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|Occupation||Film, stage, television actor writer|
Paul Calderón (born 1959 in Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican-American actor. He is a founding member of the Touchstone Theatre, the American Folk Theatre and the LAByrinth Theater Company. He is also a member of the Actors Studio, auditioning and accepted as a member in 1984 alongside Melissa Leo and two other actors.
His mother was Puerto Rican and his father was Black Caribbean who had settled in Puerto Rico. Calderón moved with his family at the age of six to New York, where he grew up on the streets and sidewalks of the Lower East Side and Spanish Harlem. Following some time in college, studying anthropology, he enlisted in the United States Army and served overseas as an Infantryman. After his discharge, he worked as a trail cutter in the Amazon jungle for a team of anthropologists stationed in the border between Peru and Brazil. After his stint as trail cutter, he traveled extensively throughout Peru on train and foot, visiting and living in such places as Iquitos, Cuzco and Puno. After his South American venture, he lived in Mexico City for three months and traveled to Tasco, Tijuana; Baja California; and Mazatlán.
Returning to the United States, Calderón worked as a demolition man, Latin dance instructor (he was one of the original Eddie Torres dancers). At the same time he began studying and performing in many Off-Off-Broadway productions as well as Regional Theatre. He got his big break in 1984 in a revival of Miguel Piñero's Short Eyes directed by Kevin Conway at the Second Stage Theatre. In 1995 he won an Obie and an Audelco Award for his performance in Blade to the Heat at the Public Theater. His most notable Broadway role was opposite Robert De Niro in Cuba and His Teddy Bear. Calderón also appeared off-Broadway in such plays as Requiem for a Heavyweight; "Two Sisters and a Piano" and "Dancing on Her Knees", both written by Nilo Cruz; Troilus and Cressida at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in the role of Achilles; and Divine Horsemen for the LAByrinth Theater Company, a play which he wrote, directed, produced and acted in.
Writing and Acting
Calderón also co-wrote Abel Ferrara's 1992 crime drama Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel. He has had various short stories published in literary journals. His last published story was "Primitive Grace" for the international e-magazine Noir Nation.
Calderón's more than four dozen film appearances include Q&A, directed by Sidney Lumet; King of New York, starring Christopher Walken; Sea of Love, starring Al Pacino; The Last Castle starring Robert Redford; The Firm starring Tom Cruise; Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel; Out of Sight directed by Steven Soderbergh; In the Life directed by and starring Laurence Fishburne; Clockers directed by Spike Lee; Quentin Tarantino's Four Rooms, and Pulp Fiction; Abel Ferrara's Addiction; Joshua Crook's La Soga; James Mangold's Cop Land, Alejandro González Iñárritu's 21 Grams; and Canadian filmmaker Sanzhar Sultanov's 2010 period crime drama Burnin' Daylight; Bolaetrapo, directed by Guillermo Duenas and shot in Baranquilla, Colombia. In addition, he has made numerous guest appearances on television series, including recurring roles on Dream Street, Law & Order and Miami Vice.
In 2012, he guest-starred in CBS' Blue Bloods pilot episode "Guilt", directed by McG; as well as worked on two films: West End, directed by Joe Basille; and Biodegradable, a futuristic film shot in the Dominican Republic with an all Latin cast, directed by Juan Basanta.