Though he’s a Hollywood guy now, actor and producer Vincent De Paul is still a Highlandtown guy.
“Every holiday I am here,” says De Paul, a graduate of Our Lady of Pompeii High School and one of eight children in the Zannino family, which owns the eponymous funeral home on S. Conkling St.
“My parents are very much about community and the core family get together,” adds De Paul.
Most recently, De Paul attended the Highlandtown Wine Festival, “a very joyous festival.”
As a founding member of Ragazzi D’Italia, an Italian dance troupe active in the 1990s, De Paul put his dancing shoes back on for the Wine Fest.
“For the first time, a lot of the former members performed together,” he says.
De Paul notes that the festival was enjoyed by many ethnic groups, not just Italians.
“That’s really what makes our Highlandtown community special,” he says, “diversity.”
An Baltimore actor who, fittingly, got his start with a small role in John Waters’ 1988 camp comedy, “Hairspray,” De Paul has now found a niche in producing and acting in independent films and series.
Most recently, De Paul has won acclaim for his role as actor/layabout Doug Damien in “The Silver Case.” De Paul was named Best Actor at the Los Angeles Film Festival for the role.
“The Silver Case” is now available On Demand on Xfinity.
“It’s great that I’m getting Facebook messages and emails from Baltimore, saying ‘I just saw you,’” says De Paul.
“The Silver Case,” he says, is an “Italian film-noir that satirizes Hollywood.” De Paul’s character’s home in the film is actually the former estate of Paris Hilton.
“It’s fun to look at it and say, ‘this is how Paris Hilton lived,’” comments De Paul, “way different from Eastern Ave. and Dean St.”
Another recent project of De Paul’s is “Charm City,” a Baltimore-based Web series created by Tyler Agastin and Kevin Davis which he is co-producing.
“I want to give back to my community and produce artists locally,” says De Paul.
He says that the Web and “new media” have been good to him. He recently starred as Father Leone in “The Bay,” an Emmy-nominated soap opera.
“What I’m finding is that so many of my nieces and nephews are downloading shows,” says De Paul.
As a producer of independent films, De Paul notes that product placement is an important revenue and equity source.
“It offsets the budget in Indie films,” he says. “They give product equity or money, and they get a constant commercial.”
De Paul says that Utz Snacks, Sloop Betty Vodka, and Hoehn’s Bakery have contributed to his filming efforts.
When in the neighborhood, he adds, he loves to stop by G & A Restaurant for a hotdog, Canton Dockside for lunch, and Merritt Athletic Club for a workout.
by Erik Zygmont