Friend of Flickering Myth Gianni Capaldi took time out of a very busy schedule to chat with us about what he’s been up to and what’s on the horizon for him…
The Scottish actor has been enjoying a productive run in the past couple of years. In that time he’s picked up a couple of awards, winning best actor trophies at the Amacord Chicago Arthouse Film Awards and IndieFEST film awards for his part in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Elsewhere he’s appeared in a diverse mix of genres with an array of major co-stars. Among The Shadows with Lindsay Lohan (out April in the US), Hell on The Border with Ron Perlman and Frank Grillo, The River Runs Red with John Cusack and Taye Diggs, Ulysses: A Dark Odyssey with Danny Glover and a Christmas film with Denise Richards. Then even in among all that a fleeting cameo in the last season of cult Scottish sitcom, Still Game.
Here’s what he had to say:
Since we last spoke to you a couple of years ago, you’ve been very busy. You’ve picked up a couple of awards, and starred in a load of films (23 listed on IMDB since 2017). How have you found balancing work and family life?
It’s been great; a constant balance between family and work, TV shows and film has kept me buzzing. I have a two year old little girl so my wife, Amanda, has done a stellar job when I’ve been working. She’s a champ. We also bought a house in Las Vegas so we had that to deal with too, but have enjoyed every minute of the experience.
How pleasing as an actor is it to pick up some award recognition? Does it make you hungry for more dramatic challenges?
I always say there couldn’t have been much competition that year when they gave me best acting award however yeah it was nice to be given it plus the wee statue looks great in my office. I chose to work on a film last December called Cranley Gardens which was filmed in London. A drama which I thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth into. The director was Polish, Rafael Kaplinksi, and previously won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival so I know this will do well. Hopefully the competition will be weak that year again and I might add to the silverware.
You’ve worked on sets with countless legends in the business from Eric Roberts, to Ron Perlman, John Cusack to name a few. Do you ever find a moment on set to stop and study these guys and watch their working process? Is there anyone you’ve worked with who has had a particularly strong impact on yourself as an actor?
Yeah I’ve been totally honoured to have shared a platform with these greats and long may it continue. Michael Clarke Duncan was a special one to watch, I remember we prayed together once before a scene, really touching moment. As were the likes of Danny Glover and Ron Perlman. Watching their process and learning from them. Guys like Luke Hemsworth and Ron Perlman push you in scenes, they are hungry and the scene turns out a peach when everyone is on their game.
You’ve recently starred in the Werewolf horror Among The Shadows with Lindsay Lohan, which is due out soon in the US imminently. Can you tell us a little about the film, your role, and working with Lindsay?
Yeah, Among the Shadows comes out in April in the USA. My role was a Scottish Detective working for the European Federation investigating the presidents death but suddenly discovers a world of werewolves and vampires. Lindsay plays a vampire and she was an absolute peach to work with. She is a real talent and she owns the stage when she gets in her stride. To be honest I think the film wasn’t edited as best as it could have been and it really missed a beat. That and a mish mash of characters was confusing, but its still worth a watch if you’re into that genre. Lohan and I hit it off though and we still keep in contact and remain friends. I look forward to working with her again.
Among a host of diverse films of late, Hell On The Border definitely stands out. How was it getting to don a Cowboy hat opposite the likes of Ron Perlman and Frank Grillo? What can we expect from the film?
I really LOVED this film. The script was brilliantly written by Wes Miller. He had written and directed River Runs Red and is an absolute stellar talent for the future. This is the second job he had hired me on and we are definitely in sync and he knows how to get the best out of me. He had me playing the Scottish character of Tom Pinkerton, son of an ex-Glaswegian who made his way to the wild west and became notorious as a bounty hunter. I got to join Ron Perlman and David Gyazi in the hunt for Frank Grillo’s outlaw. First time as a cowboy, totally loved the experience. Perlman was hilarious to be around and he’s a gem on set and as for Frank Grillo, he is an absolute gentleman. Both are extreme talents who were totally on point not to mention that they both donned a Celtic scarf and have been embraced by the green and white masses in Glasgow.
You’ve been working all around the world, but seem most busy in the states. You’ve managed to do a few films back in Britain, and back home in Scotland in particular (including a brief cameo in the much loved sitcom, Still Game). Are you keen to do more films back in your homeland?
Yes please! Its hard to have to move family all the time to the likes of Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, etc. Being home in the UK would be perfect but unfortunately the work happens abroad so there’s nothing much I can do. Still Game in Glasgow was epic, it’s legendary in Scotland so to have been a part of it, especially to work with pals Martin Compston and Greg Hemphill was special. I did film Robert The Bruce and Cranley Gardens last year in the UK and I do hope that something regular on TV could transpire for me there.
What would you say has been your most challenging role so far?
On River Runs Red, I played the role of a Southern, racist, cowboy hat wearing cop. Having to understand what racism was, what feeds it and to embrace it, was definitely a challenge. Racism is never a glaring sign that sticks out but the most dangerous form is the one that is never spoken about and one you don’t see coming so that is why I chose to drop all the N words from my dialogue and make certain adjustments that I thought would improve and layer my character. It was hard to hate the characters played by Taye Diggs and George Lopez as I absolutely loved those two when the work day had finished.
And your most enjoyable role?
Tom Pinkerton is still very much up there. You get to play Scottish, be charismatic, you get to shoot bad guys, ride horses and save Perlman’s life.
Is there a genre you haven’t covered yet which you’d really like to dip your toes into?
I’d love to do more comedy, it’s a genre that really isn’t exploited enough. That and fantasy television series, something like Stranger Things, that would be amazing.
Is your focus fully on acting at the moment, or do your see yourself producing a little more again, or even directing?
I’ve had absolutely no time for producing. Acting and family has kept me mega busy for quite some while. However as soon as I get some time I wouldn’t mind getting back on the saddle again and producing a film. As for directing, I think I’ll give that a miss as there ain’t enough months in the year.
Aside from Among The Shadows and Hell On The Border, which of your upcoming films should fans keep an eye out for?
River Runs Red and Among the Shadows should be released in UK soon, Robert The Bruce too. Rottentail is released in theaters in the USA on April 13th. It’s got real potential to be a comical cult movie in the USA. Also Universal Pictures The Adventures With Santa comes out this year in time for Christmas (a nice movie for the family).
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
I’m filming two TV shows at the moment, Paper Empire, a crypto currency thriller show alongside the likes of Wesley Snipes and Robert Davi and another one which is called Salvage Marines, which is a sci-fi show about marines battling for precious metals alongside Armand Assante and Casper Van Dien. In the first I play part of a Russian mobster with a full blown Russian accent (not bad for someone from Glasgow), in the second, I get to keep my accent and I’m that charismatic villain character who we all love and hate. Oddly enough I watched a lot of how Peter Capaldi portrayed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It and tried to give it my own spin on it. But the best part of this job is you never know where you will be in a month or two so Im excited to see what the future holds for me.
Many thanks to Gianni for taking the time to talk to us. Find Gianni Capaldi on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/officialgcapaldi/