“At The End Of The Day Never Sacrifice Your Art For Anyone:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor And Producer Monte Bezell

Monte Bezell

Actor, director, and producer Monte Bezell is Brooklyn born and raised. Brooklyn, according to our hasty research, is know for their vegan brunches, craft breweries, and historically accurate facial hair.

This week’s Q&A is with actor/producer Monte Bezell. Monte spoke to us about how growing up in Brooklyn formed his desire to be in show business, how staring out in indie films shaped his career and his upcoming projects. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Monte Bezell:
The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to get into show business?
Monte Bezell: I was always a big film fan, and one day I walk by this huge set on the steps of City Hall in downtown Brooklyn and I knew right then I wanted to be in the business!
TDQ: Who was your favorite actor growing up?
MB: As a New Yorker it was always going to be Al Pacino. His roles were classic and he represented everything I grew up to respect and idolize from my upbringing in Brooklyn. 
TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
MB: I didn’t really watch a ton of TV growing up but I was always a fan of “Seinfeld” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” 
Monte Bezell

Monte Bezell doesn’t follow the rules. He shows us that all black can be green and that you can ride a bicycle down a red carpet.

TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
MB: At the end of the day never sacrifice your art for anyone. I think this really built in the notion of never giving up and always staying true to yourself.  
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
MB: Someone once told me that no one would care for my Brooklyn accent and that I should learn how to suppress it. That ended up being advice I am glad I never took. 
TDQ: Who are your influences?
MB: As a New Yorker you have to name the greats of De Niro, Pacino, and Scorsese.  It would be almost blasphemy to not include them. 
Monte Bezell - Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, starring Monte Bezell, appears to tell it’s story from a very interesting perspective.

TDQ: You started your career working on indie projects. How has that background helped you as your career has progressed?
MB: Idie films really make you earn your keep. You fully comprehend how a full set works – there is no compartmentalization. This is so essential as you make your way up the ladder of studio films and sets. 
TDQ: Besides acting, you’ve moved into a producer role, especially in the past few years. What has that transition been like?
MB: It has actually been a smooth transition! I really enjoy finding a great story (tough part) financing the project (toughest part) putting together a great cast & crew (fun part) and shooting it (best part) and finally selling the project (deep exhale, lol!).     
TDQ: What project(s) are you working on next?
MB: Currently working on two films: a crime drama set in New York, and a sports film. I also have two other films coming out in 2018 entitled “Saint Nicholas” and “El Gallo.”   
Monte Bezell - El Gallo

Monte Bezell stars in and co-directed El Gallo.

TDQ: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
MB: I see myself collaborating with actors and directors I admire on studio projects. And a couple of awards would be cool too!  
Follow Monte on Twitter and check out his IMDB page too. 

“Let’s Just Say I Am Not The Biggest Kanye Fan:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor Steve Stanulis

Steve Stanulis

Look for Steve Stanulis in Long Shot Louie on Amazon and The Fifth Bourough on Netflix.

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with actor Steve Stanulis. Steve spoke to us about his upcoming Netflix series “The Fifth Borough,” his unique beginning in movies and his admiration for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with actor Steve Stanulis: 
The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?
Steve Stanulis: When I worked with the NYPD I started working security with some A-list actors. One night I was at a party and was asked if I ever played football. When I told him I played in high school he told me he was shooting a film called “The Replacements” with Keanu Reaves and Gene Hackman. Two weeks later I was on set as Keanu’s back-up QB and the rest is history.
TDQ: Who was your favorite actor growing up?
SS: My favorite actor growing up was Al Pacino. I must have watched “Scarface” 100 times as a kid.
TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?
SS: I would say “Scarface” and “The Outsiders”
TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
SS: If you want to make it in this business do not give up and make yourself indispensable. Do not be one of those actors to sit and wait for the phone to ring.
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
SS: I was at lunch with pretty well-known studio producer. I was so excited to meet him he said to me do yourself a favor and “do not get involved with this crazy business.” I remember leaving there so disappointed. Years later, he worked for me on one of my projects… so never give up.
Steve Stanulis

Steve Stanulis guarding the body of close personal friend Kanye West.

TDQ: Who are your influences?
SS: My influences are not what you might expect. I did not aspire to be in this business until later on in life and being a kid from Staten Island, movies were just not realistic. If I had to pick one I would say, coming from a bodybuilding background it would have had to have been Arnold Schwarzenegger. He came to this country, couldn’t speak English, became Mr. Olympia, to the biggest action star in Hollywood to Governor, then also married a Kennedy… how is that for the American dream?!  
TDQ: What can you tell us about your latest film “Long Shot Louie,” available on Amazon Prime?
SS: Long shot Louie is “Boogie Nights” meets “The Wrestler.” It is based upon my time as a Chippendale’s dancer. It is about a certain dancer I used to work with who had everything: great looking, great body, best performer etc., but as much as he made is as much as he would spend on drugs. He just had no value of money. But as time went on he got older and kind of got stuck in this world and became a mockery towards the end of his career with other dancers and all of the ladies.
TDQ: Tell us about your upcoming Netflix series “The Fifth Borough”…
SS: “The Fifth Borough” is a new series which I play the lead role of Nico. The cast is one of the most talented casts I have had the pleasure to work with: Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from “The Sopranos”), Cathy Morality “Raging Bull,” legend Richard Grieco, Marc John Jefferies, Joseph Donofrio and Vincent Young. It is “The Sopranos” on Staten Island and the message is there is nothing you would not do for your family…definitely a great show and I’m looking forward to working on this one. 
TDQ: You used to be a bodyguard for Kim and Kanye. What did you learn from that experience that you can talk about and isn’t covered by a non-disclosure agreement?
SS: Ahh the Kim and Kanye saga. That story literally went global last year. Let’s just say I am not the biggest Kanye fan.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SS: Hopefully in Season 5 of “The Fifth Borough” on Netflix… I see myself continuing to work and hopefully continue to have to ability to pick and choose what I want to work on.
Check out Steve’s Facebook page and follow him on Twitter

“I Will Be Playing Prince Vito Of House Corleone. He’s Known As ‘The Red Sauce,’ And Wields A Poison-Tipped Ice Pick:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor Chris Caldovino

Chris Caldovino

Chris Caldovino

The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite actor growing up?

Chris Caldovino: Robert De Niro

TDQ: What was your favorite HBO original TV show growing up?

CC: “The Larry Sanders Show.” So ahead of it’s time!

TDQ: What made you want to be in show business?

CC: Well, its something I always wanted to do, but didn’t think it was an option when I was growing up. I took some acting classes in NY. Then, one of my best friends, who is a screenwriter, decided to move to Hollywood to pursue his career. I decided to join him and give it a go. And, here we are!

TDQ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

CC: I was just starting out, and was at an audition waiting to go in. I hadn’t gotten my lines down yet, so I was nervously going over my script. An older guy sitting next to me looked at me and said, “Kid, if you didn’t bring it, you ain’t gonna find it here!”

TDQ: What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

CC: Can’t really remember. If I did get bad advice, hopefully I didn’t follow it.

TDQ: Who are your influences?

CC: De Niro, Brando, Pacino, Montgomery Clift, Robert Duvall, Daniel Day Lewis, Harvey Kietel, James Gandolfini, Gleason, Cary Grant, Abbot & Costello. I could go on!

TDQ: Besides working on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” you also appeared on “The Sopranos.” What is the best thing about working on an HBO series?

CC: Well, it kind of has the old studio system feel (the good parts of it anyway). It gives you a feeling of community and being part of something great. Also, you get to work with the best of the best.

Chris Caldovino is Prince Vito

Chris Caldovino is Prince Vito “The Red Sauce” of the House of Corleone in Game Of Thrones, Season 5.

TDQ: Since this will be the last season of “Boardwalk Empire,” what are the odds you can parlay your experience at HBO into a gig on “Game of Thrones?” Can we go with an exclusive?

CC: Okay, okay, you got it out of me! Yes, you can go with an exclusive. I will be playing Prince Vito of House Corleone. He’s known as “The Red Sauce,” and wields a poison-tipped ice pick.

TDQ: What other projects do you have lined up?

CC: I just completed a TV pilot called “Dirty Dead Con Men,” which is presently being shopped around to the networks. Also, I’m starring in, and producing a film called “The Nigerian” shooting in Cleveland this summer. Continue reading

“I Choose Not To Remember Bad Advice:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor Tony Senzamici

The Neptune Ordeal

Our writers at The Daily Quarterly love to write. After hearing Tony’s two favorite movies they came up with this. Sure, it’s only a tag line but how long is a movie? Two hours? Shouldn’t take much longer than that to write a script.

This weeks’ TDQ Q&A is with actor Tony Senzamici. Tony spoke with us about working with David Simon and Melissa Leo on HBO’s “Treme,” his former career in sales and his charity, The Amici Charity. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A With Tony Senzamici:

The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite actor growing up?

Tony Senzamici: Always loved Sean Connery as Bond, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert Deniro.

TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?

TS: I had several, but “Poseidon Adventure” and “Planet Of The Apes.”

TDQ: What made you want to be in show business?

TS: Billy Joel said it best in one of his songs… “to forget about life for a while.”
Continue reading

“I Feel Blessed To Have A Career Where I Never Stop Learning:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor/Director Oscar Torre

Oscar TorreThis week’s TDQ Q&A is with actor/director Oscar Torre. Oscar spoke to us about his upcoming role in “The Hangover 3,” what it was like directing his wife in a movie and how he discovered acting. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Oscar Torre:

The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite actor growing up?

Oscar Torre: Sylvester Stallone. I wanted to be every character he ever played. My younger brother and I would go to the movies to watch the “Rocky” films, and then we’d go 15 rounds in the lobby of the theater, both claiming that we were Rocky. Later, when I started acting, it was Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. I really admired their dedication and commitment to their roles.

TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?

OT: The first three “Rocky” films.

TDQ: What made you want to be in show business?

OT: I kind of fell into it. I took drama as an elective in college, with no ambition of pursuing it as a career. I just needed 3 more credits to graduate and thought it would be an easy class. I quickly fell in love with acting but didn’t tell anyone for fear of being ridiculed. Once I started getting work, I felt a little more comfortable letting other people know. Continue reading