Diligently working to showcase their talents and prove they’re serious about improving their lives is a powerful motivator for actors and film characters alike. That’s certainly the case for actor Lillo Brancato, who rose from obscurity to movie stardom when he had his first feature leading role turn in Robert De Niro‘s 1993 directorial debut, ‘A Bronx Tale.’
Like his young protagonist in the acclaimed drama, Brancato strove to prove his talents to the world, before racing life-defining hardships. Those challenges are highlighted in the upcoming documentary, ‘Wasted Talent,’ which is set to be released On Demand this Tuesday, November 13 by Freestyle Digital Media.
In honor of the film’s home distribution, ShockYa is premiering an exclusive clip from the documentary, which is titled ‘Wasted Talent Audition.’ The clip follows Brancato describing what his experience was like as he auditioned for his role of the teenaged version of De Niro‘s character’s son, Calogero, who went by the nickname of C. Once he arrived at the audition to do a screen test for the director, the aspiring young actor realized that he wasn’t the only performer who was being considered for the role of C.
‘Wasted Talent’ follows the now-41-year-old actor’s retelling of his experiences making ‘A Bronx Tale,’ and the troubling experiences he had following its release. After his debut in the celebrated drama, Brancato became widely considered to be the next De Niro, and went onto star in ‘Renaissance Man,’ ‘Crimson Tide’ and ‘The Sopranos.’
But like many child stars before him, Brancato got caught up in the underworld of Hollywood. He became addicted to drugs, and was arrested for the murder of an NYPD officer during a drug excursion gone wrong. Despite being cleared of the murder charge, the actor still spent more than eight years in prison on an attempted burglary conviction. During his time in prison, he was finally able to get clean and sober. Now, out from behind bars, he can hopefully pick up where is acting career left off.
‘Wasted Talent’ was directed by Steve Stanulis, who himself is a decorated, retired NYPD officer. In addition to Brancato, the documentary also features actresses Drea de Matteo and Paula Devicq, music producer Damon Dash and columnist A.J. Benza appear, alongside many more.