Posted by: Drew | September 8, 2008

30 Minutes with Actor David Fumero from Greetings From the Shore

David Fumero as Benicio Aceveda

David Fumero as Benicio Aceveda

As the September 12th premier of Greetings From the Shore gets closer we talk with ABC Television star David Fumero.  He is kind enough to give me 30 minutes to talk with him about his role as Benicio Aceveda, the classic film rouge, artist and Kim Shaw’s love interest in the film. Fumero plays one of a group of foreigners working on the Jersey Shore for the summer.
I found David Fumero to be one of the guys. Very easy to talk to and he was very liberal with his praise and respect for his fellow cast and crew. Now you most likely know Fumero from his role as Cristian Vega on One Life to Live. Not surprisingly this talented actor has already had a diverse and interesting career.

Fumero was born in Havana, Cuba, and left at 8 years old. His father, a political prisoner, was granted asylum in the USA. This was right before the infamous Mariel Boatlift. So with green cards in hand they first arrived in Miami and then moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey. The family returned to Florida in is teenage years. It was at this point at 17 years old, with his parents having to sign permission; Fumero joined the U.S. Marine Corp. During his enlistment he was involved in Desert Storm.

On being in the Marines Fumero had this to say…

“After experiencing that , I think kids after high school should experience something like that, some countries have a mandatory one year service, I learned a lot.

“I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.”

“I think the (Marine) Corp prepared me for life period.”

He later traveled the world as a model, also studying at the International Actors Studio in Paris. He became a resident of New York in his early twenties. Music fans may remember Fumero from the Mariah Carey video Honey.

When did you get involved with the arts, acting and performing?

“I was involved in the arts when I first came to New Jersey, I was in a chorus and I tried to play instruments.. I played in Evita one year… We did the Copacabana, I was Tony the Bartender that gets shot… That was my experience with the arts when I was a kid.”

“When I moved to Florida… It’s not like the Northeast… it’s not like New York or New Jersey where the arts are all over the place and very available in schools, so I kind of got away from all that” David Fumero and Kim Shaw

“In my early twenties i had modeled, trying to make money because I was going to school, so it was something I just kind of fell into… I had a buddy who was studying acting and was like ‘You should try it out, You might like it’ , so I tried it out, studied whenever I could, that’s how it started. ”

That buddies suggestion would eventually land Fumero a major network soap opera in 1998, ABC’s One Life to Live, were he has been a regular cast member ever since, not bad for taking someone’s suggestion.

How did you find the time act in a lead roll a movie with being in a front burner character on soap storyline?

“Its a tough industry, your always hustling, Daytime (TV) is a very busy job… We do a show a day which is like a film a day”

“Working on Greetings, we shot it in around twenty, twenty five days… It was definitely a step down from the hustle of Daytime. Daytime actors don’t have it so easy.”

“Thank God, and Thanks to Gabrielle Berberich and Greg Chwerchak, they liked me enough to put up with my schedule. ”

The grueling schedule had Fumero working five days on set then running back to New York to his role on One Life to Live.

David Fumero and Kim Shaw

David Fumero and Kim Shaw

” I was so excited about doing the film, it was such a great script, playing a cool character… you really don’t feel tired, you just do it”

Fumero went on to recount at after a particular late night of shooting he ran back to New York, took a shower and went right on set, and then returned back to Lavallette.

“At the time I was Gung Ho, I was pumped! I didn’t need to sleep”

“Of course after I finished the film I slept for about a week” Fumero joked.

For One Life to Live fans that remember the Jersey Shore story line from earlier this season, Fumero recounted that his real world wife, Melissa Gallo, who was in that story line ran close to 70 pages of dialog and shot the entire month of footage in 24 hours!

“That was a brutal Shoot” Fumero added.

What was it like taking on the roll of Benicio Aceveda?

“Greg Chwerchak was a great director, he dissected every moment down to the tee, I went with the flow… I picked up the character right away… I would add my ideas and he would add his own… He wrote it with Gabrielle and he knew exactly what he wanted… When I saw the film put together which is a big part of film making, it was perfect.”

Did you find it intimidating having Gabrielle Berberich on the set?

“I didn’t know that at first (that the film was about her) … I knew it was her story, and as we were shooting, talking to her, she’s really easy to talk to, and she made things very easy. It was cool, It was like wow I’m part of the persons life, these are actual events, and things she went through, Gabrielle’s a sweetheart… It was a very comfortable atmosphere.”

The chemistry between Kim Shaw and you, was it immediate?

“Kim was right out of school… It was one of her first gigs , we were kind of in the same boat as far as first feature… She’s a great actress… That’s all that you need sometimes, she’s a natural.”

Paul Sorvino, what was it like working with him?

“It was a lot easier than I thought (He began to chuckle), In the beginning I was a little afraid of him… I was like this is Paul Sorvino and I have a scene with this guy… He’s a big dude and a very intimidating guy, but he was sweet as hell, everything was smooth, I wasn’t nervous at all… my first feature, with a great cast, there’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves because we want to do a good job… fear gets in the way and you create all sorts of thing in your head… but as soon as I stepped in it was like open arms, it was a very comfortable environment on that film, with everybody ”

Before beginning filming the movie Gabrielle Berberich asked the cast to room together in one house. This was a stroke of genius, since she knew the real Jersey Shore experience. Foreigners lived together at the shore sometime stacked like cord wood in small rentals. She immersed her cast. Fumero had this to say of the experience…

“Sometimes actors like their own space, but I was cool with it. We lived there for the time we were there together in this house and these guys were cool. There was a sense of camaraderie, we worked on our stuff together, came up with ideas, played a lot of poker, we drank… I think it was very smart of Gabrielle and Greg to get this place for all of us. That’s kind of where we developed that bond that is exhibited on screen”

So at these now legendary late night poker matches who was the better poker player, you or Kim?

Lars is a great bluffer… The guy who played Cristos (Ron Geren) was the most experience poker player, all I can say for myself is I got out forty bucks over. And I had never played poker before.

Have you had another Shore experience since the movie?

“I grew Up in Miami most of my teenage years and grew up on the water… I fished and was a big spear fisherman when I was young, Miami has got beautiful water, so I though what kind of beach is this on the Jersey Shore, how nice could it be… and I was so dumbfounded, its beautiful, the water is clean, you would never expect that…”

Fumero has returned with family friends to a beach non-disclosed.

So where do you see David Fumero in 10-15 years from now?

“I’ve always been a big action film fan… I love all kinds of action and super hero movies, so hopefully Ill get to play with that a lot… I kind of see my self doing action flicks… I want to be a G.I. Joe”

As an experience TV and now motion picture actor, what advice would you give to people trying to get a start in the business.

“Patience, a lot of focus and don’t loose track of your goals no matter what they are.  Don’t loose track of you goals in life…”

Now that is great advice from a talented individual.

Keep you eye out for his other film project Manhattanites which is in post-produc

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Responses

  1. I can’t wait to see this movie and want to thank you for posting the interview! It sounds like David had a fun time with it.


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