Recently, we spoke to actor Teo Celigo about his short film ‘What If’, some of his other projects and his thoughts about balancing life in LA. Here is what he had to say:
Let’s talk about your short film ‘What if’ and how did you get involved with this production?
Ale Fips -the creator/writer of the film came to me with the idea for What If while we were in rehearsal for a play called The Flick by Annie Baker.
Tell us about your role:
I play Jacob -a man who finds himself torn between pursuing a newfound love and re-evaluating his relationship with his best friend -with whom there might be more underneath than he’d like to admit.
How do you prepare for each role before you go into production?
I figure out what the story is about, learn the lines and pray for inspiration, the day we begin.
Since being LA, you’ve been doing a lot of exciting projects. What’s been one of your biggest highlights so far?
I would consider ‘What If’ to be one of the biggest highlights. It truly is all about the people you work with and that group was outstanding. And to top it off, we won 2 awards! But I feel the roles I didn’t get, were equally important if not bigger highlights. This teaches you not to take yourself too seriously and challenge your “get back up on your feet” process.
Did you adjust to LA easily when you first got here, or did you find it difficult?
I feel I adjusted easily. Mostly because I was surrounded by great people at Stella Adler LA and also because of people in general. They are open-minded, kind and communicative, everyone is working towards their goal. It’s easy to feed off of this type of energy. Perhaps the most difficult part for me was to take better care of myself.
What else are you working on at the moment. I hear you are involved with a podcast:
Yes, at the moment I’m part of a podcast series which I can’t say too much about since its in the early stages -but I can say its bringing the vampire world back into it’s purest form. It’s exciting to focus only on the voice of a character and not worry about the image. When you work in front of the camera your body language is crucial and sometimes it creates pressure. But when you’re only carving out the voice of a character, the freedom of it is vast. I have also begun to write with an extremely talented comedian friend of mine which is opening the doors to a whole other world and actually, making more sense of acting.
I am producing a show as well, an adult animated show about a pushover boy who dies, goes to heaven, becomes God’s personal assistant only to find out that life up there is just as chaotic as life on earth. And that God, just like us, doesn’t have it all figured out. It’s a controversial satire on religious beliefs, the hereafter and the absurdity of life. And it is ridiculously humorous. Filipe Coutinho and Ben Mehlman wrote it. I’ve known Filipe for 8 years now and he’s one the smartest people out there.
Who were some of your biggest influences in the acting world?
The consensus out there is that Daniel Day Lewis is the greatest living actor so I would be amiss not to mention him. The specificity of his work is beyond astounding -and that’s what all actors strive for. Meryl Streep goes in that category as well. Vanessa Redgrave, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson. There’s more but just to name a few. Of the younger generation I can say I’ve seen all Tom Hardy movies as well as Michael Fassbender’s. I love what they do.
What would be your ideal role to play if you had a choice?
I’ve always been a fan of the crime/mystery genre. Something along the lines of Rust Cohle in True Detective or Holden Ford in Mindhunter or Ed Exley in LA Confidential.