From his participation in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to finishing up his double major in mathematics and philosophy, Solomon Trimble has tried to remain very involved on campus.
In addition to his Portland State roles, Trimble, 23, recently acquired another kind of role--that of a feature film actor.
Trimble's cinematic debut will be in the upcoming fantasy film Twilight in the role of Sam Uley, leader of a werewolf pack, originally featured in the bestselling book series by Stephenie Meyer.
Just four weeks ago, Trimble's 16-year-old brother, Marcus, wanted to audition for a minor role in Twilight. Trimble escorted him to the audition, and while waiting for his brother to finish he was approached by the casting director, who thought Trimble was there to read for a part as well.
He said he wasn't there to audition, but decided to try out anyway.
"I was there in support of my brother," Trimble said. "I didn't think anything more of it. I didn't even know what the movie was about."
After reading a few lines for a small part, Trimble said, the casting director told him that she wanted him in the movie.
"She told me afterwards that I would be in the film even if it killed her to find me a role," he said. "They told me to go out and get myself an agent."
Soon after, he said, he had signed a three-film contract with MTV Films.
With the money Trimble makes from his involvement with the films, he said, he wants to pay off the mortgage on his mother's house and his sister's house.
Trimble said he loves being at Portland State and that he has fond memories of the campus stretching back to when he was 3 years old and used to practice traditional Native American dance with "The Bow and Arrow Culture Club" every Friday night in the Smith Memorial Student Union--in the space that Food For Thought now occupies.
"There used to be a lot of Native American artwork hanging from those walls," Trimble recalled.
After graduating from Portland Community College in 2005, Trimble transferred to PSU, where he will graduate from this spring. Trimble originally hoped to put money he had been saving toward a plane ticket to Europe, but after he got the film role his plans changed.
"It's not exactly Europe, but I know that area of Washington very well, and I'm excited about my time there," he said.
Twilight is currently in production around Oregon and Washington and is scheduled to hit theaters this December. Trimble's character has only three to four lines. However, in the second and third films, New Moon and Eclipse, respectively, he said he would play a leading role.
"What's nice is my character doesn't die, so I get to stick around for the whole thing," he said.
In April, Trimble will travel to Washington, where he will be on location for only two days shooting his lines. During the summer, Trimble said, he plans to spend his time in South Dakota, learning the native language of the Lakota Tribe. Trimble is one-quarter Lakota and one-half Apache, but he doesn't speak either of those languages.
"This will be a great chance for me to learn proper dialect while also reconnecting with a part of my heritage," he said.
Even with his recent film role, Trimble said, he will continue to call Portland his home.
"This is all so surreal for me right now," Trimble said. "I never expected or wanted to be a famous actor. I can't leave Portland. I love it here. I'm not the Los Angeles type."