REASON TO SMILE: "As an actor, you learn to appreciate both TV and theatre."
For all the fascinating stage work, capturing characters as diverse as they are (occasionally) delusional, that has positioned him among the most versatile and seasoned actors of his generation, Courtney Wilson is still experiencing career firsts as he diligently hones his craft.
Playing a lispy, handcart-pushing Lothario in his latest production, Ladies of the Night, prompted the 32-year-old actor to register a certain emotional depth that, by his own admission, he’s not accustomed to bringing to his work. “There’s a particular scene where Scatta breaks down that calls for really deep emotion,” Wilson says, “and that’s something that really challenged me as an actor.”
An Actor Boy winner for 2005’s Vibes, Wilson has shown a gift for bruising comedy, perhaps most memorably in last year’s Glass Slippaz. With Ladies, however, he gets to greater delve into his dramatic side -- and with a largely, female-driven cast, to boot. “I’m getting used to it,” he says laughingly of sharing the spotlight each night with the girls, who portray prostitutes grappling with a barrage of issues, including HIV.
Intent on broadening his acting range and reach, Wilson has been taking on a variety of new projects, not least among them a foray into television with a recurring role as a lecherous preacher man on CVM’s The Blackburns. “For me, TV is more personal than theatre because the camera is really close to your face,” Wilson says of the screen versus the stage. “But with theatre, the audience is not as close. As an actor, you learn to appreciate both.”