Alessandro, The Great
Spotlight on Actor Alessandro De Marco
by Gaya Lynn
The film industry has always held a special place in its heart for Italian actors: De Niro, Mastroianni, Loren and il Principe della risata Toto. But with these legendary figures either no longer with us or in their seventies and eighties, we now look towards the next generation for the next star. We love an actor brimming with talent, and while we have seen quite a few fresh faces who hail from Italy, it is always exciting to find one who in particular stands out.
One stand-out actor who is making waves in the entertainment industry is Alessandro De Marco. The name is as beautiful as the man himself. With the dashing presence of a young Errol Flynn, this blue-eyed Italian has a presence and look in his eyes that seem to reflect an intense and determined nature; and indeed it was those very traits which took this young man from a small town in Italy to Hollywood’s biggest screens.
By all accounts, it is quite remarkable that Alessandro became an actor. After all, he was not born into Hollywood royalty nor did he have a stage mom who took him auditions or any friends or family in the industry. Instead, Mr. De Marco came from a charming small town in Vercelli, Italy. His mother was a secretary, his father a factory worker while he and his older brother enjoyed break dancing and horseback riding. Acting probably was the furthest thing from young Alessandro’s mind. But fate is a funny thing and sometimes, its hold is relentless.
With his good looks, modeling in Milan was an obvious next step. But the world of modeling had its limitations in the creative arena and Alessandro craved more. The more would come when he started taking acting classes in London. Though he did not speak English, he did not let that deter him, and instead, learned quickly. Today, he now speaks and writes in English fluently.
Though he did pursue other careers such as IT, in the end, when the acting bug bit him, it bit him hard. Enjoying the creativity of acting, De Marco was casted in a series of short films. Soon after, Alessandro began getting bigger roles, and he has steadily climbed to the top since then. Most recently, Alessandro was cast in the role of Daniele Audetto in the feature film Rush, along with Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Daniel Brühl and Natalie Dormer. Afterwards, Alessandro worked with Melissa McCarthy in the comedy “SPY” while he is currently in what will most likely be one of this year’s biggest hits: “The Kingsman: The Golden Circle” alongside Colin Firth.
I recently sat down with the dashing young Italian (dashing is definitely how I would describe him) and we spoke about his upbringing in Italy, his production company, Aldemar Productions, and his overcoming obstacles..including a casting director who told him flat out that he should consider an alternative career. Thankfully, however, Alessandro did not heed to that person’s advice and instead followed his heart, one that has guided him so well.
Gaya Lynn: You are from a rural town in Italy. Tell us about where you are from, and a little about your life as a child and your family.
Alessandro De Marco: I come from a small village in northern Italy called Crescentino, which lies between Turin and Milan. It is quiet village with a close-knit community. I grew up in a modest home, raised by my dad, who worked in a factory and by my mom, who was a secretary. I also have an older brother who I always saw as a role model growing up. As a child, I was very outgoing and social and loved being active. I couldn’t sit still! I wasn’t a great student but I loved learning new things outside of school such as piano, horse riding and breakdancing. Initially, I pursued these things because my brother had and I was very competitive, but although we are very different today, I am glad I acquired these skills as I can take advantage of them in the future for different acting roles.
GL: Is it correct to say that you did not come from a family of actors or were necessary brought up in the entertainment industry. It seems that not only did you discover acting, but it really seems that acting found you. Tell us how you transitioned into acting? Was it destiny?
ADM: It’s true that I was not brought up in the entertainment industry, nor was anyone in my family an actor. My mother wanted me to study (like most moms do) but I knew I was meant to do something else. My involvement in this business happened by chance (or destiny, if you want to call it that). Although I enjoyed movies growing up, I never considered a career in the entertainment industry until one day, in my late teens, a photographer asked me if I would be willing to pose for her. I agreed and found that being in front of the camera came quite natural to me.
The photographer entered my photo into a national competition and when it placed third and was published, I started to believe that I could have a path in the arts. I started pursuing modelling and went to Milan to join some agencies. It wasn’t long, however, before I realised it wasn’t for me. I later signed to a commercial acting agency which sent me on an audition that would change my life – but probably not in the way you’d think.
At the audition, I was advised by a casting professional that I should choose another career; that I would never make it in this industry because of my speech impediment (I am unable to roll my ‘r’s, something which features heavily in Italian.) Any dream of becoming an actor was shattered and I returned home with a heavy heart.
I ended up opening a video shop back in Crescentino with my brother Massimo. I watched loads of movies (mostly English with subtitles) and began to become fascinated by the “behind the scenes” segments. Hearing actors talk about their experiences on set and how they prepared for their roles reignited my passion for acting. If I couldn’t be an actor in Italy, why couldn’t I be one internationally? I knew that to do this I would need to master the English language and so that became my focus. In 2003, I won a scholarship that would allow me to spend four months in the UK specifically to learn the English.. It was then that my journey really began and I have not looked back since.
GL: Being from such a small town …..was life in big cities such as London and Los Angeles difficult or did you find that “people are people” everywhere.
ADM: Although I was raised in a small village where everyone knew each other and where everything was within walking distance, I found the move to London very exciting. London is a beautiful city and offers so many opportunities. It was a huge but necessary step in mastering the language that would allow me to work as an actor. I was lucky enough to find work quickly, which put me in contact with other actors who helped me understand how the movie industry worked, where to look for information and what to watch out for. I found people in London much more open minded about the possibility of reaching a dream that seems virtually impossible to achieve. You find many people who share your struggle and passion and who keep fighting to reach their goals. In a small village such as mine, people are more rooted to the ground and seek a more stable life, leaving their dreams to be…well, just a dream. One thing I do really miss about my home town is the nature. Waking up to a view of the mountains is irreplaceable.
GL: There was a point you came to London and you didn’t know English, then eventually you began to act. You didn’t seem to have a plan? So often we have these “plans.” School, marriage, work….life is all planned out but there is a spontaneous nature about you. Correct?
ADM: I am indeed a spontaneous person, but at the same time I have always had an idea about what kind of person I wanted to become and where I wanted to go in life. This idea has been strengthened by my experiences and all I’ve done was follow my own instincts and what I believe, is the right path.
Having a strong vision and being determined, however, is not always enough, and I believe flexibility is also an important factor when it comes to following your dreams. You might think you have everything figured out in your head (what do to, where to go, how to behave in certain circumstances) but you must be open to different situations and ready to adapt and be flexible in order to succeed. Life is unpredictable and there isn’t just “one path” that leads you to a destination.
GL: You have a budding Production company…
ADM: Four years ago, I founded a production company called “Aldemar Productions.” At the time, I wasn’t getting as many auditions, but had tons of ideas for stories. I wanted to develop those ideas but didn’t know how. I also wanted to learn as much as possible about the film making process from start to finish. Thanks to a producer friend of mine, I started to consider opening a production company, and six months later, it became a reality and I started making short films. I have already produced four, so far, and have two currently in the pipeline. I also recently started to offer to shoot showreel scenes for actors who do not yet have the necessary material to promote themselves.
GL: You have worked with some major talents. What have you learned from them?
ADM: I always wondered what movie stars are like in real life, how do they behave on set and what they do to prepare for their scenes. Having had the honour of working with such successful actors such as Colin Firth, Melissa McCarthy and Daniel Brühl, what struck me the most is how down to earth and friendly they all are.
The major lesson I have learned from them, is that no matter how much fame you achieve or how important you are on set, staying humble and treating everyone equally and with respect is the most important attribute towards success, in acting and in life.
GL: You have a great face for also classical drama like Shakespeare. Have you ever tried theater and would that appeal to you.
ADM: The first acting class I ever took was called “Introduction to Acting.” It was based on Shakespeare with a touch of Meisner technique and body movement in general. Every other class I ever took was specifically for screen, which I have chosen to focus on. I have great respect for theater, but my dream is movies and tv and it is where my passion lies. However, although I have never professionally acted on stage, I have to admit, the idea of performing in front of a live audience is something I would like to experience at least once.
GL: We hear so much about the film industry in Hollwood, but London has within the last decade become a destination for big budget films. Tell me more about the industry in London and how you find it since you are also a producer.
ADM: The film industry in London is very organised, but expensive at the same time. In recent years, London has become a very popular destination for the film industry thanks to the tax credit they have, as well as all the big studios available, such as the Warner Bros Leavesden studios (Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, The Dark Night), Pinewood Studios (Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Skyfall) and 3 Mills studios (28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go). Although London offers huge resources to big production companies, I found that things become a bit more difficult for smaller productions that do not have a high budget at their disposal. You need to get permits for pretty much everything, without which things can get very difficult (unless you use gorilla filmmaking lol).
GL: Favorite actors?
ADM: I have a few, but so far, Leonardo di Caprio is at the top of the list. Robin Williams, Anthony Hopkins and Charlize Theron are also amongst my favourites. They are all so talented.
GL:. Future plans? and for fun..your favorite Italian saying.
ADM: I always continue to work on my craft and take acting lessons, and in the near future, I hope to play the lead in a feature film. I also have four projects in development under my production company, two shorts (“Nature” and “Blue Whale”) and two features (“30 Days” and “The Oath.”) They all touch on issues which I believe our society faces today, such as global warming, online abuse, modern relationships and the moral implications of the pharmaceutical industry.
I am currently working with two producers (one in London and another one in LA) who are very interested in coming on board. If anyone wants to know more about these projects, they can follow me on social media (listed below) where I regularly post news updates.
My favourite Italian quote:
Fin che c’è vita c’è speranza (For as long as we live, there is always hope)
For more on Alessandro, please go to…
Special thanks to Press Agent Katya Marletta
Gaya Lynn is currently the director of Communications for the Dallas based radio show www.wfn1.com which showcases interviews with CEOs, financial news, and the latest from Wall Street. After working as the publicity agent for Dick Marconi, one of the original founders of Herbalife, Gaya now represents photographer Jimmy Wilson, and Californian based artist FRISCH. This fall, Gaya will introduce an entrepreneur and brand to the world: “Teresa Knows.”
For more, go to https://www.facebook.com/gayalynnwriter