Image of Charles Tentindo playing a British music journalist in "American Satan", courtesy of Charles Tentindo.
It all started at St. Anthony High School. The stage lights. The gazes from the audience. The monologues. The spotlight. The emotion.
It was here where Charles Tentindo’s love of acting began after he was cast in a play for his high school and then solidified itself after he saw Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” at Long Beach City College.
“It was there I was bit by the acting bug,” Tentindo said. “I walked into that theater, I saw that play and then found what I wanted to do with my life. It was that inspiring.”
Now, cameraman, director, actor and acting coach, the Long Beach native has landed a role as a British Rolling Stone journalist in the upcoming thriller/drama “American Satan.” The film opens in theaters October 13 and is about a young rock band and the surrounding rumors of a demonic presence within the group.
“It was great working on the film, there are some really good actors in the movie including Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) and Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy),” Tentindo said. “It was a blast to work with them.”
The lineup for the movie also includes names such as former fashion model Denise Richards (Starship Troopers), Booboo Stewart (Twilight Saga) and Drake Bell (Drake & Josh). The film was directed by Ash Avildsen who has been involved in the music world and is also CEO of the music label Sumerian Records.
“I love this genre of rock that’s being introduced,” Tentindo said. “It’s funny because I’m not really in that rock world but now I kind of am because of the instrument I’ve designed and I’m in a movie of that same genre.”
Tentindo designed the Zen Riffer, a vertical “keytar” that can be played sitting or standing.
As a music journalist, Tentindo’s character investigates the band, trying to find out if the rumors surrounding their demonic affiliation are true or if it’s all just for the sake of publicity.
“I read the script and there was no mention of the character being British,” Tentindo said. “But I felt like it would make the character more interesting and decided to add that. It’s a compelling role, my character is investigating the band and he’s seeking the truth.”
British people are landing American roles all the time and so Tentindo thought he would turn that around and take the role of a Brit, he said. He pointed out how the roles for Superman (Henry Cavill) and then-Batman (Christian Bale) were taken by British actors.
“Acting is hard enough, let alone trying to keep a consistent British accent throughout the whole film,” he said. “We need to begin taking back roles from the Brits because they are always taking ours. Generally speaking, they come from a theater background and are very well-trained. They are serious about it.”
This was Tentindo’s first time playing a British role on camera. He worked closely with a British friend to make sure he had the accent right.
“If someone challenges me on the accent, if they tell me it’s not that good I’ll say, ‘I’m playing the role of a Brit who has been living in the U.S. for twenty years,’” Tentindo said with a laugh.
Tentindo is also excited because of the forthcoming grand opening of the Aurora Theater, named after his mother that will open at My Acting Studio in Long Beach where he teaches.
“I continue to work as an actor and study to get as good as I can because you’re never really finished refining this craft,” he said.
He hopes that people will come to the studio not just to be in the movie business but for those that may have social anxiety so they can work on improving their communication skills.
“I want to introduce this wonderful craft of acting,” he said. “It really is empowering and enriching for your own life. You learn how to express yourself, how to be emotionally connected. You’re communicating on a very truthful basis to the person that you’re with.”
“American Satan” will play at select theaters starting October 13. Ticket information can be found here.