Julian Shaw: The Doctor Is In The House

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After growing up in Australia and New Zealand, JULIAN SHAW moved to the States and landed his second starring role in the upcoming romantic comedy, “Looking For Dr. Love.”  It hasn’t been easy for Shaw since arriving in America 8 years ago. It’s probably fair to say that what Hollywood didn’t need was another good-looking actor with an accent. But roadblocks have never deterred this motivated self-starter.

Shaw says it all started for him as a kid. After attending a performing arts high school in Australia he directed two award-winning feature documentaries. His debut documentary ‘Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story’ won him a British Film Institute Award and those credentials saw him accepted by the prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where he earned a Master’s Degree in directing. It was there he honed his storytelling craft, experimenting with various styles and formats. “What I learned at film school was that you’re better off doubling down on the weird and unique aspects of yourself than trying to be the next Martin Scorsese” says Shaw. “I don’t regret going to film school but I have also come to believe you can learn just as much by making your own films. That said, the connections I made at AFTRS were invaluable. I am currently developing a feature film project with my classmate Stephen McCallum, who directed the A24 feature Outlaws.”

Director, Peter Foldy and Julian Shaw in “Looking For Dr. Love: – Photo by Jonathan Burkhart

While he struggled with getting film projects off the ground in Australia, he also began to focus on his acting. His break finally came when he landed a role in the New Line Cinema’s film, “San Andreas” starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Paul Giamatti. “I’m in the film for about a minute, but I got to do a scene with Giamatti, who is one of my favorite actors. This experience made me realize that the acting process is fundamentally the same, whether it’s a student film or a big-budget Hollywood movie. It filled me with confidence, and I realized that if I worked hard I could really be a part of any film.”

Shortly after shooting “San Andreas” in Australia, Shaw decided to make his move to the US, eventually settling in Portland, Oregon. As luck would have it, it didn’t take him long to land a manager in Hollywood. “They weren’t happy with me living in Oregon but they never lost their faith that I could close deals.”

Julian Shaw and Anna Marie Dobbins in “Looking For Dr. Love: – Photo by Jonathan Burkhart

While waiting for auditions to come his way, Shaw decided to find the financing in order to direct his first feature, “Use Me.” “I’ve always been driven to develop my own projects rather than waiting for someone to offer me an opportunity.” “Use Me” was picked up for global distribution by Gravitas Ventures and secured rave reviews, with an 86% score on RottenTomatoes. This project led Julian to score an LA agent and brought about a flurry of new auditions.

And then “Looking for Dr. Love” came along. The story concerns a young woman (Anna Marie Dobbins) who discovers that her long-lost love is in fact the radio DJ she listens to every morning. The pair eventually meet cute and true love prevails.

Julian Shaw and Anna Marie Dobbins in “Looking For Dr. Love: – Photo by Jonathan Burkhart

With few leading role credits under his belt Shaw knew he was a longshot for the part of “Dr. Love,” but he managed to nail his audition over a Zoom call with producers, casting director, and the film’s writer/director Peter Foldy. “It was a great experience,” he claims. “Living in Portland I am grateful that technology allowed me to audition and act without needing to live in Hollywood. They had me read several scenes in an American accent and then in my natural Australian/New Zealand accent. I’m really glad “Dr. Love” ended up being American because I felt confident in delivering a credible American accent throughout the film.”

While waiting for “Dr. Love” to be released Shaw also began to focus on social media and quickly embraced its potential. “Surprisingly, this has made me more appealing in traditional media projects” he states, “and I find it interesting that I finally booked the lead in a feature film not long after I began focusing more on my social media presence. I think the digital world and new technologies complement traditional media and work together synergistically.”

“LOOKING FOR DR. LOVE” is a sweet story of star-crossed lovers that shouldn’t be missed. It can currently be viewed on Vudu/Fandango. The film lands on Amazon Prime, August 1, 2024 and will also be available on Vizio, Plex, Amazon/Freevee, Roku and Tubi as well as other outlets shortly.

Meanwhile, the prognosis for Julian is solid. He is currently co-directing a new feature documentary with his friend Joseph Reitman and he and his girlfriend have also become the subjects of an upcoming documentary. In a tough, ever-changing business Julian Shaw is ready to accept the challenges and be proactive in making his own opportunities.