Herb Jackson Jr
The Fascinating Lorenzo Antonucci is All About Making His Own Luck
My guest this week is a commercial actor who has appeared on some very popular shows, like Ballers, Game of Thrones,and Days of Our Lives, amongst others. Before becoming an actor, he traveled the world as a member of the New York thrash band, Sworn Enemy. Lorenzo Antonucci will tell you he’s a lucky man, but he’s also made his own luck by jumping at opportunities that came his way, working hard, and staying gracious.
Lorenzo is a perfect embodiment of striving to move forward while at the same time never forgetting your roots. He grew up in Queens, and for a time, we were practically neighbors! “I think New Yorkers have a lot of personality and people gravitate to fun personalities,” he says. “That’s what our strong suit is: we’re real.”
These days, Lorenzo is bi-coastal, living between New York and L.A. “I never studied or did any acting in New York,” he says, modestly describing his humble beginnings. “Until I moved to L.A., I had no idea about acting. I was always in a band, so I toured the world doing that.” But he had the bug, like so many do. “I always wanted to be DeNiro, somehow, or Sylvester Stallone,” he says, “but I didn’t know how to do it, or pursue it, and I never tried to make that happen until it kind of just fell in my lap.” And when that happened, he made sure he didn’t miss out on the opportunity. As he says in our interview, he asked himself, “What are you doing? You need to do more to make this happen.”
There were bumps along the way—after the initial opportunity that “fell into his lap,” he experienced things that might have made some people give up. Lorenzo started acting when he was 36 years old, a late age by acting standards. “It’s not easy to start late,” he confesses. “It is very rough when you see guys 20 years younger than you doing awesome. And you’re just starting out and you feel like a loser.”
Yet, to hear Lorenzo talk, you’ll see that he has a kindness and sense of gratitude that belies his tattooed exterior; he’s no loser. Talking about his years as the guitarist for Sworn Enemy, he says, “It was a blessing. I got to tour with some of the biggest bands in the world. I met some of my closest friends—they’re still my closest friends. Doing the music, there’s been nothing but fantastic memories of playing in every city in every part of the world.”
“I’m a lucky guy,” he says, thinking about his trip to Belfast to appear on Game of Thrones. “Sitting here thinking about it… I’m a lucky guy.”
There will never be a place that means more to Lorenzo than Jamaica Avenue, but he’s not afraid to be blown away by Crenshaw Boulevard. I’d say it’s that combination of gratitude and determination, and not just luck, that lead to his impressive and unstoppable career.