Actor and producer Paul Wesley gears up for his next big project in 2018 as a creator of the upcoming television series Tapped. The show is one of numerous projects Wesley has spearheaded in the past five years as he turns on-screen acting experience into behind-the-scenes innovation.
Wesley’s television acting career paved the way for his production work, which continues to evolve in both the TV and film worlds. Wesley first tried his hand at producing as an actor CW’s supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries, where he played Stefan Salvatore, the love interest of character Elena Gilbert, who turns out to be a vampire. This production experience came in handy for Wesley’s first-time producer role in the 2014 Indie drama “Before I Disappear,” a collaboration with longtime friend and director Shawn Christensen.
The film follows the main character Richie in New York City as he gets his life together after an attempted suicide while caring for his niece. Wesley played Gideon but spent most of his time behind the camera. The guerilla filmmaking venture was adapted from Oscar winning short film Curfew and scored audience choice awards at South By Southwest and Venice Film Festival’s “Venice Days” section.
In 2015, Wesley acted in Drafthouse Films production of Amira and Sam by writer-director Sean Mullen. The film tells of an romance between Sam, a former Green Beret Sergeant, and Amira, an undocumented Iraqi immigrant and niece of Sam’s former translator in Iraq. Wesley plays Charlie, a hedge fund manager and cousin of the main character, who tries to get Sam involved in his financial schemes. In 2016, Wesley starred in Off-Broadway theatre production of “Cal in Camo” where he played the brother of actress Katya Campbell. Wesley’s character Flynt, reeling from the death of his wife, is recruited to help care for his sister’s newborn baby girl. The play was performed at the Rattlestick theatre in New York City.
Wesley’s 2017 venture Tapped is a collaboration with Pretty Little Liars creator, I. Marlene King. The show is about three grad students who develop a Tinder-like dating application that spirals out of control in development for Freeform. The series is based on the memoir of Andrew Shaffer called How To Survive A Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters: Fight Back When Monsters and Mother Nature Attack. Wesley’s involvement in the show continues his evolution as a producer, with major independent projects and collaborations in the works.
Both Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries ended this year, paving the way for Wesley’s newest behind-the-scenes venture. He founded a production company called Citizen Media, which has been involved in the development of five shows across multiple television networks. Wesley co-signed a deal at Warner Bros. for Citizen Media with former producer of The Vampire Diaries and former executive producer of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, Bob Levy.
In July this year, Wesley directed an episode of Freeform’s series Shadowhunters, a supernatural drama based on the book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Wesley’s other recent work includes short Isabel, an independent film collaboration with Austin Nichols that was filmed in Texas in late 2017. The film is an indie feature currently in post-production in preparation for submission to film festivals. Wesley is reportedly involved in the development of four new shows with Warner Bros.: Confessions of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher, Pecos, Finding Natalie, and Shanghai Summer.
Wesley’s introduction to theatre started in elementary school growing up in New Jersey, where class outings included tripsin to New York City to see productions like Les Miserables and The Lion King. He was born in 1982 and raised by Polish immigrant parents, spending part of his childhood growing up in Poland. Wesley became hooked on acting in high school where he started honing his craft as a professional. He enrolled at Rutgers university but decided to leave shortly after he started to focus on his acting career.
He scored his first major role as a junior in high school in 1999 as Max Nickerson in the television series The Guiding Light. Since then, Wesley has acted in over 13 film productions and 26 television series. His film and television appearances include roles in The Baytown Outlaws, The Late Bloomers, Mother’s Day, Peaceful Warrior, The Russell Girl, Fallen, 24, 8 Simple Rules, American Dreams, Army Wives, Cane, Everwood, Guiding Light, Smallville, The O.C., CSI and Law and Order, among others. Wesley’s longest stint was on The Vampire Diaries, where he played Stefan for 8 seasons and 171 episodes.
Outside of his film and TV career, Wesley is known for starting charitable campaigns for the Animal Humane Society of The United States among others.