Interview with Damien Colletti
Pictures from Damien Colletti personal collection
JM: I guess the first question as it is with all my interviews only this time in Film, is how did you get involved in the world of Acting?
DC: I always felt I could act and be in movies, but until recently, I didn’t have the courage to do it. I've always been interested in film especially the work of some classic actors like Steve McQueen; but I was absorbed in playing basketball. I played for a lot of teams in different leagues and tournaments. I played 2 years for my school, then CYO, YMCA, Salvation Army Leagues, and tournaments in Philadelphia. I have an Associates Degree in Health & Physical Education. Then I hurt my back and had to rethink playing basketball. It seemed it was time to change directions. I had done one acting job when I was younger and the director encouraged me to pursue that field. So I decided to get those acting skills out and start using them. So the acting has pretty much taken the place of basketball. Hey, it worked for Dean Cain and Kurt Russell (both had career ending sports injuries), so why not me right? Lol.
Also, I was actually thinking about this recently. I think I do 50% of it for my parents, to make them proud because they don't do "entertainment" anymore. My father used to be a songwriter and singer, in the sixties he even had a 45 that was in music stores in a few states and got some radio air time as well. My mother was an actress (theater), and was well known in PA and NJ. She also directed, in one case she wrote a dramatization for the 50 Anniversary of Pearl Buck’s winning the Nobel Prize For Literature, where she directed SAG and Equity actors including Aileen Quinn who was Annie in the movie "Annie". She has always been a writer and has a murder mystery dinner theater play called, "Who Killed the King of Rock N' Roll" which is currently playing at Peddlar’s Village in New Hope.
JM: What was your first Job in Acting?
DC: My first job was working on the film “Invincible” which I was grateful for and lucky to be able to do something so big my first time. I played an Eagles Football Fan for several scenes. It was hard to play an Eagles fan, but only because I’m a Broncos and Steelers fan, lol. That really helped get my foot in the door and was a great start towards my acting career.
JM: You were also in two major motion picture movies with my personal all time favorite actor Mark Wahlberg in “Invincible” and “Shooter”... What was that experience like as well as meeting Mark Wahlberg?
DC: Mark Wahlberg has always been a favorite as mine as well and I always enjoyed his movies and style on the screen. Mark was really a class act both times I met and worked with him. The first time in “Invincible” (where I was dressed in 70s clothes and facial hair) my fake mustache came off during lunch, so I had to go back to makeup/wardrobe. Well I went the wrong way, and before I knew it I was walking along side of a building (with a friend) and there was Mark Wahlberg with a friend sitting under a tent. I didn’t think it was him, and probably stared a second too long, he waved and said, “Hey, how ya doing?” I was like, “Wow, that’s Mark Wahlberg and he said what’s up to me,” lol. I said, “Hey Mark, much respect for all the movies you’ve done, you do great work”. He said, “Thanks man, I appreciate it”, and that was it. Believe it or not when I was first doing “Invincible” I didn’t know Mark was in the film, I actually didn’t know much about the film or who was in it.
In “Shooter”, I was in a couple scenes with Mark and got to talk to him. In one scene I was at a street corner (playing an Intern) and Mark was parked in his car at the stop sign (after getting shot and being chased by the cops). We got to talk a bit and in one instance I even got him to laugh as we were talking about one of his friends he was just trying to hook up with these 3 girls earlier, but his friend had no luck, lol. One thing I said that had Mark laughing was, “You tried bro. If he can’t hook up with those girls now he’s gotta be gay or something ya know”. Mark laughed and said, “You know what, I never thought of that but you might be right, I did all I can for him”, lol. Mark’s really a great down to earth guy and always seems nice to everybody. I give him much respect.
I was also in other scenes for the movie “Shooter”, one with Rhona Mitra too. I really enjoyed working in this movie. I was also SAG (Screen Actors Guild) for one of the days I worked on it. It was a great experience, and is a great movie.
JM: You made your debut on Television appearing on the MTV popular hit show “Yo Momma!” playing a “Friend Giving Support”. Which was hosted by another favorite actor of mine Wilmer Valderrama, again explain that experience as well as meeting Wilmer....
DC: Working on a TV show was really cool. It was cool just being there having Wilmer (and the co-hosts) talk, the Yo Momma Rappers going at it, and hearing the crowd cheering or going nuts while we’re being filmed, lol. There were also a lot of jokes that were edited out for TV (too dirty) that were pretty crazy and funny. Also some that were just really bad and nobody laughed, but then laughed because they were so bad, lol. It was filmed in Brooklyn, NY in a warehouse, it was also my first time working in New York. I didn’t try to meet Wilmer (I never watched “That 70s Show” either). But he seemed pretty cool when we were shooting. I did, however, meet and talked to Sam Sarpong (co-host) who I always liked. He seemed really cool, down to earth, and friendly when I talked to him a few times during the shooting. He was also a co-host for a show called, “The Rub” which I used to watch.
JM: Have you ever thought of being the one to Rap on “Yo Momma”?
Lol, that’s actually a lot tougher than it looks. Those guys have to be quick on the draw and have a lot of stuff memorized too. Wilmer will just say a subject sometimes too (example: clothes, house, etc.), and you better hope you can say Yo Momma jokes related to it. When I was there two of the contestants just couldn’t think of anything to say at one point. The one had his one friend page him some jokes (so he kept looking at his sky pager), and the other had his girlfriend telling him some stuff. That didn’t work too well though as the other contestants and crowd were making fun of them for doing this, so like I said, it can be tough, lol. I could do a few lines/jokes, but that’s about it, lol.
JM: You are also a big Wrestling fan, have you ever thought of becoming a Wrestler to help boost your Acting career?
DC: Lol. Those guys are a little bigger and take a beating, although the paycheck can be nice, lol. I would be a Manager however, it would be great to do something like that. Also to play a Wrestler or Manager in a movie would be pretty cool. I do like it when Wrestlers make small cameos in movies though, for example: Randy Savage and Kevin Nash.
JM: You also maintain a website that relates to Wrestling.....Why is that and what is the point of the website?
DC: I have a Wrestling Chat Forum too. Well I’ve always enjoyed Classic WWF Wrestling in the 80s, and a little bit later in WCW and ECW. I used to really enjoy watching “Saturday Night’s Main Event” with my friends back then. Randy “Macho Man” Savage was my favorite Wrestler ever….”Ohhh Yeahhh”. Randy Savage an Elizabeth were great together. My main website has a lot of great Classic Pictures, Wrestling Polls, and Wrestling information. I actually first made the website when I broke my ankle (ruptured and torn ligaments too) and knew I was going to be bed ridden for a few months and not playing basketball for a while so I needed something to do, so I decided to make the Wrestling site, lol. Both websites have been doing well and have been up and running for over 2 years now.
Iceman’s World to Classic Wrestling:
Iceman’s Classic Wrestling Chat Forum:
JM: Any future plans and projects?
DC: Well I just worked on a film called, “The Mercy Man” playing a Police Officer a couple weeks ago. It features “Juan Hernandez” and is based on the novel, later turned Comic Book I believe. Juan was great to work with. All of my scenes were with him. It was cool to hangout with him much of the day and talk with him. John Saxon is also in the film who I always liked a lot since his days working with Bruce Lee in “Enter The Dragon”. Also I’m doing voice over work for an HIV Awareness Commercial this Sunday.
JM: You also have done other Acting work, what are some of the other things you’ve done?
DC: I had a speaking role and played a “Casting Executive” in an Independent film called, “All The Wrong Moves” (www.allthewrongmovesmovie.com). It is currently being submitted (and will be running) in Independent Film Festivals until July I was told. I did a Commercial (Industrial) for the drink “Vitamin Water” with Nascar Driver Kasey Kahne. I had a speaking part and the lead in it (along with Kasey Kahne) and played a Redneck Nascar Fan of Kasey Kahne. I had a speaking role in a short film parody of the US Department of Homeland Security called, “Brief Tacktiks”. I played 2nd lead, “Information Sharing and Analysis Specialist” in it. Also just a couple months ago I was in a Music Video for the Band, “You Cann’t Stop Officer Roseland” (www.OfficerRoseland.com). This will be the bands first Music Video. I played the “Boss”, the lead character in it. The other characters in the band’s music video centered and reacted around my character’s actions. It’s a really creative and comical video that should be great. I really look forward to seeing it when it’s completed. I’ve done more, but just to name a few other things I’ve done.
JM: What do you think of my website (www.Mikels.cjb.net) and what is the best feature you like to go on?
DC: Well it’s a really nice and complete Wrestling website (and recently added film section). You really have every angle of the sport covered which I like. You really surprised me with how many Wrestler interviews you’ve done. Some big Wrestling names and Wrestlers I’ve been a fan of like: The Honky Tonk Man, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, J.J. Dillon, Paul Bearer, Hollywood, and Nicole Bass for example. I think it’s really cool that you had an Elizabeth Tribute for the 5 Year Anniversary of your website too. Gotta respect that and a great idea. Cool you have a message board as well. Looks like a fun and interesting site all around.
JM: Do you have any advice for young people who dream of getting into Acting in some sort of way?
DC: If it’s something you want to do, then go for it!!!
JM: Closing thoughts?
DC: Just wanted to thank you for the interview “Insane” Johnny, you seemed relaxed for a guy nicknamed, “Insane” Johnny, lol. It was fun and I thank you. Good luck with your Wrestling site too.
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