Right now, New York comedian Dante Nero has a bigger physical build than he does a nationally known name. But that may change this weekend, as Fighting premieres at movie theaters across the country. Don’t be surprised if this flick about underground street fighting hits No. 1 at the box office. From what I understand, there’s a lot of violence and attractive ladies in this movie. You’ve been tipped, America.
I tossed some questions at Nero the other day about acting and his career in stand-up. And he kindly tossed back some answers. The proof is below.
Can you describe your character, Kimo?
He’s a huge brawler type who controls his crew with an iron fist. He only gets verbally beat up by his hot Latin 4’10 girlfriend.
How did you get cast in this movie?
What I look like doesn’t really give way to comedy necessarily. For the most part people are intimidated by me. My image doesn’t really make people say, ‘Lets laugh at this guy. So I was told I should try and audition for some things. Although I’ve consistently tried to work onstage, doing up to 25 spots a week, I was bypassed by clubs and the comedy industry by my appearance. So I decided to connect with a few smaller agencies and began auditioning.
For Fighting, I actually auditioned for the lead villain role, Evan Hailey, but they decided to go with Brian White. They thought my look was intriguing and my audition was strong so they brought me back for the role of Kimo. I met with the director Dito Montiel and we talked about underground pit fighting which I had done in my early 20s, before I was trained in Mixed Martial Arts. At that time I was young and wild and would probably fight anybody for a grand or two. When I read the script, the part of Kimo read like my bio. So Dito booked me for the roll on the spot.
Is acting something you’re passionate about or was this kind of a fluke?
Acting is not something that I initially thought was even a possibility for me. I basically felt like it would help my stand-up but I really didn’t think the scope of parts available really would encompass a 290 pound 6’1″ tattooed and pierced Renaissance man. Success is when opportunity meets preparedness; so the acting lesson was just me being prepared. When I began doing commercials and television it was all about my look. It pretty much it still is.
Creating dimensions and images to me as an artist is a great thing but there is more to me. As I learned more and more, I really started getting deeper into the acting side of he business. I’ve become extremely passionate about creating fantasy that mimics reality so closely you can get emotionally lost. There’s a place for me in television and film as long as there are writers and directors who are ready to take a chance on creating real-life images.
For more info, check out dantenero.com.