Passion Purpose and Pasta with Cristina Rosato
There is a world where Cristina Rosato isn’t lighting up the silver screen. Unsure of what she wanted to be when she was a young girl, she let her imagination run wild. Fortunate for us she discovered her calling through America’s favourite badass archaeologist Indiana Jones. Cristina’s story is one of passion, pursuit and calling. We had the chance to catch up with her and talk about where she began, her latest project Little Italy, as well as what it takes to succeed in the competitive film industry.
Tell me a bit about your background, and how you got into acting?
Well, when I was little I wanted to be many things; an astronaut, a race car driver, Tina Turner (or Madonna) or even an archeologist. Then one day, I was watching Indiana Jones, and it dawned on me that Harrison Ford has a job that allows him to be many different things! I was sold. Getting to explore so many fields was what originally drew me to it. I'll never forget running down to the kitchen that afternoon, my mom was making her delicious tomato sauce and I told her I knew what I was going to be!
Who influenced you the most in your career?
My late acting coach, who became my mentor and dear friend, Jacqueline McClintock, was by far the person who influenced my love of acting most. She truly was the one who opened my eyes, and my heart, to becoming an actor. In terms of my actual career, I always look to my cousin Bruno for advice. Bruno is in the industry as well and he's my blood. And of course I owe everything I was able to do to my parents because they were always extremely supportive.
Tell me a bit about shooting Little Italy, what was a highlight?
Little Italy was so much fun to shoot! I've always wanted to play a role like Gina. She reminded me of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, which is one of my all-time favourite films. She wears her heart on her sleeve, but is also a crass, loyal woman. I really loved working in comedy as it was a bit of a new experience for me.
How was it playing Gina alongside Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen?
It was fun! Gina was the one cracking and laughing at her own jokes, so we laughed a lot on set—both in and out of character. Hayden was a real gentleman and we talked about his Italian roots and our mutual love for Salt Spring Island.
Who/what inspires you? Why?
My dad, my Nonna, my family. I look at what the people close to me have been through and how they handle life's ups and downs with so much pride and grace. I often think about how hard they had to work coming from Italy with nothing... It inspires me to always put my best foot forward and just do the work.
What are you up to when you're not acting?
I love traveling, I love cooking. I also love crossword puzzles and coffee. And writing.
What's one fact people might not know about you?
I do crossword puzzles every morning.
What advice would you give to a talented, driven actor who’s just starting their career?
Fall in love with the work, because it is what will drive you. Get into a supportive and challenging acting class, read plays, observe people, and always be prepared for your auditions!
Can you share the biggest obstacle you've faced in your career, and how you overcame it?
I think one of the toughest things to deal with is the lack of stability and security. You are always looking for your next gig, your next project. Sometimes things look like they are going to happen and then they don’t or they take much longer than anticipated... this is something I have learned to come to terms with. The job takes a lot of living in the moment and just letting things be!
What’s your process for preparing for a new role? Are there any routines or habits you practice to approach playing a new character?
It really varies. Some roles feel as though they were already living inside of me, while with others I need to delve deeper and really work to understand. Helpful ways to approach new but challenging characters are to talk with a real person who has similarities to the character, to research through documentaries or reading, or to just dive deep into imagining that character and getting into their headspace.
What qualities do you think make a great actor or actress?
Empathy, vulnerability, a strength of character, the willingness to work hard, a thirst for knowledge and a good sense of humour!
What is your favorite pasta?
This is very hard. Top 3? Chitarra allo Scoglio, Cacio e Pepe, Tagliatelle al tartufo.
What's coming up? Are there any other projects you're involved in or looking forward to, besides what you’re working on now?
Yes! Actually, I have a French Film (actually a trilingual film!) that will be released later this year called Mafia Inc. It is based on the true story of the Montreal Mafia. It was directed by the very talented Podz (Daniel Grou) and stars Marc Andre Grondin and Sergio Castellitto (one of my favorite Italian actors!). I also shot the pilot for the Party of Five reboot, which was basically a dream come true being a child of the 90s. Lastly, I recently shot a really cool episode of CBS’s new action drama Blood & Treasure!