‘Gravesend’ actor Peter Gaudio talks Queens roots, shooting scenes with TV legend Fran Drescher

Peter Gaudio
Corona native Peter Gaudio is excited to be working alongside Flushing native Fran Drescher for season 2 of Gravesend. (Photo courtesy of Peter Gaudio)

Corona native Peter Gaudio has many acting credits to his name, but even he still gets starstruck sometimes with the people he works with.

This was the case when he got to shoot scenes recently with Flushing native and star of the popular sitcom “The Nanny,” Fran Drescher, who is co-starring with Gaudio in the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend.”

“She’s a wonderful person to work with,” Gaudio said. “I’ve long admired her creativity and craft. It’s an experience you can only dream of.”

Gaudio grew up in Corona before moving to Bayside.

According to Gaudio, there were a lot of mobsters who frequented his neighborhood growing up. Inspired by the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Marlon Brando, Gaudio wanted to avoid the mobster lifestyle and fulfill his creative desire. He was originally a professional bodybuilder, even winning the title of “Mr. New York City” before following his passion and desire to be creative by pursuing a career in acting.

Early in his acting career, Gaudio befriended fellow actor William DeMeo when they filmed a scene together in the 1993 film “A Bronx Tale.” The two have worked together through a multitude of projects over the years. Their latest, the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend,” has almost finished filming the second season.

Peter Gaudio
Peter Gaudio (left) and William DeMeo (right) filming a scene together for Gravesend. (Photo courtesy of Peter Gaudio)

The show explores the life of mafiosos in 1980s New York City. Having grown up in the city around that time, Gaudio feels the show does an excellent job portraying the city’s atmosphere at the time.

“Everything, from the music, cars, wardrobe and interactions between others were right on point,” Gaudio said.

In addition to serving as a writer and director for the series DeMeo stars as the main character, Benny Z. Gaudio plays a supporting role as Rocco Giodano. Like many of his acting credits, Gaudio describes his character as being a tough guy. However, according to him, Giodano is also a stand-up guy who, unlike most other mobsters, is a gentleman and fitness guru.

“Rocco is true to life,” Gaudio said.

Peter Gaudio
Photo courtesy of Peter Gaudio

While he certainly enjoys playing the role of tough guys, Gaudio said one of his favorite roles was as Al Bonetelli in the 2016 film “Take it Back.” He got to show a more sensitive side in that role, giving advice to his character’s nephew.

Gaudio is proud to be the first white-collar worker in his family. Now, he has even more to be proud of as his daughter is deciding between attending Cornell or NYU with the goal of becoming a doctor.

“There is no role more important to me in this world than being a father to my daughter Petrina,” Gaudio said.

In addition to his work as an actor, he still works to help promote fitness. He has operated Hardcore Fitness, a fitness business on Long Island for 27 years. He wants people to feel as good in mind and body as he does now.

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