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The Hottie Stop interviews Vanessa Ferlito, star of Graceland and All Mistakes Buried

02.01.2016by: Eric Walkuski

Those lips, those eyes, that skin... Vanessa Ferlito has an unforgettable face, whether you've seen it on the big screen in films like DEATH PROOF, WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS or JULIA & JULIA, or on the small screen in series like CSI: NY, 24 or Graceland, which last year wrapped up its third and final season. Ferlito now stars as a drug dealing madam in ALL THINGS BURIED, a gritty indie co-starring True Blood's Sam Trammell as a tragic drug addict who takes on Southern gangsters. Ferlito has played many authority figures in her time, but she appears to be just as comfortable playing a very bad gal.

I spoke to Ferlito - a fellow New Yorker - recently and as you'll read below she's quite a lot of fun. There's no Hollywood pretentiousness about this girl. Here she opens up about getting started in the business, her aversion to drugs, playing cop (for real) and giving Kurt Russell a lap dance in DEATH PROOF. She brought it up, not me.

Just to get right into ALL THINGS BURIED, how did you become involved with the film, which is pretty intense?

Well Sam Trammell and I have the same agent and my agent advised me to read the script because I was really right for it. I don't know if I should take that as a compliment since she's a madam and a drug dealer. [Laughs] And I read it and thought, "Wow, this is really dark and intense." So I jumped on board.

It looks like he went through hell to make this movie.

He put himself literally through hell, I mean he didn't wash his hair for weeks, he was just a mess. I would see him at the hotel looking like that and I was like, "What in the... what is happening?" He said he hadn't wash his hair in three weeks.

When you're playing a role like yours, do you do any research into that lifestyle?

Believe it or not, I'm really square. I don't do any drugs and I hardly drink, but I'm really intrigued by that sort of lifestyle, that whole underworld. Whenever HBO would have a documentary about that I would be like, "Yes, I really want to see what's going on!" But I didn't really have to do much research to play this madam,  I just sort of become the role. I read it, it just felt right, and I just jumped right in.

Have you seen many people get hooked on drugs in the film industry? Not to get too personal or anything.

Oh god no, thank god. Not anyone who just lost everything, thank god. I don't know what I would do about that. Most of the people I've worked with, the actors and filmmakers, are really serious people, they don't mess around with stuff like that. Like I said, I don't do anything. Taking an Advil is like taking an Ambien for me.

You split time between the coasts but you're originally a New Yorker. Do you have a preference?

I love L.A. and New York. I'm leaning more towards L.A. these days and I think it's because I'm a mom and the lifestyle is so much easier and nicer. But I love on the west side, in Santa Monica, and it's a whole different vibe, it's not like living in Hollywood. It's very laid back. And most people who live in Santa Monica don't go to Hollywood, they never leave the west side. [Laughs] It's a whole little community here. For me to go to the east side it had better be really good.

How did you first get into the industry, was it something you always knew you wanted to do?

Growing up, I was an only child, so I was always singing and dancing and very social. Maybe if I had someone who told me that I should have been an actress I would have aspired to be, but no one told me it was possible. From where I'm from and the way we grew up, that was so far from what I knew so it didn't even seem possible. It kind of happened by accident; I was a very popular club kid and me and some boys used to throw parties in the city and they blew up. This writer from New York magazine wanted to do a story on us and it turned out to be an 8-page story and we were on the cover. After that, that was it, people wanted me to do cameos in movies and stuff like that. I still didn't know if I wanted to pursue acting or not, but I came out to L.A. and went to see my friend's agent and they wanted to know if I wanted to get into acting and wanted to keep in touch. They eventually asked if I wanted to meet their people in New York. I went out on auditions for six months and didn't book one. I started to get discouraged and then they wanted to see me for The Sopranos, because I had the right look. I go in and I get it and then right after that I got the lead in a movie called ON LINE. And after that, that was it, it took off.

So you really did kind of tumble into it.

Kind of, yeah!

Do you think about what you would have pursued if it hadn't happened like that?

I probably would have been an FBI agent, because I love all that stuff. I'm like the best investigator in the world, so. [Laughs] Or I dunno, maybe I would have just ended up doing hair, because my parents own a hair salon.

Was being on The Sopranos amazingly cool?

Yeah, that was my first acting job ever. And I'm an Italian, so being on The Sopranos was like "Ohhhh!" And then they called me back years later after I had been on a bunch of stuff and asked if I wanted to play a different role. I was like, "Sure!" So I was on The Sopranos twice, playing two different roles. 

Do you have a preference, movies or TV?

I love TV, actually. Maybe if you had asked me like 15 years ago my answer would have been different, but now I love TV. I love having somewhere to go every day. I like the consistency. I love that I sometimes get to play an FBI agent, I start to think I'm really a cop. I know you can't pretend to play a cop in real life because it's a felony, but sometimes I would throw my weight around, thinking I'm a real cop. Meanwhile, I'm so stupid, because people would be like, "But you're on that show, are you f*cking crazy, what's wrong with you?" But there's also something great about doing movies, it's like going to summer camp for a few months. I want to do both, I want to be on a TV show and do movies while I'm on hiatus.

Looking back on your career, is it possible to choose the one stand out moment that you think is the highlight?

I think we all know it's the lap dance scene from DEATH PROOF. I mean, who gets to do that? Some actors have been in the biggest blockbusters of all time, but they won't be able to say they've done a lap dance for Kurt Russell. I think that's pretty cool.

What was the atmosphere like on set while that was going down?

A lot of fun. It was pretty intense, but he's fascinating and a genius.

Is there an actor or director who you're dying to collaborate with?

Oh, there are so many. I'm dying to work with Sean Penn. Scorsese? Scorsese is my number one director. Daniel Day Lewis is like my favorite actor. There are a bunch, I can't just pick one.

What's your favorite movie of all time?

Oh god, I have no idea. I don't have a favorite movie. I don't watch too many movies, believe it or not. I don't have one, I know that's annoying, but I don't.

That's OK, that's an honest answer. Well, I'll let you go, but let me say thank you so much for your time, you're a lot of fun to talk to.

Same to you, thanks!

ALL THINGS BURIED is in theaters and on VOD right now. Vanessa can be followed on Instagram HERE but it doesn't look like she updates the page much, sadly.

Source: Movie Hotties

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