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Tony Stavola in the film "Leydenville"

Raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Tony Stavola was used to hearing “you would make a great mobster in a movie” based on his size, stature, voice, and Italian heritage.

Funny enough, that same notion is how Stavola got into acting when he met accomplished producer, Suzanne DeLaurentiis in Atlantic City. She gave him a part in a TV pilot in Los Angeles and he got bit by the “bug” from then on.

Stavola can be seen in movies like the horror film festival favorite, D-Railed with Lance Henrikson and Hollywould with Oscar winner Eric Roberts.

In January 2023, Stavola starred in and served as an executive producer on Leydenville, a short film drama that recently appeared at the IMDb Independent Short Film Awards, winning him the Best Actor honor. 

Get to know more about Tony Stavola in our interview with him below!

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I met Suzanne DeLaurentiis at a restaurant and found out she was from California and asked her why don’t you get me discovered. She replied it may be your lucky day. I am going to my movie in LA and you would make the perfect mob boss.

What called you into acting?

10 years prior to meeting Suzanne, I did a commercial as a mob boss for a mortgage company. I really enjoyed that, but I’ve never pursued anything further. I guess you know as a kid we all like to run around and play cops and robbers and act.

Tell us about your award-winning project Leydenville!

I wanted to produce a film that would show my range and diversity as an actor. I’ve always been typecast for the mob/gangster roles. So I wanted to find a great drama story. Leydenville is about a used car salesman who has had enough of the rejected used car sales industry. His underlying dreams would be to become a writer, but along those dreams he is faced with a tragedy.

What upcoming projects can you share with us?

Oh, I recently starred in a new series called Gravesend along with Armand Assante and Fran Drescher. Just got released on Amazon Prime. Fuggetaboutit is a dark comedy and will be coming out on a platform soon. Kingdom Reign is a drama about a Spanish cartel. This should be out on a platform soon as the strike ends. Patrolman is currently in post-production. Then 23rd Street starts filming next week.

What’s the most memorable moment in your career to date?

Winning the Best Actor of the Year award for Leyedenville at the IMDb Independent Short Awards this weekend. Charlene Tilton (from the TV show Dallas who also stars in Leydenville) also won best supporting actress.

Who would you choose if you could co-star with any actor dead or alive?

Sean Penn or Al Pacino.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about the entertainment industry?

Oh, I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to make a successful film. Literally, it takes an entire team. Everyone needs to bring their A-game.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Have fun! Lots of patience and work hard. “If you love what you do, you will have never worked a day in your life.”

What’s your favorite role of yours to date?

Playing Nick in Leydenville was definitely a challenge. I love comedy too.

Where can we find you online?


Dallas star Charlene Tilton and Tony Stavola in Leydenville

More on Tony Stavola...

Stavola will be in Kingdom Reign, which takes place in the 1980s, and is directed by Joshua Coates. Stavola plays ruthless Columbia drug importer Francis Quintero, who triggers an international drug war with a rival cartel that spills over into the U.S. Along with starring in this film, Stavola is also an executive producer on it.

Also coming up in 2023, Stavola will finally play a mobster on the big screen in the crime comedy, Fuggedoaboutit with Tom Guiry. Stavola plays the Don, Tony Clams, as well as in the mob series, Gravesend.

In Gravesend, Stavola plays Frankie Dormo in episodes 4 and 6 of season 2. The series stars Chazz Palimteri and William DeMeo. Stavola’s scenes are with Armand Assante, Fran Drescher, and Leo Rossi.

Stavola honed his acting skills for 2 years at DeVry University. Prior to attending DeVry, he went to the University of Delaware where he played football before he started a 40-year career in the food industry, owning the distribution company Savona-Stavola Foods as well as restaurants like The Cinder Bar and Landmark Americana that are well-known in South New Jersey/Philadelphia. Now retired from his business, he intends to focus on his passion – acting, and he is hitting the ground running!

“It isn’t work if you love your job. You either do it right, or don’t do it at all.” – Tony Stavola

When he is not acting and putting hard work into his craft, Stavola is a true family man to his wife and four beautiful children. In his leisure time, he enjoys golf, boating, and ice hockey.