TALKING TO DAYS OF OUR LIVES STAR PAUL TELFER IS A REAL (GREEN) RUSH
Damn CORVID-19! This was suppose to be a great year for 40 year old Paul Telfer, as he had settled in as one of Days of Our Lives most important leading men (he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award earlier this year) and had a film set for release that he starred in and co-wrote. Add to that, his wife, Broadway star Carmen Cusack, was coming off a co-starring role opposite Tom Hanks (playing his wife in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and was cast in the lead role in the new Broadway musical Flying Over Sunset. New shows of DAYS continued to air, the film, Green Rush, was forced to a (successful) pay per view release, and Carmen’s stage production was pushed back to 2021. Paul talks to HollywoodHi about the good and bad of 2020 and what’s keeping him busy until Days of Our Lives goes back into production.
HI: How are you doing during this shut down?
Paul: Good days and bad like most people I suppose. Lucky to have my health – so far – and the company of my wife, Carmen! It’s frustrating watching the various failures of leadership and the terrible, selfish behavior some people exhibit – but I’m trying to stay positive.
HI: You’ve both been actors since the time you met, so is this the longest the two of you have been together 24/7 round the clock?
Paul: Oh Yes! Because we have often had to spend protracted periods apart from each other, we often totally monopolize each other’s time when we are actually together. It’s been a bit of an adjustment getting used to the idea that neither of us is going to be going anywhere any time soon, but we’re learning to give each other a bit more space than has been our habit.
HI: You’ve at least been able to get out into the open spaces and get some fresh air?
Paul: We’ve tried very hard to behave responsibly through this crisis. For the most part we’ve just been keeping our heads down at home – our occasional, very carefully planned outdoor excursions are our little reward to ourselves. It serves as a nice reset to get a big dose of nature now and then.
HI: Is there anything good to come from all this?
Paul: It’s hard to say, honestly. I try to stay positive, but the sheer malignant ignorance that is constantly displayed by some leaders and many, many individuals makes it hard. My main hope, if/when we make it to the other side of this thing, is that there will be a resurgence in respect for, and understanding of, the role expertise has to play in our response to society’s problems among both the populace and our governments – as opposed to the current mode of constant partisan politicization of literally every issue we face.
HI: The film that you co-wrote, Green Rush, received an ill-timed release – shortly after the lock down – is anything in the works for the thriller to still reach a wider audience?
Paul: Well, there’s probably worse times to release a home invasion thriller on streaming platforms than when everyone is stuck at home! In that regard we were, for want of a better word, lucky. It’s definitely been a challenge promoting the film while we’re all trapped at home, but I’m just overjoyed that we got it released at all. I’m definitely looking forward to having some screenings and seeing it with an audience once it’s safe to do so, though. That’s been the one thing missing from the whole experience.
To see Green Rush, the great film Paul co-wrote and stars in, click here Don’t worry, the couple times you might need to turn away from your screen is worth it just to see the rest of Paul’s achievement in this film, both acting – he’s great – and the off the beaten path, edgy, far out, but totally believable script (hey, it’s based a true story).
HI: You’re looking forward to get back to the DAYS set?
Paul: Very much so – we were just about to embark on a new storyline when everything shut down – I have no idea what it actually is, so I’m eager to get back and find out. Plus, I just miss the gang and the fun of making the show.
HI: Once thing settle down, where would you like to travel your first break from taping?
Paul: We’ve been promising ourselves a visit to Hawaii for years now – so it’ll definitely be time to take that long overdue trip. But, most importantly, I want to go back to the UK and visit my family once American residents are permitted to travel there again.
HI: What’s the last gift that you bought for yourself?
Paul: We’ve been saving for a house, so I don’t tend to spend money on myself. I prefer to squander any free cash on going to restaurants and shows with Carmen – or treating myself to boxing/MMA PPVs.
HI: Favorite way to spend your day?
Paul: If I can get some work, exercise, and loving done all in the same day – I feel like a winner.
HI: Your dad is getting quite a following from the hilarious coverage you give him on Twitter. Are you a lot like your dad in general?
Paul: Well, we have a lot in common – but we’ve had very, very different lives and careers. We do have similar goofy senses of humor, and share similar perspectives on the world and the human condition. I’m proud of him and feel lucky to have him for a father. I miss him very much and obviously worry about him a lot with everything that’s happening right now. But he does a great job of keeping both our spirits up, as you can see from the emails I share.
HI: Best advice you ever received from your parents?
Paul: So many things. But mainly: Don’t quit. Life isn’t fair and we can’t control what happens to us – but we do have some control over how we react and respond to what life throws at us. Best to concentrate on that and keep pushing.
HI: Are you a great cook?
Paul: Carmen tends to overstate my talents in the kitchen. I’m borderline competent in my own opinion, but have a few things I’m pretty confident making. I learned to cook so I could make myself healthy, inexpensive meals early in my career – it was only when I fell in love and started cooking for someone else that I started putting effort into making sure those meals were also delicious.
HI: What is your speciality?
Paul: Proteins generally. Steaks, fish, whatever. I do decent curries. Honestly, I think I’m best at breakfast/brunch dishes – I do these big skillets for us to share and they always come out pretty good.
HI: What’s your favorite – pie, cake or ice cream?
Paul: Pie with ice cream – and maybe some cake on the side.
HI: What’s was your favorite tv show when you were a kid?
Paul: Buck Rogers, The A-Team, Knight Rider all that good 80s nonsense. I loved the Muppets and Fraggles too, along with Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry. I think the British cartoon Danger Mouse was my very fave though.
HI: What is your favorite vacation spot?
Paul: Oh, I’m not fussy. So long as there’s good food, weather and a place to swim I’m usually happy. We had an incredible time in the Maldives – very far away, but well worth it.
HI: Is there any place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t?
Paul: So many places – Hawaii as I mentioned. Japan, S. Korea, Thailand. There’s lots of places in Central and South America I’d love to see – as well as the places in Europe I haven’t visited yet. The reason has always been that it’s very difficult to carve out the time – the fear of missing out on a work opportunity was always stronger than the desire to travel. But that’s definitely changed as I’ve matured. You have to live your life.
HI: What song do you hear and immediately think of one of your parents?
Paul: My mum’s fave song was Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum, so that’s easy. And Iassociate Flower of Scotland with my dad because he always made sure that I knew that it was my REAL national anthem – not God Save the King/Queen haha.
HI: What is the last good book you’ve read?
Paul: Catherine Nixey’s The Darkening Age. Superb nonfiction account of the Christian Destruction Of The Classical World – written by the daughter of a nun and a monk! Absolutely fascinating – and weirdly reminiscent of the current moment. Ignorance is contagious.
HI: Who makes you laugh?
Paul: Wanda Sykes is consistently hilarious. My buddy Kat Radley writes for the Daily Show and is brilliant. I think my wife is very funny, even – maybe even especially – when she doesn’t mean to be.
HI: Which movie do you know from start to finish?
Paul: So many – total film nerd. Lots of 80s action films. Could easily recite Robocop, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Flash Gordon and a bunch of comedies too.
HI: What job could you never ever do?
Paul: Most of them – at this point I’m pretty unemployable outside of acting. And even then…
HI: What was your first car?
Paul: I was very lucky that my parents were able to buy me a third hand, diesel-engined french hatchback – Peugeot 309 to be exact – when I got my license. I loved it even though I didn’t look after it very well.
HI: What cartoon character do you never get tired of?
Paul: I still love The Simpsons. The manic comedy of the classic Warner Brothers cartoons never gets old to me. There’s a show called Samurai Jack that I can watch endlessly.
HI: What’s your favorite summer activity?
Paul: Swimming, snorkeling or going on big hikes in National Parks.
HI: What’s the last song you’ve caught yourself singing in the shower?
Paul: Carmen wrote a new one about her childhood pet dog Happy that’s very catchy, so that’s been on my lips a lot.
HI: If you were a pro athlete instead of an actor, what sport would it be?
Paul: I don’t really have the mindset for it, but Mixed Martial Arts would be an obvious choice.
HI: Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
Paul: I met Tom Hanks on the set of the Mr. Rogers movie he did with Carmen – he called me a “dreamboat” so that’s pretty hard to top!
– Jim Warren
exclusive to HollywoodHI