Adrian Paul On 'Highlander,' ComicCon
He was the star of the cult TV hit Highlander. Now, Adrian Paul is back working on a spate of new films and yucking it up with his fans at ComicCon 2011, where Uinterview visited with him. Adrian Paul was born in London where he began his career modeling, dancing and choreographing. He headed to L.A. in 1985 and those talents came in handy when he won the role of “Kolya” a Russian expatriate ballet dancer on the ABC series The Colbys. He was then cast in the Broadway play Bouncers and made a number of guest appearances on television shows and played small film roles for most of the late 80s.
After a sampling of his acting skills, Paul was finally cast as Duncan MacLeod six seasons of Highlander: The Series, in which he played an immortal member of the Scottish Clan MacLeod. With a two spin-off films following the series, Highlander has been the most notable franchise of Paul’s career yet. In his spare time, he works on his new foundation Celebs For Peace. “I am hoping to get a lot of celebrities involved with it because it is a very simple way for them to be out there helping kids,” Paul told Uinterview exclusively.
I keep running into them, and I am always surprised so long afterwards that they are still very big fans. I was only supposed to come to Comic Con on Monday because I’m signing autographs, and I was surprised there was actually anybody there!
Well it's kind of part of what you do sometimes, you know? I’ve done so many other little bits now that a lot of the fans have seen me do other stuff. It’s ok, although I think my definability has been on Highlander because that’s the most long-running, identifiable piece that I have ever done. Is it a problem in my career? Maybe. Is it a pain in the ass? Mmm, no not really, it's nice to get those perks with it. You get, 'Oh, please come in! We got a table for you!' So you know, there are good parts and bad parts.
Not that I know of. I understand Summit Entertainment must be doing it. I have no idea what is happening with it. All I know is that it’s a remake of the first.
I’m about to direct next year, not this year yet. It’s called Basile’s Legacy, and it’s a fairytale drama much like Cinema Paradiso and Chocolat. It’s a small village in Italy that’s dying during the Industrial Revolution in the 70’s and basically the mayor saves it because he believes in the city. So the message of the movie is really about believing in yourself rather than in things and believing in what you can do as a group when you come together. So that’s the essence of it and we’re just about to go out now to actors and other co-production partners.
I like the story. I’ve directed TV, I’ve directed four episodes of Highlander, all of which were in the top ten favorites of all time. So I have been very lucky. I love directing and I wanted to do it in a film, but I wanted to do it in a small enough film because that is something I really like. And my home country is Italy, so I know the culture, I’ve done a lot of research on it, so I really wanted to know about it. You have to love the writer. You have to know the subject matter, so many of the nuances I know very well.
I will be having a couple reads with personal acquaintances of mine. We have a co-production partner out of Italy at the moment and we have another partner out of Germany.
2:15 is with Nick Nolte and Melanie Griffith. So it looks like we are going into production hopefully by November on that.
My character is a journalist who is obsessed with this woman, and he can’t get her out of his mind. He can’t tell her he loves her because she’s his friend. He’s obsessing trying to figure out a way if he should continue the relationship or whether he should shut it down. The idea at 2:15 is all these characters they come to a crossroads everyday. One drives his car through an intersection, another one stops to get the newspaper, another one sells the newspaper, and their lives intermingle with six degrees of separation basically. So that is the story of the movie, it’s a drama.
Yeah, look, TV has some fantastic dramas now, I mean I’d love to do another series. It depends on if I’m right for it. It’s a younger generation now, but yeah I’d love to do another TV show.
Well my charity, The Peace Fund (the thepeacefund.org is how you get to it) I’ve run for thirteen years now. Originally, I started it to bring celebrities and kids together. PEACE stands for Protect, Educate, Aid, Children, Everywhere. The goal changed a little bit with the tsunami when I realized my ability to raise money for people was better than my ability to create stuff on the ground. So we are affiliated with smaller charities that were on the ground dealing with tsunami victims or the victims like kids in Romania that live in sewers. We affiliated with Children’s Organ Transplant Association in the US and Teachers Across Boarders that go to Cambodia to restructure the infrastructure and the teaching systems there. With these charities, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get them to do really good work. We have different ways of raising funds; mainly it is through online donations or auctions. We have different avenues of it; one will be started next week called Celebs for Peace, which is a pretty simple program. Anybody can get involved. Anybody that is going to a convention or an event where there are celebrities involved can ask the celebrity to make a peace sign and take a picture of it, they send us the picture, and obviously get a release from the celebrity, and we upload it, and anybody can download it for a donation. I am hoping to get a lot of celebrities involved with it because it is a very simple way for them to be out there helping kids.
I spend time in Budapest, I'm not living there, but last year I spent something like six months. My wife had a baby, we came back, and now she is growing up very quickly, she’s running around, it’s fantastic! I love it, but you know it’s a lot of work! But she’s fabulous I love her.