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Paul Dawson is an actor, writer, and musician perhaps best known for playing the "hunky"[1] and secretly suicidal former prostitute[2] James, one of the principle characters in Shortbus, a 2006 American comedy-drama film written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell.[3][4]


The film Shortbus is noted for its hardcore depiction of sexual activity and reliance upon actual, rather than simulated, sex.[3][5][6] In the film's first and perhaps most graphic scene, Dawson's character records himself with a video camera as he contorts his body in the plow position,[7] attempts auto-fellatio, and ejaculates in his own mouth.[5][8][9] The movie received numerous positive reviews[3][8][10] and a reviewer for TV Guide said that James and Jamie (played by PJ DeBoy) were perhaps the "most adorable gay couple ever."[2]

Other film credits[edit]

In 1999, Dawson played "Tar" in "The Blur of Insanity", an underground comedy written and directed by John Hussar about partying and drug use in college. The following year, he played a bellboy in The Big Kahuna starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. Also 2000, Dawson appeared as "The Bloodied Man" in Urbania, an independent drama based that premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and seen at a number of LGBT film festivals. That same year he appeared as a hustler in "The Mountain King," a film written and directed by Duncan Tucker. That performance appeared the following year as a segment in "Boys to Men" a film directed by Phillip J. Bartell and Dan Castle.[11]

Television credits[edit]

In 1999, Dawson had at least three two minor roles on television. He appeared in the Strangers with Candy episode "Old Habits - New Beginnings" and he appeared as "Derek Harland" in the Law & Order 9th episode "Hate".[11]

External Link[edit]