What is the best thing that I love about my work?
There are so many things I love about acting, it’s very hard to choose only one. I would say that the best thing is the freedom it gives me. It might sound crazy since actors are bound by the circumstances of the play or script, the directives of the director, and the position of the cameras…they aren’t even free to say their own words because someone else wrote the dialogue for them. All this is just the frame, though. The feelings, the emotions are real. Putting on a metaphorical mask that is the character you’re playing, you can take your mask off. All of us, when we are in public, we put on a mask. Even though I am a very transparent person, very direct and open about my feelings, I too have an image that I project on the outside that is probably different from how I perceive myself. And even when I open up about my emotions I never really show them, because that’s an intimate moment you usually don’t display for everybody to see. People put on a mask not to show their feelings to others. That’s the opposite an actor has to do. We have to show our feelings to the public. What makes it possible is the character. Portraying a character allows you to use that mask to free your emotions. It’s liberating and cathartic. The best part of this work is that, while getting in touch with the character, wearing their mask, you are free to explore inside yourself, connecting to your inner child, discovering things about yourself you didn’t know, learning about your deepest emotions and thoughts, growing through this process and becoming more aware of who you are and how you feel.
Photo credits: Adolfo Diaz Gomez
What is my idea of happiness?
Doing what you love, surrounded by the ones you love. Hence, it can take many forms, right now to me it looks like reading a good book, on a comfy couch, while sipping a warm tea with my six dogs all around.
What is my greatest fear?
Fear itself. Fear is stronger than any other emotion but love. Stronger than hate, shame, guilt, and so on. I remind myself every day to choose love over fear because fear can paralyze you. A life fully lived is when you choose to do whatever it is that you want to do, even if you’re scared.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I struggle with true forgiveness. I forgive but I can’t forget that something happened. It is especially hard for me to forgive myself for past mistakes, sometimes they just show up to torment me. I work on it daily, but it’s a work in progress. It is also tough for me to forgive those who never apologized or showed remorse for their wrongdoings. This is the thing about myself that I would like to change the most because It makes my life harder, and my chest heavier. There is great freedom in letting go. In fact, when I was actually able to completely forgive someone who hurt me I felt such peace of heart, it brought me so much joy.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
There are many professionals that I admire, for their work ethic, their talent, or their personality. I think of all Kate Winslet is worth mentioning. She is such a role model – an extremely passionate woman, a great actress, and an advocate for women and their natural beauty. I applaud her authenticity and courage. She is humble, kind, and always giving words of encouragement, a true inspiration.
On the other hand, If I have to name my favorite actor, that would be Tom Hanks, he has been since I was a kid. His ability to be credible in both comedy and drama, giving extraordinary performances, together with his long-lasting marriage and beautiful children, makes me believe that even in the entertainment industry it is possible to be successful both in one’s career and personal life, having a loving family and being an accomplished actor.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I have such a sweet tooth. Sometimes, I go to the bakery and order a custom cake to be made just for myself. And I eat it in one day!
On what occasion would I lie?
I prefer not to speak than to lie. I value honesty very much and I am known for speaking my mind sometimes to the point of being too blunt. I even started warning people not to tell me anything if I can’t repeat it. There are exceptions, though. If I have to protect someone’s privacy or an important secret, or if someone was in danger because of an unjust situation I think I could lie.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
The long hours and the lack of stability, but I don’t feel like complaining because I get to do what I love and that’s enough.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
In Los Angeles, right before the pandemic hit. I was working on many projects, going to festivals, enjoying the creative process of making movies, and discovering new things about myself.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
My habit of doing too many things at once. I would like to be able to focus on one thing at a time to be more centered. I always feel like I am in a hurry and doing too much, but I can’t choose what to give up.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
My greatest achievement is when my performance leaves a mark on people. When something about my acting shakes them to their core, makes them rethink their beliefs, or moves them because it reminds them of real events they went through. I once had a girl coming up to me after a show, she told me I was able to make her relive a moment of her past, she could see I felt what she felt and she thanked me for that.
Where would I most like to live?
I would like to live in a house by the sea with a lot of space for my animals (my future dogs, cats, horses, and a donkey!), a lot of green and nature surrounding us.
What is my most treasured possession?
My photo albums. The story of my life is printed there. They are all different and unique, more like scrapbooks, and they are filled with the emotions I lived through my adventures.
What is my most marked characteristic?
Empathy. I am a very empathetic person. It’s been my most marked characteristic since I was a child.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
The beach. I go there to meditate and recharge. No matter if it’s Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, or El Segundo beach…any beach, would serve the purpose. My feet in the sand, the sound of the waves, the smell that the wind carries…the whole experience is relaxing and regenerating.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?
There are so many places I like to go to eat and drink in Los Angeles, whether it is to try some exotic food or to stuff my face with junk food! But there is this noodle place I go to in Arcadia that is very special to me, they make handmade noodles in front of you and they are delicious, but the reason it’s so special is that I would go there with my bestie when we needed comfort food and a good talk! When I go back to my hometown in Italy, though, it’s almost impossible to choose because there are too many places “creating” amazing food and I am definitely a foodie. I will just tell you about my favorite pastry shop, since every time I go back to Italy I have to stop there because they make the best pastries in the world, so fresh, perfectly balanced, from the most natural, organic ingredients…simply perfect!
What books influenced my life and how?
Anne of Green Gables. She and I had so much in common and she taught me to always see the bright side…in life, in things, and in people! And, of course, fairy tales. I was addicted to fairy tales, I used to beg my parents to read to me, and even after I learned how to read I still wanted them to read me bedtime stories, I think it’s one of the best acts of love you can pour on a child. And I had a special book that had fairy tales from different countries in the world. I still remember all the stories it contained.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?
Whatever music I would feel like listening in the moment. I think Sinatra’s My Way would be appropriate for such a day, though, since you face “the final curtain.”
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
I don’t know if I have a hero in fiction, I never thought about it, but I can tell you who’s my favorite superhero, Superman, or my superheroine, Wanda Maximoff (not her supervillain version Scarlet Witch).
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two brave Italian judges who fought the mafia and were killed. To quote the Bard, “The coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but once.” I am going to tell their story one day, I want to produce a movie about their fight and how they became martyrs for the cause. My heroine is an Italian educator, physician, feminist, and amazing woman, Maria Montessori, her legacy is priceless.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Tough choice. I would say Shindler’s list. It’s a masterpiece. Tomorrow I might tell you another one, we are so lucky the world has so many great movies for us to watch.
What role play stories in my life and work?
Stories helped me develop my imagination, they gave me hopes and dreams, they inspired me, and they made me understand others better – stories are great teachers. There are so many different kinds of stories: stories from the past, stories from the world, stories about different people, different realities, and even different planets or dimensions. Stories are powerful, they are eye and mind-opening, and they stay with you forever. Stories had a great influence on my life, in my career choice, and they are very useful in my work. As an actor I am always telling my character’s story so, all that was taught to me through the years by the stories I have read, I can now apply to my acting work, like never judging a character, always trying to understand the reason behind the behavior.
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life mean to me?
Although we don’t have control over life events, we have a choice when it comes to interpreting those events. The meaning we give to them is what makes our story interesting and worthy to be told.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, or partner in crime?
My brother is my greatest fan. He always believed in me more than I’ve ever believed in myself. My dad has been my sponsor since I decided to turn my life upside down to pursue acting and I will always be grateful for that. My partner in crime is my friend Massimo with whom I share the path, we both graduated from Law school and then abandoned that path to follow our passion for the performing arts.
Which people or companies would I like to work with?
There are definitely directors I would like to work with. Not just because of the great movies they make, but sometimes also for how they treat their actors. Aronofsky, for example, allows his actors to have such creative freedom. I watched an interview he released regarding the Black Swan and I was completely captivated.
There is a company I dream of working for and that’s Disney. I am such a Disney fan.
What project am I looking forward to working on?
I can’t wait to start working on my own short film, In My Shoes, which is now ready to go to pre-production.
Where can you see me or my work?
Nowadays, mostly on stage, doing improv work or plays, but also in an independent movie called “The Sweepers” that will soon be released, as well as in short films. And, of course, on social media:
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
A playful heart never ages. Time may pass but love and passion stay. Until your heart is beating, if you keep your passion alive you have a purpose and you can enjoy life to the fullest, no matter how old you are.
Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?
Camila Villanueva. She is a former engineer who became an actress, and later a producer, and she is now embarking on a new career: directing. https://www.instagram.com/thecamilavillanueva/
Titinun Jungudomcharoen. She is a Thai director who moved to Los Angeles to work in Hollywood. https://www.instagram.com/jane_titinun/
Aluska Suramma, a former lawyer from Brazil, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. https://www.instagram.com/aluskasuramma/
Paolo Beatino, an Italian bartender and mixologist, bar manager of a Masterchef contestant’s restaurant in Italy, who opened his own cocktail catering in Los Angeles.
Jacobo Poole, a Spanish editor whose great talent brought him to L.A. where he now works for a company sponsoring him a green card. https://www.instagram.com/jacopoole/
Santiago Decunto. He is an Argentinian scientist who is now pursuing a career in the performing arts (music and acting). https://www.instagram.com/dayserdq/
Jeremy Branson. He’s a former educator who decided to put his big heart at the service of the performing arts, as a voice-over actor and actor. https://www.facebook.com/JeremyJBranson
Chiara Molina. She is a brilliant Peruvian actress in Los Angeles. Although she is already very accomplished she is humble and kind and she is always fun to work with.
Michael Dukakis. Legacy of actress Olympia Dukakis, Michael is a gentle soul, a creative mind, and an actor I was proud to work with and call my friend. https://www.instagram.com/michael._.dukakis/
Massimo Sammi. He’s a former lawyer who followed his passion for music all the way to New York, where he studied, and he is now a composer in Los Angeles, working in film scoring. https://www.instagram.com/massimosammicomposer/
How can you contact me?
By emailing me at email@example.com