Born in Italy, Lou Volpe moved to America with his family when he was still a young boy. He made his feature film debut in 1987 and has worked frequently in both film and television since then. An accomplished filmmaker in his own right, Volpe has written and directed two feature films: “Divorced White Male” and “Every Secret Thing.” This week he will be seen as Anthony Castelluccio, the father of singer Frankie Valli, in Clint Eastwood’s film version of the Tony-award winning Broadway hit “Jersey Boys.” While promoting the film Mr. Volpe took the time to talk with me about his role in the film, his work and sharing a joke with his director.
Mike Smith: How did you come to be cast in “Jersey Boys.”
Lou Volpe: I auditioned (laughs). Me and several other guys. A few weeks later my agent called me and told me I had the part.
MS: Wow! That’s an easy story!
LV: (laughs) It’s not usually like that. But when I go to audition I try to do the best that I can do and this time I did all right.
MS: Were you able to speak at all with Frankie Valli about his father? Maybe try to pick up some little quirks or qualities of his?
LV: No. Unfortunately Frankie wasn’t on set during the time I did my scenes. I did do my own research…I looked into some of Frankie’s biographies and found out the kind of man his father was…what he did for a living (he was a barber)…that kind of stuff.
MS: You’re also a filmmaker. How does Clint run his set in comparison to yourself or other directors you’ve worked for?
LV: Clint was great. He’s really a very nice guy and really easy to work with….work for. He pretty much lets you do your own thing. He may give you a few suggestions but mostly he lets you do your own thing. He’s very easy to work with. Most of the time he doesn’t even call “action.” He just says, “OK, go ahead.” We had fun. When I was on the set, because he knew I spoke Italian and he had, of course, done many films with Sergio Leone’, instead of calling “action” he would call “Actione’” in Italian. Of course then he’d crack up…then I’d crack up. He’s really a nice, funny guy.
MS: As I mentioned earlier, you’re also a filmmaker…you’ve written and directed a couple of feature films yourself. Do you have anything coming up?
LV: I’ve just written a pilot that is getting some interest. And I’ve just auditioned for a film…it’s the lead role…that I hope will come through