Giacomo Keaton Gianniotti was born in Rome, on June 19th 1989, to an Italian father and a Canadian mother, but grew up in Canada, just outside Toronto, where he graduated from the Theater Program at the Humber College. Afterwards he completed his studies at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre, where he studied acting, continuing his passion for film. Many of us remember him for the interpretation of Dr Andrew DeLuca in Grey’s Anatomy, but in reality he grew up on set. He speaks Italian and English fuently, so much so that his debut on the big screen took place at Cinecittà in 1999, when at the age of ten he joined the cast of the film “La bomba” by Giulio Base, starring alongside Shelley Winters and Alessandro Gassmann.
The character played in the famous medical drama fits him perfectly: Italian-American, charming and enterprising, the young Andrew perfectly represents the hospital version of Mr. Gianniotti. After a brief appearance in Italian series Medicina Generale, in 2013 Giacomo took part in two episodes of Beauty and the Beast and Time Tremors. He also starred in Copper, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries and Selfie, and participated in a miniseries dedicated to the secret life of Marilyn Monroe. The real breakthrough, however, came in 2015 with Grey’s Anatomy, in which the role of Dr. DeLuca became one of the cult characters of the series, flanked by another Italian, Stefania Spampinato, who played his sister.
He then landed a role in Race, a 2016 biographical film about the life of Jesse Owens. On April 14th, 2022 he won the role of Diabolik replacing Luca Marinelli in the sequel to the 2021 film, a character far of from his persona which marks an important turning point on a personal level as he tells in our conversation
“Despite Diabolik having very cold and impassive character, the role gave me a lot”
Do you still remember your first experience on set?
It happened at the age of 10, while I was spending the summer in Rome at my grandmother’s house. My uncle’s friend who worked at Cinecittà introduced me to the production of “La bomba” by Giulio Base, who was looking for a dynamic and lively boy. From that moment I never stopped, I continued to study acting up until university and started working in the meantime.
What are you working on today?
The new Netflix series “From Scratch” has just been released, a story about an American girl who goes to Florence to study art and where she falls in love. Begins a journey of passion, mourning, resilience and hope between different cultures and continents that change her life. I play the guy who conquers her initially and there is a short story between us, until she finds true love.
A character, among those you interpreted, you’re closest to?
I would say Diabolik, though I never thought so. Despite having a very cold and impassive character, the role gave me a lot. I studied a lot to get close to him being my opposite, I liked his discipline and the spirit of dedication he put into his adventures. The film will be visible from November 17th, 2022 in Italian cinemas.
“I’ve always been fascinated by James Bond”
Does playing the same character for a long time have disadvantages?
When you play the same character for a long time, as I played for “Grey’s Anatomy” there is a risk of being recognized and connected only to one genre. You must work really hard to break this image. When the role of Diabolik happened, in fact, I jumped into it because it was exactly what I needed, to redefine who I am and my role as an actor.
What is it like to be an Italian actor in the United States?
Here at Los Angeles I am perceived more as a North American actor having moved to Canada many years ago. It’s known that I speak Italian, not only in the language but also as a culture. I think it gives me a touch more of what fellow Americans have, maybe some charm or class. This feature allows me to be versatile and work in multiple productions even in other markets.
A character you want to play?
I’ve always been fascinated by James Bond. I used to watch old movies with Sean Connery and Roger Moore and they were always a huge inspiration, the dynamics of this character are really fascinating. Its development is one of the biggest franchises in cinema and is played always and only by the best actors. Possibility to play a role in Bond it’s like entering an exclusive club, a close circle to which everyone aspires.
“The human side is very important to me, both at work and in personal life”
A director you’d work with? Stefano Sollima. In recent years he has contributed to the most important films that have been released in Italy. Modern movies with a charm that recalls the old Italian cinema but adding a new touch thanks to the technology that is available today. Great strides have been made in Italian cinema and he is one of the avant-garde directors who has contributed to the growth. The process started with “The Great Beauty” by Sorrentino and from thereon repositioning of our country began. Thanks to the streamers there is also a great chance to show Italy more widely.
What would you like to be remembered for? I would definitely like to be remembered as an actor but also for being generous and being available for the people who needed me. The human side is very important to me, both at work and in personal life.
What definition would you give to talent?
When discipline meets opportunity. There is an innate talent, in fact some actors have never studied or opened a book. I studied a lot, between school and theatre. That’s the great thing about art, it doesn’t matter if you have studied or not, the talent is the final product. I think no individual should rest but continue to work with discipline. Otherwise, failure is just around the corner.
“I learned to not judge my character, ever!”
Do you have a superstitious ritual before starting a new set?
I learned to not judge my character, ever! I’d rather put myself immediately in his shoes. Thinking, “I could never fill that role” is wrong and could sometimes bring bad luck! One has to do a lot of research and get to the set with confidence towards one’s own abilities. To leave the work of the mind and enter that of the body, also using one’s instinct.
What other passions do you cultivate in life?
I like to write, I’m a producer and also a director. I love all aspects of cinema and theatre; I am investing a lot especially on the experience of directing.
Objectives for the future?
I always try to change, find new directors to work with, edit stories. I lead my career based on directing, which is the captain of the ship. Every experience with a new director is beautiful and instructive and there is a chance to expand work and learn more. I would like to work with many directors and always raise the bar.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like my career to be divided between Italy and the United States, working as an actor and director. There are very nice aspects here in L.A. but it would be great to return to Italy where is my family, my culture and I could combine everything together.
Talent Giacomo Gianniotti
Editor in Chief Federico Poletti
Photographer Davide Musto
Stylist Alfredo Fabrizio
Ph. assistant Valentina Ciampaglia
Stylist assistants Arianna Zanetti, Federica Mele
Grooming Nichole Gianniotti
Location Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel
Opening image: Giacomo Gianniotti wears Tod’s