Not only is Massimo Dobrovic one of the stars of the new Monday night Bravo show, Euros of Hollywood, he’s also a great cook, an outlet store aficionado, a lover of a certain southern-based fast food chain and a very serious actor. We caught up with Massimo to find out more – check out the interview below!
SNL: Tell us about your experience as an actor and the decision to do Euros of Hollywood.
M: As an actor, it’s common to hear from acting schools and acting teachers not to do reality because they don’t want you to display your personal side – unless you’re Tori Spelling.
SNL: Or Kim Kardashian?
M: Is she an actress?
SNL: I think she’s a professional ass model.
M: (Laughs) But I think this changed in 2002 when Jeremy Renner agreed to do a Bravo reality show called “The It Factor” also on Bravo – similar to ours, but followed Americans. But I was with my acting coach, Brian Reise and he told me, “Massimo, you should do it because if Jeremy Renner was able to do it, you can, too.” Now, he’s an Academy Award nominee who started on a Bravo reality show. I think anything is possible.
SNL: Now, for those who know the show, they know you’re a great cook. Tell us about that.
M: Cooking is my passion. I grew up in Italy and was cooking since I was 5-years-old. We rarely go out to restaurants over there unless it’s a very special occasion. I grew up cooking with my grandmothers for my whole life, so it comes naturally to me.
SNL: What is your favorite American fast food establishment?
M: Is “Pink’s Hotdogs” fast food? (Laughs)
SNL: It’s not just fast food, but it’s a landmark. What about outside of LA?
M: Kentucky Fried Chicken (Laughs really hard). Is that fast food?
SNL: Oh yeah. And you know it because a large drink size looks more like a bucket than a cup.
M: This is why I love KFC because people get a huge bucket and the whole family can eat chicken from there. When I saw this for the first time, I thought I was on a different planet – like Mars or Venus.
SNL: You’ve lived in several parts of Europe. What are some of the biggest differences that stand out to you between living there to living here in America?
M: The food is very different. The free health insurance for everybody. In all of the EU, anybody can come and have free health insurance no matter if they are working or not. That’s very important for everybody to be able to get well for no cost.
SNL: Having gone to college for acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and being out here for an additional couple years, have you had to go through the ‘starving artist’ phase as an actor?
M: I feel like I still am, really.
SNL: You don’t dress like one, though.
M: You know what it is? I go to all the factory outlets in Italy in the most difficult villages to find to get the best Italian brands. It’s a secret tour you can go on if you come visit.
But, I’ve worked I think every single job here in LA. I was on scholarship at the academy, but it didn’t cover living expenses. So, I had a million jobs – from restaurants, to internet, to retail, to sales – maybe I’m missing something. I don’t think I was a nurse.
SNL: Was this just research for your acting career?
M: No, I did it because I needed to survive and pay rent!
SNL: Talk about the dynamic of the show, and do you all get along off-camera?
M: We’re all great friends. Absolutely. I knew Fawni in the beginning.
SNL: She said you’re her crush.
M: And she is mine. But we can’t be together. We are like Romeo and Juliet – two star-crossed lovers.
SNL: But I thought Meryl Streep was your crush?
M: Well, she has three Oscars. I want three Oscars, too.
SNL: I thought, because of your accent, you said three eyes.
SNL: That was something I wanted to ask you. How are you in the perfection of your American accents?
M: You know? This is the biggest battle of my life. I studied at the Academy for a long time. I work with a private coach, Bob Corff, and listen to his tapes every week. It depends. Thank god if they ask me to do a southern accent on TV or in a movie because I’m so ready. But it’s a struggle because for Australian and British and South African actors, it’s their mother tongue, so it’s really just adjusting some sounds. For us, it’s tough. You grow up with a whole different muscle memory.
SNL: The southern accent is the easiest for you?
M: The southern accent is the easiest. I’m going to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for my first time. I’m going to be doing my first vampire role, but they didn’t ask me to do a southern accent. I can’t wait to get there and practice it, though.
SNL: You know what they have a ton of down there in Louisiana?
SNL: Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.
M: Good! I won’t have time to cook on set.
SNL: How do you stay in good shape with all the craft services, though? Are you doing side abs in the parking lot?
M: No, you do the side abs in the trailer.
SNL: I thought you were supposed to other things in the trailer.
M: No, no. Just abs.
SNL: Are you the nicest guy on the Euros of Hollywood set?
M: I am the nicest guy in the world.
SNL: You’re co-star, Jannik, has more of a new-aged Euro-soccer look (or as we call it in the states – ‘The Zack Morris’) while you are more of the classic Euro just-walked-out-of-a-Versace ad look. Does this reflect in your personalities?
M: I am a renaissance man.
SNL: Tell me a bit more about the show. What should we expect?
M: You have to watch. There are going to be many more surprises.
SNL: Who gets a sex change?
M: (Laughs) Not me.
SNL: How has Bravo been behind the scenes?
M: I feel very blessed and honored to be starting out on my first show with Bravo. I will forever be grateful.
SNL: Do you have any other projects you’re currently working on?
M: Knock on wood. Thank God I do! You know, as an actor, it feels like you spend so much time trying to get the job instead of actually working on the job. I have two movies coming out in Louisiana where I play a vampire and another action movie. That’s all I can say!
SNL: How did you get cast in Euros of Hollywood?
M: I applied through Actors Access, and went through two call backs where they liked me. Then, we shot the pilot and waited to see if it got picked, and it did. It was very much like any TV auction, but it worked out.
SNL: It sounds like you’ve had to persist a lot throughout your career. What other advice would you offer young actors?
M: You have to be obsessed with acting. It cannot be a hobby, and nothing can come before acting – your relationships, your family, acting has to be number one. And you have to prepared to let a lot of things go including relationships with people who don’t support you. And you have to believe in yourself – even when you’ve been rejected thousands of times. Have a thick skin because the only thing you can control is the acting itself. We can’t control what’s happening in the editing room, what the producers think, the network, the studio or what the audience thinks. We can only control our performance. We should not put any anxiety, or any pressure, or any stress because there are so many things out of our control.
Catch Euros of Hollywood Monday nights on Bravo!