Paul Whittingham

  • Photography  Tom Johnson
  • Styling  Patricia Villirillo

Hi Paul, tell me about yourself.

My name is Paul, I’m 34 and I live in Hersham in Surrey where I have lived for most of my life. Currently I’m acting and modeling, but I got into the industry by luck. Before I started acting I left school at 15 to work as a labourer, then got into gardening, and that was followed by helping to run a coffee warehouse in Hersham for 7 years. Before I started I had never even thought about becoming an actor or model. I was just used to long hard days of manual labour and working a 9-5 shift, five days a week.

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How did your acting career come about?

I was approached while out walking my two dogs – a guy from Universal Studios who does recruitment for them wanted to speak to me about the possibility of becoming an actor. The main reason for this was the birthmark on my face; they wanted someone with unusual characteristics to feature in a film and he said he thought my look was amazing and very distinctive. He felt I could get a lot of work by putting myself out there in the public eye, and said that actors with facial markings and scars like mine are really hard to come by, especially ones who are as open and confident about it as I am. Following this I got myself registered with a few agencies and haven’t looked back since. I’ve been really busy for the last 18 months acting, mainly in feature films and music videos.

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Tell me about your birthmark, have you always been so confident about it?

Growing up as a kid wasn’t easy. You quickly become aware as soon as you step outside your house that people are looking and staring at you, and saying things to one another. Because of this I did have a few sessions of laser treatment to try to remove it when I was younger, but due to it being different to most people’s it’s unremovable – birthmarks usually go through 5-6 layers of skin, but mine’s about 17 layers deep. So in the end I gave up. I was about 16 when I decided to just embrace the fact that I have it, and now I’m happy to be different to most people and have my own look.

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What kind of roles do you tend to play?

I’ve found most of the roles I’ve landed are to play the gangster, a lunatic, or a baddie, mostly due to my look, my tattoos and the fact I can portray the angry man stereotype villain. I’ve had roles as a club owner, bouncer, villain, sex trafficker, SAS soldier, drug dealer and gang boss to name a few.

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What are you working on at the moment?

I have a few feature films being released in the next couple of months and I’m due to start filming an all-action Sci-Fi film. As I have combat training there’s a few action scenes that I’ll be in, including my first stunt scene where I’ll be thrown though a coffee table.

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