Armand Assante is what you might call a classic actor that has been there and done that in many different ways. He’s a talented man that has taken on numerous roles that have seen him act tough, reserved, and in many cases just a very slick individual that knows his way around people and can talk his way into or out of anything. He’s been in numerous movies and TV shows and each and every time has shown that he has the kind of talent that is built up through years and doesn’t fade. He might not be seen in something for a while but when he does show up he’s a welcome surprise since he brings a load of class and dignity to just about anything he does even if he’s one of the most despicable characters alive. There’s just something alluring about this guy that makes him almost impossible to hate as a character.
Here are a few things you might not have known about him.
10. He was born in New York City.
There seems to be some idea that he was born elsewhere but Armand has been a US citizen since the day he was born and despite his accent and his looks he’s fully American and has called this country home for some time.
9. He was in Hoffa.
Playing the role of a mobster seems to come natural to Armand but it’s also worth noting that unlike a lot of the mad-dog killer types he’s more suave, composed, and tends to speak quietly and command a great deal of respect. That’s the kind of mobster that’s really scary.
8. He gained 50 lbs. to play the role of John Gotti.
You can’t say he’s never suffered for a role since putting on an extra 50 lbs. is something that most people wouldn’t do given the choice. You would almost think that it’d be worth it to wear a prostheses of some kind but then the added weight can look a lot more natural. It’s getting it back off that’s a pain though.
7. He was in Judge Dredd.
This is one of three movies that he starred in with Sylvester Stallone and it was probably one of the least-liked, even by fans of the comic book that it was derived from. To be honest though Stallone probably played the title character better than Karl Urban, but that’s up for debate.
6. He doesn’t recommend acting as a profession.
There are reasons behind an actor saying such a thing to be honest. Acting is not an easy profession to get into since thousands try to do it and only hundreds get anywhere. Of those hundreds only a certain percentage ever see success, and even out of that number only a handful ever get remembered for more than one role in their lives.
5. He was on NCIS.
La Grenouille was a serious thorn in the side of Director Jenny Shepherd since she was convinced that he shot her father and was bound and determined to see him put behind bars at any cost. It was even deduced that she might have killed him had she been given the actual chance.
4. He was a regular on two soap operas in the 1970s.
Armand has been around for quite a while and it’s not much of a surprise that he was a soap star at one point since he does have the looks and the smooth, genuine attitude of a guy that could survive on the soap opera scene on charm alone.
3. He’s often given the role of a tough guy.
It’s a role that he might not seem suited to play just to hear him talk but when he really gets going and gets aggressive then it becomes obvious that he can play the role of the tough guy without much prompting and can go off the chain in a way that might make you reassess whether or not he’s really capable of being more than just the charming, smooth-talking criminal that knows how to get what he wants through guile.
2. He was in American Gangster.
This story was really more about the life of notorious gangster Frank Lucas, who cut a swath through history back in his own time. But you have to know that in the criminal world that if you’re talking anything to do with money, drugs, or anything else, the mob is going to come up occasionally.
1. He was mentioned in The Santa Clause.
This was kind of funny since it has more to do with the list that Scott Calvin is given via delivery during his transition into Santa Claus. Whoever would have thought that Armand Assante had made the Nice list? He’s a charmer for certain in this case.
He is a classic actor, and someone that’s meant to be taken seriously.