Ben Parillo Headshot

Please tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from and what inspired you to become an actor?

Hey Brian: Okay, let’s see. I’m from Arlington Massachusetts. Right outside Boston. Both my parents are creative types. An architect and a graphic designer. I grew up building things and still do. Building’s very practical and although I admired actors like Robert De Niro, I never felt acting was a practical profession. It was however a private dream. I was drawn to it. I finally got into it in college and loved how scary it was. I was very quickly encouraged to do more by my professor and fellow students. That encouragement certainly validated my desire to explore becoming an actor more seriously.

Who is your biggest influence as an actor?

Ed Harris. There’s a scene in The Abyss by James Cameron where Ed Harris’ character must resuscitate his just drowned ex-wife played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. He is such a powerful actor. So honest. That scene is so intense that it moved me to want to be that good. It still has the same effect on me every time I watch it. Thanks, Ed wherever you are. And can I borrow some money? Support the arts, man. You’re responsible for this crazy decision.Tell us about your recent roll as Ben Caruso in “Headhunter”. Ben Caruso was Paul’s creation of course. I had know Paul many years and we were discussing the shape of his next film. I think as Paul wrote the script he found it easier to imagine me as he wrote the character of Ben. I certainly brought much of who I am to the role. I’m a rational person as is “Ben”. “Ben” is a thinker and perhaps a bit naive at times. I mean come on, he actually thinks this hot blonde is into him no strings attached.

What aspects of the character did you identify with?

The desire to just say, “screw it, I’m gonna let this smoke’n hot satanic demon use me like sex toy I always imagined I could be.” But seriously, “Ben’s” quest for a better paying job hit pretty close to home.

Ben Parillo Headhunter Girl

Of all the film and television that you’ve done, what would you consider your most memorable roles?

I recently did a Pilot for CBS that unfortunately didn’t get picked up but it was a great experience. It was a show I had read for many times and had not landed a role. After weeks of hearing nothing and going to that dark place we actors sometimes go between jobs I got a call from my agent telling me they wanted to hired me for a role I hadn’t read for. The role of an FBI forensic specialist. Not all that new and interesting but it was the relationship between my character and his friend that really came off the page. The way I was hired, not having to read for the role in something as important as a TV pilot, gave me the confidence to play with the role in ways that you usually don’t get to do on normal day player jobs. They just want you to come in, hit your mark and not screw up so they can make their day and go home early. This job was different. After a month of auditioning for this show and not hearing any feedback at all I was suddenly embraced by the writer and director on set. Turns out they had wanted to hire me twice before but the network wouldn’t let them. Now they had won their battle to finally hire me and were extremely open to my take on this character. Definitely one of my more enjoyable collaborative experiences.

Tell us about your upcoming projects. Give us the scoop!

I’m currently shopping a couple one hour TV dramas around town. Things look promising. While I’m waiting by the phone I’m planning to shoot a couple short films this year. I just shot the first one last week. It’s called “Big Plans”. It’s essentially about two trash talking underachievers who have these big plans to do all these things but they’ll never do them. It’s a comedic piece. A lot of “f” bombs. I think it’s funny. I wrote it as way to kick myself in the ass to continue to be proactive with my career and my creativity. I wrote a story about a couple of talkers with these grand schemes so it would stare me in the face if I didn’t get up off my ass and actually make it. I effectively waged a psychological war on myself. Whatever it takes I guess to motivate, right?

From an actor’s standpoint what is the most important thing a Director can bring to the set?

A clear point of view and an ability to quickly gain your trust. Of course it’s a two way street. I have to trust in that a director is going to take care of me and so I give everything I have in return. Paul took care of me. He listened to me, made me want to listen to him. He gave constructive notes. He didn’t cloud my head with a million hours of mindless ramblings as he tried to convey what he needed from me. Some directors can’t articulate themselves well and do more harm than good. That certainly wasn’t Paul. He’s a smart guy.

Ben Parillo Headhunter

What is the biggest problem with Hollywood today?

You know I think the biggest problem is that a lot of people actually want the crap the hollywood machine turns out. Not all of us of course. But the majority of movie goers get scared if they don’t recognize the actors in a movie of if they don’t see a Mount Saint Helens size fireball behind those recognizable faces on the poster.

This business is fear driven. Studios are always hedging their bets. You can’t blame them all the time, it’s a business. But the impulse to plug in recognizable faces into new TV shows isn’t very refreshing and that’s what kills viewership. That’s my take at least. It’s a crap shoot. The problem is most of us don’t know what we want so the studios do their best to figure that out for us and subsequently give us the lowest common denominator most of the time.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Be honest. Aim for making the audience believe you not like you because they’ll love you if they feel you’re sincere. Don’t do it for the attention. I see so many self absorbed retards out there.

When all is said and done, what 3 things would you like for people to remember about you?

That I was honest. That I was good at what I did. That I was People magazine’s sexiest man alive for the years 2007 through 2009 and again in 2011 and 2023.

Here’s where we give you a word or phrase and you give us the first thoughts that pop into your mind.

Hollywood: East of lincoln – the anti-christ


Biggest regret: missing out on the casting couch of the 80’s. Just think of how much further along I’d be.

Biggest prick: I haven’t used that word to describe it since grade school but whatever. I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. Who told you?

The funniest thing that has ever happened to you on a set: This hardcore ex-army ranger guy was leading a group of us swat team guys into a warehouse scripted to be filled with plenty of hostile bad guys. As he looked us each in the eyes and silently gave us hand signals he farted. We all lost it. It was even funnier when he pretended he didn’t know what we were laughing about.

Your biggest “break-thru” moment: question 5

You can only watch three movies for the rest of your life, which three: Headhunter, Headhunter II: a little more head, Headhunter III: somebody cut off my head before I fall over.

You can only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which three: Is this really the last question???



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