Vancouver Actor Resurrects Zombie Solomon Grundy on CW’s TV series ‘Arrow’

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Cyrus Gold aka Solomon Grundy of DC Comic fame is resurrected on the CW’s TV series ‘Arrow’. Graham Shiels, a Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts Alumni, talks about having to move to LA to get cast in a role that shoots in Vancouver.

“Landing the role as a comic book character in any TV show is a dream come true,” says Shiels from his L.A. home. It’s been a wild adventure for Graham as he has hit the highs and lows of being a professional actor for the last 12 years. Last year Graham got to come back to Vancouver B.C. as he guest starred on the J.J. Abrams series Alcatraz. That was his first taste of being back in Vancouver B.C. for some years. Before that Shiels had moved to the U.S. in 1996 to attend the Yale School of Drama. After bouncing around the New York Theater scene, Graham headed west and planted roots in Los Angeles.

Graham recalls, “There were times when it was rough, then I would land a gig and would make it all worth it. There were a lot of sacrifices made, I left everything behind in Canada. My family, my friends, everything I knew and grew up with was gone.

All the casting for series leads is done out of LA. It’s just what happens. All the best actors move there. That is the viewpoint that the TV executives have. So I knew I had to tough it out in L.A.”

Long time friend and actor Simon Longmore and owner of Vancouver’s top Acting School says, “As soon as Graham hit Vancouver we reconnected, we started working on the Arrow scripts, from top to bottom. Graham fully immersed himself in his work. This is a juicy role, it’s not everyday you get to play a comic book character, Cyrus Gold/ Solomon Grundy is a great character to play.”

Graham Shiels, is busy as an actor, 2013 has been a banner year for this Canadian export. Graham has guest starred in The Client List (Jennifer Love-Hewitt), Thor 2: The Dark World (Chris Hemsworth), and Graham is splitting time between Arrow and Disney’s Lab Rats (created by Mark Brazill, creator of “That 70‘s Show”) where Graham also has a recurring role. Graham comments on the difference between playing comedy and drama. “the Disney work is also a lot of fun. The cast on Lab Rats is great and the humor and comedy is very broad, it’s a kid's show. It’s great as an actor to play the full spectrum of broad comedy to action hero drama."

Simon Longmore tells us “Graham is not unfamiliar with being undead! He did a 4 episodes on True Blood as a blood thirsty vampire. I remember when he left Vancouver for Yale years ago. It’s a dream for him to come back like this. I have him guest speak and teach at my acting studio. Graham also teaches his approach in own class in L.A. (

Prompted on the future of his role? “No one knows!” responds Graham “It’s very hush hush working on the set. The fans are amazing, so dedicated, they are always hungry for anything new. I cant really say anything about it as I don’t even know myself. So you will have to tune in to Arrow and see how the plot develops!” The next episode of Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on CTV.

Contact Information
Daniel Boileau
Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts

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Simon Longmore
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