You’ve probably never heard of Arvil Prewitt. But at West Chester’s Calista Grand Salon & Spa, he’s considered hot property—as much for his luxurious shampoos and cuts as for scoring a role in the independent film The Blue Bird Syndrome, a dark, offbeat drama that is currently in pre-production. An occasional stand-in for Gary Sinise, Prewitt, 30, also is a walk-on character on HBO’s critically acclaimed The Wire, now in its fifth and final season.
MLT: What gets you more attention: the acting gig or the salon gig?
AP: Hmm. Well, I do have a following that just comes in to get their hair washed. I’ve actually put people to sleep. One time this woman greeted me a little too enthusiastically—“Oh my God! I’ve had you before. I loved it!” It kind of freaked me out.
MLT: Describe your big break.
AP: I had a friend who couldn’t make an audition. He convinced me to pretend that I was him. I didn’t even know I was auditioning; there was a weird vibe in the waiting room, which turned out to be a bunch of eyes watching us through two-way mirrors. I got the role. The movie was Mortality, which aired on PBS.
MLT: What are some interesting projects you’ve worked on?
AP: The History Channel did a story about the first parachute drop that the U.S. ever performed for any war, Combat Jump. My section was filmed at the Airpower Museum on Long Island, N.Y. It was an absolute blast. I played the navigator on the plane that carried the lead actor. Just for the record, I was actually up for the lead role but I was way too young. So the writer actually wrote a much larger part for my character into the film.
MLT: If you could’ve played any other character on The Wire, who would it have been?
AP: You’re going to hate my answer: I have no clue because I never watch the show.
MLT: Why not?
AP: I wish I had an intelligent answer, but the truth is that I’m never home when it’s on. I’ve heard it’s amazing and have thought about buying the series on DVD. There are a lot of projects of mine out there that I haven’t seen. I guess when I’m done with a project, I just let it go. I don’t even like to watch the dailies when I’m shooting. Then I don’t have to think back while I’m shooting and wonder what I was doing the day before or in an earlier scene. That’s just too much thinking and never realistic. It allows me to just relax and be in the moment.
MLT: Is there life after The Wire?
AP: Definitely. One of my goals is to get out of the TV thing and into movies; there’s more attention to detail.
MLT: Who are the best actors out there right now?
AP: There’s so many—Gary Oldman, Ed Norton, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr. They’re not wrapped up in themselves; they’re wrapped up in their characters.
MLT: How hard is it to make something happen at your age?
AP: Age isn’t a limitation or an excuse not to do something.