Paul Wesley on ‘Cal in Camo’, Ingmar Bergman, and How Musicals Are Connected to His Monologues
Paul Wesley may be famous for facing supernatural beings in The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, but in William Francis Hoffman’s Cal in Camo, he is battling something much more horrific: his character, Flynt, is trying to get over the death of his wife by spending some time with his sister Cal (Katya Campbell) and her husband Tim (David Harbour), who are going through a crisis of their own. Every character in the play is lost, they’re all trying to rediscover themselves as they’ve become nothing but facades. The small ensemble is rather commendable, but it’s Wesley who is a true revelation. Where he could’ve easily made Flynt all about the surface and given him tics and mannerisms to reflect his inner turmoil, he instead focuses on revealing the character through Flynt’s silences. Cal in Camo is Mr. Wesley’s New York stage debut, but judging from his command of the stage, it’s quite likely he’ll be back many more times.
I had the opportunity to speak to him about entering Flynt’s mind, his interest in directing, and some of his most cherished memories related to theatre.
You grew up in New Jersey, was theatre a big part of your life? Do you remember the first time you saw something on stage for instance?
Yeah actually. I was kinda lucky, I’m not sure if this is a prerequisite, but we had this thing in elementary school where everyone had to partake in performances. We had a performance every year and every single kid in our school had to perform. So I’d been doing school theatre since I was in first grade. We took theatre trips and I know I saw Les Mis and The Lion King. One of those two was my first theatre experience in New York, I remember we took the school bus there. This might’ve been when I was in high school, but I also remember waiting outside for Lou Diamond Phillips to give me his autograph. I was doing a show with him years later and it was a surreal experience after having waited to get his autograph.
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