Will Thompson’s rise to stardom hasn’t been a fairytale, but it does have a storybook ending.
Struggling to find his footing as a young man, he left his childhood home in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb on the west side of Chicago, bound for Los Angeles. The second of four children being raised by a single mother, Thompson had a natural affinity for music and his original goal was to break into the music industry.
However, while he had the talent, he lacked the passion. Since he was 12 years old, Thompson’s dream was to be an actor. He grew up idolizing Eddie Murphy, Redd Foxx, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Pryor.
Thompson’s love was for storytelling, plain and simple. He had more stories to tell than notes to play.
So, he headed back to Chicago to prepare for an acting career, immediately enrolling in Act One Conservatory, The Green Room and Second City to hone his craft.
His hard work eventually led to parts in a few television pilots and a made-for-TV movie. His first acting credit was for the TV movie Matadors in 2010. He continued to hustle, paying his bills and boosting his exposure by performing in plays and hosting events.
It was an exhilarating time, with each day bringing something new.
Unfortunately, just as Thompson’s career was hitting its stride, a major injury caused him to pull back on projects. It was a devastating setback when he had to have three back surgeries within the span of one year. Complications with one surgery almost took his life.
Undeterred, Thompson never even thought about giving up. His mind is always mulling new projects and different ideas for stories. After his recovery, with a renewed sense of gratefulness in his heart and steadfast determination, he continued going after his dream. Following parts in popular series like Chicago Fire, Murder Chose Me and Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, his persistence paid off when he was honored with a Los Angeles Movie Award in 2014 for his work writing the script Illuminati.
Thompson followed that up with impressive wins at the Best Shorts Competition, Vegas Movie Awards and Oniros Film Awards for writing and directing 2018’s Related Destiny, a film about two brothers who used boxing as a means to change the chaotic circumstances in their lives. Related Destiny was the first project for Thompson’s Urban Visionary Films, where he serves as CEO and tells stories from his own unique cultural perspective.
In spring 2020, Thompson was preparing for a huge milestone in his career: Producing the full-feature film Good Intentions. The film is about a Chicago police officer who resorts to crime when a lack of finances leaves his wife’s life hanging in balance. In addition to producing, Thompson wrote the screenplay and was planning to direct and
play the role of Officer Alex Mason as well. It follows his concept of sharing stories that an audience can relate to.
However, production was suspended due to COVID-19, a horrible blow for the indie filmmaker who is funding the project on his own. This was to be his first production of such magnitude with a cast and crew of more than 200 people who had to be furloughed.
Thompson, considered an up-and-comer by many, always has numerous storylines stirring in his head. He continued working as much as he could through the COVID-19 crisis and after the filming of Good Intentions, is already planning his next project.
His naturally good looks, brilliant talent and “go get ‘em” attitude makes Will Thompson one to watch in the year 2021.
Learn more about Will Thompson and follow his journey by visiting www.willthompsononline.com.