more to acting now – being in the spot light etc. I was once coming out of a kids birthday party when I was about 9 years old, It was at this restaurant in Hollywood and there were people screaming at me and trying to grab me. I was 9 and had no idea what the fuck was going on. But I ran into the street to escape them and very nearly got knocked down. Scary stuff.
Q: Have you ever turned down a part and later kicked yourself?
Paul: I’d like to say, yes! But I genuinely don’t remember turning anything down. I only read for the parts I wanted and if I was offered the part – I took it.
You can see part 2 of Paul’s interview next Monday so stayed tuned, You can find Paul on…
Facebook Page www.facebook.com/pauliepooh82
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