ShockYa (SY): You play Gideon in the new drama, ‘Before I Disappear.’ What was it about the character and the film’s story that convinced you to take on the role?
Paul Wesley (PW): Well, the story was created organically. The film’s director and screenwriter (Christensen) is a really good friend of mine. Gideon wasn’t really conceived until much later on, when Shawn essentially wanted to expand the short into a feature. He wanted to create intersecting storylines, so Gideon was a creation that occurred much later on in the screenplay process.
I was drawn to Gideon because he’s incredibly layered in the sense that he’s the “bad guy” in the story. But he has a really big heart, and is a hopeless romantic. I really related to the idea of a character who’s a hopeless romantic.
SY: Speaking of relating to Gideon, in the sense of being a hopeless romantic, what was the process of relating to Gideon and his overall motivations, since you’re both from New York City and in your early 30s? How did you get into his mindset as you began filming?
PW: It was pretty intense. For me, as I was preparing to play this particular role, I was going through some difficult things in my own personal life, so I was able to use that as inspiration. I don’t always do that, as I don’t have a consistent method for my acting. But I just happened to have that as a resource for this role.
I grew up in (New) Jersey, but went to clubs and bars at a really young age. I had a fake ID when I was 15, and would use it around Manhattan, where I had an apartment. I can still relate to his mentality, as a lot of my friends come from that world, and are still a part of it.