Actor Gabe Fazio on his role in ‘The Good Nurse’ and working with his Hollywood heroes

72

Actor Gabe Fazio is riding high with a new role in crime drama ‘The Good Nurse’, alongside Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain. Gabe has previously appeared in films including ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’, working with Bradley Cooper. He also played Mark Ruffalo’s double in ‘I Know This Much Is True’, a limited series on HBO. He tells us about how he got into character for ‘The Good Nurse’, his most challenging role, and being hugged by Eddie Redmayne.

Tell us about your role in ‘The Good Nurse’

I play the character of Tom Anderson, the father to a baby girl, and husband to Kelly Anderson. In order to play Tom, I needed to relate to him as much as I could. I did that by researching real people who had similar experiences to his, putting myself in his shoes, then allowing my imagination and my own life experiences to take me where I needed to go, from moment to moment.

What was it like working with Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Good Nurse’?

Working with Jessica and Eddie was, of course, delightful, to say the least. They are such talented people, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them. I didn’t have much time on screen with Eddie, but I recall the moment I first met him. I walked into the make-up trailer and he came right over to me with this huge smile, and gave me a big hug. Jessica is a very giving actor. When the camera was on me, she was as full and real as she was when it was her own coverage. I was very appreciative of that, because it only enhances the performance.

Photo credit: Alejandro Padrón

How did you get started in the film industry?

I started acting in plays in high school. I continued studying at HB Studio in NYC, and then as a theatre major at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island. I love the theatre, but I always imagined being in the movies. I was a cinephile from a very early age! I watched the same movies over and over and over: from ‘King Kong’ to ‘Midnight Run’ to ‘Cool Hand Luke’ to ‘The Battle of Algiers’. I would have acted in any of the three mediums: theatre, television or film. I pursued all three, but it was film that first opened its arms for me. I did several ultra-low budget film projects before I had the good fortune to audition for Derek Cianfrance, through a referral from an old friend, Bradley Cooper, in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’.

What has been your favourite project to work on?

If you were to ask me which was the most unique project, I would have to say ‘I Know This Much Is True’, a limited series on HBO starring Mark Ruffalo and directed by Derek Cianfrance. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, written by Wally Lamb, the story revolves around the turbulent relationship between identical twins, with one brother suffering from schizophrenia. 

Photo credit: Alejandro Padrón

Why was this such a challenging role?

This particular project was unique because Derek asked me to take on the task of playing Mark’s acting partner, since he played both brothers. The objective of my job was to act both roles, as if I had been cast to play them. This way, Mark had somebody real to react to and act with. I was asked to gain 25lbs to play the first brother and then lose 35lbs to play the other brother, since my body was seen in many of the shots. The catch was, the public would never see my performance as the twins (I did have an on-screen performance as another character, an insurance adjuster, Shawn Tudesco). To have the chance to act in this capacity was actually very freeing. I imagined I was performing in a black box theatre for the crew, cast and producers; the people who were there were the only ones to witness it. It was a humbling and inspiring experience for me. 

Featured photo credit Alejandro Padrón