Bruno was cast in the feature film Molly’s Game, which starred Oscar-winning actor Jessica Chastain.
By Kathy Rowe
What does a successful working actor look like? He looks like Centennial’s own Bruno Verdoni.
Raised in an Italian neighbourhood in Montreal, Bruno’s career as an actor, writer, musician and voice-over artist is impressive. He speaks fluently in both French and English, so a good portion of his work is done in Quebec. This involves lots of travelling back and forth, and yet his family chooses to live in Centennial.
“We chose Centennial because there were no highrises, there were lots of schools, the beautiful waterfront and at that time it was affordable,” he said.
Bruno’s path as an artist started in Montreal with his love and innate talent for music. “Music was easy for me,” he recalled. “I played piano, bass guitar and I sang.”
Following high school, he studied film at CEGEP while doing a degree in psychology. At the University of Montreal, Bruno achieved a BA arts/music composition. “As I was finishing my degree, I was hired to go on tour with the musical stage production of Starmania,” he said. “It was then that I realized I could pursue acting.”
After performing hundreds of live musical shows, Bruno decided to move to Vancouver. He spent eight years there honing his craft and landing small parts in television series such as The X-Files and Millennium.
Eventually the lure of working in Hollywood became hard to resist. “I thought if I don’t try Hollywood now, I will never do it. My girlfriend had family in Long Beach. So in 2002 we sold what we could, put everything in a truck and moved to Los Angeles. We lived there on and off for 10 years.”
Getting steady work in Hollywood proved to be very difficult. “I would mail out 20 to 50 resumés every day,” Bruno said. “I even pretended to be a courier so that I could actually go into the studios and put my resumés on people’s desks!”
He continued to take workshops in acting and screenwriting and he was called to audition for many roles. He did get work doing voiceovers and parts in the television series NCIS Los Angeles, but the parts were just too few and far between. Bruno, his wife and young daughter decided to move to Toronto and in 2015 they settled in Centennial.
That career move was clearly the right decision because Bruno’s talent has been in demand ever since. Roles in French television series have been plentiful. His role in the Toronto A&E television series Damien allowed him the opportunity to work with seasoned actor Barbara Hershey. “It was so great to work with Barbara Hershey. Two full days with her…I was in heaven.” In 2017, Bruno was cast in the popular feature film Molly’s Game, which starred Oscar-winning actor Jessica Chastain. In the film, Bruno plays the part of Molly’s personal driver. Not a bad gig.
Despite being busy with various film and television productions, Bruno has managed to make the time to develop his own projects. His short film titled Heaven and Earth; A Ritual, which he wrote, directed and starred in, has won two awards in the independent film festival circuit.