Rising Star Fabrizio Brienza: “Always be yourself, It will create a more positive society; It’s a personal sense of freedom, rather than trying to manipulate and impress people that don’t care about you”

Yitzi Weiner
Jul 24 · 7 min read

I would tell people to be yourself, because people today are so influenced by social media which is often fake, following trends, etc. This is why I keep my social media profile true to myself and my real life whether it is going to the gym, or exploring New York City with friends. Always be yourself, being true to yourself is something that many people don’t pay attention to in this day in age. It will create a more positive society… Be free! It’s a personal sense of freedom, rather than trying to manipulate and impress people that don’t care about you.


As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Fabrizio Brienza. Fabrizio is an Italian-American model and actor. Born in Campobasso, Molise, Italy, he is best known for his film works in The Adjustment Bureau, A Walk Among the Tombstones and Duplicity, as well as his television roles on The Sopranos, Blindspot and Law & Order SVU. Fabrizio launched his career originally as a model in Italy, prior to moving to the United States. During his early modeling years in Miami, Florida, he was discovered for his debut acting role. Fabrizio has garnered accolades from some of the film industries most successful Directors and Producers earning high praise and much larger roles. Although he still models, he is more focused on his acting career, filming roles namely in Los Angeles and New York where he currently resides full-time.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Fabrizio! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up and what brought you to NY and Los Angeles?

Although I first came to visit America in 1994, I officially moved to the US in 1997 to pursue my career in modeling initially, which naturally segwayed into the launch of my acting career when I was living in Miami. My breaking role was in The Versace Murder movie a year later which was directed by Menahem Golan and starred Franco Nero and Steven Bauer. From there, I played a secret agent in an HBO film. The progression from modeling to acting was a natural process for me, the booking agents started calling more and more, It wasn’t anything I had planned but I loved everything about acting and pursued it as the opportunities kept coming.

Can you share with us how you chose this specific career path in acting?

I was torn at first, being in Miami running the nightclubs in South Beach at the height of the nightlife industry in the late 90s to early 2000s. The scene was booming and I was working with Chris Paciello the owner of the legendary SoBe club, Liquid back then along with other top tier venues. I had been offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles with producers to focus on my acting career but ultimately didn’t make the move until 2003 since the nightlife industry was flourishing. After staying in LA for a year I had an opportunity to move to NYC to open a new club with with Jeremy Scott, Salvatore Imposimato and Joe Vicari. But all the while I continued pursuing my acting career across the country.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There was one time I was working in a film with Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler on set, LIam Neilson for 2 months, Dustin Hoffman is just incredible to work with and one of my favorite actors. There was another really fun scene, on the top of Rockefeller Center when I was filming The Adjustment Bureau. I played one of the “goons” in the film, and in that specific scene, when Matt leans in to kiss Emily Blunt, the queue word was “Fabrizio” and I magically disappear.

What was the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting out in acting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

This was another time that I was on set filming with Matt Damon, at the Javits Center in New York City. If you have never been, you have to understand just how big of a venue this convention center is! It’s literally 1.8 million square feet! The director called a break, and I really had to use the restroom. I told the assistant I was going on break for the restroom and ultimately the Assistant Director was running all over the place chasing me down. The Director was yelling at me for nearly 5 minutes because I ended up on the far side of the Center.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I recently just filmed an episode of Power, the hit series created by 50 Cent. This is the last season of Power, and I play a character that is shot by Tommy, the lead actor of the show.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

It’s essential to feed the character, as I often play the European guy with the gangster and the look, because of my accent. I can’t very well play the guy from Arkansas. It’s important that an actor remain true to his or her character as well as to their roots to encourage diversification throughout the entertainment industry whether it is in film, music, or any other artistic platform.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do to help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

Mostly to remain inclusive of all cultures, ethnicities and sexual orientation especially in light of the current social industries we are facing and the #metoo movement. Just for society to remain supportive of everyone without prejudice.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Always keep training, I often say it is just like going to the gym. You can’t go to the gym once a month and expect results. You have to get prepared no matter what your talent or gift is, but continue honing your skills; take acting classes continuously. Even Jay-Z one of the world’s most gifted rappers still to this day takes lessons on breath control. If you keep training your mind and you coach yourself, the better the actor you will become.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Get a second job always, because acting is difficult and nerve wrecking. It can be an emotional roller coaster and having a secondary outlet and stream of income is a type of stress reliever. It’s also important to have something that you are passionate about, until you can’t do it anymore and the acting takes off full time, whether it is real estate flipping houses, etc.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would tell people to be yourself, because people today are so influenced by social media which is often fake, following trends, etc. This is why I keep my social media profile true to myself and my real life whether it is going to the gym, or exploring New York City with friends. Always be yourself, being true to yourself is something that many people don’t pay attention to in this day in age. It will create a more positive society… Be free! It’s a personal sense of freedom, rather than trying to manipulate and impress people that don’t care about you.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

One Assistant Director on the set of Julia Roberts movie I was in with Clive Owen, his name is Steve Apicella. We became good friends on set and he provided guidance for me in my career. Another woman is Grace Breton, a big influence in the TV and movie industry.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Danny DeVito because I love that little guy! And also my childhood heroes of Sly Stallone and Schwarzenegger — he is the epitome of The American Dream, he came from Austria, didn’t speak English, became a blockbuster phenomenon, a successful politician and married a Kennedy. Robert DeNiro would also be someone I would love to meet, especially considering that he is from my hometown in Italy.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram:

Twitter:

IMDB:

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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