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Full Name: Richard Peter Brancatisano
Home: New South Wales, Australia
Education: Distinguished Achiever's List, The King's School Parramatta, 2001
Training: Theatre Nepean
Representation: Mark Byrne Management
Richard Brancatisano is an actor, presenter and musician. He is currently filming the new
Australian drama series, Reef Doctors for Network Ten opposite multi Logie award winner Lisa
McCune. He has also just completed filming the role of Saxon in the telemovie Dripping in
Chocolate for Southern Star/BBC.
In 2011, Richard appeared as series regular Guido in Nine Network’s Underbelly Razor. Richard
made his feature film debut in the role of Rory in BAIT alongside Xavier Samuel and Sharni
Richard’s television credits include; series regular Vittorio in Home & Away (Network Seven), lead
role of Caleb in Elephant Princess 2 and guest role of Darcy on White Collar Blue, both for
Network Ten. His first series regular role was as Xander in Disney television’s Power Rangers:
Richard is a Nepean Graduate and an accomplished guitarist and singer who has performed with
multi platinum recording artist Gin Wigmore, Teddy Geiger, Ali Campbell (UB40), Amy Pearson,
Olivia Newton John, Guy Sebastian and Christine Anu.
Richard was kind enough to agree to answer questions submitted by his fans earlier this month. I posed the opportunity to the visitors of popular Power Rangers fan forum RangerBoard, readers of my LiveJournal online blog, and the members of our mailing list. I received a boatload of questions and had to pick out the ones that I thought were the best. I compiled them and sent them to Richard on July 14. He agreed to answer them as time permits, so the answers will be posted as they're received. Now that the first set of questions are finished, there might be a second chance to ask questions. That's at least a couple of months away (probably as PRMF draws to a close, and questions about the season as a whole can be asked).
Set 1: Received July 25, 2006
1. When did you make your grand entrance into this world?
On the 29/10/1983.. i think it was about 10:45am ..well thats what is written in my lil' baby book..
2. Did you do anything exciting for your 18th/21st birthdays?
I think my 18th was on a HSC(last school exams) day for me.. so i didn't have a party cause of other upcoming exams.. we made up for that after they had all finished. I didn't have a 21st either because i couldn't find a date i wasn't giggin around that time..and i think i would rather play than have a party.
3. How tall are you?
178cm (70" for US measures, meaning he's 5'10".)
4. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yep. older brother,24 and a younger sister, 15.
5. With filming for "Power Rangers" completed, are you still living in New Zealand, or are you back at home?
I'm back home now. we stayed back 4 weeks after filming to wrap things up and then we(Mel, Firass and Angie) completed our ADR back in Sydney.
6. Do you have any hobbies, or play any sports? (Xander was a skater. Are you as "sick on your board" as your character?)
I wish I was fully sick on my board like Xander was but the truth is I just go straight down hills.. no tricks or cool stuff.. but as a kid I skated a lot and enjoyed the thrill... and sometimes the gravel rash..
7. Did you have any pets growing up?
We had a few pets.. birds, cats, a dog .. two of our cats got run over unfortunately..
8. Do you have any pets now?
Yes, another cat, which is currently alive, called Pebbles.. very cute and cuddly,
9. Growing up, did you have any favorite super-heroes (comic, live-action, or otherwise)?
I always enjoyed Captain Planet..i guess my favorite show was "the Goodies." they were 'almost' super heroes... my brother and I were obsessed with that show.
10. Who, or what, inspired you to go into show business?
Well, I had a primary school teacher who played his acoustic guitar all the time in class and we would all sing along. I hated singing but I loved the way he banged the guitar. I had to learn it. I always loved the guitar from when i first started at 12, and that led to me playing in bands at school, which I really enjoyed even though I was very nervous when we had to perform. My childhood dream was to become the best guitarist in the world.. and I practiced every spare moment I could. Then a teacher of mine put me forward to play guitar in the school musical that year..I thought I was clear when I said I only wanted to play the guitar (watching previous musicals I never thought I could sing/act in one.), but by the start of the season I was a full chorus member.. and really enjoying it. Then I did a Shakespeare and some other musicals at school.
They were a lot of fun, and I owe a thank-you to the people who pushed me to partake in them. By the end of school I didn't know what I wanted to do so I tried out for some acting and music courses, and chose to do the acting, because it was something that I was very intrigued about. The more I studied it, the more I appreciated it and loved it. And then job after job, one thing led to another and I became a POWER RANGER!!!!! So to actually answer the question..I never wanted to become an actor specifically but I think I have always wanted to perform.. because I find it a challenge. So listening to music and imagining myself playing in front of thousands of people was my first inspiration. And my inspiration now, is just the absolute joy I get from performing with other musicians to anyone who's listening (and hopefulLY enjoying it as much as I am).
Set 2: Received August 3, 2006
11. Prior to "Power Rangers," you played with the band "Peachy." Did you ever perform by yourself? Do you have any songs recorded that you'd be able to share with your fans? (Nic Sampson's band has a MySpace.com page to showcase their music. Would you consider getting something similar to showcase your music?)
I played with peachy for about 2 years, and had some of the best nights of my life doing so! never a dull gig. The best part about it was how well we all got along and enjoyed playing together, even if it was covers night after night. prior to shooting rangers, i did perform by myself on rare occasions but was quite busy at acting school, so the band was the bulk of my music work.
Throughout shooting in NZ, I wrote a number of songs and recorded them in my house in Auckland.( several crew were very kind in helping me out. lending me mics, software and other equipment!!) i also performed some of them at a club "Diablo" in Auckland city with Holly and Nic. We all used Nic's new guitar which was quite often on set, and provided great entertainment!!! since returning i've been doing alot of acoustic work around sydney venues, enjoying the simplicity of just the voice and guitar.. although i miss the band....i havent got a myspace site up yet, i think its a great idea, but i just havent got around to doing it.. ps how good is Nic's stuff!!..
12. On the subject of music, what is/are your favorite genre(s) of music? What kinds of songs can we find on your iPod (or similar portable music device - mp3 player, CD player, cassette walkman)?
Oooooooo... thats a difficult question..well actually maybe its easy... This is a boring answer, but i do enjoy listening to all types of music and it all depends on how im feeling when i decide what to listen to. I try to keep a wide range on my ipod..this wasn't always the case, when i first got my electric guitar i was heavily into Metallica and try to learn every song of theirs. drove my parents nuts, but was good for my playing.. after about a year of only listening to tallica , i finally branched out and started enjoying other bands, mainly rock like ac/dc, led zeppelin, pearl jam, chillipeppers, etc. Now i dig everything.. even country.. In my cd player now is Led Zeppelin and Roy Orbison..
13. How did you hear about auditions for "Power Rangers," and what made you audition?
Just through my agent..a friend of mine auditioned the year before, so i knew it was around, and thought it would be an exciting job to get. It was..
14. Did you audition solely for the character of Xander, or did you try for other roles as well?
No, I originally tested for Xander and Nick, and Firass did the same. Then we had an extra casting session for the producers to decide which role suited whom the best!!
15. If the opportunity to audition for Power Rangers had not come about, would you have gone on to perform in the latest tour of Boyband: The Musical?
Absolutely, however I did have the chance in one of my visits back to Australia to check out the show, and it was great to see it from an audience perspective. Mitchell Winter, who took over my role as Corey, was awesome.
16. After you were told that you were cast as Xander, the Green Ranger, did you review older series of "Power Rangers" to get a "feel" for what the show was like? (Then again, how do you prepare to wear spandex and fight giant foam monsters?)
Yeah, I did. I actually downloaded the first eps from the premier season before my recall to check the shows style..I really enjoyed them and it enthused me for the audition.and yes... it is hard to imagine fighting big foam monsters...especially when it is usually the assistant director's hand waving around wildly behind the camera or a beach ball taped on to a pole.. we had a lot of fun shooting those scenes...
Set 3: Received August 14, 2006
17. What was the first day of filming like?
Well.. the first day was at exterior rootcore, which is on a little island about 1 hour out of auckland called 'pukututu island' ( i don't think thats how its spelt..) so we would have been picked up about 5 o'clock, arrived about 6 ish.. do wardrobe( ie. get dressed) have some breaky( which was always so tasty) and then get our makeup done. Work started at 7 that day. First up was the scene where we dropped off our brooms and get pushed into rootcore by udonna!!!
It was an exciting and very interesting day,..we had heaps of fun trying to back into the dragon's mouth without tripping over the teeth and smashing each other.. Then i think we shot the woodland village scene, where uddona explains about how the village was destroyed. the set for that village was awesome, and all extra's dressed as elfs and fairies were stunning.
18. How different is working on television from working in the theatre?
Mmmmmm.. quite alot..i'll try and keep this answer short. however the basic premise is the same. In terms of acting.. You always have to listen and be relaxed. IN Television there is alot of waiting because cameras have to be setup, make up has to be fixed, lighting has to look great.etc etc. so the trick is being able to relax when your not needed, then be totally focused and prepared when you are. You also have the chance to redo things however,once they are done, they're on film forever. The great thing about theatre is that once the show starts, its a ride to the end, with no going back. It is therefor more exciting and more of a rush for me. And you have performance after performance to improve the scenes.. which is great, but can get boring.. where as TV is different everyday. Every one has their own opinions on which they prefer.. but i think its good to do a mix of both..
19. Which episode was the most fun to film? Which was the most challenging?
Ooo.. these questions are really getting me thinking back now.. i guess they all had parts in them which i really enjoyed, so maybe the most enjoyable was the the giant episode.. the costumes, the scripts.. we all went really silly in that one!! But some parts that i really enjoyed were...
* Shooting the quick sand scene, it was pouring down and we only had one chance to get it right.. was awesome
* Doing the painting scenes.. in a smelly alley way.. and then getting it thrown all over me and a roller in the face..and hosed down..
* Climbing mount fuego.. plenty tiring and quite dangerous.. nearly fell down the hill with the chest and Angie..beautiful view !!
* Fighting scenes.. all of them!!!! especially dark wish where we helped choreograph them..ripped shirts..pouring rain..again..awesome!!
* Tribunal of magic.. most amazing set!!! on a cliff looking over ocean.. went for a walk out to the heads at lunch.. took about a million photos.
* The Motoombo scenes..with Angie,on a volcano, overlooking outer Auckland..was funny watching Motoombo blowup about 5 times and roll down the hill...we loved that monster..
* Chasing the frog around rockporium was hilarious!! and then crash tackling firass over the counter..lucky we actually survived that..the frog was so cute, and a very good actor.
* Oh.. and watching Angie get green slime poured all over her!!! she loved it..
20. "Petrified Xander" is an episode that was very well-received by the fans. We loved the puns ("Knock on wood!" "Leaf... Xander alone!" "Most girls like a mossy chest!"), but we REALLY loved the tree makeup. How long did it take to get made up for that particular role?
About 2 hours in the morning, which meant waking up about 4a.m.. however, i was very excited about it so an early start didn't really matter! they started by putting a hat on made from real bark and leafs.. then gluing prosthetic bark to my face.. felt very strange.. i found it quite hard to eat and Ange and Kelson were really great to me ( and the whole crew) feeding me biscuits and water.. it made me realize just how hard it must be for kelson ( and several other PR characters) who have prosthetics EVERYDAY!! Its an amazing discipline and requires a lot of patience and passion for your craft. The make up/ prosthetics team were very cool, and made it such a great experience. Everyone in the crew made tree puns ALL DAY.. thousands of them. .great vibes on set that day.. I'll miss being a tree..
21. Does it flatter you that Xander seemed to become sort of a "cult-favorite" Ranger character almost overnight? (For a reference, "Why Xander is great and you should all agree": http://www.rangerboard.com/showthread.php?t=82283)
Hahah. i read that and laughed at all the chuck norris jokes..adapted to xander..It feels good to know that people enjoy your character, because hopefully it means that they happier for it.. and thats why i do the show. I really love Xander, he has a lot of great times.
22. It's not easy being green so, what wasn't easy about being Xander?
Xander is quite cocky.. and i didn't want that to make him unlikable.. so getting a good mix of "over confidence" with "good heart / will" was something i tried achieve. .Also wearing green.. with my brown eyes.. was apparently not a good look. it was a challenge to make that work..j/k
23. What's one power of Xander's, or one part of his personality, you would use to improve your regular daily life?
I think Xander's first instinct to talk things over is underestimated. I think communication and the want to understand and except other peoples views and beliefs are very important. Xander is always was happy to talk and be friendly to anyone, and i think thats a great trait of his.
Set 4: Received September 8, 2006
24. Any funny moments you'd like to share about things that happened off camera, on the set?
Ohh... there were alot, all the time.. it might be hard to remember some tho.. i would often dare Firass to do stupid things like climb from one tree to another above the set and he would always try to do it.. it was always funny when someone got hit in the fighting scenes..no one got badly hurt as far as i know so thats really good!! watching me try to stretch in the training 2 weeks before we started filming was apparently pretty funny. Nic would often bring his guitar onto set and give us all a concert..very clever songs he has..The crew were hilarious and playing handball or 9 square at lunch was always awesome..great times there..
25. Do you hang out with any of the actors off the set?
Yeah, we all hung out quite a bit, especially at the beginning going out a lot and getting to know each other.. it was good to spend some time apart on the weekends tho cause we spent 12 hours a day with each other so i would often do road trips around the north island taking thousands of photos.. literally.
26. How would you describe your fellow co-stars? (Firass, Melanie, Angie, Nic, etc.)
I'll try and do it in 4 words.. or i'll be here all day.. these are just some things that might describe them..
• Firass - determined, funny, silly, intense.
• Melanie - cute, smart, ambitious, musical
• Angie - strong, caring, genuine, stubborn
• Nic - grounded, clever, musical, funny
27. Would you be willing to return in a future series as a minor character, like Phineas? If yes, what kind of role would you like to try?
I would always be open to the idea.. Although a character like phineas is no minor role, he was often on set about 2 hours before everyone else to apply his face. Kelson is very patient and tolerant.. you need to be if you're going to have prosthetics every day.!!
28. If there would be an evil ranger in MF, who do you think would be able to pull it off?
You might have to wait and see...
29. Now that "Mystic Force" has wrapped filming, do you still have an interest in the theatre?
Yeah, i will always love theatre!! just finished a show here actually touring schools. Had Some of the best times ever doing it. The freedom of theatre is always very welcoming to me..
30. What are you up to now? Has your work on PR opened any doors yet?
Right now, i'm writing, producing and recording music, and giging around Sydney. Still casting around, and doing acting work but puting more energy into pursuing music as a career, at the moment... I tend to change my mind a lot...
31. Do you have any plans to pursue a full-on musical career, now that "Mystic Force" has completed filming? Should we start placing our preorders for your debut album on Amazon.com?
Hahaha, It may be a little time before you have to do that.. but thats where i'm heading..
Major thanks to Richard for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions! Will we do any more interviews in the future? Only time will tell...