Russ Russo is an Actor and award-winning filmmaker. He starred in a short film he wrote titled “Heat Wave” and has been regaled for his work on “Bad Frank” where he plays a key role as a villain. He is currently anticipating roles in Ryan Phillippe’s “Catch Hell” and “The Book of Love” where he will act alongside Jessica Biel. Russ recently spoke about his experiences as a filmmaker and performer.

Acting

Blasting News (BN): How and when did you decide that acting was your calling?

Advertisement
Advertisement

Russ Russo (RR): I was in my early 20s and nothing—college, jobs—was working. I had just broken it off with my girlfriend of three years which was devastatingly painful. I was looking for an outlet when I stumbled upon a little black box theater called the Jewel Box. I found light at the end of the tunnel!

BN: What kinds of media inspired you as a kid?

RR: I had a lot of various musical interest from R&B, Motown and early Hip Hop to The Doors, Bruce Springsteen and Roy Orbison.

Advertisement

I watched a lot of old movies growing up, I remember seeing “On the Waterfront” when I was 12. The people in it felt so authentic so it distinguished itself from the other Golden Era films of the 1940s and early 1950s.

BN: How did you discover venues?

RR: I stayed at Jewel box for a couple of years studying acting with a woman who had studied directly with Stella Adler. We performed classics from Clifford Odets and Tennessee Williams which made my time there quite memorable.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
Celebrities

BN: So far, how many creative projects have you been a part of?

RR: Too many to count between plays, student films, indie films etc. The project I am most proud of is a film called “An Act of War”. I play Jacob Nicks, a recently returned soldier who had been a prisoner of war in Afghanistan and is battling PTSD. The film is now completing a two-year Streaming run on Netflix and continues to be, for me, one of the most difficult yet rewarding experiences I've ever had on film.

It was a very personal film for me. My biological father returned from Vietnam with a Silver Star Medal but I saw some things before the age of five that children should not see. He passed away the day we began shooting the film. That movie changed me.

BN: If you could choose any sort of “dream project” what would it be?

RR: I keep writing various drafts of a script I want to do about the life of Roy Orbison.

Advertisement

I would love to do a biopic about this very complex human being underrated in his craft.

BN: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the entertainment industry?

RR: The camaraderie and various artistic friendships I've made is the most rewarding part.

BN: What suggestions can you offer to young entertainers?

RR: Unless you're driven, obsessed and passionate about the craft, I would say don't do it, because it's a long, winding road filled with a lot of heartache and rejection. But if you persist, eventually you'll find a path and successes; but it's the journey that you really have to enjoy.

Advertisement

Writing

BN: How did you get into writing?

RR: Out of necessity, I write to get it out. I've written poetry for many years, but never really a screenplay. I just started writing parts that I would want to play and it's been something to keep me creative in between roles on stage or in film.

BN: What inspired "Heat Wave"?

RR: I was trying to find an inventive way to make a film about climate change; telling the story with metaphor and symbolism. I have always had a love for early Hitchcock works and the 1960s “Twilight Zone” episodes. I thought maybe I'd like to do a more modern version of something like that before “Black Mirror” hit Netflix.

BN: Do you enjoy writing or acting most?

RR: I enjoy writing, but acting is my first love and will always be the craft I continue to try to perfect.

BN: Are there any upcoming events or projects that you want to mention?

RR: “Bad Frank” is collecting awards at various festivals. I'm quite proud of this movie. I also have a movie called “The Book of Love” coming out nationwide on January 13, 2017.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more