Adrian Paul & Scott Miles on 'Little Chicago'
The value of friendship assumes major importance in the upcoming drama, Little Chicago -- not just in front of the camera, but behind the scenes as well. “I didn’t want to do this film for the money, so I called in a lot of favors from friends and got people involved who wanted to help out,” says new screenwriter Scott Miles. Adrian Paul, of Highlander fame, just happened to be one of those friends. “I looked at the script and it was a good story, so I said “Why not?’’’ Paul recalls.
In addition to writing the script, Miles also plays a key role in the movie. After graduating from business school, his character comes back to his home town of Gastonia, North Carolina -- which is sometimes referred to as Little Chicago because of its high crime rate -- in order to raise money to open a bar in the real Chicago. “He connects with his best friend André, played by Earl Poitier from Remember the Titans, who saved his life as a child, and now he has to try and save André’s life,” Miles explains. “André has started selling drugs to help his cancer-suffering mother and is involved with some bad people. He’s doing the wrong things for the right reasons.”
Paul portrays a mysterious stranger who is one of André’s customers. “He’s a businessman scoring drugs -- and we find out later why,” Paul says. Miles adds, “He’s very British, very upper class, very refined. Compared to André’s other customers, he seems out of place.”
Although Paul spent only one week filming Little Chicago, he enjoyed it very much. “It was shot in North Carolina with a number of film students and they were very good,” he says. “They weren’t doing it by rote; there were no egos involved, just a willingness to learn and work. I had a good time! I love working with people who are still passionate about their work.”
Because Paul boasts a dance background and did terrific footwork as Duncan MacLeod in Highlander, will there be any dancing in this film? He laughs and replies, “No. This is Little Chicago -- not Chicago.” (But wouldn’t it be great to see Adrian Paul in a Chicago musical as well?)
Not surprisingly, Miles expresses his appreciation for the opportunity to work with Paul. “I’m happy to be in this movie with such fine actors like Adrian Paul, Earl Poitier and Chris Coppola ,” he declares. “However, I’m almost ashamed to be in the film with them. I’m boring -- and they’re all so colorful.”
Hard to imagine, but Miles, who grew up writing stories, says he’s very shy -- and that’s probably one of the reasons why he gets more satisfaction out of writing than acting. “I’ve found I love writing and producing -- but can take or leave acting,” he says. Even when acting I’m more interested in the character and moving the story along. I’ve done acting for ten years, and it’s lost its luster. I tend to get stuck in the same type of role. In October Sky I played the jerk older brother, and most of the roles I get involve playing the jerk. It’s too boring.”
Both Miles and Paul will be busy during the months ahead. Miles plans to spend time getting Little Chicago ready for presentation at film festivals, and Paul has another Highlander movie in the works. “But I’m not going to do it if the script isn’t up to par,” he promises. “I’ll be the executive producer and I want it to have the high quality of the original TV series plus a new Highlander look.”
Paul is also launching a website involving auctions from Highlander and celebrities from other shows to raise funds for Tsunami victims. For more information about this worthy cause, go to www.adrianpaul.net or www.adrianpaulpeace.org.
And to keep up with the news about Little Chicago, visit the film’s official site at www.littlechicago-movie.com.
(Photo: Adrian Paul in Little Chicago.)