In case you missed it, one movie slipped in under the radar tat received buzz, that started John Travolta and Kelly Preston, yet however, most moviegoers missed it entirely. That movie was, Gotti.
Gotti, directed by Entourage alum, Kevin Connolly, chronicled the infamous New York City crime boss, John Gotti and his three decades-long reign as leader of the Gambino Crime Family starred John Travolta as John Gotti, Kelly Preston as his loyal wife, Victoria Gotti, Stacey Keach as Neil Dellacroce, Spencer Lofranco as John John Gotti Jr. and Pruitt Taylor Vince as Angelo Ruggiero.
One other star who stole the show was William DeMeo.
Brooklyn born and bred, the 47-year-old native of Bensonhurst is a actor, producer, director and writer, whose credits include A Bronx Tale, Boss of Bosses, Analyze That, First Kill and HBO’s hit gangster culture tour de force, The Sopranos as recurring character Jason Molinaro, portrayed infamous Gambino crime boss and enforcer, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, who would ultimately turn state’s evidence and become a informant against Gotti.
As a producer and director, DeMeo has produced documentaries such as Cruising 86th St, which focused on the story of his Bensonhurst neighborhood from the 70’s-90’s and is currently working on a TV series, The Neighborhood that is set in 1980’s Brooklyn, that follows the story of a mob solider looking to leave his life of crime behind.
With Gotti recently being released on Blu-Ray and DVD, INSCMagazine had a chance to catch up with William to ask him some question on filming “Gotti” and being in his old neighborhood again.
Below is our Q and A with DeMeo as we talk Gotti, John Travolta, Robert DeNiro, his new apparel line, Brooklyn Brand and his love of classic cars.
Tell The Inscriber Mag readers a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the TV/Movie industry? I got started with the movie “A Bronx Tale”. Robert DeNiro took a liking to me and gave me my break with a couple of lines in the opening of the movie.
The Gotti movie came out this past June and received major buzz! What was it like being involved in such a large scale production alongside John Travolta and Kelly Preston? It was amazing! I’ve always been a huge fan of John Travolta and to work alongside this legend was a dream come true. Kelly Preston is also amazing and beautiful inside and out.
Tell us about your role in bringing John Travolta back to Brooklyn for a block party where Travolta’s career began? When the Gotti movie was coming out, I said to John “I don’t know if you know how loved you are in Brooklyn. We want to Welcome you back to the place where it all started for you with Saturday Night Fever,” at the pizza window of Lenny’s Pizza on 86th street where John does that famous walk with the paint can. John said “I would love to come back.” That’s the type of person John Travolta is. He never forgot where he came from. We had close to 10,000 people in the street to welcome him back and media attention across the globe.
What was it like playing the role of such a notorious public figure? It’s not the first time. I played young Carlo Gambino in a movie called “Boss Of Bosses’ with Chaz Palminteri. Both characters are from Brooklyn where I grew up. You try to do your best to stay true to what those characters are like. It’s a challenge because Sammy had different sides to him.
We are excited to learn more about your new TV series The Neighborhood, and I am sure The Sopranos fanatics are as well. What can you tell us about the series? I can tell you that it’s the most realistic look at the Brooklyn mob world in the eighties of all five families. A time when the mob ruled the area with an iron hand.
You created a new apparel line called WiseGuy Wear- with Shirts, Hats, or Accessories. Tell us about the line and where can you buy it? I have a clothing line called Brooklyn Brand that is all apparel with a really cool logo we created. Brooklyn is a brand in itself and Brooklyn people are very proud and love to rock Brooklyn clothing. The website to purchase stuff is www.Mybrooklynbrand.com Our clothing is also spreading to numerous stores for male and female.
As far as Wise Guy Wear goes, I’m a spokesperson for that company, which is about to launch an amazing cologne and perfume. The perfume is part of the Wise Girl Wear line. I’m about to be one of the main people in the commercial that is being shot shortly. The products will be available in all the Fragrance Outlets across the US and in many other stores in early November. They also will be available on their website www.Wiseguywear.com and www.Wisegirlwear.com.
There seems to be no slowing you down. Give us insight on your documentary Cruisin 86th Street? Cruisin 86th Street kind of started out as a goof but has grown to be such a big deal. It’s about a strip where thousands of people cruised from the fifties to early nineties. There is so much history on the strip from movies like Saturday Night Fever, The French Connection and the opening of Welcome Back Kotter. A very well known Producer has come aboard and we have footage of John Travolta back in Brooklyn on that strip. We are now calling the documentary Welcome Back Crusin 86th St. We plan on releasing it in early 2019.
You have worked with so many icons like Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini and Bruce Willis; if you could choose one person dead or alive to work with, who would it be? I have two more Icons on my list that I feel I’m destined to work with. Sly Stallone and Al Pacino.
Tell the fans one fun fact about yourself? I love to still Cruise in my classic cars with the radio blasting especially late at night. I’m old school and proud of that quality.
Where can fans find you on social media? My instagram is @William_DeMeo_ and I have a Facebook Page under my name.
Special thanks to Marisa Herbert of Marisa Herbert PR and William DeMeo for their time and assistance during this features. Images and content used with permission.