Born in Naples, Italy, Federico Castelluccio grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, he had an innate ability for drawing and painting. In 1982 Federico was awarded a full scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where he earned a BFA in painting and media arts. His paintings have been exhibited in many galleries and are in private collections in the USA and overseas. Federico’s acting career started in the late 1980’s in NYC Theatre. He then worked in TV and film and became most famous for his role as Furio Guinta on the HBO Hit Series the Sopranos, he has since done numerous films in the States and abroad. After directing a series of short films and commercials, Federico directed the feature film Lily of the Feast to be released in 2015.
I don’t consider what I do work, I am very passionate about painting, acting and directing and I feel lucky to be doing three things in my life that I love. Honestly, I would be doing them even if I weren’t getting paid.
My parents decided to move from Italy to the US in the late sixties for different work possibilities. i often wonder what path my life would have taken and what opportunities I may have had as an artist/actor, if I stayed in Italy and never came to New York.
Some of the best memories of New York City was during the years I studied art at the School of Visual Arts and doing my first off-off Broadway play in front of an audience. It was a time I was finding myself as an artist and at the same time discovering the great City of New York.
Taking the photo on a bridge was a specific choice Alexo and I made. For me, it symbolizes the crossing of one body of land to another (Napoli to New York). Hence, the Manhattan bridge turned out to be the perfect choice. Alexo has a wonderful eye for composition, he chose a walkway on the bridge that has a dramatic vanishing point. His direction of positioning me within the frame was quite singular. I chose a blue double-breasted, pin-striped suite by an italian designer, because it gave me a feeling of confidence and it simply just felt right for that day.
Italia NY is a wonderful project that acknowledges and celebrates professional and successful italo-americani through the unique vision and perspective of an italian photographer who lives and works in America.
I am very proud to have been born in Italy. I grew up in the US with very traditional italian values that my parents instilled in me, my sister and two brothers. I have always been conscious of my heritage and culture, in all areas of my life, however, it’s especially evident in my works as a painter, actor and now director.