Jake J. Meniani was born in Italy in 1984, he starts taking acting lessons in 1998 at the acting school of the Goldoni Theater then he goes to Paris and studies at Le Cours Florent for a year and a half. Then he keeps studying at the Studio Muller for three years. Once graduated from the “Conservatoire municipal d’Art dramatique” of the 8th district of Paris, he also finishes his bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts at the university of Paris VIII. He made his film debut in “SALVO” as a mafioso, and also shooted in the serie “Objectif Ligue 1” on BeinSport. He played the part of Commandante Monastorio in “Zorro” at the Théâtre des Variétés, and the part of Vincenzo d’Aquila in the TV serie “14 – Diaries of the great war” on Arte/ BBC.
Jake, how does it feels to get a role in the Peaky Blinders?
I’ve had a lot of experiences as an actor and each one was significant. Since I was a child I always wanted to work on an international project with big stars and finally, I got the role in the Peaky Blinders. Working on this project is a big step in the land of my dream. I really want to thank the casting director Shaheen Baig and the director David Caffrey for giving me this great opportunity. I’m deeply grateful.
How did you prepare yourself for the role?
I’m a fan of Peaky Blinders since the beginning and when I received the script I read all the six episodes without a break. I wanted to know everything about every character. Then I start to study it, reading it again and again and working on my character. I watched few documentaries and read books about the 20’s. I made a lot of research of the background of my character. I love this part of the job – you’re going deeper and deeper and you start to feel the role in your blood, in your bones. I do the same for all the jobs that I get. as an actor. Then when I’m finally I’m on set I can release and show all of it. Discipline and passion are the two ingredients to do a good job. Then people can decide if they like it or not, I do my best all the time.
How was the first day on set with Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory?
My first day on set I was really excited but I was trying my best not to show it and remain professional. Production team introduced me to Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory with who I had a nice chat. They are two wonderful people.
You were filming with Adrien Brody as well. Tell us about that experience.
The majority of my scenes are with Adrien Brody and the first that we shot was the most intense for me. I was playing with an Oscar winner and it was such a good day. I observed Adrien working and discussing with the director and us about his character and our scene, it was very interesting and instructive. I learned a lot. Adrien puts a lot of energy in it so that the scene looks perfect: we can see here why he’s a Hollywood star. And I had the chance to meet him and I can say that he’s a fantastic person. I’m very grateful to be a part of this cast.