The 26-year-old, former Grey’s Anatomy star, will play a ‘fiery Italian’ and has a recurring Corrie role starting from February 6th.
Luca Malacrino, currently starring in Amazon hit indie feature Elephants, will begin his first ever British role on the beloved soap next month.
Luca, from Cardiff, relocated to LA just over four years ago with barely any acting experience, after years of running nightclubs in the Welsh capital. He took a class at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, debuted in a performance at St David’s Hall, sold his house and moved to Tinseltown to pursue his dreams.
Sixteen months later, he’d graduated from Los Angeles’ AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts and within days of graduating started to earn credits across stage, TV and film.
In 2017, he appeared in the award-winning hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy; played the son of one of his idols, Goodfellas’ Paul Sorvino in Criminal Minds Beyond Borders, and joined the cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic experimental ‘live cinema’ film project, Distant Vision.
Last year, he appeared in Jim Carrey’s I’m Dying Up Here, a comedy series about a group of ’70s stand-up comedians where he played a British TV agent from the ’60s.
Now he’s preparing to be closer to home for the next few months, having joined the Weatherfield cast at ITV Studios, as well as promoting his first self-produced feature film Elephants, on home soil.
The former St David’s Catholic College pupil is signed to Byron’s Management in the UK and managed by Los Angeles management company, Entertainment Lab.
“When I found out Coronation Street wanted to see me, it was a Monday night in LA last November, and I was getting ready for another busy week in Hollywood,” said Luca, son of Cardiff restaurateur, Giovanni.
“I rang my mum in Cardiff and asked her if she thought taking the next flight out to audition for Coronation Street was a good idea. Were the odds completely against me? She said: ‘I don’t know why, but I have a really good feeling about this one’. So I booked the next flight out.” After a 19-hour journey and an audition in front of Corrie director Tim Royle and the casting department, Luca booked a recurring role across multiple episodes.
Producers on Britain’s longest-running soap have sworn Luca to secrecy about the details of the newest addition to the cobbles, but he can reveal he’ll appear in multiple episodes as a recurring Italian character “full of passion, style and charisma.”
This month, Luca joined the full Corrie cast to film two episodes and is due to make his debut in the second episode airing Wednesday, February 6.
He’ll be staying in Cardiff and commuting to Manchester for filming stints, flying back between episodes to his LA home in Sherman Oaks.
In the meantime, viewers can catch him in his first self-produced movie, Elephants, a sweet indie romance from writer/director Alex Hanno that follows a young couple trying to rekindle their relationship after three years apart. Luca plays the male lead, a sensitive musician named Lee Riley, who’s just left prison and wants to prove to the girlfriend he left behind that he’s a changed man. He co-produced the film, released in the UK and US, currently streaming for free on Amazon Prime Video. Elephants is the first feature-length project from his production company, The Chameleon Effect, which was co-founded by Luca and Hanno.
The duo, plus film-maker Rebecca Hardy (who was Luca’s first ever acting coach, on the Chapter Arts course) are currently in development on their next feature film, A Sanctuary for Water Voles.
Rebecca said: “After just a few sessions, it was apparent Luca had the talent, tenacity and passion you need to succeed in the industry. He stood out amongst the crowd.”
The quirky comedy is due to shoot in Cardiff and Pembrokeshire, largely thanks to Luca’s ambition to film on home soil. “Living in LA has given me an even bigger appreciation for Wales, and I want to do my part to showcase the talents of this beautiful country, both in front of and behind the camera,” said Luca, a member of BAFTA’s Newcomers Programme.
“It’s my dream to create a series of films here throughout my career.”
But before that, he’s looking forward to taking his place in Britain’s most-watched soap.
“In Hollywood, I’ve played a psychopathic murderer, a ’60s British agent and an ex-con from Brooklyn so it’ll be great to get stuck into a completely different role on Coronation Street,” said Luca, a lifelong fan of the show. “Around eight million people watch it per week, which is a pretty brilliant feeling. I can’t wait to show what I can do with this character.
“He’s fiery, Italian, stylish, and a lot of fun.”
Now Luca has just found out Babysplitters, a film he starred in last year with Community’s Danny Pudi and award-winning writer/director Sam Friedlander, will premiere at the world-renowned Santa Barbara International Film Festival, in February. The festival will also honour stars such as Creed’s Michael B. Jordan, Golden Globe Winner Glenn Close, and multiple Academy Award-nominated stars Melissa McCarthy and Viggo Mortensen with awards.
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