Danny A. Abeckaser, the actor/director/producer, is set to appear in the most anticipated movie of 2019, The Irishman by Martin Scorsese. Abeckaser has been a key player in bringing mob movies back into relevance over the last few years, with his successful indie hit that debuted in February 2018. First We Take Brooklyn, starring Harvey Keitel, AnnaLynne McCord, Edoardo Ballerini, Kathrine Narducci, Sasha Feldman, Charlotte McKinney, and himself as the male lead, and showcasing the harsh drama between the Russians and Israelis in Brooklyn, NY. His newest film Mob Town, which is being distributed by Saban Films this Fall, starring David Arquette, Jennifer Esposito, Robert Davi, PJ Byrne, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and a slew of notable, talented actors, tells the story of the famous Apalachin “mob meeting” of 1957 where all mafia bosses from all over the East Coast gathered in upstate NY for a summit only to be discovered by the FBI.
Coco Leto: Where does your passion for story telling come from?
Danny Aceckaser: I don’t know, but I have it! I’m a great storyteller, it has todo with me making great films, I havea big imagination and I tell stories.
CL: What have you learned from telling the stories that have never been able to have been told before?
DA: What I learned is that you can’t please everyone. Everyone has their own perspective on the way they see the story. I try to tell it in the most creative way in how I see it.
CL: In doing that, to dig a little deeper, what have you personally learned from it?
DA: The last film I did, when I bought the script it was called Mob Town. Now it’s called The Sit Down. When I bought the script it was basically all about the gangsters, the gangsters way of life, how they saw it. I saw that movie, it’s boring, it’s the same shit. I want to tell the story from the eyes of the cops, the small town cops that work in a little police station that has 3 officers, 500 people in the town [and mobsters], and that’s what I learned, to tell the story, the same story from a different perspective is very important.
CL: Where does your interest from the mob stem from?
DA: I grew up watching Scorcese movies. Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, and I just fell in love with it. It’s my favorite genre, they’re my favorite movies. I grew up in Brooklyn and I can’t say I was around mafia stuff, while there definitely was an underbelly that everyone kind of knew about.
CL: Perfect segway into the next question, The Irishman, directed by Scorcese, which you’re acting in, tell me about that?
DA: Greatest experience of my life so far. Just getting an audition was incredible. Marty directing it, De Niro in my first scene, they were letting him just improvise and run with it. I had the greatest time of my life. It ended up being the greatest experience I’ve ever had in making a movie. I was so nervous going in, to work with De Niro, Scorcese directing me, but the crazy thing is once you start doing the scenes you just become an actor and you do your work. It’s not until you step back and you think about how crazy that was! It’s the first movie I’ve ever been in that everyone is going to see, and that’s exciting.
CL: You’re obviously so determined, hard working, a hustler as you’ve been called. How do you balance it all, or like to balance it all?
DA: I hate to say, but it’s just seamless. Everything I do is tied to my motivation to succeed in no matter what I do. I don’t look at success as equivalent to money. Success comes to me from doing what I want to do, doing what I love, and if people acknowledge it, and they like it, than that’s the greatest to me. Push as hard as I can to continue to do what I love.
CL: As you were growing up falling in love with the mob genre and those movies, who are your greatest film making idols and why?
DA: As far as the film makers, obviously Scorsese, and I like Brian De Palma. As far as actors, I’ve always loved De Niro, Pacino, Brando, and Sylvester Stallone. Rocky was a huge inspiration on me. How he made Rocky, how determined he was, had a huge impact on me. I love the determination, I love the drive. Believing in yourself.You can get very discouraged making these movies as you work so hard and then not many people might see them. If you do it simply because you want to be acknowledged, then you’re never going to succeed. There are two reasons you want to create: is it for yourself, or is it because you want people to enjoy it?
CL: One of the last comments you mentioned correlates in my opinion with someone who truly embodies that is Dwayne Johnson. He had nothing, came from nothing, has risen to unprecedented heights, and continues to do so. One thing he always consistently says is it’s all about the fans, it’s about creating something that people want to see, and love, and acknowledge, and literally be a part of.
CL: Along with all you’ve mentioned that cinematically inspires you, what also inspires you in life?
DA: Being a good person, helping people, being present, being around people that I love, all of those are the most important things.