Today, in honour of the late Paul Soles, I re-release this conversation I had with him 3 years ago just on the heels of him winning best actor for his role in My 90-Year-Old Roommate. Paul is a Canadian Treasure and I feel so lucky to have sat a spoken with him for as long as I did collecting gems of wisdom. A true class act.
Sitting down with Actor/ T.V. Personality/ Voice- Over Artist, Paul Soles, was a real treat for me. Paul was full of such life and good humour that it made for an easy discussion about the ups and downs and ins and outs of perusing a career as a performance artist. Aside from having an incredibly diverse and robust career, Paul witnessed the progression and development of both theatre and television from the beginning in Canada which allowed him to have a far broader scope and understanding of how the entertainment industry works and to have fascinating insights and stories on being a Canadian born artist that worked at home and internationally.
One of the things that struck me about Paul was the immense of gratitude he has for the work he does. Paul is 86 and still working. Just a few weeks ago Paul won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor in a Digital Program or Series for his work in the hit CBC Comedy My 90- Year-Old Roommate. Paul seems to speak with the same level of enthusiasm as someone who is starting out on their journey as an artist and that truly left a mark on me. Many times through the interview he proclaimed how lucky he has been to have been given the opportunities to work and how blessed he has been to work with the calibre of actors over the course of his career. In his words, “more luck than good management”. I am sure talent had a little something to do with it.
In this episode, we discuss how he got his start as a voice-over artist and actor, what is one tip he has received throughout his career that has stuck with him and proved to be useful, what his most memorable moment has been of his career and what he believes draw performers to want to perform in the first place and so much more!
A little about Paul :
Soles is widely known as the voice of Hermey the misfit elf in Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 1964. He also voiced Marvel superhero Spider-Man in the original animated television series also from the 1960s, and he played "The Lawbreaker" on the CBC panel quiz show This Is the Law in the 1970s, and played Costas Stavros on the Canadian soap opera Riverdale. In 2001, Soles took over the role of Shylock the Jew in the Stratford Festival of Canada production of The Merchant of Venice after Al Waxman, who was originally scheduled to play the part, died. Soles played Stanley the pizza shop owner in The Incredible Hulk (2008), and his other film appearances have included roles in Ticket to Heaven (1981), Just the Way You Are (1984) and The Gunrunner (1989) opposite Kevin Costner. He also played Danny, the Montreal Customs House janitor in the 2001 crime thriller The Score.
Soles won a 2006 Gemini Award for his role in the television series Terminal City, and a 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Digital Production for My 90-Year-Old Roommate.