Childhood & Early Life
Paul was born on October 15, 1986, in Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan. He has three siblings.
Growing up, Paul was extremely bold and expressive. He had a great sense of humor, too, which eventually led him to develop an interest in acting. Paul had always been passionate about doing theater. He started doing stand-up comedy when was just 16. He even had the opportunity to share the stage with comedians Pauly Shore, Dave Attell, and Rob Paravonian.
Paul loved theater and acting so much that he decided to drop out from the 'Concordia University Chicago.' Back then, he had a few friends who worked at 'MadTV.' Paul later got an opportunity to write a film for the channel’s cast members. Unfortunately, it was canceled.
Nevertheless, Paul still got the opportunity to write scripts while he was in high school. He would send those scripts to companies in Los Angeles. He was later signed by a company that had celebrities such as Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Damon Wayans as part of its roster.
Paul became a screenwriter while living in Michigan.
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Paul began his career as a writer and producer at the 'Food Network' and ‘WWE.’ He made his debut as an actor in 2005, when he provided voice for various characters on the late-night talk show 'Too Late with Adam Carolla.' However, his journey as an actor began 5 years later, when he made his first big-screen appearance as ‘Dale’ in 'Virginia.'
He simultaneously earned minor roles in a few TV series, such as the 'NBC' comedy 'Community,' the 'FX' sitcom 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (as ‘Richie’), and the TV movie 'Lee Mathers' (as ‘Keanu’).
Paul made a few brief appearances in movies, too. He played ‘Trent’ in the 2013 drama 'Grounded' (original title: ‘Quad’) and ‘Pastey Jones’ in the spoof on Steve Jobs’s life, 'iSteve.' In 2013, he was seen in his first brief recurring role (four episodes), as ‘Dashawn’ in the 'Amazon Studios' drama 'Betas.'
Subsequently, he landed a recurring role (27 episodes) as ‘Keith,’ the lead’s roommate, in the 'Audience Network' drama 'Kingdom.' Following this, Paul made brief appearances in 'The Night Shift,' 'Blunt Talk,' 'Superstore,' and the TV movie 'A Midsummer's Nightmare.'
Paul had a starring role in the 2017 biopic 'I, Tonya,' based on the life of figure skater Tonya Harding, who was a suspect in the 1994 attack on her rival skater Nancy Kerrigan. Paul was cast as Shawn Eckardt, a bodyguard and friend of Tonya’s former husband, Jeff Gillooly.
Paul was shooting a pilot in Vancouver when he was called to audition for this 'Academy Award'-winning film. He could not believe he had received a call for the audition and almost convinced himself that the role would eventually go to some other established actor.
In 2018, Paul was seen as ‘Lonnie Laloush,’ an obnoxious office manager, in the comedy film 'Super Troopers 2.' That year, he had a starring role as dim-witted and racist ‘Ivanhoe’ in the biographical crime drama 'BlacKkKlansman,' based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, a black police detective and the writer of the 2014 memoir 'Black Klansman.'
Paul got the role in 'BlacKkKlansman' because of his agent, Brian Walsh, who had heavily promoted his performance in 'I, Tonya' and had made sure he was called for an audition.
Following this, Paul joined the cast as the recurring character ‘Raymond’ ("Stingray”) in the second season of the comedy web series 'Cobra Kai.' His most recent film appearances have been as ‘Mancuso’ in the 2019 comedy 'Late Night' and as ‘Terrence’ in the coming-of-age-drama 'Beats.'
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On June 12, 2019, Paul was cast to portray Richard Jewell, the late American police officer and the security guard who had connections with the ‘Centennial Olympic Park’ bombing at the 1996 'Summer Olympics,' in Clint Eastwood's upcoming film 'The Ballad of Richard Jewell.'
In July 2019, it was reported that Paul had been roped in for the 'Disney' live-action movie 'Cruella,' revolving around the classic '101 Dalmatians' antagonist ‘Cruella de Vil.’ The film is being co-created by 'I, Tonya' director Craig Gillespie, along with Marc Platt, Kristin Burr, and Andrew Gunn as producers.
He is also set to appear in the upcoming epic war drama 'Da 5 Bloods' (as ‘Simon’) and the thriller 'Silk Road' (as ‘Curtis Clark Green’).
Paul has written and directed three short films, namely 'Messy,' 'Kiss Me When I'm Down,' and 'Heirloom.' He is represented by the 'Creative Artist Agency' and 'Artists First.'
Paul was approached for the role of ‘Trey Hamburger’ in the 2010 TV movie 'Ghosts/Aliens.'
Paul was in his last semester in school when he completely diverted from studies. He would often drink beer and watch 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia' with all his friends on campus. Little did Paul know that he would be offered a role in the series within his first year in Los Angeles.
Paul was called to audition for the role of ‘Felix’ in 'Da 5 Bloods.' Later, Jasper Pääkkönen was signed for the character, but director Spike Lee still wanted Paul on board. Hence, Paul was given the role of ‘Felix’s sidekick.