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By Mark Pavilons
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
That courage has propelled actor Enrico Colantoni through a long career, one that's far from final.
The successful TV and movie actor has had a busy 2017. Instead of reflecting on “what was,” Colantoni is content in “what will be.” He's paid his dues over his 30-year career and now has some breathing room to concentrate on his own personal projects. While he's putting the finishing touches on his own manuscript, the phone still rings and he darts off for another movie role or a stint at directing a TV episode.
Filming is set to start in February on Red River, a thriller about a military wife who contracts a mysterious infection from her GI husband, plunging her into a nightmare of darkness, blood and murder. This horror-thriller about the viral effects of the Iraq war on a Kentucky town sees Colantoni playing the “bad guy,” Colonel Joseph Masi. He said it's a metaphor on the effects of PTSD on soldiers. It also stars Jason Patric and Jackson Rathbone.
Colantoni also appeared in six episodes of Travelers, an intelligent sci-fi thriller starring Eric McCormack (Will and Grace). The show is getting rave reviews both in Canada and the U.S. For those who haven't watched the show, the premise is that special operatives are sent back in time from the future, and tasked with preventing the collapse of society. These operatives are known as “travelers,” and they take over the body of a 21st century individual via a transfer of consciousness. This transfer occurs moments before the person's recorded time of death.
The teams of travelers must maintain their hosts' pre-existing lives as cover while carrying out missions, dictated by their “Director” in the future, aimed at saving the world from a series of catastrophic events.
Colantoni also played Bruno Bonsignori in the five-part Canadian crime drama Bad Blood.
The entertainment industry is fickle in many ways and in the end, there is no brass ring for many actors. They simply keep creating.
Colantoni pointed out he's been on TV shows and sitcoms for 22 years and while it can be a job at times, he misses the community and family of characters that share the screen with him.
Actors are always looking ahead to the next gig.
Theatre has always had a special place in Colantoni's heart. He returned to the stage recently, doing live regional theatre at his alma matter Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut. Performing “An Enemy of the People,” it was the first time in 15 years that he's done theatre and it allowed him to exercise some live drama muscles in this satirical farce of the classic Henrik Ibsen play, translated by Paul Walsh.
Colantoni found working with some old friends simply “fantastic.” He thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with Reg Rogers and being a mentor to students.
Performing live on stage allowed Colantoni to “let go.” He just walked out on stage, confident in the moment and just let the experience carry him away.
“It made me feel like I was an actor again,” he said.
Following that, he flew out to Vancouver to direct an episode of “iZombie,” developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. The comedy-horror is a loose adaptation of the comic book series, now in its fourth season.
Colantoni is busy writing and hopes to complete his screenplay shortly.
He's “up for anything,” and with the success of TV reboots (Will and Grace, The X-Files), Colantoni wouldn't be surprised if there's a resurrection of some of his hit shows like Just Shoot Me! or Veronica Mars.
At 54, he's survived and thrived in the entertainment business. He attributes his longevity to the respect he's earned in the industry.
He admitted he's been “lucky in many ways,” having worked during the height of the sitcom era. He fondly recalls working alongside his mentor George Segal during Just Shoot Me!, which ran for seven seasons, from 1997 through 2003.
Colantoni played Elliot DiMauro, a photographer for Blush magazine. Other notables in the series were Wendy Malick and David Spade.
Colantoni's journey has included everything from making ends meet to prime time star; from putting food on the table to following his heart. A sense of humour and razor-sharp wit continue to propel him forward.
He's a firm believer that if you follow your heart, you will succeed. It's a mind set that has never failed him.
“Never give up,” he said and “don't lose hope.”
He would like to create something tangible that provides a positive message and influence on society. He plans to explore more writing, producing, teaching and volunteering.
He's also national spokesperson for the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, which assists first responders with PTSD. It was created by former King resident Vince Savoia. He worked with Tema and Peabody-award-winning Canadian director Karen Shopsowitz in the documentary, “The Other Side of the Hero” that brings to light PTSD among emergency responders.
Colantoni's heart is as big as his smile. He feigns pulling his hair out, concerned about social injustices and inequalities.
There are so many stories yet to tell.
For now, it's off to the next role and next character.
Keep an eye out for one of our entertainment veterans in 2018!
Excerpt: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill That courage has propelled actor Enrico Colantoni through a long career, one that’s far from final. The successful TV and movie actor has had a busy 2017.
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