Monday, March 22, 2010

Interview (GH): Could Dante Falconeri Be Pulled Over to the Dark Side?

No one was more shocked than Dante Falconeri to discover that mob boss Sonny Corinthos is his father. However, his portrayer, Dominic Zamprogna, was ready and willing to play the good-guy son of Port Charles’ resident bad guy.

Daytime Dial: When you first came on “General Hospital” as the character of Dominic, you knew you would end up being Sonny’s son, Dante. How do you like that twist?

Dominic Zamprogna: My manager is a huge fan of “GH,” and she told me this would be a huge part, because they had been looking to fill this character for years. When I got the script and it said “Dominic,” I called the head writer, Bob (Guza), and asked what was going on. He told me that my character was going to be undercover as Dominic, but I really was Dante, Sonny’s son. At first there were some nerves, because I wasn’t sure if people were going to dig what I was doing. But the part has far exceeded what I thought it would be.

DD: Dante is having a rough few weeks — first he is shot and almost killed by Sonny, then he finds out Sonny, the man he’s been trying to take down, is his father. How is Dante feeling about all this?

DZ: He’s a little confused. He’s still the same guy underneath, but he’s being pushed and pulled in so many different directions. As far as his mother goes (with her keeping this a secret from him), that wound will heal a lot quicker. He’s a smart guy; he knows his mother did what she did to be a good mom. But the hurt and pain of that will hang around for a while, because it is a massive betrayal. This thing with Sonny, it won’t be an instantaneous “all is well” kind of thing. I think it is going to go on a long time.

DD: He must also be conflicted, because he was starting to develop a respect and a liking for Sonny, even though he’s the bad guy and Dante is the good guy.

DZ: He’s not a one-note guy. Things we are shooting now, I am making him a little less sure on the things he normally would never think twice about. Anytime he’s going to be around someone, he’s probably going to reach for his gun a little sooner. He’s not going to trust. Now everyone else seems to have an ulterior motive, and he doesn’t know who, apart from Lulu, he’s supposed to trust.

DD: What will it take for Dante to accept Sonny as his father?

DZ: Eventually he could, because of that pain of not having that person in your life that you’ve wanted to have your whole life. To now find that person, if he hadn’t shot me, it still would have taken a lot of time. But it would have been just that — constantly deep down wanting to be close to this man and wanting to acknowledge him as your father, just wanting to have a father. It obviously would have happened a lot quicker had he not shot me in the chest.

I think time is the main thing that will bring them closer — either time or a major occurrence.

DD: Dante has such strong morals and principles — how does that coincide with what his father does for a living? I don’t see Dante being pulled over to “the dark side.”

DZ: I honestly don’t ever see Dante becoming bad. When I spoke with Bob about Dante, we were saying how he has this great sense of right and wrong, and morals and all that stuff. I don’t even entertain the idea that he could become bad. If they decided to write it that way sometime down the road, sure, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon. Another option would be for Dad to retire and not do illegal things anymore. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen either.

DD: The fans really love Dante and Lulu together, as well as your chemistry with Julie Berman. What is it that makes you guys click so well?

DZ: A sense of humor — we make each other laugh a lot. If you can make each other laugh, you are one step ahead. We have a mutual respect for each other. And she is ridiculously talented. It makes me happy to hear that people are digging it. It is so much easier to go to work with someone who brings it every day, and she does.