Hi William, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I have been good, thank God. Praying for everyone to get through this crisis of Coronavirus. We will all get through this.
How were you drawn into the world of acting?
I was drawn in from getting a chance to be an extra in the movie “A Bronx Tale”. Robert DeNiro was the director and he gave me some lines. That changed my life and gave me my start.
Having done some work as a director and producer – how does wearing these hats actually help you with your work as an actor?
As a director I know what I want to get out of with my actors. I apply that to myself.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about GRAVESEND – how did you get involved with the series?
I wanted to do a series about the neighborhood I grew up in Brooklyn. I felt like I could tell endless stories.
What draws your attention the most?
The time period of the eighties and how it was back then with mafia in the neighborhood.
With so many films and shows dealing with the mafia – how much does the show tend to borrow from what came before while adding some of your touch?
When you portray the Italian Mafia you have to be true to how these people are. You can’t reinvent these characters. You have to make the story engaging and the circumstances. People tend to love these type of characters.
Was this always meant to be a series or it rather evolve into this?
Yes it was.
With most of the cast having a background on this little subgenre where the mafia fits in – how would you say this helps you guys when getting in the character’s skin, especially yourself?
We know these characters. It’s about making them fearful but likeable. They are very fun to play.
What were some of the other research you get to do for this role?
I know how these guys are. I grew up around them. That was my research growing up.
What would you call the most challenging aspect of playing Benny?
Talking to St. Anthony. He obviously didn’t talk back. It was challenging for the character’s reactions through his subconscious mind.
When and where can people catch on the show?
The series comes out on April 3rd. Follow @william_demeo and @gravesandseries to find out what platform it will be dropping on. Very excited to announce this on April 3rd.
What else is happening next in William DeMeo’s world?
I hope to make more episodes in the very near future. I also have a documentary coming out called Cruisin 86th St.