INTERVIEW

ICYMI Marco Dapper Interview

After A Few Stumbles Post-Daytime, Marco Dapper Is Striving To Get His Bearings — One Painting At A Time

Marco Dapper, who played low-level hood-turned-romantic lead-turned stalker Carmine Basco on Y&R, doesn’t want to label his current phase as a mid-life crisis, but rather finding himself at a crossroads. “I’m in my late-30s and I’m a puzzle piece with a consciousness, trying to figure out where I fit in the world,” says the actor. “In the beginning of 2020, I looked in the mirror and asked, ‘What do I want to do? Who am I?’ ”

A stagnant career hasn’t exactly accentuated the positive. “Acting has taken a little bit of a back burner,” Dapper admits. “I wouldn’t say I quit, because that’s definitely not the case; I’ve just encountered some pitfalls and trials and tribulations that are associated with Hollywood. You can get burnt out. I’ve been here for almost 18 years and have gotten burned by the politics and it’s-who-you-know. I get tired of it all and it just isn’t that much fun anymore. I’m not sure if I even want to stay in Los Angeles because it’s a tough place to live.”

Nevertheless, Dapper isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. “I’ve recently gotten fired up again about acting,” he explains, but notes, “I can’t play 20-something, I can’t play the stereotypical dad and I can’t try out for just any role. Because of the climate that we’re in, everyone is highly sensitive to the point where we can’t create. You can’t be straight and play gay anymore, like when I was in Eating Out 2 [Sloppy Seconds] in 2006. That rarely happens today. And you can’t play a trans character if you’re not a trans actor. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong; I’m pointing out that option is practically gone. There’s good and bad to that, the bad being that now, I can only play this certain kind of a guy, which to me, isn’t really acting, so that kind of killed my drive for a while. I liked playing a sexually confused guy and learning about a different culture I didn’t even know about and making friends in that world and opening my mind as a human being. That was a journey in and of itself. Not too long ago, I had a guy tell me, ‘Thank you. Your movie made me feel okay that I was confused and now I know I like men.’ That alone flatters me. Was my movie like Brokeback Mountain? No, but it’s nice to know that something like that had an effect on another person.”

While finding the right role has presented its challenges, so has finding the right mate. “Just dating alone is brutal,” he says. “Women my age are taken, married and have families. So, then I look at these younger girls and I don’t have much in common with them. I don’t do Tinder or Bumble or any dating apps because I think I’m in a weird category: I’m not young enough for that stuff and people my age are already doing their own thing. All of my friends are married and they’re so grateful to be off the market, and here I am. I don’t have anybody or even dating.”

There was a time when Dapper felt everything was going his way, and that was after he landed a role on Y&R. “When I got on the soap opera, I thought I made it and those years of waiting tables and bartending were over,” he reflects. “It was a great time in my life. Looking back at playing Carmine, it was definitely a lot of fun. Of course, there was a learning curve but once I got into it, it was great. I had a really good time with everyone there. I really enjoyed Carmine’s romance with Abby but new writers came in and for whatever reason, they made my character psycho. I remember when they told me, ‘Hey, we’re going to take your character in a different direction,’ and I knew they would be getting rid of me.”

The writing was on the wall when he became dangerously obsessed with Lauren. “He was clearly the bad guy now,” Dapper laments. “It’s hard to redeem someone for stalking, kidnapping, attempted rape and attempted murder. There were times I would get the scripts and read what he was doing next and I’d just say, ‘Okay, all right, I can do this.’ ”

After getting axed, Dapper scored a handful of TV appearances and short films. “Getting another job in Hollywood is the hardest thing to do,” he explains. “After Y&R, I kind of floated around. I did a couple of things and then I wasn’t auditioning at all. I got back into acting classes and did that for a couple of years but I still was thinking, ‘Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ Then my savings ran out.”

Just The Facts:

Birthday: July 9

Birthplace: Hayward, CA

Relationship Status: Single

Genoa City Stay: 2012-14

Alternate Identity: “There was a new character that went out for Y&R not too long ago and they asked me if I wanted to audition. I contacted them and said, ‘I don’t want to waste anyone’s time because I’ve already been on the show as someone else.’ ”

Psych Out: Dapper appeared last January in the TV movie thriller PSYCHO PARTY PLANNER. “My friend wrote and directed it and he asked if I wanted to hop on. So, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ I wasn’t in that much, I played a trophy husband and it was fun.”

Fur Real: You can see Dapper’s bearded mug on select boxes of Just For Men, a beard and mustache dye.

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