Despite the tougher road, he has landed a role opposite Nicolas Cage.
All those millions of followers, subscribers and likes don’t make it any easier to break into Hollywood — in fact, it makes it a lot harder, according to Christian Del Grosso.
The YouTuber insists the stigma of being an “influencer” means casting directors and producers do not take you seriously.
“For me definitely I’ve experienced that, and it really does not matter how big of an influencer you are, or how much of a following you have,” he said. “They look at it obviously because there’s some sort of benefit there in terms of marketing, but they really don’t care. It really comes down to: Can you act? Have you had experience in the past?”
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“For me it was, at the very beginning, extremely difficult because I am an ‘influencer’, like by definition.”
The 26-year-old, who boasts more than 2.6million subscribers on YouTube, says he sort of feels like he is “wearing the wrong shoes” — as his original childhood dream was to become an actor.
He’s not even personally comfortable with the label “influencer”: “Although I am an influencer so I don’t discredit the fact that’s that’s like one of the bigger realms in my life, but yeah for me personally it’s weird,” he said.
“For other people I don’t know. Some people… want to be on that A-list celebrity level, regardless if they’re even doing anything valuable to even be in the performing arts or anything that’s like notable.”
“So, I think people just want to not be called ‘an influencer’. They want to be taken more seriously in the celebrity realm, but it’s like… can you though?”
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And to separate the proper actors from the wannabes?
“I think it just comes down to talent, and whether or not you’re capable of you know, separating yourself, men from the boys,” he claimed.
Del Grosso has a respectable list of IMDb credits — but undoubtedly his biggest is his upcoming role opposite Nicolas Cage in the comedy horror “Willy’s Wonderland”, about a drifter who takes on a night janitor role at an abandoned family entertainment center, haunted by eight murderous animatronic characters.
But it wasn’t easy getting to where he is today: in seven years of auditioning around LA, he was constantly followed by the stigma of being “an influencer”.
“I remember some early auditions going into them and casting directors are already kind of sitting there like smuggish,” he recalled. “Like, ‘Alright. Lets see this real quick.'”
He believes he may have even missed out on roles because of his internet fame, which led him to question ever getting into social media in the first place; however, having learned so much on the job — directing, writing, creating, producing, filming, performing — he accepted that being an influencer has its advantages in the industry, too.
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