The new Euros of Hollywood reality show has brought some new European faces to our attention, let’s meet one of them.
Please introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Massimo Dobrovic, I am from Rome, Italy, I was born in Pula, Istria, now Croatia within the Italian minority. I grew up in Italy. I graduated from the United World College of the Adriatic and afterwards from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
At what age did you know that you wanted to be an actor/creative personality?
I’ve auditioned to become a member of the National Theatre at age 12. I got accepted and I’ve started doing theatre and got into acting at that age. So this year I celebrate 18 years of being an actor and 15 of being a choreographer. I started professional modern dance training when I was 15.
What has been the most exciting “thing” /s or role/s that you’ve covered during your career or should we say careers?
As an actor I’ve started in theatre. I had the honor to work with world-renowned directors from all over the world. So the most exciting role I did in theatre was sure the role on Banquo in Macbeth, with this performance I had the opportunity to go on a Theatre World tour. On screen my most exciting role was last year in the movie Badge of Honor where I had the opportunity to play an all American role – a cop from the Seattle Police Department. For that role I’ve trained for months with the actual policemen and worked extremely hard with my Dialect Coach to get down completely my Standard American Accent so I would sound authentically like an all American cop.
Is there any particular story, moment, an award or an achievement throughout your career that you are particularly proud of?
I am extremely proud of having been selected to represent my country as the one out of the two representers at the United World College, which is a college where 91 countries are represented and only 1 or 2 people per country get the chance to study there cause you have to be offered a full scholarship based on merits. You cannot pay to go to the UWC. You have to be awarded a full scholarship.I’ve also been selected many times for world theatre tours. After that I am extremely proud that I was also awarded a full scholarship at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where they only give out 5 International scholarships a year and I was one of the five. I feel very proud about these two achievements. I have many other but these are the two that I feel most proud about.
What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about your profession (acting) or choreographer?
The biggest misconception that people have about actors are:
1. That it is enough to be handsome, beautiful and cute in order to be an actor (false-it takes much more than that)
2. That it is enough to be on tv, even just with a reality show like Big Brother or the Amazing Race and after that I can become an actor (false-training is the first step)
3. That if you have money you can buy your way into the industry cause you don’t have to get a day job (false-cause talent+training+personality+hard work+persistency+etc…..needs to be there and much more)
4. That people wants to be actors only cause of the money and for having those 5 minutes of fame (false-if you want to be an actor only cause of the money you should not be in this business in the first place-cause when you sign up to be dedicate your entire life to being an actor you sign up for uncertainty-PRINT THIS CLEARLY IN YOUR BRAIN)
5. That actors sleep their way to the top ( false- probably there are some people that might have that approach to this career in this way but at the very end it will lead you to have only a mediocre career, sleeping your way to the top will not lead you to the OSCAR)
1. If I have choreographed a music video now I am a choreographer (false-being a choreographer has becoming a more abstract word every day more and more, probably in 2030 the word will have slightly a different meaning that it has today and that is due to all the reality shows involved with dancing where it can be seen that choreography can go from a ball room dancing ( see Dancing with the Stars all the way to Ru Paul Drag Race, where choreography is a sort of an imitation of a transvestite doing a Pop-Diva, everything in between is choreography) SO EVERYTHING IS CHOREOGRAPHY.
2. Classical Ballet training is fundamental (false-depends which kind of choreography you do in life, if you want to choreograph Hip-Hop or Break Dance ballet training is not absolutely necessary)
3. Choreographers are dancers that cannot dance anymore cause they are too old or they have an injury (false-cause if you have a passion to put into reality a vision that you have of a dance and you don’t care about performing but you like to create the dance, the performance and that boost your adrenaline and make you feel like a real artist you do not have to be a dance-performer you can spend your entire life creating-but I do believe each choreographer has to be a dancer at least once in their lives and each dancer has to be a choreographer at least once like I believe that each actor needs to direct at least once in their lives and each director needs to be an actor at least once)
What do you enjoy most about being an actor vs. your other careers? What is the worst about being an actor?
What I enjoy the most of being an actor is that I get to create other lives, tell story that otherwise would not be told and make people think about things that sometimes they would not think about. The worst thing about being an actor is that you have to build within yourself an enormous amount of strength, “thick skin”, mental force that even when no one believes in you, even when you go to 200 auditions and you don’t book a single one and even when you spend 10 years trying to get an acting job to NEVER GIVE UP AND ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
You have to be obsessed with acting – IT HAS TO BE AN OBSESSION not a passion, you have to have a fire burning inside you every day for your entire life, you have to be extremely hungry for this job all the time, otherwise it will never work out for you.
What have you found to be the biggest difference between acting in Europe and Los Angeles? Just out of curiosity loved to hear something about your other European/US experiences too.
The biggest difference about acting in Europe vs. American is that actors in Europe are trained completely different than in America. In Europe the vast majority of actors are classically trained which usually mean a theatre training and there is a lot of emphasize on that, in general. In America not all the actors that you work with have necessarily training or have been trained, some of them never took a single acting class in your life and happens mostly when you work in TV and Film. It is not a 100% necessary requisite to work in Motion Pictures and Television in America, in Europe almost always it is a necessary requisite. The training in itself it is also very different cause even at acting schools in America it is very rare that an actor would be train to do the Greek Theatre Tragedy which is 2000 years old or Goldoni’s Commedia dell’Arte while in Europe it is very common. In America it is much more common that an actors start by getting into an Audition Technique class and trying to master the art of auditioning, in Europe most of the times they don’t even know what it is an Audition Technique class, they don’t have a concept for it.
How did you audition for Euros of Hollywood – reality shows are not reality in many ways as we all know. They must entertain so what are the producers trying to portray – certainly not the typical European professionals.
I’ve got called in to audition for the show through L.A. casting website, I went to the audition, then I had 2 call-backs and then I was cast to do the Pilot, after we were done shooting the Pilot, we waited almost 6 months before we knew got picked up and most of the original cast-mates from the Pilot have been replaced only 3 of us 6 have made it to be cast in the Series. So I can say for me it was very much alike other Theatrical TV Auditions and processes that you’re involved as an actor in order to be on a tv show. I have to say at the beginning I didn’t want to do it cause as an actor sometimes you don’t want to be associated necessarily with reality tv but when my amazing acting coach told me that Jeremy Renner started on a Bravo reality show and he showed me the episodes I was sold on the idea cause he is an Academy Nominated Actor so that’s my goal, as well. I though if Jeremy Renner can do I don’t see why I can’t.
What kind of people survive and do well in this field of work (acting) in your opinion?
In my opnion the people that do well in acting are people that have the following qualities:
1.PERSISTENCY 2.PROACTIVE 3.THICK SKIN 4.ALWAYS POSITIVE 5.EXTREMELY HARD WORKERS 6. GOOD-HEARTED 7.KNOW HOW TO LET GO 8.DON’T HAVE ANY PROBLEM DEALING WITH CONSTANT REJECTIONS 9.HAVE AMAZING MORAL VALUES WITH PEOPLE THAT SURROUND YOU WHO STRONGLY SUPPORT YOU AND BELIEVE IN YOU, (family, partners, friends etc…) without these people with you any actor would be depressed and would have an addiction. You need those people to always keep you focused. This is a constant problem in Hollywood 10.STRONG PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER 11.
Are there any roles that you would hate to cover? And what roles would be the most interesting for you – that may be different money-wise and interest-wise of course.
As an actor I don’t hate to cover any roles. For me each role is an opportunity to make that specific role an amazing work of art. I give 100% of myself, full commitment, dedication, passion and hard work even if I have 1 line to say, I do the same entire process of preparation for that one line even if when the movie comes out I see that I am not in it cause the only 1 line that I had they cut it out, I say oh well, NEXT!!!! Roles that I would love to cover the most are Romantic Comedies roles and comedy roles in general cause I feel the movie industry need to go back and produce more different comedy genres that we were used to in the 80’s and 90’s, the last decade has been a lot about “super-heros” or “supernatural movies”,which I love but I think we need more amazing comedy as well, especially I feel there is a lack of physical comedy. I also would love to do real-stories and portray characters that really existed, where you can research everything and your research becomes the most important part of the process. I would do anything to play emotional dramatic roles about real-life people that had a huge impact in this world where we live.
What advice would you give to other aspiring European actors aiming for the stars in Hollywood
The advice I would give is that they need to know that: 1. The road is really hard and harder than something you could ever imagine 2.The Visa or Green Card Process is super-difficult while in Europe there is no need to get through this kind of process for foreigners. 3.Getting Down perfectly the Standard American Accent is extremely important and it takes years of hard work and full dedication while in the 70’s and 80’s there was not that much stress on the dialect and as matter of fact foreign actors were most of the time given a role cause of their charming accent and they loved it, it was something to keep. 3. They need to have a lot of money saved up in their bank accounts before even thinking of moving here, everything is much more expensive than in Europe.4.Even if they were trained in Europe they need to get Hollywood training to work here. 5.If they were working actors in Europe or celebrities in Hollywood it doesn’t mean absolutely anything, everybody starts from zero here.6. Need to engage within the community immediately, cannot be isolated or hanging out with their European friends.
What and who captivate you in the world of the celebrities – and why?
My Idols are Meryl Streep and Daniel Day Lewis, they are real examples for my career.
Since you are European – must ask what do you miss most from Europe– think you ever return to live back there? And how is the European community in Los Angeles?
What I miss most from Europe is the culture, the monuments, the piazzas, being able to walk everywhere from church to church, from piazza to piazza, I miss going out at 2 am instead of coming home at 2am. I miss the fashionable life-style and the trendiness, most of all I miss my Italian food. I miss the human relationships and moral values. I love living in Los Angeles for what I do, it is the best place in the world if you want to be an actor. I do not exclude the possibility that one day I will go live in Europe again, as a matter of fact I like spreading my time between Europe and here. I still have my house in Rome and I need to go back to my city to breathe culture and art again so that I can come here reenergized and ready for more hard-work.
What do you see the best about the European culture/people vs. American?
In Europe I like 1. The high-quality of the food 2. The Free Health-Insurance for everybody 3.The high-quality of life-style with less money and less income 4.The laid-back and peaceful society 5.The luxury goods available to the majority of the population. 6.The extremely old culture, art and education accessible to everybody. 7. The State or almost free of charge Universities 7.The importance of human relationships, moral values, philosophic thoughts exchanges and view of opinions at all times. 8.The appreciation of highly-sophisticated operas, ballets, classical theatre, architecture 9.The peacefulness and tranquillity with money,not everything has to be about money and you can live a happy life with no money in many countries in Europe. 10. The educated people even in less-developed European countries
What do you hope Euros of Hollywood will mean to your career?? How has it started – and how will they measure its success?
Euros of Hollywood I see it as my start in American Television. I hope people will understand that with Euros of Hollywood I wanted to give my contribute in America by showing,performing, cooking, share my personal European knowledge and creativity to make America even a better place to live and to give the new opportunities to Americans to how they can improve their every-day life-style, how we can all make our lives of a much better, fuller, richer and higher quality. I want to give to all Americans and the World the possibility to create a higher life-style for themselves just by adjusting small things in our every-day life and without spending any money.
If I give you unlimited money and power – what would you like to do with your career and life?
If I would have unlimited money and power I will give it all to charity and I would invest it all into fundraising and helping all the people and the places in the world that are in true need of immediate help.I want to make the world a better place and I feel happy and satisfied when I can contribute by doing so at all times.