Chances are you've never heard of Spencer Lofranco. But chances are that's going to change this year.
At 21, the Toronto native is about to have what promises to be a pretty impressive rookie season. In addition to his first film, Trevor White's "Jamesy Boy," which was filmed on location throughout the Baltimore area and opens today, he's also in Adam Rodgers' "At Middleton," opening Jan. 31. And this past Monday in Australia, he started working on his third feature, "Unbroken," a biopic of Olympic runner and World War II POW Louis Zamperini.
None of these are small-scale, who-will-ever-see-this? productions. His co-stars in "Jamesy Boy" include James Woods, Mary-Louise Parker and Ving Rhames, while the cast of "At Middleton" includes Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga. And "Unbroken," written by Joel and Ethan Coen, is being directed by Angelina Jolie.
That's pretty heady company for a young actor to keep. But Lofranco insists he's unfazed. It's simply a matter, Lofranco says, of his hard work starting to pay off.
We spoke with the actor via telephone from Australia, just a few days before his work on "Unbroken" was set to begin.
It was actually my first audition. … I really connected with this piece. I had just come out of military school after four years. Growing up, I had a rough childhood. There were some discipline problems; I had trouble focusing and following rules.
Sounds like you and James Burns, the real-life "Jamesy Boy," shared some common ground.
We absolutely did. That was one of the reasons why James was drawn to me. When they were watching these tapes, Trevor was saying that James was like, 'I like this guy.' When he finally met me, it was just unbelievable how much we had in common. This role was almost tailor-made for me.
I had thought about being a lawyer, I had thought about being an architect, I had thought about being a veterinarian. All these things were things that I could see myself doing. But my last year at military school, in grade 12, there was a drama presentation where I was chosen to perform this monologue in front of the brigade … I did this monologue, and I got such a good feedback from everyone. It was just something that I enjoyed doing.
You were working with some pretty big names on "Jamesy Boy." Was that intimidating at all?
I developed a strong relationship with Trevor before we started filming. That really helped me stay grounded and confident and really just roll through it all, not be nervous about anything. I knew what I had to do. It was time to work with professionals, and I had to step up to the plate.