"But the truth is, it's very awkward," said Mascolo, who split from ex-fiancee Thorne in June
The new romantic drama "Game of Love" stars Benjamin Mascolo and his now-ex Bella Thorne, but despite the former couple's split, Mascolo has nothing but good things to say about Thorne. In fact, the Italian singer and actor praised his co-star for her talent, professionalism and for helping him further work on his craft.
In "Game of Love," which is a sequel to 2021's "Time Is Up," Roy (Mascolo) and Vivien's (Thorne) love story continues as the couple visits Roy's childhood home in Sicily. However, their romance is tested after a woman arrives and becomes friends with Vivien. Per Vertical Entertainment, "Tensions build and lines are crossed as secrets from Roy's past force the couple to face aspects of their relationship they did not know existed."
In an interview with TooFab, Mascolo, 29, opened up about shooting the sequel, including his experience filming intimate scenes with Thorne, what he's learned from her about acting and how working on "Game of Love" differed from the first film, which marked his acting debut.
Mascolo and Thorne, 25, called off their engagement in June after over three years together. It's unclear if the two shot "Game of Love" prior to their breakup. Nevertheless, Mascolo said he's "open" to a third film, and ultimately hopes Roy and Vivien become the "best version of themselves."
The singer also spoke about shooting in Sicily, filming the movie's epicmasquerade ball scene and more.
Check out the full interview in the video, above, and read on for the full Q&A. Also, warning: spoilers ahead for "Game of Love."
So first of all, "Game of Love" seemed like a surprise for the fans. At what point did you all decide to make another one?
Well, it was a surprise for me too. I mean, I'm just grateful we had the opportunity to shoot a second movie. I was grateful to shoot one movie, and the fans loved it, so they gave us the opportunity to shoot a second one. And yeah, it was kind of short notice for us too, but we just jumped on it.
What was it like reuniting with Bella Thorne for this film? Since she's been in TV and film since she was a child, did you learn anything from working together?
Oh 100%, she's an amazing actress, so natural. She's so talented, and just working with her was a great opportunity for me. Just seeing her on set, the way she handles things, the way she does things, it was good for me to learn how to be an actor because, you know, I just started this career, and there's a lot of learning to do. There's a lot of experiences [I] still have to make, but she was definitely a help to work with.
Is there anything specific she taught you about acting that you can share?
Well, one of the first things she told me, it was kind of funny. It's funny because it was my first scene of the first movie. She told me "just breathe" because I wasn't breathing. Literally, I was so tense, so tensed up. And she just helped me learn how to be more natural, and just be in the moment, be present, which is fundamental, you know?
"Time Is Up"marked your acting debut, and since you had a movie under your belt, was it easier shooting this film, and how did the experiences differ?
Well, I wouldn't say it was easier because I feel like the first movie I tried my best, and honestly, when you try your best, you can be happy or unhappy [with] the result, but I was happy because I really did, for this time I had, you know I did all my acting lessons. I did all my preparation, athletic preparation, everything, so I did my best, and for the second movie, I just wanted to step it up. So it wasn't easier because my goal was to always step it up, my crafts and learn. So it was different, it was challenging in different ways, yeah.
"Game of Love" includes several intimate moments between you and Bella. Because of your chemistry, did those scenes come easier? Or since you are acting in front of a crew, did you get nervous or anxious about shooting those scenes?
It's kind of funny because yes, people expect that you know, because of, you know, the story or because of the relationship of the actors, it may be easier. But the truth is, it's very awkward when you have, you know, 10 people in the room filming and audio and cameras everywhere, and you have to be very intimate. I feel like it's never going to be completely comfortable for anybody because you feel [these] eyes on you, and you are sharing a very intimate thing, but you know it's part of the job, so we get it done. And it probably was much easier with Bella than with anybody else.
Roy and Vivien reconcile at the end of the film, but it's unclear what happens next. Are there plans or would you want to do a third film?
I mean, right now we don't have plans [for] a third film, but I'm open to it 100%. I mean, I loved working on this project. I feel like number one and number two [were] great fun for me, and fans loved it, and I hope they are going to love number two as well. And I don't know what the future reserves for us, but I am open to the idea of a number three. Absolutely, I'm here.
What do you think happens to Roy and Vivien? Or what would you like to see happen to Roy and Vivien moving forward, whether or not there's a third film?
I can't say that. I feel like God has a plan for all of us. I don't know what he has for Roy and Vivien, but I can't really say that. I have no idea. I just really hope for both of them to flourish into the best version of themselves, which doesn't mean just the happiest. Because people, you know, go through sacrifices, people go through hard times, but those moments make you -- if you are able to overcome them -- they make you stronger, they make you a better human. So I just wish for Roy and Vivien to find the best expression of themselves.
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This movie features so many gorgeous filming locations. As someone from Italy, did you know the area? Were you able to act as a tour guide at all? Did you have a favorite spot?
I come from the world of music, so I've toured Italy a lot. And I had been to Sicily, [but] I had actually never been to the area where we shot the movie because it's a very specific area. It's near Noto, and I was surprised myself how beautiful it was. Like, I'm Italian, I've seen a lot of my country, but you know I hadn't seen every single part of Sicily yet, and it was just amazing. And I'm so glad we were able to showcase it in the movie. You know, I think it's great advertising of our country to the world. So it was great discovering the area for me too. Obviously, I'm part of the culture, so I was helping Bella and other actors to feel at home there, but you know, doing my best.
But at the end of the day, I feel like everyone enjoyed it, and the food was amazing, the place was amazing, so yeah. ... For over a month, I woke up every day eating eggs and truffle. I was just spoiled. Spoiled.
Last question, one of the scenes in the film features a masquerade party ball. Take us through filming that scene. Did you have dance rehearsals or anything? Were you a fan of your Regency-era costume?
Yeah, it was fun because putting on a costume for a movie, and having a change in scenery, like feeling like you are in a different time and age was a lot of fun, and I loved everything about it. The only detail, it's kind of funny now to say, I was wearing these kind of heels, like men heels, like boots. And I hurt my back dancing all day in those heels, and it was hell. It was hell, but it's part of the job, you know? It's part of the job, but it's kind of funny because I see the movie now, and I love the end result, but my back was f---ed.
Well, now you know for the future if you ever have to wear shoes like that again.
I mean, I am going to avoid them as much as possible, but if I have to do it, I'll do it.
"Game of Love" is in select theaters and available on demand now.