The current generation of Hollywood’s most popular film and television stars features many who began their now-lucrative acting careers young—stars such as Drew Barrymore, Leonardo Dicaprio, Gwyneth Paltrow, just to name a few. In this current Hollywood world of stars that have been gracing television and film screens since they were children or young adults, it is noticeable—in a good way—to find actors who are not only new to the game, but starting at an older age than most.
Tony Senzamici began his film and television acting career much later in life than the typical Hollywood star of today, but that hasn’t stopped him from landing several featured roles since his television debut in 2011. Tony Senzamici was informally introduced into the acting world at Florida Southern College, where he studied as a young adult. Senzamici performed as a policeman in the dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace—a role he won after auditioning on a dare—but, although he enjoyed the taste of life as an actor, he did not pursue an acting career. In the next twenty years, Senzamici built up a successful medical supply business that allowed him to create a comfortable life. This comfortable life, in turn, allowed him the opportunity to look back on his short-lived acting career in college and decide that he would like to return to the stage. After performing in local play productions, Senzamici sought out professional representation in order to pursue acting in film and television as a career rather than a hobby.
Tony Senzamici is perhaps best known for portraying a slew of police officers and detectives. His most notable roles are his recurring role as Captain Jack Malatesta on the HBO series Treme. Treme, a drama series, chronicles the lives of New Orleans residents in the months after Hurricane Katrina; and his role as a beach detective in the Starz drama series Magic City, which chronicles the story of a hotel owner who finds himself tangled in with the mob in late 1950s Miami. Other roles include the Jules Verne inspired film, The Mysterious Island; detective Travis in Patrick Fleuger’s The Tell-Tale Heart; and a role in the upcoming 2013 film Injun, which tells the story of a white woman raised by a Native American tribe who seeks revenge on raiders who kill her family. In the summer of 2013, he will be appearing in the USA Network show, Graceland.
The Levity Ball was thrilled to get to learn more about Mr. Senzamici from the rising star himself.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
“I would like to meet one of my relatives that traveled to the United States from Italy and arrived at Ellis Island in New York and ask them what they were looking to achieve here in the United States.”
If you were stranded on a desert island, what four items what would you have in your backpack?
– A survival steel striker stick
– Metal cup
What’s the best Christmas present you have ever received?
“Being a person of faith I believe the Greatest Christmas gift I received was the birth of Jesus Christ.”
What is it that inspired you to return back to film after 20 years of being in the business sector?
“I did some plays that were written by Derric Johnson, a very well known music composer and I met with him and another friend of mine and asked the preverbal question about what they thought about me doing this professionally and they gave me an overwhelming response of yes.”
“Arsenic and Old Lace” was your first production and I’d like to know, did you find it hard taking up a role having had little experience before?
“I took on the audition as a dare from my Sigma Chi Fraternity brothers from Florida Southern College, Bill Phillips who is an actor today, Chuck Williams with Digital Domain and Cort Douglas a motivational speaker but when I landed the role I said to myself, what did I get myself into because I knew this was not going to be easy and I was totally nervous but of course I could not let them know that.”
How do you use your acting to mold or work towards your vision of a perfect society?
“I believe acting has opened my eyes to look at people for who they are as human beings and not the what. I do not believe trying to change people works all that well but trying to lead by example and when an opportunity comes up to be a mentor, that is where influence can be accepted. Not so much to change them to think like you but maybe teach them to think of others first. I believe that if we all lived by the Golden Rule of “Do Unto Others As You Would Want Others To Do Unto You “that this would solve many of our societal problems.”
Did your role in “Cross Threads” influence you and your wife’s decision to start Amici Charity?
“Being involved with Cross Threads did not ultimately motivate my wife and I to start our foundation but definitely knew we were going in the right direction. Judy and I started the charity because we have seen so much negative situations going on with so many people in our community that we felt we needed to do something even if it is helping one person at a time.”
What does the Amici Charity mean to you?
“Amici Charity means to me what the name means in Italian, “Friends “. Kind of ironic that my last name Senzamici, means “ Without Friends “ in Italian and my wife and I did not feel that would have been a great name for a charity.”
Given your illustrious acting career, what would you say was the greatest lesson you have learned in your acting career?
“Less is more, overdoing it and forcing it never works. Always look for the choices to add more color to your character. Stealing a quote from a veteran actress ‘The Brilliance is in the Choices ‘”
What’s in your CD collection?
“I love all types of music but I am an old rock & roller at heart. Janis Joplin, Lynard Skynard, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Charlie Daniel’s, Marshall Tucker, Jim Croce, Mamas & The Papas, The Who and so many others.”
You have had a great deal of success from having the courage to simply take chances. What advice would you give today’s youth with regard to anything they would like to accomplish in life?
“I would say to them that being focused is a priority. Goals are important that you write them down and plan your path to get there. Old saying of ‘Plan your work and work your plan’ is still something I use today. Being prepared is always at the top of the list. Opportunities come to all of us but the individuals that are successful are the ones that are prepared to act on them when they present themselves.”