Actor Paul Sparks has been busy with new work on both the big and small screens. In the movies, he most recently starred as a federal agent pursuing a gifted child opposite Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton in Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special. For television, he is attending the Tribeca Film Festival with HBO’s The Night Of. The series is set in New York, delving into the intricacies of a complex murder case with cultural and political overtones. “In The Night Of, I play Don Taylor. He’s a bit of a scalawag,” explained Sparks at Deadline’s Tribeca studio. “He’s a personal trainer who has a series of relationships with women much older than he is and gets tangled up in a big crime that gets unwound during [the show].”
In addition, Sparks plays David Tellis in Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience, the law firm boss who flirts with his legal intern Christine (who also moonlights as an escort).
Sparks first became familiar with The Night Of after the late James Gandolfini gave him a script (originally titled Criminal Justice). The actor said though Gandolfini is gone, his presence is still felt on set. Sparks said that he likes the idea of getting to know a character over the course of a series and agrees TV is having a particularly good moment, though he will always be a fan of movies. “I don’t believe one is going to trump the other. There’s a real art to telling a story in two hours and that will always be something that people are very, very interested in.”
HBO is showing a two episodes of The Night Of on Friday at 3 PM at the SVA1 Theatre followed by a conversation with John Turturro, Steve Zaillian, Richard Price and Riz Ahmed.