Check out our interview with actor and World Champion Professional Freestyle BMX Rider, Dorian Giordano who stars in the Disney+ original movie WORLD’S BEST.
In World’s Best, audiences experience an all-new, musical adventure as Prem Patel (Manny Magnus) reconciles his mathematic inclinations with the desire to connect with his father’s favorite pastime and love of hip-hop. Dorian plays Gabe an older student who brings Prem on as a math tutor but the two soon form an unlikely friendship and Gabe becomes somewhat of a mentor to Prem in his hip-hop journey.
Follow Dorian @doriangiordano_
Hi Dorian, please tell us a little about you?
I’m 20 years old but look 16 lol. I’m a professional BMX rider, actor and I also love engineering. I’m an adrenaline junkie so I love snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, cliff diving, anything to chase the dopamine. I’m Indigenous and Latino and I currently live in Canada.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Funny, fearless and nerdy.
How did you get started into acting?
I got started into acting because I was a sponsored BMX rider and there was a casting director who was calling around looking for BMX riders for a commercial who happened to call 3Ride BMX in Toronto, a bike shop that had sponsored me. The casting director was looking for young kids that could do tricks on bikes for a Nerf commercial so the owner of the store forwarded the casting director my information and I auditioned and I booked the role. After filming the producer went up to my mom and suggested I get an agent and now I just filmed a Disney movie!
How has this changed your life?
It’s changed the whole trajectory of my life. I grew up wanting to be a professional BMX rider or an engineer so that was my focus my whole life and then I kind of fell into acting and everything changed.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
The best part is meeting and being able to work with the cast and the crew. Everyone becomes a family and you get to meet so many people and get to travel to so many places, that’s always fun. The worst part is probably the night shoots when you’re shooting all night long and sometimes you’re outside in the middle of winter and it’s hailing and snowing and you still have to shoot or sometimes you’re in the middle of summer and you’re shooting a winter scene. I’ve worn winter boots and a winter coat and a winter hat and it’s actually 85° out.
Tell us about your work in the Disney+ original movie “WORLD’S BEST?”
World’s Best is a really cool film that is a mix of Rap/Musical and Comedy. I play Gabe who is like the cool older brother figure that takes Prem under his wing. Prem is really studious and high achieving in academics and Gabe is the complete opposite but they end up really connecting.
How did you get the role and how challenging was the casting?
It was really crazy at the beginning. I didn’t know I was auditioning for Disney so I did it like I do every role, I just prepare and do my thing, and then when we got the first round of callbacks I was told it’s Disney which made me really nervous. I knew I was competing against actors from all across North America so that was nerve-wracking. I was filming another movie at the time and I had to do a chemistry read in between scenes of the movie I was filming and it was so crazy because the lights weren’t working and I didn’t have a reader but somehow I made it work. I ended up booking it which I was so happy for because every actor’s dream is to be part of a Disney production. I finished filming the other movie on Sunday at 3 AM and then I got on a train right away to get back into Toronto and went directly to wardrobe for World’s Best at 8 AM so it was a pretty crazy time.
What other projects have you been part of?
Well, I’ve been in three Eli Roth projects. He is the most incredible Director I’ve ever worked with. He really helped me to believe in myself as an actor and he helped me to really consider pursuing my career full-time. I was actually accepted into university for engineering, but when someone like Eli Roth believes in your ability it makes you reconsider your career path. I have an upcoming role in Avatar: The Last Airbender coming out on Netflix in 2024 that I’m really excited about but I can’t say anything else on that at the moment. I am also going to be in a TriStar/Sony Pictures film, Eli Roth production called Thanksgiving that’s coming out November 17th. I also worked with Sarah Drews in Reindeer Games Homecoming, as well as opposite Alan Ritchson in Reacher.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I like both comedy and drama. Opposite ends of the spectrum. I like comedy because my character in general is comedic and I have a lot of physicality just because my BMX has me move my body all the time and I like drama because I feel like I’m able to showcase my acting more when I’m doing something that’s opposite to who I am. I really admire Johnny Depp, Ed Norton and Christian Bale as actors. Also, Sean Penn is incredible!!!
If you weren’t acting, what would you be up to right now?
If I wasn’t acting I would currently be in university for automotive engineering. I recently got a scholarship, but decided to defer and pursue acting instead. Hopefully it works out!!
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
I’d like to work with Johnny Depp, Seth Rogen, and Eli Roth. I’ve worked with him three times as a Director but I would love to work with him as an actor.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Well, the most rewarding is definitely seeing the final product. That’s always awesome, but even just the work itself, being able to take a character and create and bring the character to life is always rewarding.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
For new actors I would say always be prepared, always be on time and always be authentic to who you are. Don’t try to guess what the casting director or the director or the producer want. Just give them you.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
I’ve definitely learned how to handle rejection because I get a lot of it lol. Sometimes people don’t see how much rejection you get as an actor; they only see you with success. When you’re auditioning I’ve learned to always be prepared because I’ve been in callbacks where there’ll be a scene that was in the initial audition, however in the callback it wasn’t requested, and then all of a sudden they’ll ask you to do the scene on the fly, so I’m always extra prepared. Being prepared is a big thing in this business.
Now let’s talk about being a World Champion Professional Freestyle BMX Rider, that’s amazing! Tell us how did you get started in this and how do you manage the time to do this and acting?
So I started BMX when I was eight years old. I had Lyme disease and my occupational therapist suggested I get on a bike to help rehabilitate the nerve damage in my legs. I went from not being able to walk to walking to being a BMX World Champion. At first it was difficult because I was doing school, competing around the world in BMX and acting. I had zero downtime. Once my acting career started really taking off, I had to make a choice because I was scouted by another country to be on their Olympic team, but that would’ve meant moving to another country and I wouldn’t have the time to pursue acting anymore. So I had to make a choice whether I was going to be a professional actor or continue being a professional BMX rider. I chose the acting career which is pretty scary because acting can be so up-and-down and nothing is guaranteed. I guess I just got lucky but I think my BMX career helped me with the mindset to keep training. Stay focussed and success will come. I’m not used to instant success. When you’re a competitive athlete you’re competing all the time but you’re not winning all the time and the same goes for acting. You’re auditioning all the time but you’re not booking every role so I guess it taught me about commitment and perseverance.
When is the next competition?
I took a break from competitions because it was really difficult to train for competitions and be filming an on set so I had to make a choice and I chose acting to be my number one. Competitively I am currently retired, but I still ride all the time.
How would your best friend describe you?
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Just relax it’s going to all be fine.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
What’s next for Dorian Giordano in 2023?
I’m really excited to have Avatar: The Last Airbender coming out on Netflix in 2024. Also my 3rd collaboration with Eli Roth, who is my favourite director to work with, will be coming out. It’s a movie by TriStar and Sony Pictures called “Thanksgiving” and it’s out Nov 17th. I’m also about to head to the US to film a movie I’m really excited about.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Nuts of all kinds
And your favorite cheat food?
Sicilian cannoli or cheesecake
What is your own definition of happiness?
Honestly, financial freedom. There’s so much you can do and so many people you can help with that one. And seeing my family and friends happy and healthy.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Smokey Nagata, Christian Von Koenigsegg, Robin Williams – all incredible people.
Best advice ever given?
Just send it!!
Do you support any charity?
Anything to do with saving and protecting sharks and banning the fin trade. I also support charities related to Lyme Disease and Autoimmune Encephalitis.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Where I see myself in five years? Hopefully I’ll do even more projects with Eli Roth and Disney. That would be awesome. I just hope I am healthy and living life to the fullest. I hope to still be riding bikes and snowboards and acting, that would be cool.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Sunflower by Post Malone
What do you think of Social Media?
I can take it or leave it. It’s a good tool for connecting people and for promoting projects.
Where can we follow you?
Book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret – I read it in grade 6, and it’s been my favourite book ever since
Quote: “Burn the Boat”
Movie: American Psycho
Tv Series: I’m a huge anime fan so “Death Note”
Favorite Food: Waygu Flank Steak
Travel Destination: Tokyo
Sports Team: I only follow extreme sports so my favourite athlete at the moment is extreme BMX and Nitro Circus rider Kaden Stone. That’s my boy.
Photo credit: John Bregar @johnbregar