Paulo Costanzo — Evan Lawson to “Royal Pains” fans — cuts his teeth as a TV director with tomorrow night’s (8/29) episode, “Dancing With the Devil.” The actor tells us he’s been wanting to direct since he was a 15-year-old student at a school for the arts and got an assignment to make his own VHS movie. When he did, he recalls, he knew “This is what I want to do.”
So, what was the movie?
“It was called ‘The Outcast,’ about this dirty kid who was socially phobic. Bullies beat up on him. The girl he liked ignored him. And then he found these magical glasses that made him cool.”
Costanzo was inspired by his own plight. “I was very, debilitatingly shy in high school. Maybe making the movie was the glasses, for me. I found a voice.”
The handsome Canadian took a detour into acting as it turned out, of course, and began to amass his long list of credits including the big screen “Road Trip” and “50 Cent: Bulletproof” and small screen “Joey” as Matt LeBlanc’s nephew.
Now that he’s helmed an episode of his show, he is anxious to do more directing — despite a few extra challenges his first time around. There was an unforeseen rain storm that disrupted shooting, a fire alarm going off amidst filming of a big dance club sequence, necessitating clearing of 150 extras from the building. And then there was the Brinks truck that came to “unload this ATM, right in out shot. The guards cleared everyone away. They were yelling, ‘Get out of the way, NOW!’ And then they went as slow as possible. If I had just been acting, it would have been funny,” Costanzo says, “but it’s different when you’re the one trying to keep everything on schedule.”