A former nightclub owner who decided to follow his dream to become an actor and move to Hollywood is now working with director of The Godfather.
Gianluca Malacrino, 24, gave up his house, job, and clubs to move across the Atlantic to fulfil his ambition and it seems to have paid off after being offered a role by legendary director Francis For Coppola.
The Cardiff boy, who founded the Ladybird and Kapu nightclubs in the city, said his life changed after attending a friend’s barbecue.
He said: “We were having food and all spoke about new hobbies we would love to try. Ideas like golf, car racing and painting came up and then I mentioned I would love to take an acting class and that was it.”
He started going to the Actors Workshop in Cardiff
Gianluca booked a workshop and then began attending weekly courses run by Rebecca Hardy at the Actors Workshop in Cardiff.
He auditioned for a sitcom called Motherhoodies at St David’s Hall and for a short film called Managed and got both parts.
It was at this point Gianluca began to think about the next stage and make acting his full-time occupation,
He applied for AMDA, the College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts, in Los Angeles.
“How did I end up here?”
“I flew out without telling anyone and auditioned over the summer of 2013, I remember being sat outside the Capitol Records building in Hollywood on my own thinking, how did I end up here?,” said Gianluca.
“I had the audition and returned home full of contained excitement. Then one day I was with friends in Cardiff Bay having a walk around and I got the call.
“AMDA had not only accepted me, but offered me a scholarship on their two year acting studio programme. I burst out into tears of happiness and I was so excited.
“Then the reality of the risk of selling the clubs, house and moving across the world alone to pursue a dream kicked in.”
The former St David’s Catholic College pupil will now be working on a project with Francis Ford Coppola, the Oscar-winning director of The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now.
The project is called Distant Vision and is described as “live cinema” – an experiment combining live performance and traditional film making which could be viewed in a theatre or on television.
This is what a meeting with Coppola is like
Gianluca said: “I had the initial audition a few months ago whilst I was finishing up at AMDA, and then got asked to come back for a meeting with the legend himself.
“I was sat in a room opposite him talking about where I was from, my experience in the industry and especially about my grandmother’s lasagne. We spoke in Italian as well as English and that in itself was a dream come true.
“Following that, I was asked to attend a callback, where I had the honour of working and being directed by him. The stories that he shared as well as the passion Mr Coppola has for this art, blew my mind and inspired me even more.
“Then last week, while at an audition, I received the confirmation e-mail that I will be working with my childhood icon.
“Filming starts this summer and cannot wait to work hard and learn as much as I can from such a true legend.”
Life in LA is different
He said: “Firstly, people often stop me and ask if I am English. As a proud Welshman I explain that I am Welsh and show them where Cardiff is on a map I carry on my key-chain.
“The people are so friendly here, and I have met some incredibly talented artists. The people that have heard of, or visited Wales, always have such great things to say about Wales, and this makes me so proud.”
With a weekly routine of casting meetings, auditions, reading and working on scripts, Gianluca has a busy schedule.
He has recently been performing as a New York mobster at The Los Angeles Theatre Centre in a production of No Place to Be Somebody and has also appeared in a music video.
‘Of course I miss home’
His ultimate goal is to appear in network television and film and he will be working on some exciting projects in the future.
He added: “I often get asked if I will eventually move back to the UK and my answer is simple.
“Of course I miss home and would love to film back there, but it is difficult to plan when working in this industry.
“As long as I am acting in some sort of way, whether it’s film, television or stage, location is irrelevant.”