EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Wilson From Cast Away - Where Is He Now?
It's a crisp Spring afternoon.
There's excitement in the air, maybe it's the nerves surrounding meeting one of my heroes, perhaps it's the fact that I've just found €3 in bus receipts in an old jacket pocket.
I'm waiting on a bench in the park beside St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. I'm nervous and need to go to the toilet after stupidly having two cups of tea with my breakfast. Sake.
In the corner of my eye, I spot a quiet and unassuming ball rolling towards me. He's here. Wilson is here.
Me: Wilson, absolute pleasure to meet you. How's things?
Wilson: Ciara, huge fan. Things are great, how are you?
Me: Stop, I'm mortified! We'll dive straight in anyway. What's life been like since you hit the big time?
Wilson: It's all go! The last 16 years have been absolutely mental. As you might be aware, I was actually sold in an auction shortly after the film came out. Not to brag, but I sold for over $18,000! The guy that I was sold to ended up taking a few photos with me and then leaving me to roll around by myself. We came to an agreement whereby I could live my own life and just check in with him every now and then. Lovely guy actually.
Me: Ah, that sounds ideal. So, can you tell me about filming Cast Away?
Wilson: It was incredible. Probably the best time I've ever had (with my clothes on, haha!). We shot on location in Fiji and, fun fact, they had to retouch my skin because I was getting too tanned during filming. I looked like a basketball by the end of it all! It was an emotional journey and, to be honest, an absolute pleasure to be stranded on an island with Tom Hanks for four years. I'm a BIG fan of his, get it? Haha!
[Tom and Wilson during happier times]
Me: Brilliant, yes, I get it. Are you and Tom still in touch?
Wilson: Sadly not anymore. I thought we had a really strong connection, but when I drifted out into the middle of the ocean and Tom couldn't find me, that was the end of that. I was confused because it was all fake. I simply bobbed out of shot and the director scooped me into his boat nearby. Unfortunately, Tom is a method actor and he had to continue on as if I had been lost forever. I was a bit angry at the time. My face is comprised of his blood for Christ sake, but he wouldn't even look me in the eye. I've no hard feelings these days, I'm a huge fan of his and I'm pretty sure Cloud Atlas was his karma for shutting me out of his life. What a heap of garbage.
Me: Stop, yeah, it was shite! Wilson, is that a wedding ring I see?
Wilson: Correct! I'm actually married 10 years this year and I've 3 beautiful children. At least I didn't make a balls of that one, haha! My wife's name is Spalding and our twin girls are called Ping and Pong, along with a son named Sliotar. We live in a gorgeous little cul-de-sac in Ballina and we're actually just back from the holiday of a lifetime in Mauritius. It's important to just cast away every now and then, stretch the legs, take a deep breath and count your blessings.
Me: Ah that's lovely, sounds gorgeous. C'mere and tell me, are you still being recognised out and about?
Wilson: Ciara, I'm probably the most recognisable person next to Obama. I can't run into the shops for a few messages without getting 'WILSOOOOOOON' roared down the road at me. It's great to have people recognise your face and your work, but sometimes you just want to have the balls to say no to a photograph when you're not looking your best.
[Wilson, Spalding and the kids on their recent holiday to Mauritius]
Me: Listen, I won't keep you. Final question: What does the future hold for Wilson?
Wilson: I suppose just keep the head down and try to land a few decent acting gigs. You might've spotted me in some of my recent appearances, I was in the season finale of One Tree Hill, I had a small cameo on Celebrity Bainisteoir last year. The jobs are flooding in at the moment, there was a bit of a drought for a while but things have certainly picked up. As I often joke to the missus, I'm having a ball ;)
Me: Wilson, they say you should never meet your heroes, but I'm so glad I got to meet mine. Please pass on my thanks to Tom Hanks if you see him in the near future. It was an honour to meet him six years ago and I still treasure it to this day.
Wilson: Oh right, grand, will do! Thanks Ciara, all the best.
Lead image via Social News Daily.