Eligible Magazine Editor-in-chief Gary Wilson recently sat down with aspiring Toronto actor Marco Perretta to discuss his latest short film and hopes for the future.
Gary: Marco, tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved with acting?
Marco: Well I’ve always been associated with the filming world and the fashion world. So I decided, I don’t know, I just really felt more passionate about acting than actual behind the scenes. But of course it’s very hard to get in this industry, unless you know people or connect with people. So I worked behind the scenes as a hairdresser, starting. And my parents had the industry to connect me into the hair and into the fashion. And from that I moved forward with New York. I moved to New York for a bit and opened some doors for me there. I worked on a few shows like Gossip Girl, and stuff like that. And really felt the passion for acting, actually, more and more every day.
Gary: Are you formally trained?
Marco: I’ve been formally trained for almost three years. David Rotenberg is my teacher; he’s one of the renowned teachers of New York, L.A.
Gary: And when was your first acting gig?
Marco: It actually was my first music video for Simple Plan, by Sebastian Livingston called “I Fall For You”. I was in the video.
Gary: And so now we have this film, which debuted at TIFF this year. Tell me a bit about how you got involved with that?
Marco: Well the movie’s called ‘Untold’. And I got into it with a great friend, Johnny Lissoos, who happens to be in the filming as well as a photographer and videographer. And we brought him and us together one evening and we discussed making a film together that would kind of benefit both of our lives, and kind of exploit our lives a little bit of our past, present, and future. And, yeah, so he happened to have an original poem that he had made out of 200 poems. And we fell in love with the one poem and we kept going further with that and seeing what we needed to do. And because of my back up on connections in the filming world, we were able to kind of produce a film with a production team and everything like that. And with low budget, very low budget, and really worked to getting it up there.
Gary: Tell me about the story line of the film, I know it’s a poem.
Marco: Well the story is basically a man who loses hope, loses desperation about life, and doesn’t understand how life really is until he actually loses the one thing he loves most. And it doesn’t have to be about a person, but in the movie we actually have a girl that is played, my, kind of my spirit guide that I lose. And I lose my spirit, my hope, my whole transition of life in this film. And this character really just embodies, you know, lust, hope, and embarrassment for his life. And I think this was the only movie that I feel, to myself, that a non-talking film it’s hard to portray. Depression, suicide, lost hope, all that, that we just discussed. And so when it came to being of this film we actually brought it to our attention that we wanted it to have meaning. And the meaning was, at the end of the day there is always a light. And if, when seeing the film in the next six months hopefully coming out soon to world-wide public, that it actually will eliminate a lot of suicides in the world; for example the latest one celebrity Robin Williams with his recent story. And we want to make sure that every tough time goes with a balance. And every balance comes with a light at the end of it.
Gary: So a pretty important message as well, right? But it strikes me that without any dialogue that puts a lot of pressure on you as an actor to push your limits as an actor.
Marco: Of course, very much. It’s obviously… people are waiting to hear the words and feel what they feel with the words. But I came up with the idea with Johnny actually to making like a book. Where you read a book, what do you see? Black and white pages, right? Black words with white pages. And so I said, “Hey, everybody seems to like a book better than the movie”, so I said, “Why don’t we create the movie like a book?” And the black and white film basically gave everybody their own colored idea of how they took it. And once we had it aired at TIFF’s this year, people came into the idea of losing a part of themselves in this movie. That everyone came out with the same emotions, but yet with different feelings about it, because it came in a different way of waves for them. Which is the message, which is what we wanted.
Gary: So what were the reactions after it was previewed here at TIFF?
Marco: We had a lot of emotional moments; I wish we’d had a lot of boxes. But I think because everybody felt a story that was a part of their past, and lingered that to this movie. Because this one man in this film, myself as well, he actually he looked at himself in a way that no other person can look at anybody else; and that was with disgust. Everybody seems to find a perfection that they always seem to rely on. But he never did, he found only what disgusted him. Which made him to that point of no return. So when it came to be at the end giving light again, did he really do it? Or was it just a phase of life? And that was the message of the movie too.
Gary: Interesting. So a pretty challenging, major role. How did you feel about your performance after you saw yourself at the end? Sometimes that’s hard to look at yourself and… from a distance, right, how did you feel about it?
Marco: Actually my first time watching it was here at the premiering. I never got to see it; I got parts and glimpses of it, but the actual full effect with the music, the whole narration of the whole movie and the effect of the movie. I sat at the back over there and just watched it without nobody knowing I was there. And I kind of had a tear a little bit. But it actually showed that I was able to do it. And it showed that, that three hour conversation at a Starbuck’s coffee shop really came out to a better place. And it came out to a real live film, where people came out even angry, upset, hating it, or not hating it, it came out; and that was the beauty of it. And I enjoyed it actually.
Gary: Yeah, it evoked emotion one way or the other, right? Which means you did something important.
Marco: Exactly. I crossed the message out that I said I would do a movie and there it was.
Gary: So now you’re off to Paris, tell me about that, what’s the plan?
Marco: Paris is going to be beautiful. Never been, first time. But plan on bringing Untold to Paris because they’re known for black and white Persian film movies. And why not bring Europe into our world and let them see that there has been movies done black and white, but not in today’s generation where it’s… kids always see these fighting, and rape, and sex, and everything that goes with it. Why doesn’t anybody see true heart art? And that’s what this movie is, and Paris is known for that. And we plan on bringing it to Europe, worldwide actually, but Paris is a start. Working with some people up there and meetings, I can’t say names, but we will get up there and see what goes with it. Very excited.
Gary: Excellent. So I wish you luck with that.
Marco: Thank you.
Gary: What are you expecting for yourself next? What other projects are on the go? What are you… what are the next steps for you Marco?
Marco: Well we actually have quite a bit of upcoming projects. Was casted as lead for ‘Q’ an upcoming movie film. And the major huge one with… they’re both major films, they’ll be feature films, but the other one is Persia. I got the lead in that. I’m very excited about that. And I just hope that my talent is more than it actually was that one time. And hopefully we can pursue that further, and better things, and greater things, and have a purpose for everything. And the actual films in the future are actually lead roles that actually are symbolic to history as well. Being that said, it’s a good thing I’m working with that in the same connection with Untold, because it’s symbolically told me something about this film as well as inspired other people to watch it and look at it and take something back from it as well. My upcoming film with Persia, same thing, a warrior taking control; and moving on further and seeing what people really inspired by that.
Gary: Sounds like you’ve got a lot of good stuff on the go then.
Marco: Let’s hope so. Let’s keep that going.
Gary: So it does sound like your career now is really taking off. What advice would you have to other young men, young women, who want to follow the same path?
Marco: Know what you want first before going into it. I’ve always wanted it as a child; I never had the fulfillment as a person to do it. Untold actually kind of was a representation of my past of depression, suicide, and so it was a long, long battle in history of that. That I couldn’t really keep forward so easily. So telling kids or telling any generation or anybody in the industry wanting to pursue it, know what you want first. Be sure of it, because once you’re in it, it seems to be your life. And if you’re willing to take your life away from everything else from the more important things in life, then you’re right for it. But if you’re not, be smart, go to school, and find what you really want in life.
Gary: Great Marco, thank you for speaking with me.
Watch the trailer for Untold