Anthony W. Preston dishes on his time on soaps, upcoming Hallmark movie, upcoming pilot and much more. Click here to check it out---->>
Article by Kenyan Smith
Anthony Preston is an actor, singer, songwriter and philanthropist . This guy does it all and does it all well. How many days until Christmas? If Anthony has started his Christmas list, guess what would be at the top? Getting cast in a soap in a full time role! He wants to be on daytime.
Now, Anthony is no stranger to daytime. In fact, his career started with his very first job as a lawyer for a very small part on The Young & The Restless. He’s been cast in several smaller roles and has had short recurring roles on soaps but never a contract role. He likens it to the movie Never Been Kissed. “When people ask me what soaps I have been on, I tell them the list of soaps I have not been on is shorter than the list I have been on.”
One time Anthony got close, so close. There was an actor leaving a current role and Anthony was the last man standing out of 400 guys who wanted the role. “We were signing papers and I was moving and all this other stuff. Then all of a sudden, the guy was like ’he doesn’t want to quit the show anymore’ and I’m like are you kidding me?!”
Daytime ‘fam’ we are kicking off the “Public Awareness Campaign to get Anthony Preston a Contract Role on a Soap!” I talked us up big time (although Anthony already having worked in the genre already knows how awesome we are). He readily agreed we are a loyal and devoted bunch. “They have always been good to me.” Let’s get cracking! We have to get Anthony on a soap pronto!
The fortunate thing is Anthony does not have to sit at home waiting for the soap phone to ring (though we want it to ring soon). He has three fantastic projects coming up. He’s about to start filming Staying Kissed for Hallmark. He’s just completed the pilot, Finders and Keepers. And he’s in the middle of filming, Reversal, a motion picture. I asked him how he does so much and is able to do it all so well.
“You know it’s a bit of a juggling act (laughter). And it’s work but it’s doable. I’d rather be stressed out I guess than bored stiff so that’s just the way to put it. Gosh, how did I start? I was an athlete in high school. I sustained a career ending injury and all of my friends were in theatre so that’s how it started (laughter). So, not the most glamorous of stories. (laughter) I remember being a kid. I grew up in the Midwest and there were very big tumultuous storms that would happen. I was in the basement with some friends one day watching an episode of Speed Racer when lightning struck the tv. The tv went out and nobody knew how the episode ended. Well, my dad he had a motorcycle. I knew where his motorcycle helmet was so I went up to the garage, put it on, came back in and pantomimed the rest of the episode for my viewing audience. That’s pretty much how my career started. (laughter)”
All three upcoming projects sound fascinating and they run the gamut. There is something for everyone. Staying in the vein of soaps for a minute. Staying Kissed is a delightful TV movie. Filming begins soon. Anthony plays “Lewis”.
“Lewis is witty and he’s fun….He’s just a genuine genuine individual that wants to-kind of gets caught in the middle of some controversy and he just wants everyone to get along. Essentially it’s a small town piece. He’s the town lawyer and loved by everyone. There is a probate sale because this lady passes away who doesn’t have a will. The City Council who is trying to bring some more revenue to their small towns get pre-approval plans from a builder for a mall that’s going to bring growth, expansion, and progression to this community. Well, low and behold when the grandma dies we find out that her next of kin is this girl who coincidentally is also a lawyer and has a history with Lewis. They grew up together. They were friends. She, out of the blue, shows up in town after her grandma dies and starts asking questions and starts poking around as to why they are going to tear this house down where she grew up. So tension starts between these two old friends. They are both attorneys and coincidentally the antagonist is her fiancé who is another attorney. So the triangle begins. Lewis’ primary goal is to bring prosperity to this town but also to satisfy the whimsical needs of this old relationship. So he is kind of stuck in this tug of war. It’s fun. It’s going to be another one of the deals where there are choices involved and how we are defined by the choices we make.”
Anthony has just completed the pilot Finders and Keepers that is being considered by The Discovery Channel and The History Channel. Especially, for all you history buffs who like your history splashed with good entertainment, this one is for you.
“This is about archeological carbon dating and how it pertains to ascertaining the age of everything from humanity to dinosaur bones. The theory behind the show- the premise is what if humanity was here for millions of years on the earth and we didn’t know and we falsely assumed that human beings were on the planet for- the current timeline is we have been here for three hundred thousand years. But what if we have been here for millions and that can be proven-well then that will reshape everything from who we are as a society, the culture, what we believe as far as religion. It will unravel every single textbook ever written as far as history goes.
What happens is my character, Rob, is an entrepreneur and is extremely successful. His best friend Dan goes through a divorce. Rob decides to let Dan decide he can go wherever he wants to go on a road trip. He’s just going to get him out of dodge and blow off some steam. Dan up and decides what he really wants to do is to go to this old gold mine in Northern California, a defunct gold mine. While they are there, Dan discovers this very very old artifact that had no business being where he found it. In the pilot episode, they start to breakdown and discover that the carbon dating is not accurate and this to some degree is going to be a wild goose chase. It’s called Finders and Keepers because there are a lot of people who don’t want to let this knowledge out for the fear it will unravel society at its core. So, basically it’s about how they track down the path. It kind of has a National Treasure meets Indiana Jones feel.”
Anthony mentions that the neat twist is the only person that can help them is Dan’s ex-wife, Nancy. Dan is a geologist. Nancy is the only archeologist, who is an expert that they know and can trust. Rob lays down the law to Dan. He tells Dan, they are going to do this, Rob will fund it, they will “crush it”, it will be revolutionary and they will be rich and famous. So, Dan and Nancy can work out their personal “stuff” later. As Antony points out, we really have a National Treasure, meets Indiana Jones meets Three’s Company.
Doesn’t it sound fabulous? We have our fingers crossed, crisscrossed that this intriguing pilot is picked up soon!
We can’t wait to see Antony on the big screen in Reversal, which is still in production. It’s interesting and bold given the current climate. It’s slated for a Fall 2019 release. This is Anthony’s first feature film as a father. He’s still struggling a bit with that (smile). Anthony plays one of the leading roles.
“The film is a kind of hyperbole and almost a satirical look into what society would be if we all got exactly what we asked for....My arc is very interesting….My character’s daughter who is in a relationship suddenly falls in love with the very charming, very stellar and educated, very anti-stereotypical African American gentleman down the street who is her age. All of a sudden it just creates and spawns all these different discussions and ideologies come out and racism is present. And then my character in the process is trying to establish a political march against some of this. So then he basically finds himself in a situation where the other side redeems him. Then his whole perspective on it changes. I think what it is- it’s a piece trying to establish, as most art does,- the objective is to paint the picture of what society could be if we could mitigate and manage these things and if we could be open minded enough to walk in community with some of these issues versus pigeon holing each other.”
Anthony hopes that the piece will continue to spark continued conversations on these type of issues. And hopefully not only help us have the discussions but help us on how to have them.
“In the sense of what it seeks to accomplish as art form in terms of exposing stereotypes, racism and a host of other things like that, it’s going to accomplish it effectively and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Anthony is also a singer and a songwriter. His latest single, Collide came about when Anthony was working on the sound track for the annual production for the Not for Profit, Arts & Entertainment. Anthony describes the coming together of Collide as “serendipitous where all the stars align.”
The play, that features the song, is about a group of people who don’t know each other, living different lives and that are the same subway when it crashes and derails. Come to find out the crash isn’t so random. It’s the “cosmos’” way forcing these people who are interconnected to face each other. Thus having them to Collide. Check out the song. It’s available on ITunes. You can thank us later. The lyrics and melodies are beautiful and vibrant. In addition, Anthony is set to pen new music, produce his first full album and go on tour.
Anthony puts his money where his mouth is. For the last several years he’s been investing in our next generations through his program for teens, ELEV8-X, based in the greater Los Angeles, California area. His passion for the youth is inspirational. He even gave me an insightful tip or two and I’ve been at this parenting thing for over 18 years!
“A lot of parents make a lot of sacrifices but they don’t always have the pop culture nomenclature to always relate to their children. So what I wanted to do was to build some sort of bridge that would use art creatively….We built a 90 minute show comprised of music, dance, spoken word, some dynamic speakers, some very funny scenes that all segues into a question and answer portion where we get to talking with an open dialogue with the kids on what they want to do, what are they struggling with and how they can overcome that adversity.”
ELEV8-X was launched on November 4, 2011. To date it has reached a quarter of a million kids in the greater Los Angeles, CA area. For more information, . In closing Anthony told me “The part I love the most, is that my platform continues to expand and what I love about it is that I get more and more requests to serve.”
It was such a pleasure talking to Anthony. We were chatting it up like old friends. We are looking forward to supporting him and all his upcoming projects. And let’s not forget we gotta get this man on a soap!
anthonywpreston or @anthonywpreston