Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Interview With Frank Grillo

Frank Grillo has been making a name for himself lately thanks to scene-stealing roles in Warrior and The Grey. (He was also Crossbones in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) Now, he faces the spotlight as the lead in The Purge: Anarchy. I chatted with the very charming, very winning actor for Backstage. You can read the piece here. And, as an added bonus, here's a segment from my draft that got trimmed a little during the final edit. I thought the full text was revealing of Grillo's personality....

Because of Grillo’s love of boxing and his penchant for macho roles, I wondered where the vulnerability he brings to these men came from. (His character’s final scene in “The Grey” is one of the most moving death scenes in recent cinema, touching on tricky emotional terrain about manhood and friendship that most guy’s-guy movies are too scared to visit.) “What I look for in a role is the physical,” he says. “But what’s the journey emotionally? Can I take this person who is this archetypal tough guy and find the beauty?” Even as a boy, he wasn’t embarrassed by emotion. “I come from an Italian family,” he reminds me. “We are emotional all the time, every day, all day. You and I now are friends forever—that’s how I am. When we leave this interview, I will hug you and wish you safety.”
For the record, we did, in fact, hug when we said goodbye. I may have initiated the hug, though.