Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home INTERVIEWS Celebrity Interviews Rising Star: Paul Iacono

Rising Star: Paul Iacono

E-mail Print PDF
A natural born performer, Paul Iacono found childhood success on stage in New York’s theater scene, before transitioning to TV and film and later being cast in the 2009 remake of Fame. This month, 21-year-old Iacono steps into the title role in MTV’s highly anticipated new coming-of-age series, The Hard Times of RJ Berger (premiering Sunday, June 6 at 11 p.m. on MTV).

SNMag: Apart from the obvious plot point of RJ's, um,  anatomical gift, what else can you tell us about him?
Paul Iacono: Richard James Burger or RJ is a budding hipster, intellectual, 15-year-old kid stuck in the middle of Pinkteron, Ohio. And like most other 15-year-old boys, he wants nothing more than to get laid, hopefully by the most beautiful girl in town, Jenny Swanson. Although it's gonna take a lot more than being naturally well-endowed for that happen.

SNMag: What was your first reaction when you read the pilot script?
PI: Wow, MTV is doing a scripted show?  Was surprised to see them branching out from reality.  And excited to read such a great script.

SNMag: The show is being compared to The Wonder Years, Superbad, Teenwolf and so on. Do you agree with those comparisons or see any others?
PI: Well, it's a coming-of-age tale like The Wonder Years, with the raunchy vernacular and awkward short-comings of Superbad. And I have a pretty fierce six-pack like Teenwolf, so yeah, I see a few sparse comparisons.

SNMag: What was your own high school experience like?
PI: I attended the Professional Performing Arts School of Manhattan, which sounds fancy schmancy but was actually a public high school with a lot of normalcy to it... Minus the spontaneous musical out breaks at lunch (see Fame (2009) - I swear it's a fun movie!). And, much like RJ, I gradually got cooler as the years went on. It's all about finding yourself and being honest.

SNMag: How much does the show get away with in terms of sex, drugs and swearing? Do you wish it could push the limits even further?
PI: After recently meeting the very lovely and very excited Standards and Practice Lady at MTV's New York Upfronts, I can confidently say that we push those limits to the very edge. She particularly liked an episode dealing with a "Rainbow Party."

SNMag: The show seems to have a very male-centric perspective. What selling points does the show have for girls?
PI: RJ's surrounded with strong and beautiful women in his life like his mother Suzanne and Jenny Swanson... And then there's Lily, his stalker. There's really something in it for everyone.

SNMag: What are some of your favorite TV shows, past or present?
PI: Past: I Love Lucy, Arrested Development and anything Aaron Sorkin. Present: 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, Breaking Bad. And I'm a total Gleek, obviously.

SNMag: You already have some great experience in TV, movies, theater and playwriting. Do you have a preference? What are your career goals for the future?
PI: I'll always have bias for live theatre, especially in New York. There's nothing else like it. As for the future, only time will tell.

SNMag: Which actors or directors would you like to work with in the future?
PI: I'd really love the chance to act with Mary Louise Parker and Jack Nicholson and be directed by Woody Allen and Wes Anderson.

By Carla Thorpe

Bookmark with:

Add your comment

Your name:

Saturday Night Magazine TV

Past Issues


May 2010

• Pac-10 Cheerleaders • UC Budget Crisis • Internet Startups • Olivia Palermo...


April 2010

Chuck's Yvonne Strahovski • Music Venues • Dating Tips • Glee's Chris Colfer...


March 2010

• Cobie Smulders • Career Issue • Cast of The Vampire Diaries • March Madness...


February 2010

• Kristin Cavallari  • Spring Break  • The Biggest Loser  • Faceboo...


January 2010

• New Year's Party Spots! • Bryce Dallas Howard • Holiday Gift Guide • Work for a...


December 2009

• Kim Kardashian • 101 Things to do on a Saturday Night • LMFAO • Best Date Spots...