Different kind of mobster comedy premieres in Providence

By Alana Cerrone

acerrone@abc6.com

@Alana_Cerrone

Michael Rispoli had a lot of good things to say about Providence. He’s here for the Friday premiere of ‘Friends and Romans’. He helped write the film and he also plays the lead character, and he says Providence is the perfect place for his movie’s premiere.

Nick DeMaio is a perennial movie extra who’s tired of getting cast in the same mobster roles.

Michael Rispoli is the actor who plays him, and he can relate.

"I’m a cop and a crook…if they need some New England prep school professor they’re not gonna be calling me.”

Rispoli’s character and his movie-extra friends try to break the mold by staging a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

"We’re gonna show them that we’re not just ‘this’….gotta show them that we can do theater to prove that we’re legitimate actors… Julius Caesar was the original Godfather so we figure that’s the play we’re gonna do."

Of course, comedy ensues.

You might recognize Rispoli and a bunch of his castmates from ‘The Sopranos’, but he says this is not your typical mobster film.

"Let’s make this against stereotypes and show the other side of the Italian-American experience.”

Providence was chosen as the premiere city for its culture and arts.

"There’s a lot of family and heart with the Italian-American community so we thought that Providence…which is a very Italian-American community…would be a great place to come…plus the food."

And who better to show Rispoli around town than our very own Buddy Cianci.

"I went to the Old Canteen last night with Buddy. He told me what he’s ordering and I said I’ll take whatever you get…and it was great."

Another star you might know is East Providence Police Lieutenant turned actor Armen Garo. He and Rispoli worked together on the Sopranos too. You can see them both in ‘Friends and Romans’ which premieres Friday at Providence Place.

© WLNE-TV 2015