Paolo Rotondo

Paolo Rotondo



Birth Name

Paolo Rotondo


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Born in Italy but raised and living in New Zealand since age 11 (his father is Italian, his mother a Kiwi), Paolo has a Diploma of Literature and Art History from the Universita Per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Paolo is a member of the Loop Group for the show Spartacus.

    • Moving to New Zealand as a boy from Italy, Paolo needed to take special speech classes in order to communicate properly in his new home. Paolo credits this as giving him the step into acting, since elocution is so important for actors. It also helped him develop his ability to use different accents, such as American or Scottish accents.

    • Paolo and his partner Renee have a daughter together.

    • Paolo is a great cook, and often makes his own biscotti as Christmas presents.

    • Paolo is an avid soccer fan. His favorite teams are Napoli and Manchester United.

    • Paolo has a sister who is also an actress as well as a film director.

    • Paolo is a trained MC, with skills in presenting and stand up comedy.

    • Paolo served as guest MC for the 2007 Auckland Philharmonia - Vero Aotea Series Concert 3.

    • Paolo's theatre credits include:
      (2011) Strange Resting Places "Soldier", Q Theatre, Dir Leo Gene Peters
      (2011) Tartuffe "Tartuffe", Silo Theatre, dir. Shane Bosher
      (2008) Peer Gynt "Narrator", Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Aotea Centre, The Edge
      (2008) The Little Dog Laughed "Mitchell", The Silo Theatre, Dir Shane Bosher
      (2007) Strange Resting Places Taki Rua Productions, The Auditorium, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Dir Leo Gene Peters
      (2006) Twelfth Night "Sebastian" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Michael Hurst
      (2006) Mr Marmalade "Bradley" Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Michael Hurst
      (2003) Fond Love and Kisses Rob" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Murray Lynch
      (2003) The Butcher's Daughter "Emilian & Others" Pandemonium Theatre, Wellington/Herald Theatre, Auckland, Dir Julie Nolan
      (2002) Little Che' "Alberto Granado" 3 Pesos Productions- New Zealand Tour, Dir Andrew Foster
      (2001) A Streetcar Named Desire "Pablo Gonzales" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Simon Prast
      (2001) Little Che' "Alberto Granada" 3 Pesos Productions- Silo Theatre, Auckland- BATS Theatre, Wellington, Dir Andrew Foster
      (2000) Dog Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Andrew Lumsden (aka Te Radar)
      (2000) Never Never BATS Theatre, Wellington, Dir Emma Willis
      (1999) The Young Baron "Biaggio" Theatre Stampede, Maidment Theatre, Auckland, Dir Ben Crowder
      (1998) Accidental Death of an Anarchist "Madman" Maidment Theatre, Auckland, Dir Oliver Driver
      (1997) Coriolanus "Brutus" Summer Shakespeare- Maidment Theatre, Auckland, Dir Oliver Driver
      (1996) Black Hands "Simon" Watershed Basement Theatre, Wellington
      (1995) Nowhere Fast "Bevan" Maidment Theatre, Auckland, Dir Willa O'Neill
      (1994) Round About Thursday "Roger" Maidment Theatre, Auckland

    • Strange Resting Places, the play Paolo co-wrote with Rob Mokaraka was the first play performed in the Auditorium at Auckland Museum. It was later nominated for "Best Production of the Year" at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. He was also nominated as "Outstanding New Playwright" at the same awards for the production.

    • Paolo enjoys a wide variety of athletic activities: basketball, boxing, cricket, tennis, squash, fencing, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics, horse jumping, horseback riding, rowing, sailing, surfing, swimming, and water skiing.

    • Paolo has trained in dance, and can perform in various styles: Flamenco, Break Dancing, Latin, and Jazz.

    • Paolo says that being an Italian raised in New Zealand has helped him as an actor, since Italians have a flair for drama, and Kiwis are very controlled emotionally. He feels that he is somewhere in between the two extremes, allowing him to access his emotions easily without losing control of them.

    • Born in Italy, Paolo speaks Italian fluently.

    • Paolo is a talented singer, and can perform in various styles, including rock, and Mezzo Soprano. He can also play the guitar.

    • Paolo has done dozens of commercials, from KFC and Coca Cola to the Voice of the Labour Party of New Zealand.

    • Paolo won the inaugural Italian Film festival Scholarship in 2006. This scholarship gives Paolo a trip to Italy in the second half of 2007, where he will attend the Venice Film Festival, have an internship with the prestigious Italian film production house Due A working on a film production, an internship at the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, plus a chance to attend the Turin Film Festival.

    • Paolo co-wrote the play Strange Resting Places, which tells the experiences of New Zealand's Maori Battalion in Italy during WWII. He and fellow writer Rob Mokaraka also performed in it at a number of venues around New Zealand.

    • In 2006 Paolo won for "Best Script" at the New Zealand Screen Awards for his short film Dead Letters.

    • Paolo describes himself as being obsessed with the revolutionary Che Guevara, and performed the role of Alberto Granado in the play Little Che'.

    • In both 2004 and 2005 Paolo was nominated for the "TV Guide Best on the Box People's Choice Award" for "Best Actor" for the series The Insiders Guide to Happiness.

    • In 1997, Paolo won "Best Actor" at the Fantafestival Film Festival in Rome for the feature film The Ugly.

    • Paolo is 5'6" (168cm) tall, has light brown hair and brown eyes.

    • Paolo is represented professionally by the firm Johnson & Laird Management.

  • Quotes

    • Paolo: I think in New Zealand I often feel I identify with being Italian more, because I feel slightly different. It makes me go, `Oh it's my Italian side'. (But) when I'm in Italy, I'm not like Italians from Italy either. So when I'm there I go, `I must be Kiwi'.

    • Paolo: (on his role as Andrew Solomon on "Shortland Street") Shortland Street is as job-job as you can get in acting. It's got a lot better, but when I was there I had some problems with it. My character was boring and it left me with nowhere to go. I thought, 'I can't do anything with this guy', so I didn't renew my contract.

    • Paolo: (on revolutionary Che Guevara) Che had an idea of the world as some kind of utopia, and as naive and idealistic as that is, I really admire him for fighting for it. He was a romantic hero who fought for what he thought was right. In a world that is really cynical, I enjoy heroes like that. It's too easy to be cynical. I tried to get Little Che made as a film, but people laughed in my face. 'You old hippie,' they said, 'no one would be interested in him.' Then two years later came a movie [The Motorcycle Diaries].

    • Paolo: (on playing disturbed characters) I look so intense, that's probably why they cast me as psychos. I think I liked them more when I was a bit younger. Playing a serial killer was really challenging and exciting... look at me, I'm hardly a big scary guy. Those challenges were fun but they take their toll and I'm a little over playing psychos.

    • Paolo: As an actor you get to work on quite a bit of banal sh** and after a while it gets hard to put your heart and soul into it. You might be selling crisps, and you might use all the craft and talent you've learnt, but it doesn't feed you creatively. It's easier to put my heart into my own work.

    • Paolo: (on playing the disturbed character Tim on "The Insiders Guide to Happiness") Being really aggressive to Sophia [Sophia Hawthorne, who plays Julie] was really hard. It's hard to be really threatening to Sophia because she's very open and very gentle. And her character's pregnant! Threatening a pregnant woman, that's hard!

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