At an early age he was laced with a rebellious twinkle in his eye. International film star Domiziano Arcangeli, as a teen, was plucked from the streets by Helmut Newton and flown to Berlin for photo shoots which scored him magazine covers. His life never returned to “normal”. Domiziano was a hot potato, bouncing in the hands of such masters as director Federico Fellini, who he landed his first movie role with. Roles as villains and bad-ass vampires fall into his lap effortlessly and he carries an impressive spread sheet of films.
Like the slightest pin prick in a water balloon that turns into a full on waterfalls, I ask Domiziano a few pointed questions and he gives me detailed, fervent and revealing answers. He is a straight shooter. If he has flown under your radar, now is the time to focus your lens and make a mental bookmark. He is working on a number of “cult” films that will make you give up on Hollywood fluff films for some good old-fashioned blood and gore.
Together Domiziano and I worked through his gay erotic scenes, crazy vengeful ex’s, life as a bad-ass, being blindfolded and put in restraints by a perverted and curious psychiatrist, his openness to participate in a gay sex scene with ex-porn actor David Taylor and men throwing themselves all over him like a hot fudge sundae.
Accidental Bear: Where are you living these days?
Domiziano Arcangeli: I live in los Angeles and I love it. I know what they say about LA, I don’t agree, it’s a gorgeous land. My home is in the city, yet I feel up in the country, where I have squirrels and hummingbirds in the garden surrounding me and I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere (which I love to think…), however I’m in the middle of the studios and by taking one freeway or the other I reach all the main work sites. It’s cool!
A B: I read that you were married twice to women. Are you all done with marriage or willing to give it another shot?
Domiziano: Oh, uhm… they say never say never again. So I won’t say no, but…. (laughing)
Domiziano: Of course I’m completely supporting that. Although I must tell you that I don’t understand why you’d need papers to establish a true union. I realize that since men and women have that right, it is sort of medieval to not grant the right to marry to same-sex couples. Unreal how superstitions can go that far, even in the 21st century. There’s no excuse.
Domiziano: Oh I have quite a few, it happens all the time. I have a hard time not to be nice or to smile. But once, when I was very young, some dude, a psychiatrist(!) asked me to do an experiment, and since I was always rather fascinated with psychoanalysis, I went to his home. Then, he changed into a total different leather attire, he blindfolded me and put restraints on me, and I then realized he was a guy into hardcore S&M. He could not do anything after that though, because when he asked me how I was doing and if I was feeling “anything,” my answer was, “I feel like a turkey before thanksgiving!” and I started laughing uncontrollably, which I guess was very off-putting for the poor guy.
A B: WOW! That was very understanding of you. How would you describe a “cult” film?
Domiziano: I know the term is often referring to horror films, but I feel like the term “cult” is being abused lately. A real cult film is a film that has unique themes and achieves ground breaking effects over the audiences, which over the years, develops sort of a cult following for such film. These days, everything is “cult” and sometimes it’s just trash unfortunately.[vimeo 14074668 w=400 h=225]
A B: How would you say does an audience of “cult’ films differ from mainstream hollywood films?
Domiziano: Mainstream hollywood has been a bit boring lately, so I believe a lot of people are taking interest in alternative films or independent cinema. At least anyone I talk to seems to be switching over, which is really awesome. I think it means they’re still digging creativity, diversity, personal film making. I have always believed mainstream hollywood was awesome in the 1940’s and some of the 50’s, then the new wave of the great ‘new hollywood’ of the late 1960’s/1970’s happened and that was sensational! We do not have directors or movies like those anymore. I think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Taxi Driver,”McCabe and Mrs. Miller (an incredible new western), Raging Bull, Shampoo (which remains one of the best portraits of L.A.and it’s still so very true to this town these days), Being There with Peter Sellers, Easy Rider, Petulia which was shot with an incredible visionary style just in San Francisco, Cassavetes, Polanski… Well I think I mentioned all my favorite films (laughing). Today it (Hollywood) has become a little tiring, with all these special effects, CGI ,super heroes and sequels! So folks with a bit of sensibility, would rather watch something unusual or just different, maybe a movie more about the people or a crazy/fun horror, where effects look actually real and not so politically correct (such a 90’s term, don’t you think?). Definitely a more sensitive audience, I would say, follows cult films and such, but then you got rockers and alternative crowds loving B horror flicks and I discovered to even have 18 or 20 year old fans coming all the way from new jersey, just excited to meet me at some convention, because they had seen me on some of those flix! So, I think the cult is spreading! (smiles)
A B: I had no trouble finding some nude photos of you on-line. I take it you are not shy? What is a situation that might make you blush or be shy?
Domiziano: Uhm… there’s no such thing. I’m very open-minded. I used to be way more free even, but lately in order to protect myself from being violated, I became a little harsher, I guess. However, there are a few ‘bitches’ mad at me, for some reason, who put on the net some pictures that were taken on very intimate moments, just as an exciting memory of that particular, private experience.. see? That hurts me! I never disrespect others. I do not have a problem to act nude in a film, or even simulate strong sexual situations, if the narration truly demands it! Once I agree on a project, I am in 100% ! Another thing is to have some assistant, make up artist, taking advantage of a distraction , when you’re dead tired, after having shot in the heat for hours and maybe laying down in the nude to rest for a few while he/she’s snapping pictures of you, from some little hidden camera, or even worse, some ex throwing on the web, a few shots of a clearly ‘excited’ guy in an intimate encounter, and getting paid thinking she’s got revenge for having been dumped. Clearly I had a good instinct, if I dumped someone like that!
A B: What has been you most proud achievement up until this date?
Domiziano: I am very proud of having funded my production company called Empire Films and proud, that even with a general crisis and the film markets being what they are right now, we were able to produce 8 films so far (in less than 4 years) and two more are coming up ready to start production in the fall.
Domiziano: I think there will be controversy when it comes out later this year! I have heard people talking a lot about this film for its extreme erotic scenes, and strong gay and bisexual content, but it’s so well done and so sexy that I think the “cult crowd” will enjoy it very much and so will some of those who wants to see what the twilight franchise does not show….
A B: Are you a vampire?
Domiziano: In the movie or in real life (laughs)? In the movie I become a vampire. In real life I’m just a simple man, with a lot to think about.
A B: Do only your closest friends call you Domi?
Domiziano: Oh no, I have been billed as ‘Domi’ from time to time since my first major us job, which was the showtime tv series Zalman king’s Chromium Blue, a real riot of a show. It was what Zalman King created right after the Red Shoe Diaries hit and he went truly hip and wild for Chromium Blue which was also shot in Spain, Luxembourg for many months. The producers of the show at Viacom decided that Domizianoc was hard to pronounce for Americans and went for ‘Domi’ as a nick name. I don’t particularly love it, it sounds a bit weird. I do not think it fits me, anyways… my friends either call me Domiziano or D.
A B: Would you lie naked on a table and let people eat sushi off you for a good cause?
Domiziano: Wow!! If it was for a truly great cause, yes, for sure. They could eat sushi off of me (laughing).
A B: It seems like you are cast as the bad boy in many films. Are you a bad ass in real life?
Domiziano: I used to be. I was truly a fighter as a boy. Even when I became more noticeable. I never took in any shit from anybody and jumped on the guy who was making comments I did not like or just being a jerk. Beside that I was also a bad boy for an infinite series of other reasons, for example, like sleeping with 4 girls at night or so.. or not sleeping for 3 days! I did change once I reached 40 (and I am proud to say it since I still kick ass). You think differently, do not take stuff so personally as I used to, learn how to let go, and well, I went through some anger’s management treatments, which worked! They truly made me see a new world, that was hidden before me. Priorities are so different, I am truly a homebody these days and rarely go out. I do not play hollywood games, enjoy my home, my sleep and let’s say that I keep all that aggressive energy just for the set, since yes, I do get cast as a villain very often! Maybe too often these days, but I seem to convince that way. If there’s a nice tame character, I’d never get the job, but if there’s a raper, a killer, a drug dealer, a gangster, a misfit, you name it, the job is mine (smiles).
A B: What projects are you currently working on?
Domiziano: I just wrapped 2 new horrors: Scary and Die, co-starring opposite to Disney star Corbin Bleu and All My Vamps for TLA, where I play a ‘modernized’ version of Renfield, Dracula’s human partner. Renfield is a meth addict who just go girl after girl in this version, while Dracula finishes up the job, fun times! (laughs)
Next I will be in the 2nd season of the Cinemax tv series Femme Fatales, playing Chaka. I completed work on a very intense drama Territory, which will cause a stir, and it’s directed by the Sundance winner director, Everett Lewis (he won with the great, gay film The Natural History of Parking Lots, which I’m sure some of your readers would remember). Right now I’m just taking off for overseas location work tomorrow to shoot a major motion picture with an international cast called Wrath of the Crows, a supernatural thriller where of course, I play a really bad guy (SMILES)! There’s even more lined up, but maybe will tell you another time.
A B: What was the experience like doing gay sex scenes with ex-porn actor David Taylor? Many of us would have love to swap places with you in a second.
Domiziano: (laughing) I believe it! David is one of the most handsome men. Also one of the nicest. He made me feel always very comfortable, even in the most erotic moments, he sort of guided me through some very choreographed movements, that look very realistic, but did not feel uncomfortable. I think David is a very gifted actor and I wish him to break through into more mainstream roles, as he wishes, when the movie comes out! His work was very good considering also that it was his first dramatic lead.
A B: Are familiar with what a bear is in the gay world? You could possible be a poster boy for bears.
Domiziano: Oh yes, I know. I think I turned into one. Again I used to be this baby-faced angel, back when I started playing these roles of broken-hearted teens or mysterious, fragile boys and I ended up turning into this stocky, hairy, inked guy during my 30’s. With the face of a villain to top it off! How did that all happened (laughing)?
A B: Ok, Domi, thank you for taking the time and having some fun with us! Don’t be a stranger and keep us posted on your up coming projects. Big hugs to you handsome.
Domiziano: I will for sure. I would like to thank you and hope your readers will enjoy my feature. I can say it’s an honor to be called handsome from you guys, and please do not miss my next films, I think there’s a lot to enjoy… awwww did i say that? (laughs all around)