Marlbrough Express, 4 Sep 1984
Wellington actor Silvio Famularo [pictured with Donna Akersten] says he has played a lot of enjoyable parts, but shady entrepreneur Leo Xirogiannis In "Inside Straight" Is one of the most enjoyable parts he has ever played.
"l just love the character. He looks Like me. He smiles like me, but he Is absolutely nothing like me.
"I mean, I'm about the softest character around. Somebody could borrow something from me and have It for a month, then come back to me with some sob story and I'd give them something else.
"But you don't play around with Leo Xirogiannis." Famularo, 48, bad been acting and singing for 23 years, but he has never been a full-time entertainer. For the last three years. he has been working as a real estate agent, which, he says, gives him a lot of freedom for his dramatic pursuits.
"If all roles were like Leo Xirogiannis, it would be nice to be a full-time actor. But even If you are lucky and get enough work to make a living, you have to do a lot of roles you don't like."
Though his Jolly personality gives him a natural bent for comedy, Famularo is also a keen opera singer. He has performed with the old New. Zealand Opera Company and he still practises singing every day. He has appeared In around 40 musical productions, both amateur and professional, many of them musical comedy, including taking the lead role In "Student Prince" staged by the Blenheim Operatic Society In 1969.
Till the end of last year, he ran a former Masonic Hall in Wellington as an entertainment and community centre. His last production, In which he also appeared, was the musical "Guys and Dolls".
As a member. of the Lamplighters barber shop quartet, he once came third In television's "New Faces" competition and also won the top group award.
Famularo is a New Zealander of Italian heritage.
In "Inside Straight" tonight, villain Johnny Winter aims to settle an old score with Leo. It can only mean trouble for Steve. And among the scrapes, there's an amorous hotel guest.