September 19, 2019

Israeli-American Actor Danny A. Abeckaser on Landing Gig on ‘The Irishman’ 

Actor Danny A. Abeckaser; Photo courtesy of Abeckaser.

A prolific actor, writer, producer and director, Danny A. Abeckaser’s next high-profile role will be as part of Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited “The Irishman.” For “The Irishman,” Abeckaser was among a star-studded cast, including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Action Bronson.

Yet that is not all that Abeckaser has coming out soon, as he is part of “Mob Town” (to be released under his 2bFilms company with Saban Films) and “Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story” (in the midst of production, with co-producer David Arquette). “Mob Town” will also feature the likes of PJ Byrne, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Davi, and Jennifer Esposito.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Abeckaser himself and highlights from the interview are below.  

Jewish Journal: “The Irishman” has been talked about for years. When did you first find out that you were cast in the film?

Danny A. Abeckaser: I found out almost two years ago that I would be in “The Irishman.” I auditioned a few times and then received an email from Ellen Lewis, the casting director. It basically just said: “You are confirmed to play “Louie” (aka ‘deadbeat’),” and was therefore the best day ever. I was ecstatic.

JJ: Had you worked with anyone in “The Irishman” prior to being cast?

DAA:  I worked with the director, Scorsese of course, in “Wolf Of Wall Street,” but in a very small, small scene. It was incredible to be a part of and I was honored to be on the same set as him and thrilled to be included in that movie.

JJ: “The Irishman” aside, do you have a favorite Scorsese film?

DAA: My favorite Scorsese film is “Goodfellas.” But they are ALL amazing. 

JJ: “Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story” is another upcoming project of yours. How would you describe it to someone not yet familiar?

DAA: “Blackjack” is the story of Jackie Ryan, a street basketball legend from Brooklyn. Let’s just say he had a colorful life. I have followed his story for a while and am excited to be bringing it to life.

JJ: What about “Mob Town?”

DAA: “Mob Town” is coming out Dec. 13 with Saban Films and it’s the true story of the famous Apalachin mob meeting of 1957. Another passion project that I really feel people are going to love. I directed and produced it along with many amazing talented crew and cast members, and also play one of the main characters, Joe “The Barber” Barbara.

JJ: You were born in Israel and grew up in Brooklyn. Did you grow up around a lot of other Israelis in New York?

DAA: Indeed. Born in Israel and then we grew up in a very small Israeli community in Brooklyn, NY.

JJ: You co-wrote the film “First We Take Brooklyn” and also directed it. Was the plan to be an actor from day one?

DAA: First and foremost, I’m an actor. Producing and directing came from wanting to create opportunities for myself and tell a story the way I wanted it told. Now I love directing and it has become a true passion that I truly enjoy. 

JJ: Is there something you wish more people knew about Danny A. Abeckaser?

DAA: Something people knew? Hmm. Well that is easy. That I have a great jump-shot.

JJ: When not busy with your career, where does your free time usually go?

DAA: When not working on films, I love to play basketball and enjoy spending time laying out at the beach or pool. I love the sun and take any time to relax, as I am constantly busy working.

JJ: Finally, Danny, any last words for the kids?

DAA: I would say… You can do whatever you want in life. Just make sure you don’t half-ass it. Work for what you want. Your destiny is in your own hands.

More on Danny A. Abeckaser can be found on Instagram.