CTV -- Fridays
Star Paul Campbell Hammers Away At His Career -- In More Ways Than One
By Eric Kohanik
Paul Campbell never thought he would be an actor.
“To be perfectly honest, my whole life, I thought I was going to be a carpenter,” the 34-year-old Spun Out star explains. “I started right out of high school. I started framing houses. But Vancouver is rainy eight months out of the year, and I got sick of being cold and wet.”
Born and raised in B.C., Campbell now divides his time between Canada and Los Angeles. And he likes to display his skills in some surprising ways.
If you want proof, check out the tongue-in-cheek mini-biography Campbell wrote about himself on IMDb.com. It's a clever entry that claims he made a deal with the Devil when he was 18 to trade his soul for a hammer.
“I still can't believe that one slipped by them,” Campbell laughs. “One of the biggest moments of my entire career is getting that bio up on IMDb.”
One of the other big moments right now is Spun Out, a CTV comedy series that revolves around Campbell as a copywriter at a public-relations firm populated by a quirky collection of characters. The show's ensemble includes Al Mukadam, Holly Deveaux, Rebecca Dalton, J. P. Manoux and Darcy Michael. Dave Foley rounds out the cast as the boss of the firm.
“Foley is such a pro,” Campbell says. “He walked into it like he'd been doing it for a million years. He is such a veteran and he is such a great member of the team. Just simply observing him, I probably learned more than I ever could taking any sort of acting classes.”
Nevertheless, it was a simple acting class that changed Campbell's career path.
“A friend of mine was taking some acting classes and said, 'Hey, this is really fun. You should come and do this,'” he recalls. “So, I took an acting class and that was it. I went back to work the next week and said, 'Guys, I'm packing up my tools and going to theatre school.' And I did.”
Six months after graduation, he landed his first major TV role, in the 2004 reincarnation of Battlestar Galactica. A steady stream of other credits have followed, including roles in NBC's 2008 revival of Knight Rider and a 2011 series for Showcase called Almost Heroes. Although that show was also a comedy, Spun Out is the first TV series Campbell has done in front of a studio audience.
“It's the first time I've done it for an extended period,” he says. “It really is the most thrilling way to do comedy. What excited me about this project is I love the idea of Canadians making great comedy. There is so much great talent in Canada. I was really, really happy to get on board.”
Campbell wasn't on any particular quest to do a sitcom when Spun Out came along. He was basically looking for his next job. “That's the life of an actor,” Campbell points out. “You're always looking for the next thing."
That hasn't dulled his passion for acting, though. “Every day that I'm on set is my favourite day,” Campbell says. “I've never had a day that I wasn't thrilled to be working, whether it was a dramatic piece or a TV-movie or a big film. It doesn't matter where I am and who I'm working with. I love my job. I love what I do.”
That's not to say Campbell has given up carpentry. “I still love woodworking,” he concedes. “I do it all the time.”
In fact, since Spun Out wrapped production on its debut season, Campbell has been honing his craftsmanship down in L.A. “I build furniture,” he says. “And I build custom skateboards for people. Just sort of whatever interests me at the time.”
Spun Out – CTV – Fridays
(First published in Channel Guide Magazine -- April 2014.)