Recently, I sat down with Wilson The Volleyball to talk about his acting career post-Castaway. Here’s a transcript of our conversation which touches on the difficulties of maintaining a Hollywood career while being typecast:
Me: So, where are you now?
Wilson: Well, I’ve been doing work here and there.
Me: Oh really, what have you popped up in?
Wilson: I did some background work in NBC’s Superstore. I was in a scene that took place in a sporting good aisle.
Me: But, like, what’s your most recent speaking role?
Wilson: I was in a play at The Santa Clarita Playhouse a few years back?
Me: Oh, what play?
Wilson: Death of a Salesman.
Me: Wow, were you Willie Loman?
Wilson: Um, no, I had a smaller part.
Me: Oh, Biff Loman.
Wilson: No. I was a stinking volleyball in the Loman family garage. I didn’t even speak. What do you want from me? This business is cruel.
Me: Oh, my apologies for my insensitivity. I just thought —
Wilson: You just thought what? You do one movie with Tom Hanks and you’re a star? Well, where the fuck is Hooch these days, huh? This business is hard, damnit. I’m a volleyball.
Me: I know, I know. Very sorry. Well, ok, so tell me what do you think happened.
Wilson: There’s just not a lot of good roles for sporting goods. Volleyballs in particular. And, if you look a certain way, well, you’re typecast.
Me: I bet. And, you’re dad was also an actor.
Wilson: Yeah, he played the volleyball in Top Gun. But, after that, he struggled.
Me: Yet you were still drawn to the business?
Wilson: It was either that or end up down at the Y or Boys and Girls Club being used there.
Me: Well, you must’ve seen the perils of an acting career first-hand from your dad.
Wilson: Yeah, right? Maybe I would’ve seen it if he wasn’t out every night boozing and chasing skirts. The guy was a monster.
Me: Whoa, do you need a minute?
Wilson: No, I’ll be ok. (long pause) Still in therapy.
Me: So, what are you doing to maintain your acting career?
Wilson: Well, I have an acting coach and I work out, maintain a healthy lifestyle and good air pressure and, well, just generally try to look good.
Me: Ever consider leaving Hollywood?
Me: Why not?
Wilson: Because you never know what’s around the corner. I heard VH1 might reboot Celebrity Fit Club and I think I definitely could be involved in that. I mean, I’m a star of yesteryear waiting to be reborn and I am literally sports/fitness equipment.
Me: Well, I hope that happens for you.
Wilson: Thank you.
Me: Thank you for taking the time.
After the interview, Wilson asked me if I could loan him money. I said no, but then he asked if I’d at least give him a ride to his place in Van Nuys. I was not going that way, so I arranged for a Lyft. But, then he asked if I could just give him cash for whatever the Lyft would cost. I obliged and we haven’t spoken since.
The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny stories, articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!