In a Cal-State University classroom, stripped down to nothing but boxers stood Wade Wilson, a bay area native who had fallen in love with acting. His theater professor at the time told Wilson to get more invested in the scene he was portraying and it left him baring it all.
“I was doing a scene from ‘Death of a Salesman’ and my professor told me I was wearing an armor that was keeping me from exposing the trueness of what I was trying to convey. So she told me to strip,” Wilson said. He was totally caught off guard by his teacher’s request. But, he knew it was something he had to do to dig deeper. So, he apprehensively took off his shirt. “By the time I took my shirt off I felt liberated. So, I kept stripping my clothes off while I was performing. When I got to my boxers, my armor was off and I was left in front of my class uncovering it all.”
His acting career started when he was 9 years old playing a mouse in a school play.
“I remember getting up on that stage and feeling like I was in the right place. After that my teacher Mrs. Jones went to my mother and told her I was a natural. She convinced my mom to enroll me in an acting class and it started from there,” he said.
The acting program at Young Actors Workshop (YAW) molded Wilson into the movements of what it meant to be an actor at a young age. Once he became involved with the group he began to grow more confidence in his acting skills.
“I started to learn more about what was going on inside of me and more about myself. That’s the time I made the dream to one day be in a feature film,” he said.
Reality went out the door for Wilson whenever he played a character. And he soon learned how to grow his craft from high school into college. But, the turning point happened in his Cal-State theater class and that moved him into another range of acting.
That’s when the fire ignited in him that acting was deeper than what he had experienced before. That moment became a stepping-stone for his adult acting experience and completely changed the way he executed taking on roles. Now, Wilson is all the more excited about his future and he has every right to be.
His dream came true when he landed the role of Oedipus, an accountant of the prestigious lodge club of Knights of Euphrates, in the controversial motion picture “Chi-Raq” by Spike Lee.
“Oedipus is a mama’s boy and he takes that to another level,” Wilson said about his character. “He is strongly against the sex strike, but he loves his mom. So, he has a bit of conflict there.
The movie “Chi-Raq” is derived from the ancient Greek comedy “Lysistrata” written by Aristophanes. Lysistrata, the protagonist of the story, persuaded all Greek women to withhold sex from men until peace was restored, ending the Peloponnesian War.
Teyonah Parris plays the Lysistrata of “Chi-Raq” and is in love with an aspiring rapper Demetrius “Chi-Raq” Dupree played by Nick Cannon. She becomes disturbed by the bloody war between his Spartan gang and the rival Trojans, led by Cyclops played by Wesley Snipes, and petitions women to swear off sex until the violence between the two ends. The movie made $1.3 million it’s first weekend and only premiered in 305 theaters.
Wilson’s character plays a pivotal role in the balance between men and women in the film. “I very much the character the whole time we were filming. It was necessary for reacting with people in the present moment it made it better,” he said.
This is his second time working with Lee on a film. He also worked on the video game NBA 2K16 in direction with Lee. “ I loved working with Spike Lee the second time around. He is such a genius in how he thinks and executes his direction,” Wilson said. “I learn a lot about the movement of filmmaking from him.”
There is a lot to learn in the entertainment industry and Wilson believes that it shouldn’t stop with just him. “Inspiring actors should know that you have a voice and learn to face things head on. Accept your craft and be open in your life as an actor. Moments will become real to you when you know that you are ready to go.”
To watch “Chi-Raq” checking your local listings for show times. Follow Wade Wilson on Twitter @WadeFWilson and Instagram @WFWilson.