Actor Adrian Paul of Highlander: “I Wish People Had Told Me That Fame Doesn’t Last”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Adrian Paul who is best known for being the international star of Highlander the series, having appeared in over 35 films and 200 hours of television, He created his own charity in 1997 The Peace Fund (Protect Educate Aid Children Everyday) that has partnered with, or worked in countries such as the United States, Thailand, Cambodia, Haiti, Romania, Hungary, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and England. Adrian also has aired over 300 hours of his own talk show Peace Fund Radio, which talks to organizations, celebrities and the public about the issues and the solution to the myriad of problems facing our children today. Currently, Adrian is also producing movies through his film company Filmblips, while consulting for a new Film Production company ‘Inn Europe.’
What is your “backstory”?
I was born of any Italian mother and English father in England and spent my younger years playing soccer and any sport I could.
I started working in a bank when I was 18 years old. I was a male model and a choreographer and dancer until I came to the US when I started my acting career
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful non -profit projects?
The Peace Fund currently has an interactive storytelling program that is headed by celebrities, that we run in Los Angeles. The children act out the characters inside the books that the celebrities narrate and we find that children are much more apt to want to read the books afterwards because they’ve been physically engaged in them. We are also holding a fundraising poker tournament this Saturday, October 14th at 5pm at Microsoft Headquarters in Playa Vista for the children affected by the hurricane is in Houston and Florida and Puerto Rico.
Our intent is to send them all the educational school supplies that I’ve been lost in the storms so the children can get back to school as soon as possible.
Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
We’ve been on this road for a long time and there are many stories that I have been part of but the one that affected most personally was an infant born weighing approximately 2.3 pounds and the life-support system we put into a hospital there saved that child’s life. I went there to see her and she was so small I could see every vein and bone in her tiny hands and her legs. Five months later she was released from the hospital a happy, healthy 6.4lb baby. Even saving one life has a great impact on you.
What are your “5 things “I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
A. I wish somebody had told me the actors were products. Products that had a shelf life. That the business is partly talent and partly about your value to the market and that is especially true today. I learned that through the frustrations of going up for roles that were denied not because I wasn’t right for the role, but because someone else had better social media presence. But I have also seen that backfire on producers.
B. I wish I had known that people will say anything to get what they want, no matter how good they seem, but they may not necessarily be able to deliver. I have had that happen numerous times, from publicists, managers, actors, financiers, bank managers producers and pretty much everyone. It is not that people are fundamentally bad, although some are not that truthful, but unexpected things get in the way. So now, instead of absolutely believing in something and really get my hopes up, I now find myself hoping things work out , but making a plan B, and sometimes a plan C, just in case they don’t.
C. That I should really listen to my true feelings, my gut. Every time I decide to go with what I “thought” was best, it seldom worked out. Then on the other hand when I listened to my heart, like the time I walked into The Highlander audition and instinctively blurted out that they shouldn’t look for anyone else because I was the guy they were looking for, that really paid off in the end.
D. I wish people had told me that fame doesn’t last. When you start as a young actor you think you get on a show or star in a big film and then you are set for life. But fame is not what is important. It is not what your legacy should, or will be, Take a recent concert for a famous musician. After the concert, the fans were raving about the event and one comment came about the old guy on the piano, how famous he would now be, having performed with such a famous RnB singer. That old guy was Paul McCartney, part of one of the most famous bands in history. Life legacy is not about fame, its about how you affect people , what changes you can make, even small ones, in the time you are here.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
I think the Dalai Lama.