In the past few years, Italian actor Alessandro Nori has been taking Hollywood by storm. We all remember him for his leading role in the Funny or Die’s original series Neighbors, a series that centers on Marco (Nori) and his wife Valentina (Nadia Lanfranconi) moving to a new suburban neighborhood and having to deal with the neighbors’s fascination with Italian culture. Funny or Die is owned by comedy genius Will Farrell, and the series – sponsored by Fiat – scored millions of views on several online platforms. The New York Journal recently spoke with Alessandro to talk about his career milestones and what’s next for the Italian star.
New York Journal: What happened after the release of Neighbors?
Nori: After Neighbors was released, I got offered the lead role in Luca Brinciotti’s comedy Itanglish. The two of us had worked together in 2013 on a drama called Free Refill. After watching my performance in “Neighbors,” Luca called me saying “I didn’t know you could be so good at comedy!” Shortly after, he had a comedy script ready and offered me the role. Itanglish went on to screen at many film festivals in California, Italy and even Japan, and it won ‘Best Film’ at the California International Short Festival.
NYJ: Speaking of comedies- you are also involved in Rain Valdez’s latest project, Random LA. Tell us about it.
Nori: Rain and I have been filming this comedic series for a few months now. We had to take a break due to other engagements; Rain is currently working on season 3 of the show Transparent, and I decided to take a co-leading role in Theatre Out production of Torch Song Trilogy. Filming of Random LA will pick back up in June for a premiere in the fall.
NYJ: Torch Song Trilogy won the Tony Award for ‘Best Play’ in 1983. How does it feel to work on such good material?
Nori: It was definitely scary at first. I come from theatre, but I haven’t done a play in a few years due to my filming schedule, so when this offer came my way, I had to sit down and really think about it. I love theater and I had read this play when I was in drama school, so I was familiar with the material and definitely excited. I met with Tito (director Tito Ortiz) and read for the part of Ed, a bisexual schoolteacher who, throughout the play, deals with his internal demons. He is conflicted between his love for the protagonist, Arnold, and the love for his girlfriend, in addition to the fear of coming out and accepting himself for who he really is. It was very interesting to explore this duality in the character and try to find a way to embrace Ed’s faults. At the core, he’s very selfish so it could be easy to dislike him, but you end up liking him and rooting for him because you are able to see his vulnerable side, his insecurities and desperate need to be loved.
Nori: I met director Francesco Gabriele years ago in LA, before he moved to London to work on other projects. He recently came to Los Angeles to film his new feature Blue Hollywood, so we had a chance to catch up. He talked to me about a new script that he just finished and wanted me to star in. My agent and I both fell in love with the story and shortly after I signed on to play the lead character of Fabio. Worlds Apart is a delightful romantic comedy and I’m excited that shooting for the movie will take place in three different cities- Rome, London and LA.
NYJ: Can you tell us anything about your character and the themes of the movie?
Nori: The movie follows the story of Fabio, an Italian guy who relocated to Los Angeles and gets engaged with his boyfriend, but before getting married he has to come out as gay to his grandma. So he and his boyfriend fly to Italy and embark on a road trip with her. It’s an amazing comedy with many heartwarming moments.