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'Vault' star Theo Rossi talks about playing a blue-collar criminal in the mafia heist movie: 'He's everybody I grew up with'

Rossi - known for his roles on 'Luke Cage' and 'Sons of Anarchy' would like to admit that he has no clue why he keeps doing one criminal role after the other on screen
UPDATED MAY 28, 2019

Upcoming Theo Rossi starrer 'Vault,' is a lot of things. At its core, it's a story about a group of small-time criminals in 1975 who attempt to pull off the biggest heist in American history, but apart from its true-crime relevance, it is also a story about friendship and 'blue-collar kids' who get roped into this deadly world, trying to make ends meet.

Rossi - known for his roles on 'Luke Cage' and 'Sons of Anarchy' would like to admit that he has no clue why he keeps doing one criminal role after the other on screen, but he would also like to remind his fans that growing up around people with an affinity for crime helped him channel his lead role Deuce much better than one would think.

'Vault' proceeds to show two best friends - Deuce and Chucky (Clive Standen) - indulging in a dangerous plan to steal over $30 million from the mafia in the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island. Speaking about what Deuce is like, Rossi shared in an exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) that "He loves his friends and he loves his mother and he's just the guy who loves his family. He's just trying to get by," he says, before stating how the character is no stranger to him either. "He's everybody I grew up with," he notes, adding: "He's a blue-collar guy who has to fight and slap for everything in the world. But he also has to be a fighter for anything he wants; he doesn't know what's going to happen."


Surprisingly enough, Deuce is not your stereotypically living-on-the-edge kinda guy; in that, he is calculative about the risks he undertakes. "He has a brain," remarks Rossi, noting: "He has a head on his shoulders and he knows that what they're about to get into is not the greatest thing." And this is where the contrast arrives, in the form of Deuce's close friend, and literal partner in crime - Chucky.

"Chucky is more of a cowboy hat guy, that is the more like 'Let's do this!' While Deuce is very calculating, Chucky is very light, even though he has nothing. He too needs the money."

But contrast and the thrill of the plot aside, what also drew Rossi closer to the role was his familiarity with the character. "The best thing about stepping into his (Deuce's) world was where I grew up in New York City," reveals Rossi. "I know this person. This is that blue-collar guy who just needs to get by and you can't judge the one when they need to eat or whatever."

Digging up from the obvious research Rossi put in to portraying the role impeccably, he also makes another interesting observation. "The truth is back in the 70s and 80s, crime was kind of different. There were so many people on the east coast just doing these low-level, petty crimes of bank-robbing and robbing pawn shops and restaurants, and just doing anything they could to make a buck. So Deuce was just straight up this guy, and I just relate to that very well and also what he is in the streets."

Alongside Rossi and Standen, 'Vault' also stars Samira Wiley, Chazz Palminteri, Don Johnson, and William Forsythe.

The film, directed by Tom DeNucci, premieres on June 14.

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