Piazza at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Supporting Characters
May 25, 1976 |
Queens, New York, U.S.
Vincent Piazza (born May 25, 1976) is an American film, television and stage actor best known for his roles in the television series Boardwalk Empire, the 2007 film Rocket Science, and as Tommy DeVito in the film adaptation of Jersey Boys.
Life and career
Piazza was born and raised in Queens, New York. His father is Italian, having immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1960s. His mother is of German descent. Piazza played Division I ice hockey for Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, until a recurring shoulder injury forced him to quit playing and leave the university after only a year. After retiring from hockey, he began to work with acting coach Alice Spivak and joined the TerraNOVA Collective theatre group in Lion Theatre along Theatre Row in New York City. After appearing in a number of New York Off Broadway productions, including Baby Steps, A Match Made in Manhattan and Much Ado About Nothing, he made his feature film debut in the 2006 film Stephanie Daley and went on to appear in the television movie The Dawn and an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Piazza has appeared in three episodes of the television series The Sopranos; the eighth, eleventh and thirteenth episodes of the show's sixth season. He describes his experience working on the show as "incredible" and says he would appear in any prequels or sequels to the series if he was asked. He then featured in the 2007 film Rocket Science as Earl Hefner, the kleptomaniac older brother of the film's protagonist. After auditioning at a casting session held at a New York acting school, he ended up being one of the first actors cast, writer-director Jeffrey Blitz saying: "Vince brought just the right combination of humor and threat to the part ... [I] kept many of the rest of the choices Vince brought to Earl. He’s a very physical actor and a very funny one, too." He went on to appear in the independent films Goodbye Baby, Tie a Yellow Ribbon and Apology, as well as guest-starring in an episode of Law & Order, before he landed the recurring role of Tony in Rescue Me's fourth season.
Piazza appeared in the 2008 film Assassination of a High School President in the role of Ricky Delacruz. He had originally unsuccessfully auditioned for a different part, but Brett Simon, the film's director, was fond of his performance in Rocket Science and so suggested that he take on another role. In order to master a Hispanic accent for the role, he visited a woman he knew who runs a Puerto Rican theatre in Manhattan and usually coached Puerto Ricans to adapt American accents, to have her coach him to read his lines in a thick Puerto Rican accent. He has also completed a television pilot directed by Brett Ratner, Blue Blood, for which he has a seven-year contract if the series is picked up by NBC.
Piazza was then cast as a series regular on Boardwalk Empire in 2009 as real life Italian mobster Charlie Lucky Luciano and still currently stars. In 2013 Piazza won the role of Tommy DeVito in the Clint Eastwood directed adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys. Piazza had to take vocal, guitar, and dance lessons to play DeVito, one of the founding members of the band The Four Seasons.
Piazza was in a relationship with singer Ashlee Simpson from June 2011 to November 2012.
|2005||Color of a Doubt: an Urban Fable||Chris Parker|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV)||Eric Newsome|
|2007||Rocket Science||Earl Hefner|
|Tie a Yellow Ribbon||Ed|
|The Sopranos (TV)||Hernan O'Brien|
|Law & Order (TV)||Peter Harris|
|Rescue Me (TV)||Tony|
|2008||Assassination of a High School President||Ricky Delacruz|
|Blue Blood (TV pilot)||Bobby Moran|
|2010-present||Boardwalk Empire (TV)||Lucky Luciano|
|2014||Jersey Boys||Tommy DeVito|
- "Love Is in the Air! Hollywood Couples Celebrating Their First Valentine's Day". iVillage. February 13, 2012. "Vincent Piazza, 35"
- "Rocket Science Production Notes". Picturehouse Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- Jeff Mitchell. "VINCENT PIAZZA". TerraNOVA Collective. Archived from the original on September 10, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- "Vincent Piazza – Exclusive Sundance Video Interview". Collider.com. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11.