Paul Rae was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised on the North Shore in Washington Parish.
Paul began acting in his high school's Theatre program where he was a part of several productions. He attended Louisiana State University where he majored in Theatre and was a member on the LSU football team. In 1995 Paul relocated to Los Angeles to study pursue a career in acting. He studied with several prominent teachers including John Kirby and Steven Book. Paul started his acting career in commercials and voice over jobs and soon transitioned to television and film. His first break in film came opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in Sony's Daddy Day Camp. He has also appeared in Oliver Stone's W opposite Josh Brolin, and more recently in the role of Emmitt Quincy in the Coen brothers’ acclaimed drama True Grit.