May 21, 2018

Winnipeg Free Press Interview: From the North End to Hollywood

Prepares for first leading role in new mini-series

By: Rob Brown Source:Winnipeg Free Press

It’s fair to say that Aleks Paunovic has made it to The Show.

The North End-raised actor now spends more time in Hollywood than he does in his native Canada. He is currently in the midst of filming the upcoming sci-fi miniseries Dark Universe.

“I try to spend about seven months of the year down there. It does open more doors,” Paunovic said last week via telephone from Vancouver.

While Paunovic continues to work in front of the cameras in California, he recently completed his first stage role in Vancouver. His performance in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea earned Paunovic a Jesse nomination, one of British Columbia’s highest theatre honours.

“The rehearsal process was great and so was everyone else on the project,” he said. “However, that was the word thrown around the set — process.”

Paunovic says the live theatre experience took his acting to the next level. 

“For me it is about doing the work and telling the story, and the stage brought me to a completely new level of craft. You can’t be an actor without the theatre experience. I get it now,” he said.

“There may not be the dollars on stage compared to film, but that is where all the true talent is.”

Paunovic has been garnering plenty of attention for both his stage and big screen appearances. He was in the recent Reese Witherspoon action comedy This Means War, which earned more than $17 million when it opened at North American box offices. Paunovic was featured opposite Tom Hardy, the actor who portrays Batman villain Bane in the recently-released The Dark Knight Rises.

“It was pretty awesome experience,” he said.

Paunovic lists University of Winnipeg theatre instructor Rick Skene as an early influence. Skene, who was a stunt co-ordinator when he met Paunovic, said the actor is disciplined and takes his work seriously.

Paunovic is keeping busy this year. He is currently playing a lead role in the four-part sci-fi miniseries Dark Universe. He welcomed the opportunity to play a fully-developed character.

“When I read this character, I thought I so wanted to play this Russian. The character is a well-written one — a completely full and conflicted character,” he said.

In addition to Dark Universe, the actor is also gearing up for a second season of CBC TV’s Arctic Air. Producers were originally looking for an older actor to play the part but were so impressed by Paunovic they rewrote it specifically for him.

“They were actually looking for an older guy. Now we’re going again for a second season,” he said.

Paunovic will also be featured in the upcoming films The Marine: Homefront and Chupacabra vs. the Alamo.

The North End product got his start when he was cast in the 1993 HBO flick Heads starring Two and a Half Men’s Jon Cryer. He has also had roles on I Spy, Human Target, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Supernatural and Stargate SG-1. For more information visit www.alekspaunovic.info  

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rob.brown@canstarnews.com