FYIG recently had the chance to chat with actor/writer/director Bobby Del Rio about his extensive career in the film industry. Find out more about his role in My Roommate’s an Escort, his INCLUDE organization, and much more right here!
I have been a professional actor/writer/director for 20 years.
What prompted you to get into the entertainment industry?
I wanted to devote my life to passion. Being an actor was the thing that brought me the most joy. Writing and directing came out of my acting background -wanting to be the creative architect as well as the performer.
You play the role of Sam in the successful web-series My Roommate’s an Escort. Tell us a little bit about that role.
I play the best friend of Heather (Trish Rainone). I am the guy who knows everything about her, her sounding board. I also spend every episode getting a tattoo with my shirt off… lol
What drew you to that series to sign on for the role?
Katie Uhlmann is one of my best friends. One day she texted me, telling me she was writing a role for me with Trish. I signed on without reading the script. I had worked with Katie in many ways over the years, and I knew what a visionary she was/is. Plus, out of friendship, I would probably do anything Katie asked me to do regardless. Lol
You’re working on a new web-series with My Roommate’s an Escort creators Katie Uhlmann and Trish Rainone called Canadian Actors. What can you tell us about this series and your role?
It’s a brilliant series concept about the realities of being an actor in Canada. It’s extremely funny, and our online trailer recently received about 13,000 views on Facebook! I play one of the lead roles, an actor trying to get his big break! The show is still in development however, so production plans are still up in the air…
You created IRL the Series which was sold to Bell’s Fibe TV 1 for television broadcast. What was it like to see your creation picked up by such a large company?
It was crazy. The Bell exec actually messaged me on Facebook wanting to buy my show. I thought it was a joke! Lol It was truly amazing to see so much hard work pay off in such a significant way. The broadcaster helped develop the project with me, so I definitely got valuable experience working in television – with the largest television corporation in Canada. At that point, I realized that essentially my dreams were coming true. Even now, it’s still incredible to believe that things like that can happen in this world…
In addition to acting, you’re well-known as a playwright. How does this process differ from how you approach a series that you’re acting in?
It is very different, but theatre is a really strong foundation for film/tv. I have always said that my biggest advantage making feature films, series, etc is that I spent 15 years making theatre before I did so. I understand the history of storytelling, and I’m not afraid to break rules to make art that lasts…
What is your favourite play that you’ve written?
I like them all, but my last play Professionally Ethnic was very special. We got rave reviews, large amounts of publicity, I published the play in a prestigious academic journal, etc. All for a subject I am passionate about, for a play I literally wrote in 24 hours. Amazing things can happen when you do things for the right reasons.
You’re the founder and president of INCLUDE. Tell us about this organization and why you decided to to start it.
It is an anti-racism network I started in 2003, at the age of 25. I created Canada’s largest job listserve for actors, writers, directors and producers from multicultural backgrounds. Many of North America’s biggest casting directors, filmmakers and producers have distributed job notices through INCLUDE over the years. I believe that the best political activism is giving people jobs, so I wanted to create a FREE way people of colour could advance their careers. Over 15 years, thousands of people found jobs. I am extremely proud of that.
What’s next for your career?
I have many projects in development. I have feature screenplays with producers in Los Angeles (in negotiation with the biggest movie studios in the world), optioned series to established producers in Canada, and I just got a distribution deal to rebrand my writing/directing feature film debut The Market into a web series – to reach a larger, international audience.
What advice would you have for aspiring actors?
If you love it, don’t ever stop. And understand that it’s a DIY industry now. Every actor is a movie studio. If you continually beg for work, you will end up with table scraps. Cook the meal yourself, and you can eat whatever you want…
Let the readers know where to find you online.