The man behind the talent can have multi-layers of interesting thoughts, experiences and creative ideas. Antonio Cupo is a man who is fascinating—full of life and ambition. SayWhatNews sat down with the Canadian actor and discussed his life experiences, his love for music and his acting career including his hit show Bomb Girls:
SayWhatNews: Good morning Antonio. Thanks for sitting down with SayWhatNews. First tell us who is Antonio Cupo?
Antonio: Antonio a mid-thirties male actor who possesses all the charm and wrinkled elegance of a mid-forties dapper gent whilst remaining snugly wrapped in a delectable early 30’s package…with attitude. Ha-ha… I really don’t know how to answer this without having a little fun. It reminds me of when I used to write out my biography in the third person so it wouldn’t sound like me saying it.
I could drop a few humble brags but that would be uninteresting. I’m a guy, I act, I have good traits and bad but for the most part I’m fair, hardworking and honest. I love my family and friends and very thankful for this little life I’ve helped create for myself. Stuff gets pretty interesting when you’ve been on the road for 15 years but we’ll get into all that soon enough. This is just an intro.
SayWhatNews: Antonio you discovered your love for acting in High School and won various acting awards. What/who inspired you to become an actor?
Antonio: My older sister Carmelina was always acting in school plays and I was always waiting around for her so she’d always tell me to audition for roles and I would always get them. Please note: there was a serious shortage of boys in theatre so me getting the part wasn’t due to talent. That being said, you definitely learn a few things when you’re involved in every production and working with mostly girls.
SayWhatNews: Your professional acting career began with some amazing projects like appearing in Showtimes hit drama series ‘The L Word’, Steven Spielberg’s ‘Taken’ and James Cameron’s ‘Dark Angel. Have you had that “I can’t believe this moment yet?
Antonio: I guess I have moments that “I can’t believe” every day. I’m constantly reminded by my friends that it isn’t normal to sit at home and read a script or get my hair and makeup done on set while they are working normal jobs. There are different responsibilities that come along with every profession and one thing for sure is that there are no professions without stressful moments. I have worked with some great names but it hasn’t ever been a goal to work with big names, I make sure my goals are all about doing the work. I try to do a good job and the result is often working with amazing people. I also have a ton of fun doing it, which is key.
photo: 'Elisa Di Rivombrosa' (Antonio Cupo)
SayWhatNews: Antonio you landed the lead role in the hit series ‘Elisa Di Rivombrosa’ which was considered the biggest television series in the history of Italian television with 14 million viewers. How amazing was it for you being part of a hit TV series that received such recognition?
Antonio: My Italian experiences helped build who I am as an actor and as a person. At the height of that series, everyone was talking about it from the supermarket personnel to the press. It was great to be on an incredibly popular show. People really believed in the project and really believed the characters. I played a prince-- to this day people still refer to me as the prince. I guess it’s still better than “the artist formerly known as”.
SayWhatNews: So what’s it feel like being considered one of Italy’s top leading actors?
Antonio: I guess it’s good to be in people’s good books.. funny, after my show came out, I ran into a producer that was doing a movie but “couldn’t afford me,” people’s perceptions always surprised me. I guess it’s the same thing that makes people snap secret photos of you from other tables in a restaurant and act like you don’t see it or don’t care. The idea is your still a human; you still love to act and everybody likes when someone likes your work. It’s better when someone approaches you in a real way and speaks to you like a real person. Acting is all about sensitivity and being sensitive to what is happening in the moment. It isn’t about magazine covers and party invites.
SayWhatNews: Antonio you have worked with some very talented actors like Penelope Cruz, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, Poppy Montgomery and many others. Who is the one actor you would love to work with and why?
Antonio: I learn something from everyone I work with, not just actors. Sometimes the best lessons come from unsuspecting people. I once had a grip say to me, “If you want to be successful, you have to eat lunch with everybody else in the lunch room.” It was my first day on set and we were just walking to the lunch truck. I guess he felt it changed set cohesion when actors ate alone in their trailers. Since then, I have only ever eaten “with everybody else.” Another lesson I learned is the importance of learning people’s names. I referred to a camera man by his name and he later thanked me for it, I thought that was strange because it seemed obvious to call him by his name but it obviously isn’t commonplace.
I have been fortunate to work with great actors and even more fortunate that they were all very cool. Getting to a place of greatness takes a great person. Many of the people I would have loved to work with have now passed away. James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando…. I guess I see their value because they have left such a lasting impression in my mind and then vanished.
photo: Hallmark 'Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade' (Antonio Cupo & Autumn Reeser)
SayWhatNews: Just this past November you starred in a Hallmark movie, ‘Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade’. The Hallmark channel always has the best Holiday movies. What was the most memorable moment for you while filming?
Antonio: ‘Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade’ was lots of fun to shoot. Every day was made memorable by both Autumn Reeser and our director Ron Oliver. There was this one scene where Autumn was singing Karaoke and dancing. Luckily we did her close-ups first because I was laughing so hard watching her. She is very funny and truly a great actress.
SayWhatNews: In the horror film, ‘American Mary’ you played Billy Barker - a weathered and detached entrepreneur in the adult entertainment business. How did you prepare for this role?
Antonio: I showed up. Haha…. no seriously, Billy Barker was an idea I had of someone who is trying to hold on.. disgruntled, unsatisfied and a soft souled hard-ass. We all have many personalities that we don’t always tap into. I had to dig up some stuff that I didn’t know was available deep down but in the end Billy’s attributes are a part of who I am in some way. But all that gets locked in some character storage locker of your soul and you move on.
SayWhatNews: Tell us about your experience starring in a horror film. Would you consider making another one?
Antonio: Of course. Horror is a genre. Like other genres, films can be good and bad. I’m more interested in reading a killer script (no pun) rather than worrying about genres.
SayWhatNews: Your hit show ‘Bomb Girls’ started off as a six part drama series and because of its success turned into a full series. How excited were you when you learned the news?
Antonio: Very excited. We have something very special at Bomb Girls. I knew we had something but nobody could tell how it would be received. It was a big hit so we made another season. Let’s hope for a third and fourth!
SayWhatNews: The 2nd season of ‘Bomb Girls’ premieres in
2013. Can you tell us what to expect in the second season?
Antonio: This season is very good. Don’t “expect” anything, just get brushed up on season one by going to globaltv.com and watching last year’s episodes. Then sit back and enjoy season 2 from Jan 2nd onward. This year, the stakes are VERY high for each of the characters. Trust me, you will love it.
SayWhatNews: So what’s it like playing the only key male role in a show that tells the stories of women during WWII who risked their lives working in a munitions factory building bombs for the allied forces in the 1940’s?
Antonio: It’s pretty neat to be in that position, as the character and the actor. I have become accustomed to working with predominantly female cast in the last few years. What can I say? I love it. I think my character, Marco, likes it also. He started out as sort-of the “playboy” and has since matured a lot. There weren’t a lot of men around in the 1940’s because most of them were at war. There aren’t a lot of men around on our set either.
SayWhatNews: Antonio, I have to ask what it is like starring alongside Meg Tilly who is an iconic actress in ‘Bomb Girls’?
Antonio: I don’t think of Meg as iconic really. I mean, I know she is an amazing actress but more than that, she is an amazing person. She gives her heart and really puts a lot of passion and love into her work but even more than that, she is a gentle and considerate person who is REAL.
SayWhatNews: Acting isn’t your only artistic talent. You also are a music writer and a master at production. How did you start making music?
Antonio: That is far too high praise. I write songs and I record them, I call it “fun with music.” I just take it one step farther and I sell some songs through publishing. I started playing guitar in rock groups. I then started fronting the band and later writing songs. I like getting creative. It makes me feel like I’m doing something in life and not just stuck in a routine, it’s always new and lots of fun.
SayWhatNews: Antonio, you have a new album out called, ‘Antonio Cupo and the Violet Chronicles’. What can music lovers expect?
Antonio: They should look it up on itunes.com and have a listen for themselves. I just recorded a bunch of tracks for my publisher for all different kinds of uses. In fact the album is a collection of ideas taken from different songwriting ideas over the last 10 years. There are some different styles. Instead of releasing separate projects, I thought I’d put them all on one disc and allow my fans to access it through iTunes. I wasn’t expecting it to have the success that it has had.
SayWhatNews: You have toured nationally and your music has been played on hit TV shows like ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Roswell’. Who would you love to collaborate with?
Antonio: Roberta Flack, Steven Tyler, there are many epic songwriters but most of the buzz comes from holding a guitar and inventing something new.
SayWhatNews: Ok, I would like to get personal a bit. I hear you like to cook. What is your favorite dish you like to cook?
Antonio: Spaghetti. I know it sounds easy but I grow the wheat first.
SayWhatNews: I also heard that at home you play Jazz music 24 hours a day. Who are your favorite Jazz artist you like to listen to?
Antonio: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I like the old greats…something raspy.... something dirty.
SayWhatNews: What’s next in the future for Antonio Cupo?
Antonio: Write and record some more songs, maybe some TV stuff and of course I gotta cook… that’s number 1 survival.