Vincent Piazza

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Vincent Piazza
Vincent Piazza 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Piazza at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Supporting Characters
Born
Vincent Francis Piazza

(1976-05-25) May 25, 1976 (age 43)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materVillanova University
OccupationActor
Years active2006–present

Vincent Piazza (born May 25, 1976)[1] is an American film, television and stage actor. He is best known for his portrayal of gangster Lucky Luciano in the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire. He has also played Earl Hefner in the comedy-drama Rocket Science (2007) and singer Tommy DeVito in Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of Jersey Boys (2014).

Life and career[edit]

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.[2] He recalls humble beginnings and a prideful work ethic gained from watching his father work multiple jobs to support the family that included a younger brother and one older sister. Vincent also credits his mother's large German family for allowing several travels across the United States to visit distant relatives who encouraged him to find his passion, and see the world's many treasures.

Attending academic and athletic national powerhouse Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, Vince lettered in soccer and hockey, receiving scholarships for academics and hockey, as well as National Honor Society. After graduating Summa-Cum Laude with a 4.0 Grade-Point-Average, he received several academic scholarships to a plethora of institutions, ultimately choosing to attend Villanova University where he majored in Sports and Media Management. Piazza played ACHA 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.[3] 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.[4] After appearing in a number of New York Off Broadway productions, including Baby Steps, A Match Made in Manhattan and Much Ado About Nothing,[4] 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.[3]

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.[5] 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."[3] 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.[5] 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.[5] He also completed a television pilot directed by Brett Ratner, Blue Blood, for which he had a seven-year contract if the series had been picked up by NBC.[5]

Piazza was then cast as a series regular on Boardwalk Empire in 2009 as real life Italian-American mobster Lucky Luciano, appearing in all five seasons. 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.[6]

Piazza was in a relationship with singer Ashlee Simpson from June 2011 to November 2012. As of May 21, 2018, he was engaged to actress Genesis Rodriguez.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Vincent Piazza in February 2011
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Color of a Doubt: an Urban Fable Chris Parker
2006 Stephanie Daley Geoff
2006 The Dawn Scott
2007 Rocket Science Earl Hefner
2007 Goodbye Baby Dominick
2007 Tie a Yellow Ribbon Ed
2008 Assassination of a High School President Ricky Delacruz
2014 Jersey Boys Tommy DeVito
2015 The Wannabe Thomas
2016 The Intervention Peter
2017 Never Here Andy Williams
2017 The Girl Who Invented Kissing Jimmy

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Eric Newsome Episode: "Wrongful Life"
2007 The Sopranos Hernan O'Brien 3 episodes
2007 Law & Order Peter Harris Episode: "Over Here"
2007 Rescue Me Tony 6 episodes
2008 Blue Blood Bobby Moran TV pilot
2009 How I Met Your Mother Bus Boy Episode: "The Rough Patch"
2010–2014 Boardwalk Empire Lucky Luciano
2019 The Passage Clark Richards

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ehrich Dowd, Kathy (February 13, 2012). "Love Is in the Air! Hollywood Couples Celebrating Their First Valentine's Day". iVillage. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Vincent Piazza, 35
  2. ^ Thorp, Charles (June 19, 2014). "Vincent Piazza Embraces His Roots". Men's Journal. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Rocket Science Production Notes". Picturehouse Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  4. ^ a b Jeff Mitchell. "VINCENT PIAZZA". TerraNOVA Collective. Archived from the original on September 10, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  5. ^ a b c d Weintraub, Steve (28 January 2008). "Vincent Piazza – Exclusive Sundance Video Interview". Collider.com. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  6. ^ Serico, Chris (June 15, 2014). "Vincent Piazza walked like a man as Four Seasons founder Tommy DeVito in 'Jersey Boys'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  7. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/BjC4l8VBaRg/

External links[edit]