In Parts One and Two of our interview with Victor Alfieri, the international actor discussed his transition from "class clown" to cop following a violent attack in Rome, growing up without a father, and then making to move to California to start his acting career as Franco Kelly on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. In this final part he opens up about working on BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, the films he is producing, as well helpful hints for dealing with disappointment and betrayal.
We Love Soaps: Franco’s story with Sami was hugely popular. He pretended to be in love with her in order to get his immigration papers.
Victor Alfieri: That was funny.
We Love Soaps: What was it like to work with Alison Sweeney?
Victor Alfieri: She was great. I was amazed. She was good and relatively new. She was on top of her game. She got married during that time to a very sweet guy. The last year I was there we worked a lot.
We Love Soaps: What’s interesting about Franco is that his story grew after his death. Sami went to death row for his murder. Who “who shot Franco” story went on for years. Then THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL came calling.
Victor Alfieri: After I left DAYS OF OUR LIVES I took time off. DAYS was a lot of work, and I really enjoyed it. But for two and a half years I didn’t go back to Italy. Your working on a soap, on every day, you don’t have time for vacation. You do get a little time, but when you have to fly around the globe to see your family, there was not enough time to go and come back. So after DAYS I wanted to take time off. I was making plans to go back to Italy when the audition came in. It wasn’t as much as audition as it was an audition/meeting. Bradley Bell wanted to meet me, see me in person, and talk to me about this character who was a photographer. I think the original name was “Flash.” I met my co-star Ashley Cafanga (Kimberly). We used to run into each other at NBC where she was doing SAVED BY THE BELL. I think Bradley saw heat. I would read the lines to her, she would get all nervous and giggly.
We Love Soaps: They changed the name from Flash to Giovanni?
Victor Alfieri: “Giovanni Lorenzano” was the full name. It’s a funny name because [in real life] Daniel Lorenzano is the name of the guy who brought BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL to Italy. He’s an Italian producer. So Bradley named me after his last name. That was a nice ride. I did it on and off until last year. It’s a good family, I had a great time with them. I was making plans to go back to Italy, but Bradley said, “Don’t make any plans, we are going to Venice!” I really enjoyed it.
We Love Soaps: And on B&B your family could watch you.
Victor Alfieri: Everybody was happy with that.
We Love Soaps: I’m trying to remember who exactly Giovanni was involved with?
Victor Alfieri: He was always after Kimberly. Later he was involved briefly with Bobbie Eakes’s character (Macy).
We Love Soaps: She’s on ALL MY CHILDREN now. Maybe we’ll see a reunion?
Victor Alfieri: [Laughs] Maybe.
We Love Soaps: You mentioned that ALL MY CHILDREN came about as you were producing your own film.
Victor Alfieri: This one I wrote, I like to write. It’s a comedy. I will be producing it with my own money. It’s called, “Arturo Bond.” It’s about the secret service of food. They really exist, actually. They’re called the O.C.I. - Office of Criminal Investigation. They work for the F.D.A. It’s a spoof of the James Bond movies, but it takes you into the world of food. It’s the food secret service. It sounds funny, but they do really exist. They really carry a badge and a gun. They need to have at least 12 years experience, they have to F.B.I. or C.I.A. officers first. I’ve written several movies. I have another one that is a bigger drama that I’m in talks with Peter Fonda for. That’s my baby. It’s a beautiful story about two brothers going on a road trip.
We Love Soaps: What’s the name of that one?
Victor Alfieri: It’s called “Phoenix.” It’s a beautiful spiritual journey between these two brothers who reconnect after 25 years. That is a bigger budget. Hopefully it will happen this year.
We Love Soaps: So you are an actor, writer, producer, even cop. Do you ever get disappointed? If so how do you deal with setbacks?
Victor Alfieri: What disappoints me is people who don’t respect this business. They come in for a free ride an they use you. This happened to me recently, I don’t want to say names. But I was attached to a movie, I was ready to do it. The producers said, “Oh my gosh, we’re so happy to meet you, you’re family.” For a year and half I supported them and the movie and gave them all this free publicity. I wanted to do it, they seemed like really nice people. Then sure enough I see that I’m fired from the movie, not with a phone call, but on IMDB. I was not on the movie anymore. You live and learn. There is nothing you can do about it. People behave like that, they enter your life, they exit your life. You have to be able to move on, keep the professional people around you, and also the real friends who have been there through your life.
So how do I cope with that? Think about the positive and remember that there are people in your life to remind you what is real and what is good. LIke I said, without the villain there is no spice. It’s the same thing in life. Without those obstacles, without those bad people, there’s no way for you to snap out of whatever you’re doing and say, “Okay, here are my real friends, here is my real family, here is who really loves me.” When you’re in a storm, you don’t have to be afraid of it, you just have to learn to dance in the rain.
We Love Soaps: If you could go back to 1994 and give yourself one piece of advice what would that be?
Victor Alfieri: Invest in real estate [Laughs]. I think I’ve actually done alright. For a foreigner to come, get a green card and get citizenship without getting married, playing major motion pictures with Tom Hanks [in Angels & Demons], and contract roles on shows, I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve". He is re-imagining a world without "shoulds" at www.shouldless.com.