In the television industry, it’s not very often that an actor can lay claim to being involved with what is considered to be one of the best series of all time, and to be involved with several iconic series is ever rarer. Louis Lombardi is one of the rare few who can make such a claim. With supporting roles in classic shows The Sopranos, Entourage and 24, he is definitely setting himself apart from the rest of the pack. Add to that already impressive roles in films like Natural Born Killers, The Usual Suspects and Suicide Kings, Louis is making a name for himself in Hollywood. Away from acting, the Brooklyn born actor has started his own Italian Gourmet food line called Lombardi’s Gourmet. With all this going on, Louis was kind enough to sit down with TVWise and talk about his current project Mob City, Lombardi’s Gourmet and an upcoming project with Clint Eastwood.
TVWise: How did you get involved with TNT’s Mob City?
Louis Lombardi: Frank Darabont was a fan of mine from my time working on 24. He called me up and said we are going to give you a role in the show. We don’t know exactly what role yet. It turned out that my role is one of the main guys in the series. So, Frank being a fan of 24 helped me land the role.
TVWise: Can you tell us about your character Stucky?
Louis Lombardi: I play Micky Cohen’s bodyguard. Micky is played by Jeremy Luke who is a friend of mine, so it worked out well.
TVWise: Why do you think there is such a fascination with that time period and gangsters?
Louis Lombardi: I don’t think it’s just the time period, I think people are fascinated with gangsters in general. Look at The Sopranos which is a modern day gangster story. It’s probably the greatest television show ever. The Godfather is like the number one movie ever. I think people from every walk of life relate to that criminal element. People just love gangsters.
TVWise: The Sopranos has been mentioned as one of the best shows in television history. What was it like working on that series?
Louis Lombardi: It was great. Working on that series was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had besides 24.
TVWise: How was it working with James Gandolfini?
Louis Lombardi: He was great. I knew him before The Sopranos and he’s one of the reasons I was on the show. He was a really good guy.
TVWise: Were you surprised by the negative reaction from the fans at the series finale?
Louis Lombardi: It is what it is you know. People always expect more no matter what you do. He basically left the door open to people’s imagination as far as what the ending would be.
TVWise: What was it like working on 24 and playing the character Edgar Stiles?
Louis Lombardi: You know, 24 was great. The role I had was probably one of the best roles I’ve ever had in my life. The writers were great. Keeping up that momentum and main plotline for years and years; it’s kind of interesting how they did that. I thought it was fabulous writing and the editors and producers on that show were great.
TVWise: Did you ever get stressed out filming the series like we did watching it?
Louis Lombardi: Yea, it was kind of stressful. Whatever your character has going on, it goes on for the whole season because it’s one day. When my mom died on the show, I had to be sad and depressed the entire season. It kind of takes a toll on you and along with the action stuff. It’s not an easy show to shoot, but still a great experience for me as an actor.
TVWise: What was it like working with Kiefer Sutherland?
Louis Lombardi: He was great. One of the most professional guys I have ever worked with. He was just a true gentleman. He’s been in the business since he was 15 and you can definitely tell.
TVWise: What do you think about the upcoming 24 event series next year?
Louis Lombardi: I wish them the best. I think it’s great. If they can get the fans back, I think they should definitely do it.
TVWise: You’ve had some great guest star appearances on shows like CSI:NY, Hawaii Five O, NYPD Blue, Entourage and so many more. Is it easy as an actor to come on a show as a guest star?
Louis Lombardi: Yea, I’ve actually done that on every TV show that I’ve been involved with, so it’s been pretty good for me.
TVWise: You’ve had some great film roles as well, Natural Born Killers, Usual Suspects and one that stands out for me The Spirit. What was it like working on that project?
Louis Lombardi: You know, working with Frank Miller was great. The guy was such a creative, fun and interesting person. I played like 30 guys in the film. It was such a blast working with Scarlet Johanssen, Samuel Jackson and Eva Mendes. That was one of my favorite film roles.
TVWise: You’ve done film and television, is there one medium you prefer over the other?
Louis Lombardi: You know, it’s just the fact that I have a job. Also, it’s about who’s in the project, what it is, what kind of role you have and that goes for film or television.
TVWise: You’ve launched your own gourmet Italian food line, Lombardi’s Gourmet; do you want to talk a little about that?
Louis Lombardi: Growing up in the Bronx, all I wanted to do was cook. What I’m trying to do with my food line is bring families back to the dinner table. I believe everything can be mediated around the dinner table. I grew up in a big Italian family and all you did was talk, laugh, cry and everything was resolved around the dinner table. I really think this country is missing that. There are no more family dinners, it’s all about fast food, use your cell phones, I’m tired from working all day type of mentality. With my products, I’m just trying to start a little movement to get families back to the dinner table.
TVWise: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Louis Lombardi: Yea, I just finished Jersey Boys directed by Clint Eastwood. I play Christopher Walken’s bodyguard. Also, of course Mob City will be starting shortly.
Mob City premieres on TNT on Wednesday December 4th at 9/8c and on FOX in the UK on Friday January 17th at 10pm.