Today’s interview is with another young up-and-comer, actor Justin Tinucci.
Justin Tinucci was born in Denver, Colorado. He relocated to the Los Angeles area (part time to start off) in June of 2009 to pursue his dream to become an actor. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work on some amazing films and television shows with some extremely talented cast and crew members. In addition to acting, Justin is a professional indoor skydiver. He and his sister Kayla have a wind tunnel team and are called “Team Future” they are widely recognized as the nation’s youngest indoor skydiving team and compete in wind tunnels against skydivers worldwide.
ANTHONY: Hi, Justin! Thanks for taking the time to chat a bit with me.
JUSTIN: Hey Anthony! My Pleasure!
ANTHONY: Let’s start out with your most recent project. You went to Georgia to film Goat Island. Tell me a bit about the movie and your role in it.
JUSTIN: In Goat Island with Val Kilmer and D.J. Caruso, I play a really fun character. His name in the movie is Butch. He’s like a bully/twisted character who also has a soft side to him. I even had to die my hair blonde for it! The scenes that I’m in are really diverse. They have crying, kissing, dancing, bullying, everything! It was funny filming because everyone was surprised by how quickly I could go from regular guy to such a disturbed character.
ANTHONY: You also worked on The Muppets. How was that experience?
JUSTIN: Working on the Muppets was amazing. It was so much fun to work with Walter in my scene and it was fun how I got to dress up in a Halloween costume in the middle of August. It’s crazy how for night scenes, they have to light up the set so much and it still looks dark. The way I actually got the job was in the audition, I went in with a Kermit the Frog t-shirt of him playing guitar!
ANTHONY: You’ve completed work on a new live-action pilot for Cartoon Network. What’s the show about?
JUSTIN: I can’t tell you the name of the show just yet but I can tell you that it’s a sketch comedy show, but it’s a whole new take on sketch comedy because it’s single camera, so it has more of the tone of The Office or Modern Family. It also has a bunch of hidden camera pranks and other surprises and fun stuff too.
ANTHONY: How tough was the audition process, and how long did it take?
JUSTIN: The audition process started as a general call, and then about a month or two later, I got called back for a producer call for the pilot, and for the audition, I had to write and prepare a few sketch characters, so I made a sketch where I was at the ComicCon interviewing Russell Brand, Justin Beiber, Conan O’Brien, Steve Irwin, and one that was my secret weapon to booking the project, but I can’t tell you exactly what is was, haha.
ANTHONY: Who else is in the cast?
JUSTIN: The executive producer was Nick Cannon, and I can’t release the rest of the cast members’ names just yet.
ANTHONY: When do you anticipate hearing about whether the series has been picked up or not?
JUSTIN: I have my fingers crossed, and I hope to hear in the next two months.
ANTHONY: You’ve done some stage work as well, right? Most recently at the 2011 Young Playwright’s Festival?
JUSTIN: Yeah. The play that I was in was called living by numbers. The character that I was playing was diagnosed with cancer and predicted the exact time that he was going to die, and he was helping another patient and explained his coping process. It was great helping a young playwright have her piece come to life.
ANTHONY: And you’ve also done stand-up. Do you see yourself pursuing that seriously in the future?
JUSTIN: Of course. Many famous celebrities have had their start in stand up so i’d love to follow in their footsteps.
ANTHONY: A lot of young actors seem to concentrate on television and commercials and don’t bother with live theater. How has working on stage affected the way you approach your screen work?
JUSTIN: It helps a lot with memorizing, energy, and awareness of your surroundings.
ANTHONY: How do you prepare for roles? Is your process in preparing for stagework different from television or movies?
JUSTIN: My theory was given to me by my awesome acting coach Amy Lyndon. I prepare my roles by reading in-between the lines. Once I can figure out the reason for what the character is really saying, the rest is just natural. I also never specifically try to memorize, because if I really know the point for what I’m saying, I should naturally have it memorized. I think the main premise for stage and film preparation is the same, but it’s just small different things like energy level.
ANTHONY: When I talked to Sam Lant, we discussed the field of options for young actors on television. You’ve guested on a few shows, but you’ve also filled your resume with a lot of short film work. What’s the upside to doing so much work that so few people ever get the chance to see?
JUSTIN: It gives you experience so that when it really counts when your working with big names, you’re ready.
ANTHONY: You also play guitar for a band. Are you a classic “triple-threat” actor/singer/dancer like Justin Timberlake (only with red hair)? Or is the music more of a sideline to the acting?
JUSTIN: I am actually a horrible dancer and singer haha, but no I love playing guitar just as much as I love acting. My band Until Further Notice with Zach Callison (lead vocals), Hunter Craig (bass), and Gabe Feldman (drums) is actually working on a few original songs and we could have an album out some time this year. We love doing all genres of rock.
ANTHONY: So many young actors are committed to public service, setting a great example for their peers in terms of being involved with charities and the community. What causes are important to you, and what do you do to support them?
JUSTIN: I love helping many different charities. Susan G. Koman is a big one, I volunteer every Saturday morning at a food pantry called Help the Children, and me and some of my other friends are creating a new charity called YES (young example setters), so instead of saying no to bad things, we are being optimistic and encouraging people to say yes to good things.
ANTHONY: Now for my usual final question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?
JUSTIN: My favorite book is The Hunger Games, and I think to convince someone to read it, I would say that its not too long, and that there’s a good mix of violence and romance so both genders would like it.
ANTHONY: Thanks again, Justin!