This is our final interview for the season and we couldn’t have picked a more delightful or talented guy to end the year. Throughout the course of our time together, Massi Furlan had me smiling and laughing constantly with his wonderful stories and comments on the world in general and in particular his time spent on NCIS Los Angeles. Massi plays Mikhail Andros, one of a bevy of bad guys that the show has brought together for the explosive season finale.
A Renaissance kind of guy, Massi has dipped his toes in a number of different vocations, including time spent as a stand-up comedian, chef and flying helicopters…but his heart was calling him elsewhere. Massi finally decided to pursue a career in the performing arts and he’s never looked back again. With his ruggedly handsome looks and piercing stare, this Italian actor has managed to play his share of bad guys but would love to do more comedy as well. According to Massi he enjoyed keeping LL Cool J laughing between scenes as the two spent a lot of time working on the finale together. Let’s find out more about Massi…
Growing up in Italy, what pulled you towards the performing arts and how did you get started in the business?
In Italy I did many jobs. I was in the Army flying helicopters and then I was a stand up comedian. I was doing stand up for 30-40 minutes and my specialty was impersonating people, like actors, or a famous singers or the Pope. That was part of my routine. Then I moved to Miami in 1998. I had my brother in the restaurant business and I went there to help him out but I got tired of the business and I decided to go back to my passion which was to work in the entertainment business. So I did a couple of movies in Miami and I realized there wasn’t much going on in Miami and the right place to be was Hollywood. So I’ve been working since I moved here. I can’t complain. I’m very excited to be here.
You were in Dark Knight Rises, part of the Batman franchise…what was it like working with Christian Bale, and Tom Hardy, to name a few?
Tom Hardy is a super nice guy. It was my first big movie so I tried to be professional but he was always joking around with me. We had a great time. He is a nice person, great actor and beautiful human being. Alon Moni Aboutboul who was also in this picture worked with me in the final episode of NCISLA. He played the scientist in Dark Knight Rises and he is a very nice guy. He is from Israel and he told me that he is a big celebrity there and people always stop him in the streets but here no one knows him and it’s a big change for him. But he is a very talented actor. We have a scene together in the finale of NCISLA and have recurring roles in the show.
You have an interesting background as a stand-up comedian, chef, helicopter pilot and now actor. Seems like you live life to the fullest! Anything else you want to accomplish?
I want to sky dive! All my friends have done it including my brother but I haven’t done it yet! I would also like to shoot a movie in Australia and work with my number one, favorite actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins. On the female side there is Meryl Streep because she broke the mold.
Without giving any of the plot away, can you tell us about the character you play in your upcoming guest appearance on NCISLA? Who in the cast did you work with?
One detail I am very proud of is that the description of my character in the script was he was 6 foot tall, 2 inches, and Russian. My manager says that’s how good an actor Massi is because they were looking for a 6 foot tall Russian and he is a 5’11” tall Italian! I don’t know why but I play a lot of Russians. I work with Sidorov who is the wonderful, fantastic actor, Timothy Murphy and we have a very similar path in our career. He’s Irish and he plays Russians all the time too. So we have that in common. The guy is so good! I’m one of his men, Sidorov’s group of men. I also worked with Eric (Christian Olsen), LL Cool J, Christopher Lambert and they will never forget me. You will see how it ends…it is very epic! I had such fun making LL Cool J laugh. I told him I was a comedian!
It was great! Everybody was very nice from the first PA to the Director. They were all working together with the writer…fantastic writer, Frank Military, and he was on set working constantly with the producers and the director. Some directors want to make all the calls but working together with Terrance O’Hara was beautiful. He would always ask if we wanted to change anything and this crew has all been working together for many years on the set so the chemistry between everybody was fantastic. In fact on the last day he gave me a hug and it was nice to be appreciated that you did a great job. That was the first time a director ever hugged me! I have a quote I live by: It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation. He really appreciated your work and showed it. Everyone was super cool.
What’s up next for Massi? Tell us about your next projects.
I am funny and I want to do more comedy. I would love to do a show like Modern Family because it is a very funny show too. But finally after five years I have a big audition tomorrow with another very big show. (More to come about that later!). I also have a movie coming out called Blood of Redemption, I play a Serbian guy and it looks great.
We would like to thank Massi for the delightful time he spent talking to NCISLA Magazine and we wish him well as he follows his dream of one day working with Anthony Hopkins! We hope to see him return to our pages soon!