Mario Nalini gets personal in Sub Rosa online interview

Kn2s Productions exclusively interviews Mario Nalini, actor of Sub Rosa, a short film produced by Kn2s Productions, to speak about in depth abut the project and his character, Ernesto. An aggressive and conservative military soldier who bullies his teenage son to grow up.

Sub Rosa tells the story of a teen boy bullied by his father to grow up. During the course of a summer, events transpire that cause the teenage boy to fall in love with his stepmother, creating a spiraling conflict between the love of his step-mother and his father’s life. It’s a story about paternal and romantic love and the clash between them.

Nalini is an uprising actor from Brooklyn, New York that has landed several roles in feature films and television series such as, HazMat and Burn Notice. Nalini’s portfolio continues to increase as he expands his horizon landing roles in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

In this online interview, Nalini speaks about delicate and personal experiences regarding his childhood that ultimately helped him gain trust once again when filming this project. In addition, Nalini speaks about his relationship and anecdotes with the director, Krisstian de Lara, and fellow actors, Mario Temes  who plays Ernesto’s son, Alan and Julie Kendall, who plays Ernesto’s wife, Edna.

Below is the full interview with the actor:

Thank you Mario for joining us today for this online Kn2s Productions interview.

Nalini: My pleasure.

1. What were your first thoughts when you saw the casting call for Sub Rosa? What drew you to want to audition for the role of Ernesto?

Nalini: One word, TRUST. I lost the ability to TRUST and Sub Rosa gave me that back.

2. Can you elaborate, what did you lose trust in?

Nalini: People… Adults… Coming from a background where I was raped as a child at the hands of a babysitter TRUST is a hard for me, but making Sub Rosa allowed me to TRUST once again. I did my first nude scene, my first sexual scene, my first major principal role Sub Rosa gave me all that plus confidence that I was lacking I’m in L.A. now with 3 projects to shoot soon. Sub Rosa gave me that! So yeah, I got many memory’s about Sub Rosa first’s. It was a very rewarding experience for me. So, to put myself in the place of the abuser was eye opening.

Wow, that’s very interesting and eye opening for us too.
 Sometimes in order to move forward you need to take on what’s holding you back HEAD ON! So true Mario and great advice for all actors out there.
3. So, after reading the script and finding out what the story was about in more detail, what were you first thoughts about the character Ernesto? But most importantly, did you believe you could portray him?

Nalini: Well, yes as to portray him, my LOOK gave me the exterior but I was not to sure about the emotional side of Ernesto, me I’m more a big teddy. My biggest challenge with Ernesto was to deliver the character with out going over the top Krisstian wanted him to be more on tone… Cold… Until the end. I remember being on set and taking the character to far, took my self to a dark place and was in tears but Krisstian did not want that so I give to Julie for helping me pop out of that place and hit my mark as Krisstian intended. Ernesto is all about presence.

Nalini: Can I ask a question?

Nalini: What did you guys see in me? You must have auditioned many for this role, what was it about me ?
Let’s hear it right from the Director himself!

De Lara: That’s a great question, I remembering doing lots of auditions for “Ernesto” and not really finding what I was looking for. You may ask, what was I looking for? You really cannot define it until you see it on camera. Nalini had a good chemistry and presence. Ernesto came alive when he performed. I am not be able to tell you exactly what it was. You just have and that’s the beauty of acting. Either you have the magic inside you or you don’t.
Nalini: Magic inside… I like that. Thank you director K.

Thank you Krisstian. Very insightful.
4. Once you landed the role, what was it like to work with Krisstian before going into production?

Nalini: Very supportive, sensitive to an actors needs. He’s a very focused director who knows how to get his vision.
I watched him interact with Julie and Mario who had very difficult scenes to shoot and he would give them space and time to get where they needed to be having worked with many directors now who are more concerned with getting the shot & end up with a mediocre product Mr. L did not rush.

He pushed without pushing, if that makes sense.

Working on Sub Rosa was a very rewarding experience, everyone on board was on their A game, it was a work of passion. I remember my first day on set, Julie and Mario who play my family were already shooting a few days and had developed chemistry, my first scene with them was Ernesto bullying/intimating them around in the garage. Now for me it was intimidating because here I am working with Julie who is a TOP South Florida actor, I blew my lines a few times (sack of potatoes !. not bag) lol. This happens to me sometimes being dyslexic, but once I got rolling I got lost in the character of Ernesto. Took myself to a dark place and stayed there for the duration of shooting, Julie and Mario were very instrumental in me being able to push myself and become Ernesto both of them were kind and sweet and very supportive.
Krisstian de Lara took their chemistry and somehow shared it with my character by the end of the day.

Yes, we were a TWISTED family!
Yes, we understand exactly what your saying and that’s great insight! You mentioned Krisstian “pushed without pushing.”
5. Is there anything specific that you remember Krisstian pulling out of your performance?

Nalini: The director is a very talented man and it was an honor working with him. I’ve been lucky to have worked with many directors so when I say that, Krisstian is his own mold I mean he doesn’t follow, he is a leader and a good one, precise, easy to work with, patient, good communication skills, great director. He has a big future in front of him, write his name down people you will be hearing a lot more from this man. I remember having a deep conversation with him at the park across the street from the set and we talked about TRUST so for me that’s how he reached me, now for Julie and Mario, I can’t say, but won’t be surprised if he used different ways of talking to them.

Chemistry on set was like family everyone was nice and supportive and hard working and very respectful. Although I stayed away somewhat distant I did that on purpose to maintain a level of coldness between me and my “movie wife and son” and I think it shows on screen. Mr. L knows how to run a set and I have been on major hollywood sets where things don’t flow as well and directors are meanie’s, not Mr. L.

Thank you Mario for giving us such detail. People who see the film would of never know this. You had a great chemistry on screen with Mario Temes. Winding down now,
6. What was your relationship with him as Alan from an acting perspective?

Nalini: Great actor! I remember our first meet was at the callback, got a good vibe right away, what I mean, there was no competition! He was ready to play Ernesto’s abused son and was just focused on that. So many times you meet your co-star and only because of COMPETITION, chemistry is lost and you end up with 2 actors battling each other on screen to outshine the other. Not Mario, we connected right away as well as Julie, there was a WARMNESS about both of them. Mario and I played guitar, talked about movies, etc., good person and very talented. Did you see his film about bipolar disorder awareness? Wow! At his age I was still playing with my G.I. Joe action figures. lol 🙂

Yes, we saw it and you are right. Mario Temes is amazing and we expect great things from him in the future!
Mario, thank you for taking the time with us and providing great insight about the Sub Rosa journey! Best of luck in all the amazing things you are doing in L.A.! We wish all the best to you and your family. You have amazing talent and we know it will shine through. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did!

Nalini: Thank you all. Peace and love to all. I miss my Sub Rosa family.
P.S. A shout out to Julie Kendall, I was intimated to walk in day one with Julie who is a TOP South Florida actor but she was so sweet, supportive and professional that she made it easy for me to deliver Ernesto, thank you sweet lady.
Also, sorry for the grammar, dyslectic actor typing lol.

Nalini laughs at the end of the interview.

To watch Sub Rosa’s trailer click here. To learn, read and see more about the project, visit

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