Jersey City Actor George Pogatsia-River View Observer Profile

georgepogatsia_028.jpgLocal Actor Sees Big Things on the Homefront

by Oded Shoshan + Jon Garcia

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As a working actor, George Pogatsia considered a move to Los Angeles

A Brooklyn native who’s called Jersey City his home for the past six years, Pogatsia was doing well. Over the past few years, he’d starred in more than 20 art-house films like Bookies,Your Honor and Showdown Of The Godz. He won key roles in some of the most popular television series in recent history. His career was on the right track here at home. But, he found himself planning a move to the West Coast to take things to the next level.

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“It seemed like the thing to do,” Pogatsia said. “However, I love the area – I’m as East Coast as they get! My wife and I love our life in Jersey City. It’s friendly here, and has a lot of creative energy. So for now we are staying put.”

With so many quality productions coming to the area, Pogatsia is as delighted as ever to be an actor here.

Pogatsia’s credits include well-reviewed roles in a pair of New York television institutions. He starred in the final season of “The Sopranos” and made two memorable appearances on “Law and Order”.

Pogatsia starred in the 2008 “Law and Order” season premier which aired November 5th. He played Mikey, a construction worker who narrowly escapes a deadly melee. Previously, he had played a corrupt court officer who causes an undercover policeman to be assassinated in the 2004, season of the crime drama. His performance drew praise from stars Jesse L. Martin and Dennis Farina.

Established shows such as “Ugly Betty” and the Emmy winning comedy “30 Rock” are now being made in the metropolitan area. And new shows have come to town, such as the critically acclaimed drama “Life On Mars”.

In addition, some exciting projects are on Pogatsia’s radar. He is particularly enthusiastic about “Boardwalk Empire” and “Palladium” two programs being developed for HBO. He notes that the first is being created by a dream team of Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg and Sopranos scribe Terence Winter. Palladium is about a New York nightclub owner who struggles to find a balance between running a successful club and repairing the strained relationship with his son. It is the brainchild of writer, director and producer Franc Reyes.

“What actor wouldn’t want to be here with these projects coming?” Pogatsia asked. “I look forward to the possibility of working with HBO again.

Aside from these bright prospects, Pogatsia is busy getting his feature-length screenplay off the ground. “The Pizza Tapes”, which he plans to star in, is a dark comedy that takes preconceptions of Italian- and African-Americans to show what happens when a popular Brooklyn pizzeria is mysteriously placed under surveillance, while also taking a fresh approach to the mafia genre.

After securing support from producers and well-known actors, Pogatsia is now slated to begin production on the movie in 2009, with filming to take place throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Hudson County

“I grew up in Brooklyn,” Pogatsia said. “I know how prevalent and absurd these preconceptions are and wanted to poke fun at them.”

“I’ve acted in many independent films, with a wide range of quality,” Pogatsia explained. “A few years ago, I starred in a movie that had tons of potential, but was ultimately disappointing. I learned then that it’s impossible to turn a poorly-written screenplay into a good film. This drove me to write, because I wanted to show myself that I could do it better.”

Pogatsia and his wife are expecting their second child in December. “One good thing about television and film is that it lasts forever,” Pogatsia said. “My kids will be able to see what I’ve done. I’m proud to set the example that they should go after their dreams.”

For more information on the actor and screenwriter go to the Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1784765/ or go to www.georgepogatsia.com, coming soon.

 

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