Interview with actor Marc Natoli, of “The Proposal”

Marc Natoli is a new-ish actor who just landed in Los Angeles to take it by storm. His skills are clear in The Proposal where he gets to kick much ass and show that he’s got some acting chops to go with that. Marc was gracious enough to give us a bit of time to answer some of our questions and do a mini photo shoot around Hollywood.

Marc, thank you for doing this!
No worries!

Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you into acting?
Well much like every kid growing up, I think at one time or another he or she dreams of being in movies. But it’s kind of a bit of a pipe dream. I got into acting later on in life. I opened up my martial arts academy in late 2012 and from there I started training actors for films. The love for it sprung from there and I thought hey I might actually be able to do something with this. So it was my students that at first pushed me in the right direction.

I started going for auditions and ended up on my first feature which is where I met the great John Fallon. I was hired as a stunt actor and ended up getting bumped up to a supporting role in the film and that was enough for me to go 100 miles an hour on acting and the rest is history. As soon as I was in front of the camera – I fell in love. I got back from the shoot and jumped straight into acting classes and private acting lessons.

How do you think your combat sports training influences your on camera work?
My fight training has given me the discipline to be able to focus on what I need to focus on to better myself. That goes hand in hand with acting. Also being in front of the camera and having a lot of people around me, reminded me of being in the ring. So when I’m in front of the camera, I switch right on. I definitely feel at home there.

Who are or have been great influences in your life, your training, and your acting and why/how so?
So many, where do I start? Some key people early on in life would be my family, probably my two uncles in particular. My uncle Peter was the one that got me interested in martial arts. My uncle Paul was a huge inspiration too as he always taught me to do what you love and put in everything that you can. Focusing on a passion will always make things easier and the rest will follow. He was there to help me later on in life too.

I have to say Bruce Lee too don’t I? What a champion and legend! He was a huge influence on my martial arts training and acting career. The thing is martial arts or training at a certain level teaches you how to go that extra mile and always push. It’s great for anything you do and want to achieve in life. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Van Damme, Steven Seagal hugely influenced me as well.

I’ve had a number of fantastic trainers throughout my life and they have influenced me somehow but my sifu In JKD Ricardo Vargas, his training method and his philosophy on life, I highly respected. My acting coach Suzanne Barr who put so much time into me, it was crazy, she is the one that gave me my foundation for acting, and last but not least my good friend John Fallon. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without him, he has had my back from day one and saw something in me that I didn’t even know was there. Obviously there is a lot more but we’ll be here forever.

What films do you go to for inspiration?
I watch everything, and I learn from everything. I must say though that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese’s films. Clint Eastwood films are great too, so much depth. He rarely misses a beat. I love the original Twilight Zone, shot so simply but keep you entertained. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, I go back to Good Will Hunting a lot! What they did with that was amazing. Robin Williams… wow, Quentin Tarantino! Pulp Fiction is amazing and the cast! Big fan of Leo, Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe films. All the old martial art and action films–the list could just go on and on.

Looking at your film credits, you’ve been active for a while, working on American, Australian, and Canadian productions, why was relocating to Los Angeles important to you? What are your goals now that you have relocated?
Yeah relocating to LA was very important I believe if you want to be the best you have to play with the best.

I work backwards from anything I set out to do. So my goal is to be the best actor I can be and keep people entertained. So I make every move that I need to make to achieve that. You need to take the right steps in life never do 4 before 3 but I don’t believe we have the luxury to diddle around either. Life is short so you need to be taking the right steps while charging at the same time. Hustle, Hustle, Hustle!

What are some of the most interesting differences you have seen between American, Australian, and Canadian production if any? What are the best similarities?
I think every place was pretty much the same more or less. I think the budgets of the films in question created the differences.

You seem to gravitate toward action films as a performer and they make a lot of sense given your background. If given a good part, what other genre would you like to explore?
The moment I step in front of that camera I’m ready to rock and roll whether it be Action, Drama, Horror, Romance, I just love Acting period. But of course, taking into account my fight background – doing Action Films makes total sense but I’m happy to do any genre.

Your most recent project released, the short The Proposal is an action-packed film that feels like the part of Mason Stone was written with you in mind, when did you become involved with the production and how much of the character and his fighting were left up to you?
Well funny enough it was. I was working on a concept in Australia with a good friend of mine Antonio Raiola from ARR Productions. It was just an idea that we had. So I called up John Fallon and told him what we where thinking, he got inspired and jumped in to write the script and to then co produce.  We also had Director Ben Whimpy from Indimax Productions, Radar and Juzzy Kane from Harpy Creative working hard for us. It was a great collaboration! I wound up doing the fight choreography on that one and all the actors and stunt guys did a fantastic job!

How has Los Angeles/California been treating you so far post relocation?
Los Angeles has been amazing! Again I have a fantastic group of people around me! I’ve been auditioning a lot, which is great! I totally love the weather too and I’ve taken up a new hobby: surfing in my downtime.

What projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about?
I’ve been cast in a supporting role in John Fallon’s Heretic, I got one of the leads in the upcoming No Man’s Ridge written and directed by the talented Eric Red who did classics like Bad Moon and 100 Feet and there’s another “secret” project that John and I are working on – but we’ll reveal that when we’re ready to shoot. But it’s a special one!

Thank you Marc!
Thank you! I enjoyed the chat!