I chatted with local actor Chris Perillo about being deported and his new film “Nothing From Something.”
Talk about your background, where you grew up, etc
I was born in New York. We lived in a little apartment because my family didn’t have a ton of money. When I was about ten years old, we moved to Delaware. I was inspired to be an actor after seeing “Ghostbusters.” My parents didn’t really nurture it. In High School, I was joined the theater program. It was so bad because our school didn’t have much money. After High School, I didn’t go to College. I went to Philadelphia and got an agent and started taking private acting lessons and background work. I landed a role in the film “Annapolis” and that’s how I got my SAG card.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in life?
Oh man. I met a girl who was from Wales. I was twenty years old and doing acting stuff, UPS and construction. I decided I wanted to move to Wales. My family almost disowned me. So I get off the plane..it was shortly after 9/11. Around 2004. Long story short, they didn’t like my reasoning for coming into the country so I got fucking deported. I quit my job, sold my car..it was really bad planning on my part.
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what it would be and why?
Hands down. I’m not original. Pizza.
What was it like working on “VEEP?”
It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was in the Pilot, but my lines got cut. I was called back for Season 2 but my lines got cut again. So finally, I landed a three episode arc in Season 3. It was great because they shot it right down the street from my house and I got to pal around with people who I’ve admired for a long time.
What are your thoughts on receiving The Mark Twain Prize?
Oh my God. She’s so damn good she should win every year. Her speech was brilliant. I’m excited to see what she does after “VEEP.”
If you could pick your role in the next “Star Wars” film, who would you play and why?
Well they already did the Han Solo movie so that’s out. Everybody wants to be a Jedi but I wanna be a bad ass pilot. They’re just fucking cool.
So I found a quote on your Facebook page:
“Michael Myers is a hurricane finally letting loose on an unprepared town.” What was it like seeing him on the big screen again?
It was awesome. I’m a huge fan of those movies, even the bad ones that got convoluted. More than anything I was happy to see them take care of the characters. It was great seeing Jamie Lee Curtis do great work with her character.
What is your film “Nothing From Something” about?
I play Luke, who is going through a messy divorce after his best friend slept with his wife. The film picks up a year later. He’s drinking a lot, avoiding things, and has no money. He has to move back in with his father whom he hasn’t really spoken with in five years. So he has to rework that relationship. I think a lot of people can relate to that..doing bad at life at some point in their life.
What was the hardest aspect of the film for you?
The pre-production period of scrambling to getting it done and off the ground. We had a few false starts leading up to that. Wearing so many hats at the same time during shooting was tiring. You had to make sure people got fed at a certain time, everyone is getting along..stuff like that.
What was it like having your family make a cameo?
I love seeing that scene BUT if you look closely, my son Luke is not happy..we were filming during what would’ve been his nap time. Looking at the movie, that part makes me smile the most. The direction was “Look that way and walk.” But all he wanted to do was sit with me on the bench. My wife was getting ready to give birth so you can say both Luke AND Leia were in the film.
What was it like working with Dan Franko and his son, Jack?
Jack is my favorite actor in the film, hands down. His day on set was kind of hectic. His dad is such a great actor, so to see him have ideas on his own was awesome to see. He brought REAL stuff to the table. A lot of what you see in the movie, like the Darth Vader thing..that’s him. He thought of that. I would hire him again in a heartbeat.
You won an award for Best Comedy Actor at the Studio City Film Festival. What was that like?
It was a great feeling to watch MY film in a theater in Hollywood. Two days after, they had an awards ceremony. I wanted to go just to network and see these great films get honored. When they announced Best Comedy Actor, I was walking out and I hear them say my last name wrong ::laughs:: All these people were giving these real nice speeches but of course, I get up there and say “Holy Shit I’ve never won anything in my life.” ::laughs:: On the way home, the award got flagged because it looked sharp. So I say to the guy “Look, I’ve busted my ass for years to win this plastic trophy.” He ended up just throwing it back in the bag. Now my son plays around with it.
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