June | Vittorio Rossi

Meet Vittorio Rossi, considered as one of Canada’s most talented playwrights. 

In addition to being an actor, he is a teacher, a screenwriter and a mentor.

This native Montrealer who grew up in Ville-Émard has earned respect from his fans and peers throughout the years not to mention from the National Theatre company for his award winning plays. Vittorio has produced plays in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, New York, Boston, Syracuse as well as the Stratford Festival in Ontario.

Vittorio is a Concordia University graduate, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Theatre performance in 1985. Two years later, he was invited to be the Centaur Theatre’s resident playwright. This clearly played a pivotal role in his career. He credits Maurice Podbrey,  the founder of the Centaur Theatre for giving him his big break.

Aside from having written and starred in numerous plays, he also landed a big role in the very popular Quebec series “Omertà’ where he portrayed detective Tom Celano.

JETELOVE had the pleasure of sitting down with Vittorio at the Leonardo DaVinci Center during a rehearsal break from his upcoming play “Legacy” (the sequel to The Chain).

His calm presence and cool demeanor is exactly how we had pictured this true gentlemen.

We asked Vittorio: ‘’ As of what point did you know that you wanted to be an actor?’’. 

He laughed and replied: ‘’It all started in the 3rd grade when my teacher, Miss Bailey had us put together a performance in small groups. I immediately felt that I was in my element. I took control of the group, came up with the ideas, costumes, story etc’’.

During our interview, Vittorio made several references to his beloved parents, more specifically to his late father who played a very important role in his life. He says: ‘’ My father fought in World War II, he was an amazing story teller. You could sit for hours and listen to him describe what had happened in such vivid detail, it was cinematic and amazing.’’

JETELOVE asked : “ Where do you begin when writing a play, take us through the process”.

Vittorio says : “Certain specific things inspire a story. The Charbonneau commission for example, is what this play is based on. The characters I met in real life, who lived through it, are what inspired me.’’ He felt that following that trial, there were even more stereotypes towards Italians in general, and felt the need to tell the story. He says that he needs to feel an emotional tie to the characters he creates and portrays.

When asked who he identifies with as an actor, he immediately said Marlon Brando who he says: ‘’changed everything.”

 ‘’What would you say are the most valuable skills as an actor? ‘’ we asked.  He says: “Observe, don’t overthink, overthinking often destroys art.”

JETELOVE asked: “Out of all of the characters you have portrayed over the years, which can you most relate to, and why?” He replied: “Silvio in the trilogy.”

“Do you believe that talent or training is more important to an actor?”  He says ; “Talent, 100%, you can train all you want but if the talent is missing , that’s a problem.”

JTL asked; “In your opinion, does theatre receive the attention and respect it deserves in Canada compared to other parts of the world?” Vittorio said ; “No, it does not. There’s too much of a separation between the English and the French here. English theatre is not where it ought to be. We need more support from our fellow Canadians.”

Lastly, we asked what advice he has for the young aspiring actors and playwrights who hope to have as much success he has had. He says: “ You must be fully committed, don’t ever underestimate your craft. If you’re researching for a role, watch every single movie or clip you can about similar characters, dissect them, know everything about your character, about who created them. Keep at it, put in the work, do the research. Have and maintain a lot of respect for your craft and for the giants that came before you.”

Thank you Vittorio for sharing your talent and passion with us over all of the years.

#ontelove #legacy #vittoriorossi #star

Legacy opens May 31st and runs until June 26th at the Leonardo Da Vinci Center. 

For tickets go to www.billeterie.cldv.ca 

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