Sal Rendino may not be a household name, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him before. More than once, actually. His presence in the television world is larger than his body of film work, but not by much and the movie side of the ledger is accruing new additions each year, The versatile New York-based actor brings a wide array of skills to bear that don’t always see the light of day. Need him to juggle? He can do that. Impressions? He can do those as well. However, he’d rather act.
It isn’t hard finding proof of his love of acting. Rendino first debuted in television and film during the early 1990s and spent ten years paying his dues in bit parts, but the turn of the century signaled a turn in his professional fortunes as well. Rendino’s talent, professionalism, and discipline began rewarding him with better roles than ever before and his acting stock has steadily ascended since then. It’s landed him important work on television series such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order: Organized Crime, E.R., The Blacklist, and Billions, among many others.
His latest roles, however, have him ready to take things to the next peak. His appearance opposite screen and television icon Danny Aiello in the Apple TV feature drama One Moment, chronicling aging siblings’ attempts to balance their own lives with caring for a bereaved and recently widowed father, is one of Rendino’s most important roles yet. It’s Aiello’s last appearance on screen, as well, so Rendino has stepped into a small piece of history.
History has called before. Rendino has carved out a distinctive niche playing polar opposite historical figures in film and theatre. His recent award-winning turn as 60s anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman in the play David and Goliath in America reeled in an Artistic Director Achievement Award for “Best Actor in a Drama”. His 2018 role as crime boss and John Gotti nemesis Vincent “the Chin” Gigante in the movie Gotti ranked high as one of the film’s bright spots.
He’s landed other awards as well. The aforementioned One Moment has won Rendino the 2021 Best Supporting Actor Award from the Long Island International Film Expo and an earlier 2016 feature entitled Second Chance won him another Best Supporting Actor nod from the Nice International Film Festival. 2016 was a good year, obviously, as he also snagged the Long Island International Film Expo’s Rising Star Award.
These laurels are satisfying, unquestionably, but even more so is the ability to find challenging new work. No one will confuse his upcoming role opposite Denise Richards in The Junkyard Dogs as akin to Shakespeare, but the comedy shows this an actor who possesses dramatic and comedic chops in equal measure. It’s the sort of flexibility from performers that quality directors, producers, and screenwriters demand and deserve for their projects, and few actors working today are better tailored to deliver on their vision. He’s a model actor for these times and ready to answer the call.