Jay Giannone is an actor, producer and a film director who grew up in South Boston. He belongs to a family of performers as his mom was a theater actress and a rock and roll singer, and his grandmother was a painter. He is currently promoting and re-launching his film “Scalpers,” as well as working on seven more film projects.
Jay began his entertainment career as a teenager as a break dancer and street performer and soon after he started modeling. He has appeared in ad campaigns with Michael Jordan and others. He is also a former J-Crew catalog model.
In 2009 he wrote, produced, directed and played the lead in the short film, "Diamond In The Rough,” as well as “Scalpers.” “Diamond in the Rough” won the Boston Film Night Audience Award.
Jay has appeared in several television shows including the HBO hit series "Entourage,” "Scorpion,” "Gone Baby Gone," "The Departed,” “Patriots Day," “Justice Served” and "American Hustle". He also wrote, produced, and directed "It Snows All the Time.” In 2006 Jay served as consultant/technical advisor to Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese for the Academy award-winning film "The Departed."
In an interview with Cultured Focus Magazine, Jay revealed that he is re-launching his film “Scalpers.” The tag line for the film is “in the underworld of ticket scalping, rivalries are fierce, turf wars are more intense and the competition can be deadly.”
Jay shared that it was difficult to put the film out years ago when it was made. “There weren’t streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon, and none like Vimeo where my film is being streamed. So many people have been asking me how they can view the feature length film. Finally there is a way,” he says.
“This is a special film because I used characters from my town and my immediate neighborhood and shot the film on the streets where I grew up. Tough guys play tough guy‘s drug attic‘s play, drug attic‘s ticket scalpers play ticket scalpers, and there may even be some familiar faces in there from notable studio films that were made in Boston, such as “The Departed,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Fighter.” It is an exciting cast,” Jay shares about “Scalpers,” which he directed, produced and played the lead role of Vinny Russo.
“Kevin Weeks who is notoriously know for his involvement in the Winter Hill Gang and a known enforcer of Whitey Bulgers mob plays Danny Dugan, head of the Irish mob. Kevin is brilliant in ‘Scalpers,’” he says.
Jay told Cultured Focus Magazine that he has made four films this year right before COVID-19 hit. He says he has a couple more projects that were put off but he hopes to film them by July or August.
“I am very excited for them all. One in particular is called “The Penitent Thief” directed by Lucas Miles and John Blaze. It is based on a book by Don Willis who also adapted the screenplay. I play the lead so it’s a very exciting opportunity,” says Jay. The film has a release date set for October 9 and is being distributed by Vertical Entertainment.
“I am proud of all the films I am a part of. Each is a stepping stone to the next film. I make friends and get to work with wonderful artists from all over the world,” says Jay.
A couple other films that he has coming out are “Lansky", the Meyer Lansky film, written and directed by Eytan Rockaway. He plays Salvatore Maranzano, head of the New York crime family in 1929. Jay also has “Summer Someday” in the works where he plays a mobster named Rocco.
In terms of charity work, Jay has his hands full: “I am pleased to be working alongside Manuel Collas De La Roche, who is the founder of The Better World Forum. I am serving as a board member with Prince Albert of Monaco, Mary J. Blige, Akon, Sharon Stone and Forest Whitaker. We’re creating awareness and raising money to help the fight to save the Amazon Rainforest. We are also working hard to save the oceans and all wild life across the planet. Saving the planet is important to me and the more people are educated about what it takes to help is essential for preservation. I have collaborated with numerous brands and I am seeking more brands to unite with and to help with our cause.”
In terms to the current political state, Jay adds: “ I believe in a fair world where there is no room for racism. I feel that we are one race. The human race.”
For more on the “Scalpers” film follow @scalpersthemovie and @jaygiannone.