No matter what your life plans are, sometimes, a sudden passion emerges out of nowhere – changing your plans tremendously. For instance, Alex Landi, a New York City native of Korean and Italian descent, grew up thinking he’d become a professional tennis player, but after attending a few Broadway shows with his parents, he began to consider a career in entertainment. He was gradually introduced to acting while double-majoring in finance and economics at the University of Delaware. He already had friends in the business who pushed him to eventually make the leap. “I just made a complete [180-degree] turn and went to the Lee Strasberg [Theatre & Film Institute] – and here we are now,” he says.
The career choice, however, came with trials and tribulations. Landi acted in student films and shorts with friends. He worked part-time jobs and used the money to put together a presentable reel. “Everyone only sees the tip of the iceberg. No one sees what really goes into it,” he elaborates. “I was rejected so many times. A lot of these things were no pay. It was just constant grinding.”
Nevertheless, for Landi, choosing the acting career “was all or nothing for me. There was no option for me not to make it [even] if that took me ten years or twenty years.” Fortunately, it didn’t take that long for him to get his big break. He did a self-tape audition for the popular ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy. The producers liked him, and he was asked to come to Los Angeles for a callback – and soon after, he officially landed the role. Portraying orthopedic surgery fellow Dr. Nico Kim, who is the series’ first gay male surgeon of Asian descent, Landi has since taken the show to a whole new level by helping break down LGBTQ and Asian stereotypes.
Landi is also playing the role of Henry Lee in Season 2 of the Netflix comedy-drama Insatiable. Given his mixed heritage, he values variety in his roles. “I feel like I should be open to the Caucasian roles just as I am to the Asian roles. I can go out for the Asian role. I can also go out for the Caucasian role. It works out,” adds Landi who hopes to one day be a part of an action movie, preferably playing a villain. (He cites Keanu Reeves as one of his favorite actors and is an avid fan of the Matrix movies.)
Writer: Alain Clerine
Photographer: Paul Brickman
Photographer Assistant: Mark Arroyo
Stylist: Bailee Edgington
Men’s Grooming: Vivianne Raudsepp (for Opus Beauty - using Oribe)
Videographer: Sandra Selva
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)