'Arrow' Star Paul Blackthorne Takes 'This American Journey'
With so many different roles that he's played, which ones would he suggest that curious Arrow fans check out? "24 was obviously a lot of fun, and so different from Lance. The Dresden Files was a great character and a good show that I enjoyed," he said, but then pointed us back toward the beginning of his filmography.
"In regard to acting, Lagaan is the other project I've been most proud of. That film, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2002. Aside from whatever contribution I made, it's an absolutely fantastic film, and I'm just lucky enough to be in it."
While he's a remarkable actor, acting is just one aspect of Paul's career; he's also an accomplished photographer, and has recently completed work on a documentary called This American Journey, which is making its debut on Hulu and DVD today. In the film, Paul and his photographer friend travel across the country, exploring many different cultures, interviewing all kinds of people, and learning a lot more about what really makes up America. Ask him about it, and Paul's passion for the film and its subject matter is obvious.
"I wanted to make an uplifting, inspiring film about this country," he told us. "It's very easy for people, particularly when they live on the East Coast or the West Coast, to look down on the rest of this country. I wanted to see what people were truly thinking. I was myself questioning my own relationship with America; I wasn't sure how I felt about the country. I realized that when I spend far too much time on the East Coast or the West Coast, what's going on in the middle?"
So Paul took it upon himself to find out. "I drove across the country with a friend of mine and we just randomly interviewed people along the way over a period of four weeks. And having made that journey and gotten to the other side, and met the people that we'd met and heard the amazing things that people said, it wasn't difficult to go make an inspiring film about this country, and it made me fall in love with America all over again," he continued. "That's what we did. That's what the film was all about. I wasn't interested in America bashing. I love this place."
"It showed up that people have a lot more in common that we have different, and people are talking about that we're all in this together," he added. "And that's the message of the film." You can check out the trailer for This American Journey below, and watch the entire film on Hulu.
Between his series regular work on Arrow, his other acting projects (one of which may be "a sequel to a very well-known comedy," he teases), and documentary filmmaking, how does Paul make it all work?
"I've got to be honest with you, it's challenging," he admitted. "This weekend, I was shooting Arrow on Thursday, then I traveled to Carmel for the Carmel Film Festival. Then Saturday I drove down to Los Angeles to work on a friend's script that I'm going to be involved with next year. Then I came back here on [Monday] to shoot three days on Arrow."
"But I'm very grateful and I'm really appreciative," he continued, adding a special thanks to the many people who helped make This American Journey possible. "It's taken a long time to make this documentary," he said, "and you only get this stuff done when you've got support."
There's a lot to like about Paul Blackthorne as an actor, for the memorable characters he creates; whether it's a police officer or somebody that police officer would put in jail, he knows how to find something we can all identify with. But beyond the small screen, as an artist who's passionate about the world around him and helping us find more ways to identify with each other, there's something to admire about him, too.
This American Journey is available on Hulu and DVD today.
Ang Lee Opens Up About About Tiger That Nearly Drowned On 'Life Of Pi' Set Bob Dylan’s Fender Stratocaster Sells For Nearly $1 Million