Welcome to a new season, Emmy season, of intimate interviews with actors for my series The Actor’s Side. Kicking off our latest chats with top TV and movie talent is Giovanni Ribisi, star of Amazon’s wonderfully watchable Sneaky Pete, in which Ribisi plays the dueling personalities of Marius and the identity of Pete that takes on in the ultimate con game.
The show evolved believe it or not from an Emmy acceptance speech co-star/executive producer Bryan Cranston gave; it originally was going to be a procedural on CBS, but was rejected. That turned out to be a good thing for the show, and Ribisi, as it became a much more complex hour of television when Amazon picked it up and ran with it. It has already been renewed for a second season, something Ribisi told me he was very happy about. The first season of the Sony TV series is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
In our interview, he talks about growing up in the business as a child actor and former Junior Star Search contestant, making the transition to adult roles, his own “method” of acting, the many Best Picture Oscar-nominated movies like Saving Private Ryan, Avatar and Selma in which he has co-starred, and why his occasional appearances on the classic sitcom Friends turned out to be what people really respond to when they see him.
Of course we also talk about Sneaky Pete, working with Cranston and why outlets like Amazon, Netflix and HBO are the places he wants to be — even if he is conflicted about how they might be affecting the experience of seeing movies on the big screen.
Click above to watch our interview.