LONGTIME character actor Frank Grillo has his first starring role in "The Purge: Anarchy," sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit about a heavily controlled society that permits one cathartic night of lawlessness.
For Grillo, the rise to stardom has been fitful - "I sometimes say that I've been in the business for 20 years, but I've only been acting for six" - and he credits director and Penn grad Gavin O'Connor (the two made "Pride and Glory" and "Warrior" together) for giving him the right pep talk when he needed it.
"I've done everything from soap operas to sitcoms, and I was this certain kind of actor. I don't want to say lazy, but I was getting by on physical attributes or whatever. I thought, this is what acting is, this is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, and I was making a great living, I really was," said Grillo, who stopped by Philadelphia recently as part of Wizard World.