Date of Birth : Dec 16th 1976
His acting career started from the ground up, but the appeal of handsomely low-key actor Paul Schneider was waiting to be discovered by bigger talents. Finding a comfortable niche in the lyrical films of collaborator David Gordon Green’s “George Washington” (2000) and “All the Real Girls” (2003), Schneider had unwittingly prepped himself for the subsequent creative journeys onscreen to come. A native of North Carolina, Schneider was born in 1976 and raised in the city of Asheville. In his later adolescence, Schneider attended North Carolina School for the Arts and explored an interest in filmmaking. He and writer-director David Gordon Green befriended one another while taking a film class in NCSA’s emerging film program. Over the course of 1997, Schneider acted in several of Green’s domestic drama shorts, including “Physical Pinball” and “Pleasant Grove.” In their junior year, Schneider and Green co-wrote a screenplay, “All the Real Girls,” a story about a boy and girl who experience their first serious love. As the script was refined, the film became a way for the pair to examine some feelings about their own failed romances, including the pain both collaborators felt when both of their college girlfriends initiated breakups. The intent was to impart the purity of young love and make a movie that could remind people of its simpler beginnings. After graduating in 1998, Schneider and Green journeyed to Los Angeles to pursue the elusive Hollywood dream, but barely half a year later, were back in North Carolina, examining a different path with their script. In 2000, Gordon enlisted Schneider – who was then spending his days in the park earning a living as conductor of a train ride – to act in his debut feature, “George Washington” (2000). Though fictional, the realistic, almost documentary-style look at wistful youths during a North Carolina summer, saw Schneider offering a wizened voice as railroad worker Rico Rice. The subsequent critical success of “George Washington” allowed Schneider and Green the possibility of filming “All the Real Girls.” Schneider had always been earmarked to play Paul – the caddish bed-hopping charmer who falls in love with a boarding school graduate before moving on from his former ways. Green went through the process of securing funding, and remained the champion of his intended leading man despite one prospective financier’s suggestion that actor Freddie Prinze Jr. flesh out the role. Ultimately, Green’s desire won out and Schneider took his place before the camera. Under Green’s direction, he and co-star Zooey Deschanel let their onscreen romance unfold organically, as Green re-used the partially-improvised approach that worked for “George Washington.” As 2003 drew to a close, Schneider had opted to move his life to New York City, where he was able to land a three-episode arc on NBC’s “Third Watch” (1999-2005), switching gears for the remorseless role of a serial rapist.