HOWELL – From Jersey to L.A. and back again, Kevin Interdonato is a local movie star about to release his newest hit, which he stars in alongside Hollywood veteran Tom Sizemore, former boxing champion Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini and Brian O’Halloran of Clerks fame.
Interdonato said he always knew he wanted to act.
“Growing up in Howell I always wanted to be an actor, I just wasn’t ready yet. I had to get a lot out of my system.”
That meant growing up working in the family construction business, which his dad still runs, joining the Army National Guard his senior year at Howell High School and taking a couple semesters at Brookdale Community College. He started to study acting when he was 20, but had to hit the brakes in 2004 when he was called to a year-long tour of duty in Iraq. He served in a unit nicknamed “The Sadr City Dogs,” named for Sadr City, the worst ghetto of Baghdad, where he saw heavy combat.
After returning home safely, he said he wasn’t sure he still wanted to act.
“It took some time, but I found my stride again, and eventually found my way back into the film business,” he said.
Aside from many independent films, he also appeared in shows such as The Sopranos, Law & Order, CSI: NY and How To Get Away With Murder. After that, Interdonato said he had to make a choice and decided set out for Los Angeles in 2010 to continue acting and also start writing and producing, among what he described as an endless sea of other actors.
“You’re surrounded by nothing but actors. It’s like people come from all over the world to go to L.A. to succeed,” he said.
Ironically, his latest film Bad Frank, which he starred in, co-wrote and produced, was filmed in New Jersey near Morristown. The film tells the story of Frank Pierce, who at first seems to lead a calm and normal life. But when past memories come to the surface and something very valuable to him is taken, he is faced with the urge to be violent once again.
Interdonato said he got the offer to play the role first, and then helped rewrite the script and produce the project, before bringing some friends on board as actors and production people. He said what started out as a low budget film has been really blowing up. It’s the first movie he’s both written and produced, although certainly not the last.
Bad Frank won 20 Best Actor awards and nominations at various film festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, and also won big in London, which grabbed the attention of another filmmaker and landed him a role in the film False Witness, which just wrapped up in April.
The movie trailer for Bad Frank was released July 7 on Amazon and iTunes. It will also hit Redbox soon.
Interdonato has another film, Dirty Dead Con Men, coming out this fall, which he also wrote and produced, alongside his wife. He’s also recently been cast in the film Asbury Park, which is being filmed this fall in – you guessed it – Asbury Park. As for any writing projects? He’s working on Brusco, which he hopes to be shooting next year in Howell and the surrounding area.
“I’m attracted to the work more than any specific genre,” he said, adding that he tends to get pegged for more “edgier” roles than anything else.
“For the most part, this business is based on how you look.”
While he said there’s still a lot of work to be had out in L.A., he and his wife, who he met there, will be splitting their time between the best of both worlds – La La Land and New Jersey.