Cast conversation: Paul Kandarian as Solomon

The SUNDOWN casting conversations continue as we are thrilled to introduce you to our Solomon – the brilliant intellectual struggling as his greatest gifts slip away – played by Paul Kandarian:

Paul is a veteran actor and writer based in the Boston area.  He writes about his most recent project “Four Legs to Stand On” in this Globe article, which I highly recommend reading.  I chatted with Paul about the challenges of playing Solomon: 

Paul:  Are there parts of your dad you see in the character of Solomon?

Brendan:  Yeah, I think so.  Certainly my dad was a brilliant guy and great wit but was also a bit of a rascal. He always sort of did everything with a wink. I think of Solomon as a little crustier than my dad was.  Is it intimidating to play someone with dementia?

Paul:  No, I don’t think so.  I mean, there’s so much of it around us.  I’ve seen it up close and sadly personal.  As an actor, you absorb what you need from real life and tool it to make the character real, right?

Brendan:  We’re definitely going for reality.

Paul:  I love challenging roles, and this certainly is one.

Brendan:  What have been some of the more challenging roles you’ve played?

Paul:  A serial killer in a web series.  Rev. Shannon in Night of the Iguana.   Vanya in Uncle Vanya.  I love complex, multi-layered souls.  There’s a richness to them that makes them challenging to portray and satisfying when you do it right.

Brendan:  You were in Night of the Iguana? I named my production company and my band after a line from that play.

Paul.  I LOVED that play – had a blast. I’ve never been in anything so physically and emotionally draining.  What was the line?

Brendan:  “Broken gates between people so they can reach each other, even if it’s for one night only…”

Paul:  Nice.

Brendan:  What do you like about the character of Solomon?

Paul:  His acerbic attitude, his feistiness, his thought processes, his love of language and using it bluntly.  And the bond with his son.  My son and I have the same relationship.  We love each other immensely and show it by insulting each other and busting balls.

Brendan:  It has been very cool in the early stages to see you and Grayson (who plays Dewey) play off each other.

Paul:  Yeah, he’s a good kid.  And tall like my son!  I did feel that chemistry, so this will be good.

Brendan:  What are you most looking forward to in shooting the film?

Paul:  Tough question.  Again, the challenge of bringing Solomon to life. I think I am a lot like him – the sharp wit, no-bullshit attitude, straightforwardness.  So playing a guy who sees that melting away from him with the right amount of fear and confusion and maybe regret….that I look forward to.  And of course working with you and everyone else!  I didn’t have to say that – I honestly mean it!   I love this group.  I think we’ll jell nicely.

Brendan:  Yeah, it’s a pretty good group. No assholes so far. Wait… does that mean I’m the asshole?

Paul:  Yeah, that’s the conventional thinking.

Help Paul and the rest of the SUNDOWN team make this movie a reality by supporting our Kickstarter.

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