Interview: Bruno Verdoni jumps from TV to the big screen with Molly’s Game

Photo: Bruno Verdoni in Molly's Game, via STX Entertainment
Photo: Bruno Verdoni in Molly's Game, via STX Entertainment /
Bruno Verdoni, Molly's Game
Photo: Bruno Verdoni in Molly’s Game, via STX Entertainment /

Bruno Verdoni has been a mainstay on our television screens for about 20 years. After appearing here and there over the years, he makes the jump to the big screen in Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game. I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions ranging from his jump to the movies, working with Jessica Chastain on Molly’s Game, to his television career.

Hidden Remote: Working with Aaron Sorkin on his directorial debut, what was it like working with a man renowned for his screenwriting?

Bruno Verdoni: I really enjoyed auditioning and working with him. He is very trusting. I have to say the scenes I’m in don’t have that usual rapid-fire dialogue we usually expect from Aaron Sorkin, it was more internal and moody but still quite enjoyable.

Hidden Remote: Is there a particular Aaron Sorkin film or TV show that drew you to Mollys Game? Or was it the story itself?

Verdoni: The story itself is very compelling. I have been a big fan of his writing for a long time, since A Few Good Men and I really enjoyed The Newsroom too, great cast. For Molly’s Game I auditioned, got the part, got the book and then I realized how many layers the story had.

Hidden Remote: Do you play Poker?

Verdoni: Absolutely…not! This will illustrate my non-skills. I was at a fundraiser in Santa Monica a few years back and actors and celebrities were teamed up with real pro poker players. I brought my poker chips, sat at the table, and with my very limited knowledge of the game, I gave it my best shot. The pros were really nice though! Trying to help you understand the game and play better but they also were wanting to win – that’s in the DNA I suppose. So it just became a whirlwind where I thought most people spoke a weird language I couldn’t understand and of course lost all money so fast that my head was spinning.

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Hidden Remote: What was it like working with Jessica Chastain?

Verdoni: She is very committed and prepared, and although in the makeup trailer she was relaxed and joking around, on set, it was more like living inside the character. Staying in her bubble like most serious actors do. I mean, actors aren’t always like that unless there is an emotional demand or preparation that is needed, then like an athlete you stay focused.

Hidden Remote: What’s the biggest difference from working on TV to Film?

Verdoni: Usually it is the pacing and speed at which everything moves. The more money, the more time you have to explore, try out different options and suggestions. Television is much faster for both though! You have to show up prepared and ready to play and still remain flexible and go with the flow.

Hidden Remote: What made you make the jump from TV to Film?

Verdoni: It’s how the opportunities lined themselves up. The content game is changing and evolving rapidly. For me, it is all about the story, the characters, and the people you work with. If all these get an A+ from me, whether it’s film, TV, or theater, I’m in!

Photo: Bruno Verdoni/ Dennys Ilic
Photo: Bruno Verdoni/ Dennys Ilic /

Hidden Remote: Early on in your TV career you worked on The X-Files, Millenium and then The Lone Gunman. Is there something about the world that Chris Carter created that appealed to you?

Verdoni: Again, it was not a choice. In Vancouver back then everybody wanted to work with Chris Carter. I auditioned and landed those parts. My favorite show then was Millennium and I was able to land a decent part on it. And working with Zuleika Robinson on The Lone Gunman wasn’t bad either.

Hidden Remote: You have worked on several sci-fi TV shows, what is about sci-fi that speaks to you?

Verdoni: The main thing I am discovering more and more every day is that Sci-Fi allows you to address present issues, insert them in stories, and share your opinion about it without the need to create some distance. If you tackle the same issue in a modern film, it’s more of a juggling act to make people buy it. With sci-fi, anything goes. I am still a big fan of the original Twilight Zone.

Hidden Remote: What projects have you got coming up?

Verdoni: I am still a recurring character on The Expanse – at this point I don’t know if my character (Carlos Davila) will be brought back. Lots of voice-over work and I am developing different film/TV projects as a writer-director and I am in post with my short film Ritual. I’m hoping to land in several film festivals in 2018.

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Hidden Remote: You have been in the TV industry for 20 years or so, are there any interesting stories you can tell?

Verdoni: I have to say that I do not have any “juicy” stories regarding the shoots I have been on. It’s mostly always been about the amazing people I have worked with and that made the ride so enjoyable on a creative level but also a personal level. Not in any particular order but these people; Robert Zemeckis, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Jessica Chastain, Aaron Sorkin, Guillermo Navarro, Rob Lieberman, Bradley James, Pierre Gill, Barbara Hershey, Scott Wilson, Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Beal, Paget Brewster, Jeri Ryan…I would work with these people anytime any day!!!!

Hidden Remote: Is there a show that’s on TV at the moment that you would love to be on?

Verdoni: That’s a great question, and I might need to be restrained as to not give a huge list but Godless, Game of Thrones, Glow, Condor, Handmaid’s Tale, Bosch, Star Trek Discovery, Orphan Black and a lot of shows from Denmark, France, UK and Sweden.

Molly’s Game is now in theaters.