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.


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

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. 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.

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. 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.


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.