Which role was this actor slated to play?
What did Paul Adelstein do before Private Practice?
—Sarah Biernbaum, Jersey City, N.J.
Adelstein, 43, starred as Secret Service agent Paul Kellerman for several seasons on Fox’s Prison Break, but the interesting story behind that is he was only available for that role because a conflict in his schedule kept him from previously joining the cast of Grey’s Anatomy.
Originally, the Chicago, Ill.-born actor had been cast as cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Preston Burke, which ended up being played by Isaiah Washington when Adelstein had a scheduling conflict. “I was shooting a movie and the dates changed and it became this horrible shuffle,” he recalls. “It was quite a disappointment, as you can imagine. I didn’t work for eight months after that so I sat in my apartment watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ looking at the stratosphere thinking, ‘Oh, goodness. What happened?’ But then I got cast in Prison Break and did a couple of movies. A few years later, I was standing in the office talking with [creator] Shonda Rhimes about playing Cooper Freedman on Private Practice.’ It was very strange how things worked out.”
Adelstein’s other credits include the movies Little Fish Strange Pond, The Missing Person, Memoirs of a Geisha and Be Cool, as well as guest appearances on the TV series Scrubs, Medium, Bandwagon, Glenn Martin DDS and Las Vegas.
When he is not acting, Adelstein, who is married to actress Liza Weil, with whom he has a daughter, loves to make music as the lead singer and guitarist of the band Doris. The group just released the album Between You and Me.