“A Day in the Life” with Toronto creative Julian De Zotti

De Zotti. De Zotts. Jou-lee-on. P.A. These are the only names that I have ever used and will continue to ever use when referring to this local powerhouse.

We first met serving coffee to assholes at a corporate breakfast. Perhaps we were the assholes. Either way, our humours aligned and we fed off each other’s salient aura. We both felt lost in our career shuffle; a hustle that forced us both to create work for ourselves.

De Zotti auditioned for a play I wrote. It broke both our hearts that the director went a different way. He was the first choice for the remount and, my GOD, he knocked it out of the park. Watching a friend soar on stage with words that came from somewhere inside me was magic in action. I was proud of both of us, simultaneously. But, as is often the way, our respective work fell largely unseen by those who had the power to take our work to the next level.

This fuel grew within Julian. While others become bitter or complacent, he manifested this into his first feature film which he wrote and starred in. NEW YEAR established De Zotts as not only a man with a plan, but one who has the fortitude, gumption, and skill to pull it off.

Julian’s drive continues to impress me. After a successful run of his award winning web series WHATEVER LINDA (now in talks to become a TV series with co-creator Hannah Cheesman) he has since launched two more for CBC GEM called MING’S DYNASTY and, most recently, FOR THE RECORD, which you all gotta see. He also recently, and gorgeously, portrayed a morally conflicted husband on the critically acclaimed TRANSPLANT (CTV, NBC).

I have met a lot of driven people in my life. Some are unbearably self involved. Some trample folks on their way up. Some lose their humanity; their humility. This extraordinary fella, this Julian De Zotti, takes deeper breaths as the air gets thinner. He maintains who he is. A kid from Guelph Line who loves his family, supports his friends, has a belief in a greater tomorrow, and despite the exhaustive pitfalls of a career that rarely bends into logic, he gets it done. HE GETS IT FUCKING DONE while protecting that part of him that makes him so beautifully present and heartbreakingly honest.

Folks like Julian De Zotti turns NOs into NOT YETs. I’m proud of you, baby! I am thrilled to experience what’s next.

Bio by Christian Lloyd

(Christian Lloyd is a Toronto based actor/writer/photographer known for his recent work in THE HANDMAIDS TALE, AMERICAN GODS, and THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY)

 

Julian de Zotti
On set with Johnny Orlando and Callum Maudsley, as we were setting up for them to busk in Yorkville for a pivotal scene in For The Record. It was beyond freezing outside and these guys kept us warm with their singing and picking skills!
Julian de Zotti
Just as covid hit in March and the city was shutting down, I was so fortunate to be in the TIFF Writers Studio to workshop my new screenplay, where I bonded with some of the most creative and kind people I’ve ever met. We’ve all become best buds because of it.
Julian de zotti
Me before I stepped onto the set of Miss America and got to do a scene with the one and only Cate Blanchett! Yes, she was a consummate professional.
I got nominated for a Canadian Screen Award this year for playing a sleazy Alberta DJ named Casual J in Ming’s Dynasty. This was me dressing up before taking over the IG of our American platform Fuse TV for the launch there in the summer.
This was a fun moment in between some very raw and emotional scenes with Hamza Haq on Transplant. He was the most generous actor, and also kept it light on set!
My producing partner Lisa Baylin and I on the set of For The Record. She’s just the best executive producer and director you could ask for. The show wouldn’t exist without her. This was taken just before we rolled on the first shot of our months long shoot, all smiles. You should see us now…
This was my first covid haircut thanks to my BF Tawiah. It was getting out of control. I thought he did a good job.
This is Tawiah and I, on our daily covid walk. We’d go down to the waterfront, or visit friends. It was the thing that kept up sane all year!

 

Which ‘hood are you in?

Wallace & Emerson

What do you do?

I’m what some people would call a creative multi-hyphenate – I’m a professional actor, writer, producer, director, creator, and showrunner. I toggle back and forth between them, depending on where the work is, including the work I create for myself.

What are you currently working on?

Many things (!) but I just released my new series For The Record on CBC Gem, which you can watch for free. We scored the rights to some kickass music by The Beach Boys, Johnny Orlando, The Weeknd, Nina Simone, and Bob Marley, to name a few. Their songs inspire the centerpiece narrative in each episode about interconnected love stories in a time of division.

Where can we find your work?

Everywhere! My first feature New Year is on Amazon Canada, my digital series Whatever, Linda is at www.whateverlinda.com which is being turned into a TV show with Connie Britton as the lead, and you can find my two latest series Ming’s Dynasty and For The Record on CBC Gem.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 2016 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography