Italian Film & Television Star Massi Furlan Makes His Mark in Hollywood
Q&A Written By
This time on The Chloe Chronicles, I had a chance to chat with Italian actor Massi Furlan about his new projects: Randy’s Canvas, Private Notes, and Experiment 77. As well as, his career highlights thus far, we also spoke about the difference between producing and acting, the foreign film industry and what he is looking to do next. Check out the full interview exclusively right here on Samera Entertainment!
CC: As someone who has been working in this industry for a long time what do you think you have taken away from it terms of learning that you didn’t know before or didn’t expect?
MF: Well, a lot of learning, first of all, that the New England Clam Chowder in Rhode Island is really good. No, seriously just wow how wonderful it was and what a learning experience it was for me. First off, because this was one of the largest roles I played so far and it being a micro-budget film the time was limited so I had to learn how to handle being under pressure and memorize and shoot multiple pages per day. Also, I learned alot about Autism, because we had quite few Autistic kids helping on set.
CC: You are from Italy, and have done productions both here in the United States and there, what do you think are the differences in the filming process? Is it easier or harder or more natural to do one over the other, and why?
MF: The main difference is that here people pay, in Italy .....who knows. For actors here in the US we have a great Union that protects us from the Hyenas when in Italy Union or not, they pretty much do whatever they want. As far as for the film process, I believe in Italy things are done faster which doesn't necessarily mean better. Speaking my mother language, of course, is easier for me. I can normally memorize 5 pages of English dialogue within one hour but when in Italian I can probably memorize in half of the time. I do think Italian actors, directors director of photography and composers are among the best in the world, without a doubt, unfortunately not everybody takes us seriously enough and gives us big opportunities.
CC: You have been in a lot of notable projects such as: Trafficked, Keeping up with the Joneses, Live By Night, The Dark Knight Rises, American Crime Story, Supernatural, NCIS Los Angeles, and even General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. What would you say has been your most memorable moment on set or most memorable scene so far in your career and why?
MF: Wow, this question requires a long answer I guess. Where to begin? So, working with Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy on The Dark Knight Rises was for sure one of the highlights of my career thus far, the professionalism on set was impeccable. Keeping up with the Joneses was such also a great experience working with comedy icons such as Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher. As for, Versace American Crime Story, working with Penelope was unreal, she's such a talented actress. Finally, Supernatural again has to be another amazing highlight in my career, I went to Vancouver to film and it was such a beautiful and friendly city and I was treated like Royalty without being a prince. My role on Supernatural was the largest television role I’ve had as of yet, I was the main character for that episode and we just had a lot of fun!
CC: You have often played a “bad guy” or villain but what role or type of project would you like to try to do next?
MF: Comedy, comedy, comedy! I was a stand-up comedian back in Italy and I used to do imitations of famous celebrities and there is nothing more rewarding in life than making people smile. I truly believe that comedy will eventually be my bigger break into the industry because in my opinion everybody can play a bad guy, but not everybody can handle comedic timing.
CC: You were part of Randy’s Canvas as Maurizio D’Oro which is a new approach to the genre of the classic RomCom as it centers around an autistic lead. First off, describe your character and their relation to the story. Also, what was it like to be part of that type of “new age” project? And, do you think these types of stories and diverse characters need more representation in the film industry.
MF: Maurizio is a flamboyant, over the top Italian owner of an art gallery in Rhode Island. Being this Italian tough mentor type guy he gives Randy, the autistic kid in the film, a chance to develop his talent which is painting. He has a tough exterior but in the film we will discover something new from Maurizio, you will have to watch the film to find out what. But, what I will say is the experience of working on this project was one of the best in my career. Everybody was so nice and for a micro-budget film, I think we did something exceptional. Great experience sometimes can sometimes be more rewarding than a large paycheck.
CC: What do you look for when you are picking projects to be apart of?
MF: I try to look for something new, something that will challenge me. I look at the story and the character and what the motivation for being a part of it would be for me. Playing the “Russian drug lord” is something I have done several times so if another Russian drug lord comes along, I will have to find something different and interesting in the story to attract me to play that type of character again.
Actress Penelope Cruz - American Crime Story, The Assassination of Gianni Versace
Trafficked with Ashley Judd
Feature Film - Live By Night (Starring and Directed by Ben Affleck
CC: What can you tell us about your newest film project, Trafficked and how has it been working with your fellow castmates?
MF: Trafficked was great and was awesome especially because of the overall message of the film. Trafficked is about human trafficking, and the cast who brought this story to life was great and the experience was truly wonderful as a performer. We will premiere the movie at the UN in New York. I play a Mexican trafficker in the film. We had a lot of talented actors in this film starting from Ashley Judd to Sean Patrick Flanery, Kelly Washington, Madison Wolfe and many more.
CC: You are not only an actor but also a producer, can you describe the differences in thought process between you as an actor and you when you are behind the scenes? How do those separate sides of yourself help you better overall as an entertainer?
MF: Well when I'm an actor I ask the producer to pay me more when I'm a producer I tell the actors we don't have more money. No, I’m just kidding, sort of. Producing is great and I like it a lot, being someone with a bit of OCD it plays to my strong suits of keeping things organized and professional. I’m the type of person that says what it like it is, I don't go around sugarcoating things to make it sweet. Which I think helps me as someone behind the scenes make snap judgments as well as being able to take technical things into account while acting.
CC: What are some of your upcoming projects coming up or things you are looking forward to in the future?
MF: I have two new projects that I’ll be acting and producing in. The first is set in Sicily, Italy titled Private Notes and the other one will be shot in the U.S. that is a psychological thriller that takes place in a mental institution title Experiment 77. What I'm looking forward to? Well, first having some exciting new projects my fans will be finally able to see and be able to showcase a different side of myself as an actor. Mostly though I’m looking forward to continuing to make people SMILE.
To keep up with Massi, make sure to check him out on all social media platforms and IMDb and make sure to check out his new project Randy’s Canvas coming out soon! And, to keep up with all things entertainment and movie related sign up to receive the Samera Entertainment newsletter. So, you don’t miss any of Chloe’s Chronicles.
Massi Furlan and Belisori Osorio at the Emmy Awards