Actor Q+A: Alessio Mongardi

What is your favorite thing about acting?

All the free food on set! Well, I thoroughly enjoy working with people that elevate me. I once worked with a director that gave me the freedom I needed to explore my emotions, simultaneously guiding me and helping me funnel those emotions with a purpose. It was a wonderful experience, it taught me a lot, and I think I gave my best performance yet on that set.

What is the hardest part?

Leaving a good crew. There are plenty of horrible projects and people, therefore when I’m on a great set and I’m surrounded by amazing humans – cast and crew – it’s pretty difficult to get back to reality.

What are your tips for newbie actors?

I’d say to never expect success, especially when it comes to things that are out of our hands. Also to listen, listen to everyone, even the least inspiring people: there is always something to learn and it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

What skills, training and education do you recommend?

Patience is good place to begin. Honestly it’s really complicated to pinpoint the perfect education and training, everyone needs something different. Many actors start with a few generic classes, they find out what they lack, what they excel in, what they’re inclined to, and from there they pick a path. I personally recommend to find a mentor, a person who genuinely cares about your growth, and to focus on that growth prior to anything else. A lot of people rush and they want too much too soon; that’s something I don’t suggest.

Who are your favorite actors/actresses and what do you learn from watching them?

Javier Bardem and Léa Seydoux are two of my all-time favorites, along with Russel Crowe, Alicia Vikander, Gary Oldman, and Joaquin Phoenix. They’re all people who have proven themselves on screen, yet remained humble and kept living a semi-private life. Artistically, they have range, and talent, and whatever the script says, they make it even better. It’s all you can ask from a great performance.

What are your upcoming projects and career goals?

I have a feature film lined up for 2019, a sour take on the lack of romance in modern society. My short term goal is to win at least an award once this movie hits the festival circuit. As far as long term, my goals change often, but ultimately I’d like to have done something useful for society. I’d love to be part of projects like Love, Simon, Crazy Rich Asians, or Wonder Woman: projects that make a positive difference.

What is something funny that’s happened to you on the job that makes you love acting more?

I did a play in school where I was the lead character, and I had to break the fourth wall, improvise and interact with the audience. One night my improvisation was going so well I ended up flirting with a teacher sitting in the front row and the other professors never forgot to remind him in the hallways. We’re still in good terms, but his husband probably doesn’t like me!

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