SWITCHING IT UP WITH SCREAM'S AMADEUS SERAFINI
While life can occasionally appear as the sticky mud puddle engulfing our feet, the truth is that none of us are ever really stuck. No matter what path has been chosen, everyone possesses the capability to switch things up and, according to actor Amadeus Serafini, that power is invalubale.
"I say switch it up. I think it’s wise to move away and
learn new things from new people."
It would be crafty to take Amadeus' astute advice as the actor is rapidly making a name for himself in Hollywood. For his very first television stint, Amadeus managed to land a monumental role on MTV's Scream with very little credits tacked on his resume. Now, with an army of fans in tow, he looks forward to a second season of what has become the hottest new show of last summer.
Amadeus graciously paused from his hectic scheldule to chat with HYC about: his hair and Game of Thrones defining his acting career, getting in the mode for intense scenes on the Scream set and his best advice for aspiring actors...
RP: I know you originally entered the business as a model, what was it that made you want to act?
AS: Theatre is something I’ve been studying for quite a while. I didn’t have any intention of having a long standing modeling career. It seemed like a good transition.
It also had to do with my hair – which is funny. I had long hair out of high school and I started modeling for hair. When I met my manager she said that the roles would be drastically limited to the hair. I decided to cut it off – you know, open up my options. (Laughs). I kind of slid out of the modeling from there and into the audition room.
RP: Well it seems like you made the right choice!
AS: I wanted a little bit more of the creative input and that wasn’t available in modeling. It was fun out of high school.
RP: So you studied with Eric Morris - who is an extremely prestigious acting coach. What would you say you learned from him?
AS: It definitely has to do with the more instrumental parts of the craft. And it has to do with you yourself – not necessarily the character you’re delving into, but more of a personal understanding of your own instrument and your own limitations. I think I was better able to transcend those and take on new characters.
There’s a nice little analogy I found in Game of Thrones – do you watch Game of Thrones?
RP: I’ve been meaning to get into it. I tried to watch it with my girlfriend, but then they killed a dog so… (#TMI)
AS: Alright, well, there’s this character Arya and she learns that she has to lose her identity before she can assume any others. And it’s kind of that.
Eric very much developed his own method of "the method." He coached Jack Nicholson and Anthony Hopkins. I think that Johnny Depp uses Eric's method also and discussed his books on an episode of the Actor’s Studio. I’m not sure I’ve seen him in Eric’s classes... (Laughs).
RP: It sounds like you learned a lot from him. Then almost instantly you nabbed a role on the major MTV show Scream - congrats on that!
AS: Thank you! It’s huge, you know. We’ve been trying to really do the franchise justice.
RP: You guys are. The recent loss of Wes Craven was a terrible tragedy, but I think you guys are really doing an incredible job of keeping his legacy alive.
AS: Thank you. Thank you.
RP: Going back to the beginning - what was your first audition like for Scream?
AS: Typically actors will go into their auditions with nerves – as do I on occasion, not all the time. On this occasion, I had nerves because I knew what Scream was – I knew of the franchise – but then they kind of dropped for me. I hadn’t seen the original movie in a long time. I don’t know, it came very naturally and for some reason the nerves just totally dropped away and I went in without a shred of care and cranked it out. I stepped in the elevator afterward and was like, “Wow that felt really good. I don’t really care if I got it, but I think I did get it – I don’t know why - that felt really good.” Even though I didn’t have the underlying nerves and anticipation. It just kind of fell away and I was able to do the work.
"Everything seemed to fall into place."
It doesn’t always happen in the audition room that way, you know? There are tons of stories, and I’m sure you’re well aware of them, when an actor might have a terrible time in an audition room and they get the part anyway through callbacks and follow up. This went really well and from there we got the test tape going. I knew that there were two other guys that had offers, I believe. So it was a matter of beating out two guys that had already proven themselves. I don’t know, everything seemed to fall into place.
RP: That’s amazing – congratulations again, man!
AS: Thanks, man. It feels really good to have some payoff after years of studying and really holding off and trying not to make the wrong impression and move in too early.
RP: Well your character, Kieran Wilcox, certainly isn’t having as good of a time. The show puts you all through the ringer. What do you think was the most intense scene you filmed this season?
AS: I would say the most intense scene would be in the last episode with the confrontation on the porch while facing off with Emma and Noah. It’s when Kieran discovers that his father has been disemboweled. That’s definitely, I would say, the hardest point that Kieran has had on screen. He definitely has to expose some things. He is on the hunt – we know that Kieran is a hunter of sorts. He has to continue on with the mission – there’s a killer on the loose. He has to quell all of that simmering sadness.
I’m sure the audience is wondering – I’m wondering – what’s going to happen to him in Season 2 now that he is on his own.
RP: Now I know there is twisted humor throughout, but…
AS: I find humor really breaks it up nicely.
RP: Yes and I know you all probably have a blast together on set, but how do you get in that serious mindset?
AS: I think that it has to do with suspending disbelief, or rather, simply believing as the actor. That’s your job, man, that’s your gig – you better believe it. (Laughs).
"I think that lends itself to our on screen chemistry, where as other TV shows don't have that"
I think what really helped was a blessing in disguise. Production got a little halted – given that we film in Baton Rouge in the South - from these beautiful thunderstorms. We were stuck together. We lived in apartments all next to each other so the whole cast was able to fraternize and really hang out and get to know each other. I think that lends itself to our on screen chemistry, where as other TV shows don’t have that time made available to them. The weather provided it to us.
Courtesy of MTV
RP: It’s funny you bring up chemistry. You work very closely with Willa Fitzgerald - who is an incredible talent. Did you guys collaborate together to build the Emma and Keiran relationship?
AS: Oh totally. It was an extension, essentially, of the cast hanging out. We would always break off and study - constantly. A lot of our building had to do with the real world problem solving we had on set. Just in terms of production snafus and line changes and script changes – adjusting on the spot. We were often a team in those terms and I think that’s definitely extended to the characters on screen.
RP: The finale finally revealed the killer, but also (SPOILER ALERT) dropped the bomb of Audrey possibly having some involvement. Can you tease us with anything to come?
AS: I would love to be able to tease! I think the show does a really good job of teasing, however. I have to say I know that between us (the cast), we didn’t know until we saw the final cuts of the episodes that we were each so implicated. We didn’t realize that each character was filmed with those menacing, lingering glares. That was so layered throughout. It came as a shock to all of us. In other words, it was “usual suspects” – we were kind of displayed like none of us knew who the killer was, but we had a hint that it might be us. But that really had to do with the directors and the writers.
RP: I love the cinematography of the show as well. Every scene seems to be shot from these jarring angles, like the camera will linger behind bushes or something. It really serves to creep viewers out.
AS: Oh yeah – it’s great, it’s great.
RP: What would you like to see in Keiran's future?
AS: A narrative. (Laughs). I’m joking. I want to see his story grow - which is set to happen. It’s all that can happen. He has been murky, I think, long enough. I will say that there is just so much more to come. (Laughs).
RP: Well we look forward to it. To end on an inspiring note, what would you say is your best piece of advice for aspiring actors?
AS: I say switch it up. I think you don’t want to get stuck in any single class. There’s a cult of classes and you must take what you can from each one and move on and compare and contrast. I think that’s super important because that’s part of the theatre culture. There’s a group and family that develops in any class or theatre or play or film, and that family doesn’t always need to be broken up. But I think it’s wise to move away and learn new things from new people.
And there you have it.
RP: I love that – it’s kind of like forming your own grad program.
AS: Yeah! When did you start this whole business of interviewing for your blog?
RP: Well acting has always been my main passion and I thought if I were to have a "day job” it would be more conducive to do something that will help me grow as a performer. I also love writing and talking to people so this is fun for me. I really want nothing more than to inspire others.
AS: I dig it man. More power to you!
RP: Thank you for asking!
AS: Absolutely. Thank you for your time!
Follow Amadeus on twitter @AmadeusSerafini and be sure to binge watch season one of MTV's Scream.