I’m going to try and make this as informal as I can, as I have to write this in a tone that fancy words just can’t convey. No sesquipedalian words here whatsoever. Just plain and simple English.
I just had one of the most intriguing conversations, with someone who has always fascinated me. I have met and spoken with Paul Campbell on more than one occasion, but this conversation left me in awe. In awe of an amazing talent, an amazing human being. You’ll have to hold on a little longer for the Vlog featuring Paul, as at the moment, this is simply 1/2 Dozen Questions.
My grandmother always said, “Can’t? Wha name can’t? There is no such word.” The longer I live, the more I prove that to be true. After speaking with Paul today, yeah…I’d say it’s definitely true.
Paul’s journey is one that will inspire others to be all they can be. To pursue dreams with dogged determination…never giving up, and never taking ‘no’ for an answer. The ‘use what you’ve got’, and the ‘no excuses’, blended with a touch of ‘believe in yourself’ is what I walked away from our conversation with earlier.
This man is so much more than an actor……….he is one of the ‘Pearls Of Jamaica’. (Jamaica better recognize)…
His fans love him so much, folks (myself included) often call him by the name of a character he has portrayed, rather than by his government. You know…”wha gwaan Max?” “Wha yu a seh Priest?” That’s how great of an actor Paul is. He doesn’t just act, he becomes the character.
But was he always an actor? Does he have any other talents? Well…that’s what you’re here to find out, don’t it?
Q. Greetings Paul. How are you?
A. Well, I am indeed blessed, thank you. I am great.
Q. This is only 1/2 dozen questions so let me try to get as much info in here as possible. You are known and loved as a talented, versatile actor. We all know that once the name Paul Campbell is in the credits, the movie has got to be good. However, not many are aware of another of your talents. An artist…as in paintings. Tell us about this passion of yours.
A. Well, being a Fine Artist started when I went to KC (Kingston College) in Jamaica. I lived in Kingston 13, Maxfield Ave. Before KC, however, I used what I could find to paint what I needed to. This is how I expressed myself. Whenever I had problems and needed to get them off my chest, I would paint. I used my paintings as social commentary. I couldn’t afford paint, canvas and easels, so I started out painting on zinc. Zinc, ply wood, cardboard, anything. Canvas was a luxury then. So was paint.
I would use the chlorophyll from the leaves of plants as my color. Usually all my paintings were green. I also started using flowers for their color as well, and I would get purple, orange and red. The Bougainvillea flowers gave me the purple, and the Chrysanthemums gave me beautiful red and orange colors.
When I started art classes at KC, I had access to water paint and acrylic. Using acrylic paint stayed with me over the years. I was now painting with acrylic…on canvas. As time progressed, I went on to many exhibitions all over the world. My paintings were on exhibition all over Europe. I went to Lucerne, Geneva, Paris and London.
I remember being in Paris and having no money. My carpenter friend made stands out of wood. Square stands used to place paintings on in art galleries. I would take them and paint the four sides and sell them on the sidewalks of Paris as street art. Some of my friends in Jamaica still have a few of them.
Q. Where can the average Joe or Jane purchase a painting by the great Paul Campbell? And can you be commissioned to paint something for a potential client?
A. If anyone would like to make a purchase, they can contact my Publicist by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Can I be commissioned to paint a one of a kind piece, most definitely. Simply send an email and we can take it from there.
Q. How and when did you get into acting, and what was your first major role?
A. The actor in me was always there. From I was small I can remember having a passion for acting. My mom always, always encouraged me. She would say, “listen mi son, if that is what you want to do, do it!”
I started out doing Pantomimes in Jamaica. I did a lot of mini roles in film, and I also did “Passion and Paradise”. My first major film was “Lunatic”, and after small acting parts across the island, I went to London to the Royal Academy of Arts. I then went to New York City where Chris Blackwell cast me in a new movie called “Third World Cop”.
My mother passed away three weeks before “Lunatic”, my first film premiered. At the premier, there was an empty chair beside me, then my girlfriend. I knew my mom was there in spirit.
To prepare for the part as the lunatic, I walked from Kingston to St Ann’s. I am a method actor who takes each part seriously. I lived on the street for two months, hair started to matte and lock, my feet were course and crusty. I had to run barefoot in the movie up hills etc, so I had to be ready for the part. The writer paid me a compliment I will always remember. He said, “everything that I thought about when I wrote this movie, you brought to the screen.”
Q. “Shottas”, “Lunatic”, “Third World Cop”, & “Home Again”, just to name four of the many films in which you have appeared, found you playing four different personalities. What kind of character do you enjoying portraying the most?
A. I prefer the rude boy role. That role is more textured and unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen.
Q. “Jamaican Maffia”…your latest project co-starring Mykal Fax of “Bashment” fame, is slated to be released soon. Tell us about this film, and what we as viewers can expect.
A. First off, Mykal Fax did a great job and I am very proud of him. I want to see more of us coming together as Jamaicans in the industry. I play Solgie, the Don for the Jamaican Maffia. You’re going to have a love hate relationship with Solgie in this movie. It’s a wonderful film about being true to family. Some people say Jamaicans are always showing violence in film. It’s just a story, get with it. The Sicilian do the same thing and no one take it for more than what it is. A movie. You will enjoy this film from start to finish. I was happy to be associated with it.
Check out Paul on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thereelpaulcampbell
…and do check out this link right here: “PAUL THE PAINTER”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdHPpsQjtQA&list=UUen_gPF-y4LXjiJWUGLBBrA
JAMAICAN MAFFIA TEASER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0r7yRhmNbU
My two cents:
We should be ashamed of ourselves. We have an actor of this caliber and he is not celebrated more by the ‘powers that be’ …especially in Jamaica. We have a habit of looking out, instead of looking within. Right under our noses. We will big up every other actor except out own. When America and Europe come a calling, we wanna hop the wagon. There are some surprises to come from Paul Campbell shortly and mek mi tell unnu from now…there is no space on the wagon. Seen?
Check out Paul in “First Sunday” when you have a moment. The movie stars Ice Cube. Yea…I said Ice Cube. It’s not a new movie, but I bet some weren’t even aware.
Stay tuned for part two of this interview. Paul has overcome some things that few reading this could ever imagine. Get to know this great man…I’ll be back with more soon.
Link him on Facebook right here: https://www.facebook.com/thereelPaulcampbell?fref=ts
Listen out for the release of: “JAMAICAN MAFFIA”, starring Paul Campbell, Mykal Fax, Nardo Ranks and D’Angel.