EXCLUSIVE | 'Capone' star Gino Cafarelli decodes unique storyline and reveals how his character got his name
Over the years, gangster films have firmly cemented themselves as one of those niche genres with a loyal fanbase. Apart from the fact that these are movies not meant for the faint-hearted, there is also enough grueling research that goes in when it comes to playing roles of real-life gangsters. For 'The Irishman' star Gino Cafarelli being a part of these films is absolutely enjoyable if done right.
Cafarelli has been a prominent name on the circuit— TV and film and he will be seen next in Tom Hardy's much-anticipated film, 'Capone', where he plays the notorious gangster. The film follows Capone after his 11-year sentence and captures the time where he suffered from dementia and faced his violent past.
Ahead of the film's release, MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had the chance to speak to Cafarelli who plays his namesake, Gino, Capone's right-hand man in the film. In a candid chat, the star talks about the research, working alongside Hardy and Matt Dillon, and his future projects.
Congratulations on 'Capone'. First 'The Irishman' and now another much-anticipated gangster drama, do you enjoy this as a genre?
Thank you so much. I enjoy it if it’s done right and told from a different point of view. There are plenty of films in this genre that were really bad. If you’re gonna do it. You gotta do it great and or different. “Capone” is definitely different and such a unique script. We never saw a movie about what his [Capone's] life was at home, being sick. Josh Trank really delivered telling a story that’s never been done before.
How did the role to play Gino come about?
I met Josh Trank in 2008 on the film “Big Fan” written and directed by Robert Siegel. I played Patton Oswalt’s brother. Josh was a producer and editor on the film. We stayed in touch throughout the years. Then Josh got busy with his film “Chronicle”. We lost touch for a short time.
I was so incredibly proud of him with the success of the “Chronicle”. We touched base here and there for a few years after that. And then out of the blue immediately after the trades mentioned that Tom Hardy was playing Al Capone and Josh Trank was writing-directing. I get a call from Josh. As I was reading the press release, he called and said, “How’d you like to be in my movie “? I was ecstatic beyond belief. He said he wrote the role with me in mind. Hence, the name Gino. I’m extremely thankful and grateful to Josh for that.
What can you tell us about the character in the film?
I've been Al Capone ‘s, right-hand man. His enforcer. Took care of a lot of his dirty work back in the day. So I know him and been working for him for like 25 years. Present-day 1947 at his home, I’m the head of his security on the compound I have men that work for me protecting and guarding the home and protecting him and his family.
Considering the fact Capone was one of the iconic personalities to have lived, playing Gino, his right-hand man must have meant grueling research and preparation. Can you take us through how you prepared for this role?
I watched pretty much every documentary on Al Capone. I got to really know what type a man he really was. He wasn’t just the most notorious gangster There was lots of stuff I didn’t know about him. I got to know more about his family, friends, and foes.
Capone was a major subject of numerous articles, books and films for years and despite all, there's still so much the world needs to know about him. Do you agree with this?
I agree. There’s lots of stuff that people don’t know about him. Here’s a fun fact: After prohibition ended, he got into a legitimate business. The milk business. After he found out a kid got sick from spoiled milk. Capone lobbied Chicago City Council for a law to stamp expiration or sell-by dates on milk bottles to keep kids from getting sick.
What can the audience expect from 'Capone'?
Something we’ve never seen before. Definitely a different take on Al Capone. One that we’ve never seen.
How was it working alongside Tom Hardy in the film?
Tom was great. Very loose on set, an actor who can turn it on and off at any given second. Not too many actors who can do that. I really enjoyed working with Matt Dillon as well. Someone who I looked up to growing up. Matt is awesome. I was a PA on a film he was in 30 years ago. A film called “Mr. Wonderful” And 30 years later I’m in ”Capon” with him. He didn’t remember me as a PA on the film. When I told him. He was like "wow". Talk about stuff coming full circle. We clicked right away. And we’re both New York Mets fans!
What's next for Gino Cafarelli?
I just submitted my manuscript to a publisher. I’m writing a children’s book inspired by my daughter. It’s called “ Athena Visits The Marina”. Im currently developing 2 feature screenplays I’ve written. And I’d really love to direct a feature film at some point. I got my feet wet by directing my first short film feature called “Bricklayer’s Poet” that’s screened and won numerous awards at various film festivals.
'Capone' releases on May 12 on VoD.