Local actor finds success in the wake of tragedy - Tucson Local Media: Liven Up

Local actor finds success in the wake of tragedy

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Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:00 am | Updated: 9:28 am, Wed Dec 11, 2013.

The true diehard fans of the hit series “Breaking Bad” may recognize a familiar face when tuning in to reruns of America’s favorite epic. This is because Tucson actor, Lou Pimber, makes an appearance in a reoccurring role, playing a member of a cartel hit squad that called for him to share camera time with stars Brian Cranston, Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito.   

Pimber has found much success as an actor, often appearing in commercials, billboard advertisements, public service announcements, films, and television shows. But life has not always been glamorous and full of high notes for the entertainer. Pimber first served his community and country as an Army combat medic, a military police officer, and a member of undercover drug and gang task forces. Though he found great joy in his work, tragedy would strike that would rock the foundation of Pimber’s life. While performing as an undercover task force agent, the young man was viciously assaulted and injured at the hands of fellow law enforcement officers. The medical and emotional damages forced Pimber to retire from law enforcement.

Due to severe head trauma, Pimber was faced with one of the most overlooked conditions in our society, post-traumatic stress disorder.  Not only did the former undercover officer battle symptoms of PTSD, but he also battled the psychiatric effects of losing his career and lifestyle. The fact that Pimber was also recuperating from a broken jaw, a traumatic brain injury, and an inner ear injury did not make the process any easier for the Tucson native. 

Pimber, however, is not one to back down from a fight. In the end it would be his own resolve that would provide the strength to rise up from the ashes and to make himself new. It all began in 2006 when chance would lead him to acting. Due to his vast experience with weapons, tactics, law enforcement, and self-defense, Pimber was invited to teach gunplay for a film produced by Mexican cable network, Cablé Vision. As a technical advisor on set, Pimber also played a minor role in the film. 

The retired law enforcement officer had found his new passion in front of a camera lens. He went on to star in films such as “The Gundown”, “Renegade”, and “Wayward Pilgrim”, as well as commercials for brands such as Adidas, before landing his role in television powerhouse “Breaking Bad”.

The roles that mean the most to Pimber, however, are those that strike a chord and hit close to home. In 2010, he wrote and co-directed “DURESS”, a short film based on his own life experiences working as an undercover drug enforcement agent in Tucson. In a similar vein, Pimber has also acted in various public service announcements aimed at shedding light on the effects of PTSD. 

For Pimber, acting has become more fantastic than a hobby, and more passionate than a profession. In a way, acting has become therapeutic. Pimber explains that the key to success is finding the “why.” What is the motive behind the work? In his case, there are more than one. First, Pimber, a single father, wants acting to be an avenue for his children and his children’s children to remember him, and to feel pride in what he has overcome. Second, Pimber wants to use his own experiences as inspiration for his country, his countrymen, and his community. He accomplishes this by speaking to at-risk children and giving them hope through his own triumphs.  

“You can’t ask life to get easier,” Pimber says, “but you can make yourself better.” And what a job he has done thus far, using unfortunate circumstances to inspire not only himself, but also those around him, paving ways to success and happiness through the redemptive power of entertainment.

For more information on the life of Lou Pimber, as well as information on past and upcoming projects, visit his website at loupimber.com

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