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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



The Kindness of Alessandro Parrello


Today, I present Mr. Alessandro Parrello who plays Giovanni Allegretti in the much anticipated directorial debut of Deborah Hadfield in The Kindness of Strangers (2010). Alessandro Parrello is the Italian acting sensation who is about to explode! Ale takes time out of his Italian holiday to speak about his burgeoning film career.



ME: Hey, Ale, thanks for trekking down the mountains of Abruzzo with all the horses and cows to be here. Ale is a veritable Italian cowboy! So cool! First, can you speak about how you got into acting? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?



ALESSANDRO: Well, I originally wanted to be a pilot like Top Gun. After going to the academy to do the exam, I realized it was not for me. I can remember that acting came into my life when I was seventeen years old; at that point everything changed. Teachers were always complaining that my only concern was to imitate them and play famous movie scenes in class. But it was actually true!



ME: LOL! That's sweet. Top Gun was totally my generation too. Haha! I see that you lived and worked for long time in New York. Did you live the American dream?



ALESSANDRO: Yes, and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I wanted to go there for three months and wound up staying for three years, traveling a lot between NY and Italy. At first I worked in a restaurant to learn the language then I did some modeling, even with Penelope Cruz which is so sweet. After that I started doing voiceovers. The first acting role was in 2009, in which I played the lead of an assassin in a short movie. Then, a month later, I got my first feature in USA called THANK YOU NEW YORK!  Isn't that an amazing coincidence? In fact I thank New York every day for what it has done for me. That movie won also the Silver Lei award at the Honolulu film festival this year. I also learned very good Spanish in NYC. Can we consider this a little American dream?



ME: So cool! Well, it's all in NY isn't it? So, where are you based now?



ALESSANDRO: Because of work In Italy for the moment, but I'm going to New York frequently and in the future you never know...



ME: Can you speak about your new film The Kindness of Strangers (2010)? What is it about and what is your role as Giovanni?



ALESSANDRO: The Kindness of Strangers is a romantic road movie, in which there is a secret that needs to be clarified. I'm playing Giovanni Allegretti, a young Italian businessman who is about to get married but gives up his life for a little while, to helps the protagonist to find the truth about this terrible secret. It regards a homicide in which is involved the photographer that I hire for the my proposal moment to my girl. The movie takes place on the road across Europe on a motorcycle. Amalfi coast, Rome, Cannes, French Alps, Paris and England are the locations. But at one point something goes wrong and... you have to see it..



ME: It sounds super captivating. I can't wait till it's out in festivals. Is there a particular message you'd like people to get across with this film? How do you hope the American and later international audience will receive it?



ALESSANDRO: Well, firstly I want to say that this is a low budget movie, so there are not special effects, but Mostly I would invite people to see it because they will enjoy great acting and great landscapes from so many different locations.



ME: Looks like you filmed in so many different countries! Incredible! How hard must that have been to change set so many times?



ALESSANDRO: Yes, and I feel really blessed because I traveled and worked with so many talented people and learning always something new. It's a gift! At the beginning the hardest part was the language, because since Italian is my mother language, I had to work hard with the accent to play with a good English and being always natural. Thanks to the restaurant also! Today I feel really confident with this language, and it's like I'm playing in Italian. When I was in school I was dreaming for this!  So once back in Italy, when I have a new audition, I feel that I have more tools to use. And it works!



ME: Yes, knowing different languages opens so many more doors for sure! Do you have any funny or frustrating stories from filming? I mean, there must be with all that traveling!



ME: Both of them. I have dozens of funny stories. A funny episode happened during the shooting of The kindness of strangers. It was an intense love scene between two characters, into a private house in England. Somebody thought we were shooting a porno and called the police. They came but realized that it was obviously a big misunderstanding. But the day after in the front page of a newspaper in UK we saw the title "Cops raid "Darth Vader" movie set", Just because in the cast there is Dave Prowse, who played Vader in star wars. But he wasn't even there that day. Funny! A frustrating one, for the same movie, was when  I had to ride a Ducati 1198, which is a super sport bike, from Rome to Paris and then coming back by myself to Rome, in the middle of the summer, wearing a full leather jacket, just to film a few riding scenes. It was hard for the body, but really good for my character.



ME: Love the stories. That's so funny. What was it like working with Deborah Hadfield on her directorial debut?



ALESSANDRO: It was a good experience. She is very determined and has passion for what she does and these are great quality for a director. Also she had an amazing crew which is very important for a debut.



ME: Looks like you have acted, produced, wrote and directed a bit too. Do you want to mostly act, or also direct and produce more in future?



ALESSANDRO: Definitely acting is my first love and passion! Maybe there is not another job that gives you the chance to be so many different people in one life. But I'm a capable person who likes always to be in challenge, so producing could be something that I would love to do in my career. The experience as director came almost casually, when I wrote a story and after two years a production company read it and decided to help me to make it. So even if I've never directed before I felt it was the right moment, so I made the storyboard of the whole movie and... action! I was the first director in Italy who shot a movie on Red one 4k in 2008. The movie is also pretty good. I'd love you to see it. It's just 20 min length. Directing and producing, made me understand better the hard work that there is behind every acting performance.



ME: I can't wait to see your short, which is your directorial debut and called Troppo d'Azzardo (2009). So, aside from this slam short directing project, what are your next roles?



ALESSANDRO: I should take part into an Italian TV series in the next season,  and besides that I'm preparing a new feature called "L'attesa" (The wait), a black comedy in which I'll play a young killer who wait with his co-worker  for the next unknown victim. Audience will see what happens around those two killers, while they talks about old memories of their career, in a hilarious cold-blooded atmosphere, with action scenes and an unexpected final! This project will be also the first official product of my new production company, the WEST 46TH FILMS.



ME: Ale, you're on fire. Directing, acting, producing. You're doing it all and loving it. Huge props to you. Can't wait to see you all over the place. And keep us up to speed with your upcoming projects. EVERYONE, LOOK OUT FOR THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS (2010)


Interview by Vanessa McMahon, August 16, 2010


actor Alessandro Parrello



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