My interview with Domiziano Arcangeli, International Film Super Star Actor, Executive Producer and all around cool guy. Thanks goes to Domi, his nick name, for agreeing to do an interview.
1. How long have you been an actor / model?
Oh This is the type of question I always fear the most. The truth is I have been an actor for so long, I cannot even remember. I was a child actor and I began acting in Italy where I was brought up and it was really by chance. Later on, after having been in a very famous film by Oscar winning director Federico Fellini, I started becoming more involved with the job and understood the importance of training and stage work (which i did for several years as well). But at that point i was about 16,and had acted in quite a few movies in Europe already. Back then I also started modeling for a while: I had been discovered by a very famous photographer, Helmut Newton,who used me for several campaigns and became a life long friend. They still sell some of his portraits of me in Hollywood and West Hollywood!
2. You’ve lived in America for a long time, how was it living in Italy? Do you still have family there?
I have dual citizenship and that makes me half American and half Italian, I guess. I have many relatives back there, and I always love to visit. I was so lucky I was brought up in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: the eternal Rome. And I still have plenty of memories and I cherish them with love because they made me who I am today and I was lucky to be in Rome when it was truly a cosmopolitan city full of arts and great filmmakers. Some of them have strongly influenced me and i cannot deny that having had the honor to work with many of them is still a blessing here in Hollywood for my acting career.
I must say though that Los Angeles has been my home for quite a while and I could never go back to live there. I adore my home on the Hollywood Hills, my friends and being so busy with so many different projects help definitely to make it just right! LA is my lady! Even over NYC!!! And I have some family there too, you know! 🙂 But I am a LA LA boy for better or worse..you get spoiled here..the weather and the land are just dreamy! I couldn’t trade!
3. Are you a self taught actor, did you go to any acting schools, how did you start out?
Well.. like I said, I was so young when I started acting, I guess I expected to be directed throughout!!! At some point I realized how much I needed to do some serious homework, especially if I was going take this as my main career. So yes: I did study and very hard! I was trained classically at the National Drama School in Rome by some of the greatest professors of that time,and even now whenever I am called in for an important audition or screen test I prepare my self with a coach! I have many..one of my favorite ones is the great Larry Moss who also works with Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brad Pitt and such..
Although may I tell you one secret? I do believe the best training is really ‘working’! And of course, acting with Sean Connery at 15 or Mickey Rourke when i was barely18 taught me a lot! Just by looking at them..what an experience! Some days were really intense and touching, moving. I still remember Mickey Rourke rolling naked in the snow for 2 days in a row because he was playing Saint Francis of Assisi and wanted to feel the same emotions the character he was portraying (the anti-conformist Saint Francis) was going through, and wanted them to ring true on the screen: so he just just went for it, and in the freezing cold! You don’t easily forget things like that, you know! They sort of have an indelible impact on your existence!
And then I’d also like to say-for as crazy as it may sound that I learned a lot by bad movies. I don’t believe success teach you anything. Success is just rewarding. A reward.
But when you have to make the best of terrible material and work around awful directors who rushes you on set or disrespect your craft, that’s when you actually learn the most. If you give yourself with integrity in everything you do, the people will notice. And you will know that if you were able to pull that off, there’s nothing you can’t do! That’s real wisdom to me!
4. Who are your favorite actors or directors? Do you have any favorite movies?
Of course you know I have a real weakness for the Old Hollywood, I must admit. I never get tired to watch old movies and I mean almost everything with a style..like a classic masterpiece like Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, to musicals like Vincent Minnelli’s MGM’s Meet Me in St.Louis with Judy Garland and Academy Award Winning Margaret O’Brien (the unforgettable Tootie) with which I just got to co star in the scary film Frankenstein Rising and she was flattered when i told her that for me it was such an honor and was such an admirer of her!!!
More recently I do really love Daniel Day Lewis, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman and the forever stellar Julie Christie(which from the classic Doctor Zhivago is still in the limelight for wonderful indies like Sarah Polley’s Away from her, which I supported so much, even from the pre-production stages!). A movie that really impressed me lately was Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There will be Blood” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker”, this one just out now in the theaters.
5. How do you like the genre of movies you are in, are you interested in expanding into any other genres?
I love being in Horror Films a lot. I was already in some of them when I was a teenager and now some of those were re-discovered mainly by Quentin Tarantino and remastered into brand new DVD copies,and they became cult films within a few years! I would have never known that back then, I swear!
But I am still very active in that genre now, although I am trying to do more comedy and maybe a romantic comedy even! I belong to the real LA Independent film scene, and I am very proud of this! There’s a lot of life to it! A lot of new ideas, it’s always about thinking and making something new, inventing a new style, making a ground breaking product. It is very exciting!
I have a bunch of friends filmmakers and we talk for hours about the possibilities of creating something really new! That’s why I bought one of the most prestigious cameras in the market the RED CAM 4k from Sony and started producing now! I already completed 4 films and working on 2 more! They are all low budgets projects but they were done with great style and like a labor of love! That’s why I believe in them so strongly! And I expect them to fare really well in the International Film Festival Circuit, from Sundance to Toronto and Cannes, France.
6. How did it come about that you were included in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno? What was it like to be in this film? Do you think this movie will gain you some more notoriety?
HAHA Sasha is really a character! I don’t know if i ever met the real Sasha! I think not! I met only Bruno, even at the casting session! HE would never step out of character,not even for a minute or when talking to his crew and assistants! I believe he saw my profile at my agent’s office and called me in for an hilarious meeting! He ended up casting me in a smaller role, a cameo, really. The movie is all about him! And we are all part of this fantasy, we are all like little pieces of a puzzle that will be most definitely becoming one of the most outrageous and provoking films ever made! And they tell me terrific: Hysterical laughs throughout!
7. What are some films, plays or shows you are working on now?
I am at the moment producing and co-starring in a movie with Lions Gate called Box of Shadows,a supernatural thriller with a strong message and filled with extremely raw scenes (SEE its official website: BOX OF SHADOWS THE MOVIE). I also just completed the lead role in an extremely elegant, romantic and erotic feature called ORGY OF BLOOD,that is inspired by the work of Anne Rice. I am really excited about this project! It turned out really gorgeous and darkly fascinating. There’s also another project lined up about a nightmarish virus outbreak and that I find so dangerously linked to what’s happening to the world right now! Production on that will start in September. While I am also promoting an action/martial arts film shot like a spaghetti western and called “SAMURAI AVENGER: THE BLIND WOLF” which is scheduled to come out in the fall and it’s been shot in Japan by Kurando Mitsutake and co-stars the great Amanda Plummer and others,and I play the main villain, a character that seem coming right out from another of my old time favorite films, Stanley Kubrick’s “A CLOCKWORK ORANGE”. (SEE its official site: SAMURAI AVENGER)
8. Who are some actors or directors that you would like to work with in the future?
I must say Paul Thomas Anderson, Roman Polanski, Tarsem, John Cameron Mitchell, Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino. As for the actors? Uhm..Sean Penn, Eva Green, Christian Bale and Johnny Depp.
9. I noticed you were at the Simon G. charity concert, have you been involved in other philanthropic efforts?
Oh yes I always support Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, and lots of Animal Rescues Associations, like The American Humane Society.
It was great in this case to present along with Simon G., also David Alexander, a new designer, whose fashion show was a main part of the evening: I really believe in him and do love his gowns and Old Hollywood Style creations. It was a smash, indeed!
10. How did you like being in Las Vegas, have you visited before, what are your favorite nightclubs if any?
OH my…I get rowdy in Vegas! Ain’t much into the gambling thing I must say, but I love the clubs (the Foundation Room is always my first pick!) the parties, the shows..have a particular passion for all of the Cirque du Soleil shows.. they are just amazing! I could watch them over and over and never get tired of them! I am a true fan! 🙂
11. Would you like to add anything else?
I would like to say that I find everybody so friendly and kind in Vegas: it is always an honor to get invited in the city and I am looking forward to return there soon with more projects and more fun!!!! Cheers!
Check out Domiziano’s Facebook Fan Page! Go here for all of his most recent production news, pictures on the set and to actually talk with him.Tags: Amanda Plummer, Anne Rice, Box Of Shadows, Bruno, Domiziano Arcangeli, Horror Films, Kurando Mitsutake, Orgy Of Blood, RED Cam 4K, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samurai Avenger, Sundance