In a world of child-stars-turned-adult-actors who appear in film and television from the time they’re in diapers, it may seem very unusual for actors to join the Hollywood scene so “late in the game,” by comparison. But it does happen, and some would say a later acting career is even a benefit for an actor–it allows the actor to get years of life experience under their belt, not only allowing them the freedom of a life away from Hollywood but the ability to draw upon their real life experiences in their acting.
Bruno Amato is one of those rare actors who did not begin his acting career on film and television as a child. He was born in Orange, New Jersey on November 16th, 1961. After he graduated from high school, he made the decision to join the United States Navy. After his navy career ended, he became a union Iron worker in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was not until 1999–at the age of 38–that he decided to pursue an acting career.
Bruno’s muscular physique and tough appearance have often led to supporting roles that call for strong, physically fit men. His first known acting roles include a doorman on Entourage, a bouncer in the popular soap opera All My Children, a bodyguard in the soap opera show Passions, and another guard role in the hit series Desperate Housewives. He has made appearances in shows such as Monk, Malcolm in the Middle, Two and a Half Men, Zoey 101, House M.D., Castle, Criminal Minds, Rules of Engagement, and Happy Endings.
His more recent roles have been more prolific than his earlier work. In 2012, he had a recurring role on three episodes of 2 Broke Girls, where he played supporting character, Officer Gonsalez. His 2013 role on the second season of the hit series Revenge, as Fred Harris, earned him even more notice in the Hollywood scene.
His most recent appearance on the silver screen will be as the character Sal in the highly anticipated film, The Internship, co-starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. The film, which is about two salesmen struggling with the digital age while competing with tech-savvy interns for a job at Google, scheduled for release on June 7th, 2013.
In addition to his acting career, Bruno Amato enjoys supporting animal rights and animal welfare—he is a particular advocate for big cats.
More on the fast lane than ever, Mr. Amato takes a quick pit stop to answer a few questions for The Levity Ball:
How does your previous career experience help you as an actor?
“Well I used to be an ironworker, and I would sometimes have to walk across 6 inch wide beams high up in the air…so I guess I picked up some focus and concentration trying not to fall…and those things help when you’re acting.”
How does your work experience translate to the roles that you are selected for?
“I seem to usually get cast as a blue collar type…..a guy’s guy…and being 6’1 and 250 lbs. puts me in those tough guy type roles too.”
You were a torpedo man in the Navy. What was that like?
“I was stationed on 2 Submarine Tenders while I was in the Navy…we were basically a supply ship for Submarines, so our main job was loading torpedoes into the submarines, not as easy as it sounds.”
I understand that your acting career started in New York, how did that come about?
“I got a late start becoming an actor, I was 38 years old, read a book called Live Your Dreams by Les Brown, and my dream was always to be an actor, I just figured it was just that, a dream, but I decided to go into New York City after finishing my day job as an ironworker and took some acting classes at night, before i knew it I started landing small roles on soap operas like All My Children, One Life to Live etc. and the acting bug took over from there.”
What were some of your favorite character roles that you have played and why?
“Well my favorite role to date would be playing “Sal” in the movie The Internship, mainly because I got to play opposite 2 comedic geniuses Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and directed by Shawn Levy. The “Sal” character gets to show a guy who is somewhat afraid of change, I can’t say too much more because as of today the film hasn’t opened in theaters yet.”
When you think back about your inspiration to act, who were the people that inspired you and how?
“I’m sure many actors give this guy as their inspiration, but Robert Deniro, is my guy….I can still recite lines from Raging Bull, and I haven’t seen the movie in 10 years.
I read somewhere that you love cats and that you are outspoken about animals, what would you like people to know about your work in that area of your life?
“I grew up with cats, I love ALL animals but cats have always been my favorite animal, even the big ones…lions, tigers, leopards etc…..I think I donate more to animal charities than those for humans.”
What was it like growing up in New Jersey?
“Growing up in “Jersey” was great….sure the weather here in California is so much better, it was like you lived 9 months waiting for summer, so you can head south to the Jersey Shore, but nothing but great memories, of great friends, who I still keep in touch with and always will.”
If you could choose to work with any actor or actress in the world who would that be and why?
“I’ve already worked with so many talented people, and some who are actual friends of mine now, but I’ll make this easy and say 2 of my favorites that are straight from New Jersey, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.”
I saw you on Sons of Anarchy, are you an avid biker, do you have a favorite Motorcycle?”
“Even though I was on Sons of Anarchy, not only do I not drive a bike, but I never have. I prefer 4 wheels, seems a lot safer.”
How much fun was it working on The Internship and was there any interesting happenings during the shoot?
“Working on The Internship was a dream come true, a blockbuster film, working along Vince and Owen….I can’t remember anything too unusual happening, it’s mostly very professional, I shot my scenes in Atlanta in the middle of summer, so with the lights, and the Atlanta heat, there was a lot of sweating going on, and in between takes, the makeup people kept wiping my bald head a lot.”
What does the future hold for Bruno Amato?
“I’ll say the future for me is bright. Every year has brought me better and better roles. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fun ride.” (Editor’s note: We at The Levity Ball could not agree more!)
“Mr. Amato, The Levity Ball thanks you for your time and wishes you much continued success and happiness!”