Interview: Adam LaVorgna of “Masterless”
Posted on October 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm
Adam LaVorgna became an actor very young and was in the cast of the television series “Brooklyn Bridge” and “7th Heaven” before he was out of his teens. He loved the cast but he felt lost. He tried to use drugs to feel better and tried rehab more than once. “And I always thought about God,” he said. “If He were to look at me, would He be proud? And I decided to go back to church.” LaVorgna, a Catholic, returned to the faith of his youth, much like his character “Kane Madison” does in his new film, “Masterless,” a dual story of two lost souls: Kane Madison, an architect in Los Angeles, and his spiritual counterpart, an 18th-century Ronin, a samurai with no lord or master, who is wandering a netherworld of masked demons and Japanese swordsmen.
I spoke to LaVorgna about his career and his return to faith. He told me he first got involved with acting because his older sister was acting and his mother would bring him along on auditions and jobs. “My sister used to model for Ford. I tagged along a couple of times and the people that were at Ford, the agents said, ‘Well, would your son like to model?’ My mom said, ‘He’s got a ton of energy and he tags along anyway, so sure, why not?’ She was the opposite of a stage mother. So I started modeling and I was really hyperactive and liked the spotlight and one thing led to another and I got an agent and the first audition I ever had was this movie called “29th Street.” I was eight years old and then that was really it from there.” But he did not think of himself as an actor growing up. “I thought of myself as a hockey player.” When he was working, though he enjoyed watching the older actors and learned from them about “being professional, just knowing your lines, hitting your marks, being on time, being nice to makeup and hair wardrobe, just basic things.” He does not consider himself “method,” but observing the way different actors behaved on and off the set gave him a lot to think about.
He first thought of himself as an actor when he left home at 18 to move to California so he could be in “7th Heaven.” “That’s when acting became like my sole backbone, became my chassis. I felt it was like something was missing. I loved this show and I loved everyone on it but as a kid you want to run around. I wanted to do films and wanted to go to different countries and different cities and work with different people. I was restless. I wanted to kind of get around. I was away from my family and I wasn’t happy at that point in my career. You take kids from East Coast, and I came out of Boston College, a Jesuit private university in Boston, and put them in LA and give them an absurd amount of money per week and I wasn’t working all that much time so I had a lot of time off and of course in Hollywood that’s like a recipe for disaster. One thing led to another and I got involved in the partying and the night life and that kind of thing. There are some people that are able to control it, there are some people who don’t do it at all. I let it consume me and then it got to a point where I was just like, ‘I can’t be here anymore,’ so I left ‘7th Heaven,’ we mutually agreed for me to leave the show, and it was the best thing for me at the time. And then I came back East.”
In “Masterless,” LaVorgna plays two roles. One is “a samurai without a master, so he’s going through his journey alone.” The other is a modern day architect in Los Angeles who is also alone. “He doesn’t want help. He’s rejected God. He’s stubborn; he’s insolent about doing it by himself in the alternate world. It’s interesting in the film because you don’t know who is the bad guy, so you think the good guy is the bad guy and then the bad guy might be the good guy and back and forth. But there is a wise man in the movie. He gives me the words of wisdom, but my character hears him and he doesn’t listen. He hears everything but he’s so stubborn that he neglects to let it seep in. He knows but he just doesn’t want to hear it. It’s like I went to church the past week and the priest’s sermon said ‘Just be open. just be open.’ What I want for the film is for people to watch and go like ‘There is something more.’This film I am hoping will get people to just think: ‘How I do find myself?'”