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Maltese actor features in film about life of Enzo Ferrari

Joseph Vassallo landed the role of the father of Ferrari

Joseph Vassallo

Joseph Vassallo

Few Maltese actors can boast of having made it big abroad, especially in the cut-throat world of film in the US, yet Joseph Vassallo seems to be the exception.

Moving to New York 30 years ago, Mr Vassallo shows no signs of slowing down, with his most recent endeavour – the portrayal of race car driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari – involving computer-generated imagery.

Mr Vassallo, who has appeared in over 100 advertisements in the US and worked alongside actors like Ashton Kutcher, Forest Whitaker, Damon Wayans, Jason Alexander and others on television shows as well as big-budget films, recently landed the role of the father of Ferrari.

He portrays the character in a short film that is screened at the recently-opened Farrari Land at Barcelona’s PortAventura Park. 

The best and most humbling compliments of my career

Premiering on April 7, the short film sees Mr Vassallo transformed into the iconic character in hologram form, offering viewers a history of the family and their success in building the Ferrari brand.

Ferrari Land is the latest addition to PortAventura World which is located on Spain’s Costa Dorada, close to Barcelona, and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

While the actor has played numerous roles over the years, Mr Vassallo admitted that portraying Enzo Ferrari earned him “the best and most humbling compliments” of his career after Enzo’s son Piero said he was impressed by the portrayal of his father.

Mr Vassallo’s passion for the film industry was sparked following a visit to the set of movie Midnight Express which was filmed in Malta and in which his father was an extra. He then joined the Manoel Theatre and while working on the luxurious cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II, Mr Vassallo travelled to New York often.

He soon relocated there, pursuing an acting career, and then moved to   Los Angeles where he trained at various academies.

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