A devoted Knicks fan who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY on Nov. 25, 1979, Ferrara studied theater while in college, having been inspired to pursue acting seriously by one of his …
|November 25, 1979|
LATEST NEWS AND BLOGS
A devoted Knicks fan who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY on Nov. 25, 1979, Ferrara studied theater while in college, having been inspired to pursue acting seriously by one of his instructors. He later met an agent at a talent showcase who told him to move to Los Angeles if he was serious. To survive the rough waters of Hollywood, Ferrara worked at the fast food restaurant, Boston Market, making $6.50 an hour tying and basting chickens all day. He later recalled it as being one of the loneliest periods of his life. Eager to put the job behind him, and thinking that he had hit the big time when he was offered a guest spot on " King of Queens" (CBS, 1998- ) he impulsively told his Boston Market bosses where they could put their chicken-basting job -- unfortunately, the "King of Queens' job lasted only three days. Fortunately, there were more guest spots to come, including appearances on "Grounded for Life" (WB 2001-05) and "NYPD Blue" (ABC 1993-2005). In 2004, he made his feature film debut as Vivo an aspiring mobster in the little known independent coming of age movie "Cross Bronx."
Ferrara would have to wait until later that year to hit the big time, getting the call that every young actor hopes for. Much to his surprise, he had landed a major part on yet another highly-touted HBO series called "Entourage." As Turtle, the sports jersey/backward cap-wearing go-to guy, Ferrara's character, of anyone in the posse, was the most shameless leech on the Vincent Chase money train. He was also the most brazen in his attempts to hook up with women that would never have acknowledged his existence were it not for his connection to his movie star friend. Though none of these qualities were admirable in the slightest, Ferrara was able to bring some humanity and humor to the role, making the character more lovable than on paper. The real life Ferrara was more reserved, even admitting in an interview that he was sometimes intimidated by the celebrities who frequently made guest appearances.
Loosely based on executive producer Mark Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming rapper-turned-A-list actor who brought many of his Boston friends with him on the road to Tinseltown fame and fortune, Ferrara's character was inspired by Walhberg's real life former assistant, Donnie "Donkey" Carroll, who died from an asthma attack in 2005 at the age of 39. Unfortunately for all involved, shortly before his death, Carroll had a falling out with Wahlberg because he felt that he was due compensation for inspiring Ferrara's character.
With the exposure gained from being a fixture on a pop cultural touchstone series, Ferrara's career continued to flourish. He was cast in the feature film "Brooklyn Rules" (2006) starring opposite an impressive cast that included Alec Baldwin, Freddy Prinze Jr. and Mena Suvari, with more projects on the horizon.