Marisa Petroro is a model and foxy actress with a unique appearance. She’s been featured in several popular magazines, including Stuff Magazine which listed her among their famous “103 Sexiest Women in the World” and Maxim Magazine’s “have you seen this girl.” Marisa is a cancer survivor who has gone on to do great acting and modeling work. Her latest film, “Sex, Politics and Cocktails” is being released this month. Check it out! If you enjoy the interview, let Marisa know!
Citynet Magazine: Tell us about the Marisa Petroro early years.
Marisa Petroro: My parents are off the boat from Italy so I had a pretty strict upbringing. I took a lot of dancing, singing and acting classes. I was involved in many clubs at school. I had to be otherwise I would never have been able to leave the house. Also, I was raised in a pretty tough neighborhood, Elizabeth, New Jersey. So my parents and my older brother were extremely protective of my well being. Boys were not allowed to call me. I always had to sneak around.
How did you get into modeling and acting?
My mom put me in my first beauty pageant when I was about four years old. That’s where I got my first “bug” to perform and be on stage. I continued in the pageant system until I was about 26. As a kid, around 7 or 8, I began taking acting classes in NY at HB Studio. My mom was very instrumental in trying to advance my career at a young age. However, my father did not like that I was being taken out of school a lot to go to NY for commercial auditions and modeling jobs. But I didn’t care, I loved it. I was always very shy but when I was on stage, performing, modeling, that was when I shined.
In May 2005, Sex, Politics and Cocktails is being released? How similar is that role from your real life personality?
I play the role of Daria, an alcoholic, nymphomaniac, soap actress, fag hag! Hmm…how similar am I to that character? Not at all really. That’s why it was so much fun! Daria is an outrageous character that does not sensor herself at any time. I’m a little more low key but occasionally, a bit of Daria will come thru…with a few drinks
What has been your favorite role so far?
I would have to say, Daria. I was always so afraid of comedy. I didn’t think I could do it. I always considered my self a “serious actress.” And then Sex, Politics and Cocktails, came along. The first-time director, Julien Hernandez, gave me an amazing opportunity to explore that side of my craft. Now, all I want to do is be goofy and outrageous on camera.
What do you do in your leisure time?
Leisure time? Ha! Lately, I feel like I’ve been running from one audition to another. Even on the weekends! But occasionally, when I do have some time off, I love to go to the movies, see plays, music, dinner with friends, hiking, reading a good book (but that only seems to happen when I’m on a plane, unfortunately).
What’s your greatest talent?
I can be extremely intuitive and sensitive to people’s energy. I can cut thru people’s facades very quickly. It’s great when choosing friends.
What has been the best experience in your job?
Wow. I have had so many. I had a chance to travel to Shanghai, China a few years ago to work on an episodic called Flatland with Dennis Hopper. Although, I never worked with him personally, I was given the opportunity to do some stunts with sword-fighting and experience an amazing city that has left a huge impression on my soul. Another great experience was when I worked on an indie film in Atlanta called No Witness with Jeff Fahey and Cory Feldman. Many of my scenes were with Jeff and he taught me so much. He also made me laugh my ass off. He’s an incredible soul.
What has been the worst experience?
Working in cold weather is never fun for me. You do what you have to do…with a smile. Those are the moments when I realize how committed I am to this career because otherwise I would run off the set :))))
What’s the most common question that people ask you?
People always want to know how old I am.
What’s the greatest risk you have ever taken?
I bungee jumped once. On a Sunday. Two days before September 11th. I’ll never forget it.
Choose any 3 words to describe yourself.
Goofy, Tenacious, Caring.
What do you want the world to know about you?
The world? That I’m a Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer survivor and hope to raise awareness of this rare childhood cancer.
If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
I would like to say a fat savings account but honestly just having my health is most important to me. I survived Rhabdomyosarcoma when I was 19. It’s a rare childhood cancer that affects the muscle. I had a tumor in my right forearm and went thru a long year of chemo, radiation, surgeries, lost my hair and lots of weight. Everyday I thank that higher power for giving me life.
Favorite place on the planet? Favorite vacation spot?
On the planet…Italy. I hope to own a vacation home in Tuscany someday.
Vacation spot…Kauai. All your worries just melt away there.
Liars, smokers and people who care more about who’s coming in and out of the restaurant rather than who’s sitting right in front of them.
It’s 12:01am. What are you doing?
Usually checking emails around that time and getting ready for bed.
Thong vs. regular undies, and why?
Definitely thongs…no panty lines.
Favorite body part on men? On your own body?
I love men’s arms and shoulders. Athletic types.
On my own body? Changes all the time. Right now…my cheeks…on my face
What kind of men are you attracted to?
I like athletic types who are witty, low key, ambitious, creative, full of surprises, earnest and honest.
Any secret pleasures?
If I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret, now would it?
Favorite upcoming projects?
Sex, Politics and Cocktails will open in LA and NY on May 20, 2005, with other cities to follow. Visit http://www.sexpoliticsandcocktails-themovie.com/ for the trailer and theater listings. It’s a fun film in the vain of Sex and the City and Queer As Folk.
I’ve been fortunate lately. I just worked on a new pilot called Three with James Van Der Beek, just got cast on RENO 911 which I will be shooting at the end of May and am preparing to work on a dramatic short film called Terminal with Brian Bloom. And if you get CMT, be sure to look out for the Whiskey Lullaby music video sung by Alison Krause and Brad Paisley. I star in it playing Rick Schroder’s (NYPD Blue) wife. He also directed the video which has won numerous awards including the CMA award as Best Music Video 2004. People can always check my website for upcoming projects.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 2010 I would like to be married to my soul mate, have a dog or two, live in a beautiful home near the ocean, working as a series regular on an HBO hit show, producing independent films, laughing and enjoying life. Am I asking for too much?
Where are you from/live now?
I am originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey and now live in Los Angeles.