Patrick Wilson Biography: In His Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Patrick Wilson is an American actor, currently best known for his role as Ed Warren in the horror films The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring Two (2016). Beginning his acting career on the stage, Wilson has made a successful transition from theater—where he had already been nominated for a Tony—to film and television, receiving Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominations for his performances in the TV series Fargo and Angels in America, respectively.
PATRICK WILSON BIO: AGE & EARLY LIFE
Wilson (Patrick Wilson age: 42 – born July 3, 1973) was born in Norfolk Virginia to voice teacher Mary Wilson (née Burton) and professional singer John Wilson in 1973. His family later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he spent the remainder of his childhood. It was in Florida, at Shorecrest Preparatory School, that Wilson was exposed to the work of Shakespeare, and joined a group of eager performers, building up the performing arts community between classes.
Athletic as a child, performing was not always on his mind. Wilson says his focused changed after attending the Boston University Summer Theater Institute in 1989. “It was the first time I was in that environment of eating, sleeping, breathing theater and acting,” Wilson told uInterview exclusively. “And I came back that summer and said, ‘Okay, that’s what I want to do.’”
He confessed that shortly after his light-bulb moment, he went to his coaches to inform them of his new priorities, the spring musical over baseball. “Soccer I continued playing,” he quickly added.
Following his newfound goal, Wilson later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University before plunging headfirst into the world of theater.
PATRICK WILSON BIO: EARLY CAREER – THEATER & TELEVISION
Wilson acted in a number of theatrical performances, following college, beginning with his debut as an understudy for the role of Chris in Miss Saigon. He quickly was cast in a leading role with his following performance as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. He continued to work on stage with increasingly higher profiles roles. His Broadway debut in 2000 as Jerry Lukowski in the musical The Full Monty, a musical about amateur male strippers, where he received nominations for the Tony Award for best actor in a musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley praised Wilson, saying that he, “gracefully plays straight man to the eccentricities of the others, and he sings with shimmering sincerity (His voice seems to emanate from his gleaming white teeth.).” He would later receive a second nomination for both awards for the role of Curly in the 2002 Broadway production of Oklahoma!
While acting on stage, Wilson began to experiment with film and television projects. He began work on a never-released film, My Sisters Wedding, and most notably took on the role of Joe Pitt, a closeted Morman Republican in Mike Nichol’s 2003 HBO mini-series adaptation of the Tony Kushner’s play Angels in American. Kushner’s play touches on the issues of Wilson’s acting earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Frank Rich of the New York Times called it a “career-making performance.”
PATRICK WILSON BIO: THE TRANSITION TO FILM
Wilson soon made his next big jump, from television to the silver screen, debuting as William B. Travis in the 2004 film, The Alamo, followed by a more notable turn as Viscount Raoul de Chagny that same year in the film adaptation of The Phantom of The Opera. He quickly continued to amass credits in a wide variety of film genres and roles, which ranged from a pedophile in the Ellen Page thriller Hard Candy (2005) to a law student caught in a love affair with an older woman in Little Children (2006).Wilson also found himself once again engaging with the themes explored in Angels in America with the role of Michael Shephard in Ryan Murphy-directed film, Running with Scissors (2006).
In 2007 and 2008, Wilson achieved leading man status as the star of the romantic-comedy Purple Violets (2007), where he played Brian Callahan, a crime novelist who reconnects with an old flame (played by Selma Blair), and the thriller Lakeview Terrace (2008), as Chris Mattson, who is terrorized by former LAPD office on the grounds of his interracial marriage. His next notable role was as Nite Owl II in Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen (2009).
PATRICK WILSON BIO: ‘FARGO’ & ‘THE CONJURING’
Wilson’s flexibility as an actor and past roles in thrillers later lead to his most recent work in director James Wan’s series of horror film blockbusters. In 2011, he took on a lead role alongside Rose Byrne in Insidious. In the film, he plays Josh Lampert, a father who must face supernatural forces after his recently comatose son becomes a passage-way for malevolent ghosts to enter the realm of the living. With the first film setting up a successful horror franchise, he later reprised his role in Insidious: Chapter 2 in 2013. Wilson continues to collaborate with Wan, starring as a paranormal investigator Ed Warren alongside Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring (2013), now the highest grossing horror film of all time, and most recently, The Conjuring 2 (2016).
Making his return to television after a long stint in independent film, Wilson joined the second season of the FX television anthology Fargo in 2014. His performance as State Trooper and Vietnam Vet Lou Solverson, who investigates a triple homicide at the local diner, earned him his second Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Wilson, in an interview with The Daily Beast, confessed that it was his wife who first convinced him to read the scripts for the series, getting him excited for the concept and for the opportunities the show could bring for his career. “There have been several times that you’ve given your heart and soul to an independent film and more often than not it doesn’t match up to any commercial success or people seeing your film,” he says. “So [my wife and agent] were like, ‘You need to do something that people see,” he confessed to The Daily Beast.
PATRICK WILSON BIO: UPCOMING WORK
Wilson has followed up his success on Fargo with a role in the critically acclaimed 2015 indie western horror film, Bone Tomahawk, starring opposite Kurt Russell as foreman Arthur O’Dwyer, as they find themselves the victim of mysterious Native American attacks. He also recently joined the cast of John Lee Hancock’s film The Founder, a biopic about the creator of McDonald’s restaurant founder Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton.
Returning to his theater roots, Wilson is currently in the process of directing a production of The Full Monty at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.
PATRICK WILSON BIO: PERSONAL LIFE
Wilson is married to fellow Carnegie Mellon alumna, Polish-American actress Dagmara Domińczyk, whom he worked with back in 2006 in Running with Scissors. They live with their two sons, Kalin Patrick Wilson and Kassian McCarrell Wilson in Montclair, New Jersey. Wilson boasts of stable and happy marriage, atypical of Hollywood. In an interview with The List, he stated that “I remember reading an interview with some actress who said the more screwed up an actor is the better their acting will be. I always thought that was kind of ridiculous. My parents are still together, I have a stable marriage and I don’t think that makes me suffer as an actor.”
Wilson frequently uses his musical talents for good causes, performing at a benefit concert in Florida for Southeastern Guide Dogs’ ‘Paws for Patriots’ Program, as well as fundraisers spearheaded by All Children’s Hospital and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
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