Read What the B&B Star Has to Say About a Return to Salem!
Written by: Mark Edward Wilows
As arch villain Massimo Marone his presence alone can send a shiver up one’s spine. But for Joseph Mascolo who portrays Marone on the Bold and Beautiful, it’s all in a days’ work of sending people to an early grave.
“Why of course!” Mascolo jokes. “Honestly it’s such a fun role to play. Just think of all the power I have, and what I’m able to do. I have it all at my fingertips. It’s such a fantasy.”
Mascolo has been playing the feisty Massimo on Bold and Beautiful since 2001. Mascolo is best known to daytime audiences as the powerful Stefano DiMera from Days of Our Lives, a role he created and occupied on and off for 18 years.
What is it with all these evil roles? “I know! But you know this is the type of character that has depth,” Mascolo said. “As an actor I really enjoy the strong character type part. And I must admit that sometimes Massimo shocks me.”
Mascolo said he loves the privilege of being able to work on the Bold and Beautiful and to be able to play such a rich character. He describes Massimo as “a man with a purpose, who is really quite honorable and a family man.”
Brad Bell, executive producer of Bold and Beautiful, jumped on Mascolo’s departure from Days of Our Lives and hired him.
“Joe’s a brilliant actor. I’ve admired him and his work as Stefano on Days of Our Lives,” Bell said. “The power of his voice and delivery is amazing. I respect him.”
Bell said the role of Massimo was created and written for Mascolo. In fact, he added that it is rare that the actor came first, because usually a role is created and an actor is found.
The mutual respect between Bell and Mascolo is a two way street. Mascolo said that Bell is a great storyteller and the writing on Bold And Beautiful is excellent.
“I really enjoy being a part of the Bell dynasty,” Mascolo said. “Brad is always there, and he is the type of guy you can sit and talk with and I admire that.”
An Italian American, Mascolo was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. As a child he always had a flair for the arts and was destined for a career as a classical musician, who wanted to conduct operas in Milan. He received a music scholarship that took him to the University of Miami. While there, a drama coach heard his voice and suggested acting as a career.
“I never considered acting as a career, but it peaked my curiosity,” Mascolo said. “Upon recommendation I was told to see Stella Adler (world-famous New York acting teacher), who took me under her wing and the rest is history.”
Mascolo supported himself while studying acting and auditioning by playing the clarinet for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His first break came in an off-Broadway production of “The Threepenny Opera.” He then appeared in “A View from the Bridge,” where he succeeded Robert Duvall as Eddie Carbone.
No stranter to the Great White Way, Mascolo made his Broadway debut in “Dinner at Eight,” and has appeared in many theatrical productions, on and off-Broadway. He made his feature film debut in “Diary of a Mad Housewife,” and since appeared in “Sharkey’s Machine,” “Shaft’s Big Score,” “Jaws II,” and “Yes, Giorgio,” where he sang a duet with friend, Luciano Pavarotti. Along with his roles on "Days of our Lives" and "Bold and the Beautiful," his other small screen credits include a variety of primetime series like “Kojak,” Hill Street Blues,” “Lou Grant,” and “The Gary Shandling Show.”
Joseph Mascolo (Masimo) on location with B&B in Portofino, Italy: Photo CBS
Mascolo’ soap opera career was launched after he appeared in the “Gangster Chronicles” and was seen by the head writer of “Days of Our Lives” and was offered the role of Stefano DiMera.
“Who would of thought I’d have such success in soap operas,” Mascolo mused. “But you know...I don’t look at it as soap opera acting. To me acting is acting no matter what role you are doing or in what you are in. I also believe that when you play a part there is a part of you in it.”
Soapdom needs to know, is Stefano going to return to Days of Our Lives? “In soaps you never know. Brad Bell is aware of the aura of Stefano, but it is up to the powers that be,” Mascolo said. “I’m always open, and I think a guest appearance would be nice. I’m told that the storyline on Days still revolves around me. We’ll have to wait and see.” (According to Bell, he’d be open to the idea of a crossover, but said it’s hard to budge CBS.)
Mascolo said that someday he would like to do more movies and theatre along with comedy and maybe some dancing. “Hey why not be Zorba the Greek.” Mascolo’s good friend is movie and TV legend Burt Reynolds, who described Mascolo as “one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets.”
Mascolo’s home life is much different from his soap characters' (let’s hope so). His activities include designing his big spacious beautiful California home, playing tennis, gardening, and of course listening to music which will always be a part of his life.
The one thing that we don’t know about Joseph Mascolo? “I cry at movies.”
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