The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the fortieth in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts--.". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Scott Wilson
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Scott Wilson's 1967 motion picture debut was nothing less than spectacular as he appeared in two of the motion picture industry's most classic films, "In the Heat of the Night" for director Norman Jewison and "In Cold Blood" for Richard Brooks, Scott Wilson has consistently achieved the highest industry and critical response. Whether in a leading role or as a special guest, Wilson's performances have traditionally been singled out as highlights in more than forty key motion pictures and half a dozen carefully selected television films during the course of his career.

The key to Wilson's success has been the careful selection of material and the association with many of the film industry's most illustrious directors. He has been cast in important roles by such perceptive directorial stars as Ridley Scott, Tim Robbins, Waiter Hill, Steve Kloves, Phil Kaufman, William Peter Blatty, Michael Bey, Danny Cannon, Jack Clayton, Robert Aldrich, John Frankenheimer, Sydney Pollack, and Krzysztof Zanussi, in addition to Jewison and Brooks.

Zanussi, the great Polish director, starred Wilson in "The Year of the Quiet Sun", hailed by critics as one of the most sensitive stories of romance during wartime conditions. The actor and director reunited in 1997 on "Our God's Brother" based on a play written by Karol Wojtla, now Pope John Paul II. "Our God's Brother" held its world premiere in Poland, where John Paul held a private audience for Wilson, Zanussi and their associates during his visit to his homeland. At the time, Pope John Paul made the unprecedented gesture of autographing Wilson's working script of the film, very likely the only film script extant that has been signed by a Pope. Later that year the film was screened for John Paul at the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandaifo. After viewing the film the Pope said to Wilson, "You have reached deeply into Adam Chmielowski (the title character, played by Wilson). I saw in you all of my thoughts about Adam Chmielowski."

WIlson continues to be in demand for key roles in major motion pictures. In 1997 he co-starred with Demi Moore in Touchstone's "G.1. Jane" and with Vince Vaughn, Joaquin Phoenix and Janeane Garofalo in "Clay Pigeon" for Gramercy (both films made by Ridley Scott's company). Earlier, he starred in Dale Rosenbloom's "Shiloh", praised by critics as a family film worthy of both children and adults and in 1999 he starred in the sequel, "Shiloh II", "Shiloh Season". In 2000 he co-starred with Ryan Phillipe and Benecio Del Toro in Christopher MacQuarrie's "Way of the Gun" and followed this in 2001 with cameo appearances in the blockbuster hit Pearl Harbor and in the comedy romance "The Animal" with Rob Schneider. He also appeared with Timothy Olyphant and Josh Brolin in Victor Nunez's "Coastlines" and with Marg Helgenberger in "Burked" the opening season premiere of "CSI: Crime Scenes Investigations".

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Wilson experienced several challenges which inspired him to broaden his horizons. Moving to Los Angeles, he worked a variety of jobs until he chanced on an acting class and found his calling. He honed his craft with five years of classes, workshops,and some 24 theatre productions in Los Angeles until Jewison cast him with Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier in "In the Heat of the Night", followed by playing the cold-blooded killer Richard Hickok in "In Cold Blood". Soon he found himself in major roles which led to more than 40 films, including "The Grissom Gang", "Lolly Madonna", "The New Centurions", "The Ninth Configuration" (which brought him a Golden Globe nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Film Festival Awards), "On The Line" (which won him a Best Actor Award at the Cartagena Film Festival), "A Year of the Quiet Sun" (which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), "Dead Man Walking", and "The Great Gatsby". Wilson's television movies include "The X-Files" ("Orison3"), "The Jack Bull", "Elvis and the Colonel", "Jesse", "The Tracker", and "The Twilight Zone" ("Quarantine"). Wilson lives in Los Angeles and has been married for 25 years to his wife, Heavenly, an attorney, artist and writer.

Theatrical Agency:
Merritt Blake Agency
1327 Ocean Ave. Suite J
Santa Monica, CA. 90401
(310) 899-9898

Scott Wilson's advice to the aspiring actor:

" Listen.... and have the courage to follow your imagination."

Scott Wilson's Credits (partial)
  • COASTLINES - Dir. Victor Nunez
  • BARK - Dir. Kasia Adamik
  • THE ANIMAL - Dir. Luke Greenfield
  • DONT LET GO - Dir. Max Meyers
  • PEARL HARBOR - Dir. Michael Bay
  • THE WAY OF THE GUN - Dir. Christopher MacQuarne
  • SOUTH OF HEAVEN WEST OF HELL - Dir. Dwight Yoakum
  • SHILOH 2 / SHILOH SEASON - Dir. Sandy Tung
  • PRIDE - Dir. Shunya Ito
  • CLAY PIGEONS - Dir. David Dobkin
  • OUR GOD'S BROTHER - Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
  • G.!. JANE - Dir. Ridley Scott
  • SHILOH - Dir. Dale Rosenbloom
  • DEAD MAN WALKING - Dir. Tim Robbins
  • THE GRASS HARP - Dir. Charles Matthau
  • JUDGE DREDD - Dir. Danny Cannon
  • THE HAUNTED HEART - Dir. Frank LaLoggia
  • TALL TALE - Dir. Jeremiah Chechik
  • GERONIMO - Dir. Walter Hill
  • FLESH AND BONE - Dir. Steve Kloves
  • PURE LUCK - Dir. Nadia Tass
  • FEMME FATALE - Dir. Andrei Chavertov
  • EXORCIST III - Dir. William Peter Blatty
  • YOUNG GUNS III- Geoff Murphy
  • JOHNNY HANDSOME - Dir. Walter Hill
  • MALONE - Dir. Harley Cokliss
  • BLUE CITY - Dir. Michelle Manning
  • A YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN - Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
  • 0N THE LINE - Dir. Jose Luis Borau
  • AVIATOR - Dir. George Miller
  • THE RIGHT STUFF - Dir. Phil Kaufman
  • NINTH CONFIGURATION - Dir. William Peter Blatty
  • THE GREAT GATSBY - Dir. Jack Clayton
  • LOLLY MADONNA XXX - Dir. Richard Sarafian
  • NEW CENTURIONS - Dir. Richard Fleischer
  • GRISSOM GANG - Dir. Robert Aldrich
  • GIPSY MOTHS - Dir. John Frankenheimer
  • CASTLE KEEP - Dir. Sydney Pollack
  • IN COLD BLOOD - Dir. Richard Brooks
  • IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT - Dir. Norman Jewison

  • CSI:CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATIONS ("Burked") - Dir. Danny Cannon
  • THE X-FILES ("Orison") - Dir. Rob Bowman
  • THE JACK BULL - Dir. John Badham
  • SOUL SURVIVORS - Dir. Sandy Johnson
  • CALIFORNIA QUARTET - Dir. Wolf Gremm
  • ELVIS AND THE COLONEL - Dir. Billy Graham
  • JESSE - Dir. Glenn Jordan
  • THE TRACKER. - Dir. John Guillermin
  • TWILIGHT ZONE ("Quarantine") - Dir. Martha Coolidge

  • For more info and credits see IMDb

    -- End ---

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