Rocco Nugent -- yes, son of Ted -- was buoyed recently when he checked out his entry on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and growing list of credits that includes "Prom," "Cheesecake Casserole," the new urban adventure-thriller "Infiltrators" and the upcoming horror film "The Impaler."
"I felt like, 'Hey, I got a couple up there. I'm chipping away at it," the 23-year-old Nugent says with a laugh.
Acing came as a bit of an accident for Nugent. He attended the College of Southern Nevada to play baskteball but didn't feel his prospects were as good as he'd hope. "I didn't have a Plan B," Nugent notes, but with a bit of reality TV experience behind him -- his father's "Surviving Nugent" and "Running Wild" series -- he decided to move to Los Angeles, take acting classes and entered the fray. "I loved it," says Nugent, who also launched a rap career as Rocco Moon and released his first album during the summer. Acting, he adds, "felt like I was playing, like I was being a kid. I just fell in love with it. I was like, 'Hold on -- people get paid for this? Wow...' "
Nugent plans to keep both his acting and music careers moving forward, and he's been pleased to discover that his lineage has not really been a factor in establishing his own reputation in either pursuit.
"I've had a couple people in the acting world sit me down and actually be more responsive to my middle name, Winchester," Nugent says. "It really is a ladder you have to climb on your own. I'm in rooms auditioning and saying lines like anybody else. There hasn't been an opportunity for me to, I suppose, capitalize on, 'Hey, my dad plays guitar really well. Anyone want to give me an acting role?' It hasn't come up.
"On the set and stuff people are obviously familiar with his work and are aware of him as an outspoken person. You can tell right away if someone's a fan or an enemy -- I don't think he has many in-betweeners, y'know? But it doesn't impact on how anybody feels about me or treats me."
Rocco Nugent will be in town for the Midwest premiere of his new film, "Infiltrators," at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the State Wayne Phoenix Theatres, 17310 Laurel Park DRive North, Livonia. Fellow actors Greg Jbara, Hallee Hirsh and Robert Picardo and producer Sally Helppie will also attend. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door with proceeds going to the Champions of Wayne patron group of Wayne Memorial High School, which Jbara and Helpiee both attended. Call 734-464-7027 or visit www.phoenixmovies.net.
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