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FOR RICHARD BRANCATISANO, IT was quite a leap from performing in Wind in the Willows at the Sydney Botanical Gardens to playing the title role in Vin, the latest production by Jigsaw Theatre Company.
As Brancatisano explains, Vin is the catalyst for the play's major thematic concerns: 'Vin is about growing up, and finding out who you are. As far as the young characters Joey and Podge are concerned, Vin is everything a man should be. He's sexually active, he's older, influential, charming, confident, and very charismatic.'
Brancatisano was instantly attracted to the role. 'I felt I had the right physical look for the character, and it was such a challenging role,' he says. 'The script is poetic, and the structure of the play is fantastic. You can see inside the characters' heads; the audience is given a real insight. When I was younger, these were the themes and ideas that I would have liked to see onstage. I also found myself relating to Joey and Podge, especially in their search for a role model in the suburbs. The play makes you recall those childhood heroes. When you are a kid, those people are more than human.'
Most notably, the script for Vin is laced with sexual tension, particularly as Joey finds himself physically drawn to Vin, whose sexuality is ambiguous. While television, film and theatre have all become increasingly explicit in terms of sexual content and references, Brancatisano maintains that homosexuality continues to be taboo in both schools and mainstream culture. 'For young people especially, it's really hard to express same-sex desire. At school relationships were only considered to exist between guys and girls. We didn't discuss sexual preferences at all.'
In light of this, Vin makes some important points about the expression of sexuality and widespread homophobia. 'Joey lives in the western suburbs, where you get beaten up for this kind of thing,' Brancatisano says. 'It's not as if he's living in Paddington, or in the Cross somewhere. These characters are young, and they don't have supportive fathers or friends around. If young people come to this play and relate to the characters or learn something from their experiences, then I think it's fantastic.'
Presently, Brancatisano is studying drama at Theatre Nepean, and recently starred in Boyband, a play written by Nick Beech who also plays the role of Joey in Vin. He might have discovered theatre a bit later in life than many young actors, but he possesses the palpable enthusiasm of a recent convert. 'Theatre is live. It's tangible: you can smell it, hear it and see it. When I was young, I spent a bit too much time playing computer games and watching TV. Theatre is more social; people go away and talk about the show later. As a performer, the friendships within a production are also really amazing. The more I act, the more I enjoy it.' [Article information courtesy of Artlook.com.au.]
Sorry, Brad Pitt's taken. But these Aussie actors come a close second...
Richard was among 100 Australian entertainers featured in New Woman magazine's August issue. The article featured brief Q&As with all of the entertainers, regarding their past dating experiences and such. Here is what Richard had to say:
Richard Brancatisano, 22, Sydney NSW.
Job :- Theatre Actor
Star Sign :- Scorpio
Looking for a girl who :-appreciates everything.
He'd take her:- somewhere beautiful with a bottle of red wine, some music & some photos.
His ex describes him as:- outgoing & very determined.
His most embarassing moment on a date:- it was raining & his windscreen wipers weren't working, so he had to manually wipe his windscreen at every set of lights. It was only funny for a while.
What he wished to change about himself:- He would like to be a little more patient.
His favourite way to relax:- play a few tunes on his guitar.
Home and Away Official Website: Richard Brancatisano
Have you enjoyed working on Home and Away again?
Richard: Absolutely!! So lucky to be back.
Fans remember you kidnapping Belle (Jessica Tovey) does that surprise you?
Richard: It would normally because Theo and Vittorio are quite different. You’d never catch Vittorio in a Hawaiian shirt!! Jokes aside though, You Tube makes it a lot easier for people to track your work so I guess these days it’s less of a surprise.
Have you worked with any of the cast before?
Richard: Not as an actor. Axle once sang at a gig that I was doing backing vocals for, so we met briefly.
What is your family background?
Richard: My dad is Italian and my mum is an Aussie.
Have you ever met any royalty, if not who would you like to meet and why?
Richard: Haha, I don’t think I have ever come close!! I’ve never thought about it either!
Vittorio’s main rival is Liam, did you like/dislike Axle?
Richard: How could I dislike Axle?? He’s a great dude, and we can talk about Hendrix for days. No disliking there. Vittorio on the other hand…
What was it like working with Lisa and Rhiannon?
Richard: Great! Everyone on the show is professional and a pleasure to hang with.
Have you ever been in a love triangle?
Richard: Yeah.. I guess I have. Make for great drama don’t they!!??
What interests do you have outside acting?
Richard:I love music. I play guitar and sing. It’s a true passion of mine.
Without giving anything away, do you think fans will enjoy the finale?
Richard: Oh yeah. I had a great time shooting it. I can’t wait to see it!! It will be a good one for sure!!
See Richard playing Vittorio in Home and Away 7.00pm weeknights.
TV Week Australia - "Small Screen Bromance" | November 2011
A few weeks back, the TV WEEK team declared in the magazine that we had two new small-screen crushes — "the fruiterer" in Underbelly: Razor and Conrad in legal drama Crownies.
Lo and behold, it turns out that the two Sydney actors, Richard Brancatisano and Daniel Lissing, are actually the best friends and share an apartment together only a stone's throw from Bondi Beach. Armed with this information, we decided to spend a (really tough!) day with Richard and Daniel to find out how they felt about being stars on the rise.
It was a glorious sunny Sydney day when TV WEEK arrived at their Bondi pad. The pair have been friends for several years and living together since Daniel's ex-girlfriend moved out a year ago. As well as acting, the two are also accomplished musicians — which we discovered when they performed a duet for us (yes, our hearts melted just a little!). If they're not helping each other out with auditions or critiquing each other's performances in Underbelly and Crownies, they're usually found performing gigs together around Sydney.
"We used to play gigs twice a week together," 27-year-old Richard says. "That was how we cemented our friendship, really. We did a short film together first and played best friends in the film, and then Dan had a gig and invited me along and I got up and played and stayed on stage for half the gig!"
Until now, both have had smaller television roles (Richard portrayed Italian prince Vittorio in Home and Away last year, while Daniel has filmed guest appearances for COPS LAC and Packed To The Rafters), but each credit their current roles with giving them a much-needed break.
"We don't take it for granted at all," Daniel says. "Every day, we say, 'How lucky are we? How lucky are we to have this opportunity?' Crownies has happened, and I feel like I've learnt a hell of a lot from it."
Living together also has other hidden benefits, with the two actors admitting they often give each other dating advice.
"I'm really bad at texting girls, so it works!" laughs 30-year-old Daniel, who is single.
Richard, who's currently dating a fellow musician, adds: "Dan will always come in and go, 'Is this too much?' And I'll go, 'It's too much — don't send it.' But he'll send it anyway!"
Despite both having busy lives that include working out at the local gym, songwriting and auditioning for new projects, they pride themselves on keeping the apartment clean — although they do admit cooking isn't their forte.
"There's only one thing, literally, that Richie has cooked the entire time he's been in this house," Daniel laughs. "It's this amazing pasta sauce."
OK, so they can act, sing and are lovely guys — we'll let it slide that they can't cook!
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CLEO's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors 2012 | April 2012
JOB: Actor and musician
Q: If you could have any super power what would it be?
A: Read people's minds!
Q: When was the last time you cried?
A: Last night watching the movie One Day.
Q: My job involves…
A: Lots of remembering and lots of forgetting every day.. I prepare by remembering lines, marks, beats, attitude etc, then clear my mind of it all when 'action' is called, and trust those things will pop into my mind just as I need them. That is the risky part.. But also the most enjoyable!
Q: Childhood nickname?
A: Tricky dicky.
Q: What would you spend your last $20?
A: On a friend...Or a remote control helicopter from Kmart...
Q: Any secret talents/skills?
A: My burps sound like aliens??
Q: I feel happiest when…
A: I'm listening to a killer song, recorded to tape, and Air drumming along!!
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