Frank Grillo

Frank Grillo
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Name:
Frank Grillo
Real name:
Frank Anthony Grillo
Who is:
Birth date:
(59 y.o.)
Place of birth:
New York
Height:
5'10 ft ()
Weight:
172 lb (78 kg)
Relationship:
single
Birth Sign:
Chinese zodiac:
Links:

Frank Grillo Biography

Frank Grillo is a prime example of how Hollywood is not quick to surrender to young actors. He began acting in 1996, but for a long time, he was confined to minor roles and unsuccessful attempts. Grillo found solace in sports: he became interested in wrestling as a child, and by the age of 35, he had familiarized himself with many global techniques. Little did he know that it would be his hobby that would ultimately lead to his success.
Actor Frank Grillo
Actor Frank Grillo
The role of a coach in the movie "Warrior" in 2011 seemed tailor-made for Grillo. Audiences and producers finally recognized his talent. Over the next few years, the actor established himself as a hero of "old school" action movies, standing shoulder to shoulder with Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, and Liam Neeson. Unlike his older colleagues, who were retiring one by one, his career is only gaining momentum.

Childhood and Youth

Frank Anthony Grillo was born in New York on June 8, 1965. His parents were immigrants from Italy. Frank grew up with two younger brothers in a rather impoverished family. "My parents got married when they were 16, and they never had money," Frank recalled later.

The Bronx area where Grillo grew up could hardly be called tranquil. His parents wanted their boys to be able to defend themselves, so they encouraged their interest in sports. Even before Frank started school, they bought him dumbbells and kettlebells for training.
Frank Grillo as a child with his mother
Frank Grillo as a child with his mother
At school, Grillo took up wrestling – he dreamed of standing up to local bullies who terrorized the whole neighborhood. He succeeded and then the teenager had to juggle between American football and martial arts. By the age of 18, Frank became interested in boxing.

Even though Frank spent a lot of time in gyms, he managed to complete school successfully. High scores enabled him to easily enter New York University. In 1991, he received a business degree and got a job on Wall Street. However, he soon realized that office work and endless numbers were not what he wanted to do all his life. Grillo recognized he was far from being a professional athlete. Then fate intervened: in 1992, a muscular guy with a striking appearance was offered to appear in several commercials for brands such as American Express, Rexona, Miller Genuine.
Frank Grillo in his youth
Frank Grillo in his youth
The fees he earned were enough for Frank to quit his job. He no longer needed office work as new offers started coming in. Grillo appeared on the covers of Men's Workout and Exercise & Health magazines, and then decided to try his luck on TV.

First Roles

Frank made his screen debut in the series "Guiding Light," which aired from 1952. He starred in this long-running soap opera from 1996 to 1999. His character, farmer Hart Jessup, while not central, left a lasting impression on viewers. Grillo began getting bit parts in other projects - series like "Silk Stalkings" (1999), "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000), and "Battery Park" (2001).
Frank Grillo in the series 'Guiding Light'
Frank Grillo in the series 'Guiding Light'
In 2002, Grillo was involved in two notable projects. In the comedy "The Sweetest Thing," he starred alongside Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate. And in Steven Spielberg's action thriller "Minority Report," he was lucky to work with Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. However, most of Grillo's scenes were almost entirely cut in the final version.
Frank Grillo in the movie 'The Sweetest Thing'
Frank Grillo in the movie 'The Sweetest Thing'
Lead roles eluded Frank: for many years he persistently appeared in regular soaps and series, went through hundreds of auditions for various projects. He appeared in series like "Blind Justice" (2005), "The Kill Point" (2007), and films such as "Pride and Glory" (2007), "Blue Eyes" (2009), "My Soul to Take" (2010).

Some "pilots" with his participation remained unrealized. In 2010, he landed a lead role in the thriller series "The Gates," but the series was cancelled after just one season.
Frank Grillo in the series 'The Gates'
Frank Grillo in the series 'The Gates'
Major success came to Grillo at the age of 46. In 2011, the actor agreed to a supporting role in the film "Warrior" with Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy. Frank's character - the coach of one of the main characters - had almost no lines, but had a direct relation to the actor's beloved boxing.
Frank Grillo in the movie 'Warrior'
Frank Grillo in the movie 'Warrior'
Grillo prepared extensively for the role, spending hours at the headquarters of legendary MMA coach Greg Jackson. On site, he observed how Jackson trained athletes. At the actor's initiative, a gym was set up on the shooting location where the entire cast went through real workouts. With the permission of director Gavin O'Connor, Frank constantly added to his role with funny jokes and sarcastic phrases.
'Warrior' Interview With Frank Grillo
The film was a big success, and a coach from the University of Arizona even reached out to Grillo asking him to work with his wrestlers. The coach had no doubt that Frank had all the necessary skills for this, so convincing was he in his role.

Career Bloom

After "Warrior", Frank finally started receiving offers from film directors, where his last name wouldn't be listed at the end of the credits. He starred in the thriller "The Grey" alongside Liam Neeson in 2011 - a gripping film that paid for itself within weeks of its release. This was followed by the thriller "Disconnect" (2012), the action film "End of Watch" (2012), and the action-drama "The Raid" (2012).
Frank Grillo in the movie “The Grey”
Frank Grillo in the movie “The Grey”
In 2014, Frank joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, taking on the role of Brock Rumlow, one of Steve Rogers' enemies. Grillo appeared in the movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". He also played the lead in the action movie "The Purge: Anarchy" and returned to a sports role in the series "Kingdom".
Frank Grillo on the set of the movie “The Purge: Anarchy”
Frank Grillo on the set of the movie “The Purge: Anarchy”
In this project, which ran until 2017, Frank transformed into a truly bright character. His character - a former fighter who tried to keep his gym afloat, learn to communicate with his adult sons, and survive a midlife crisis. The MMA fans and fighters around the world were thrilled with the series. But despite high ratings, it was decided to end it after 3 seasons. "This show deserved a wider audience," Frank lamented.
Frank Grillo in the series “Kingdom”
Frank Grillo in the series “Kingdom”
2016 brought Frank the leading role in the sci-fi action movie "Beyond Skyline", a part in the series "Billions", and a return to the MCU in the film "Captain America: Civil War". However, Grillo's character Crossbones was killed off just a few moments after appearing on screen.
Frank Grillo in the movie “Beyond Skyline”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Beyond Skyline”
The comic book fan community demanded a full story for Crossbones in the future. The actor didn't approve of this idea: he believed he had solidly occupied the niche of colleagues like Liam Neeson and Jason Statham, starring in old-school action movies, and youth blockbusters didn't fit in there.
Frank Grillo in the movie “Captain America: Civil War”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Captain America: Civil War”
Indeed, there were increasingly more action-packed films in Frank's filmography. He played a getaway driver in "Wheelman" (2017), a villain in the Asian action film "Wolf Warrior 2" (2017) - and after this film, he became very popular in China. Grillo's character helped Bruce Willis' character catch robbers in "Reprisal" (2018) and fought against Jamie Bell in the ring in "Donnybrook" (2018).
Frank Grillo in the movie “Wolf Warrior 2”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Wolf Warrior 2”
The next year, 2019, brought Frank several action films - "Point Blank", "Into the Ashes", "Black and Blue", "Hell on the Border". The actor ignored statements that most of these pictures were considered unworthy of attention by critics. He not only starred in them, but also facilitated their production under the auspices of his own production company War Party, founded with his friend, director Joe Carnahan.
Frank Grillo in the movie “Point Blank”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Point Blank”
One of their first joint projects was the documentary series "Fightworld", which premiered on Netflix in 2018. In the episodes, the actor traveled around the world, familiarizing himself with the culture of different countries and studying martial arts - from Thai boxing to Burmese Lethwei.
Frank Grillo on his Experiences with the Fighting Community Worldwide in “Fightworld”
In 2019, War Party produced the action film "Boss Level" about a former special forces soldier stuck in a time loop. The leading roles in the movie were taken by Mel Gibson, Frank Grillo, and his youngest son Rio. In addition, the project featured two UFC champions Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. "It was fun working with them," Frank said.
Frank Grillo in the movie “Boss Level”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Boss Level”
2020 brought Grillo a series of action films with mixed reviews and ratings. In "The Gateway", he played a principled Texas cowboy, and in "Cosmic Sin", he and Bruce Willis were transported to the year 2524. Science fiction was also present in the film "Jiu Jitsu", where Grillo and Nicolas Cage's characters together defended the planet from an alien invasion.
Frank Grillo in the movie “Cosmic Sin”
Frank Grillo in the movie “Cosmic Sin”

Frank Grillo's Personal Life

Grillo rarely lets outsiders in on the details of his family life. He first married in 1991 to a woman named Kathy. The marriage didn't last long. In 1997, Kathy gave birth to a son, Remy, and a year later, she and Grillo divorced.
Frank Grillo with his eldest son, Remy
Frank Grillo with his eldest son, Remy
Rumors suggested that Grillo's affair with his co-star from "Guiding Light," Wendy Moniz, was the reason for the split. She was also married, but left her husband for Grillo. Colleagues recalled that Wendy and Frank didn't hide their feelings, kissing and hugging in front of everyone.
Frank Grillo and Wendy Moniz
Frank Grillo and Wendy Moniz
They got married in 2000. Four years later, Moniz gave birth to a son, Liam, and in 2008, another boy, Rio. Grillo spent a lot of time with his sons and introduced them to gym workouts from an early age.
Frank Grillo with his sons
Frank Grillo with his sons
The actor's family seemed perfect, but in 2020, without explaining why, Wendy and Frank announced their divorce. The charismatic actor, who constantly keeps himself in shape, didn't stay single for long. A few months later, he was dating Australian actress Nicky Whelan. Fans suspected a wedding was in the works, but in November 2021, Grillo announced their split. "It's all over. I'm alone," the actor said.
Frank Grillo and Nicky Whelan
Frank Grillo and Nicky Whelan
However, by January 2022, Frank and Nicky were spotted on the streets of Los Angeles: they were flirting, hugging, and kissing, ignoring the paparazzi.
Frank Grillo's Diet & Workout Routine to Stay Jacked

Frank Grillo Now

Frank is at the peak of his career, having settled into the role of an action hero. This came in handy, considering that his role model, Liam Neeson, recently announced his retirement from high-intensity thrillers due to the difficulty of filming fight scenes with younger actors. Grillo, on the other hand, spends 6 days a week training and easily stands up to colleagues half his age.
Frank Grillo in the movie 'The Gateway
Frank Grillo in the movie 'The Gateway
In 2021, he starred in the film "Ida Red", where Oscar-winning Melissa Leo also appeared, and the thriller "No Man's Land". His joint company with Joe Carnahan released the action film "Copshop", in which Grillo teamed up with Gerard Butler.
Frank Grillo in the movie 'Copshop'
Frank Grillo in the movie 'Copshop'
2022 brought Frank another collaboration with Bruce Willis in the crime action movie "A Day to Die". And in late July 2022, the thriller "The Gateway" was released, in which the actor starred with Morgan Freeman.
Frank Grillo in the movie 'A Day to Die'
Frank Grillo in the movie 'A Day to Die'
In 2023, the actor could be seen in action films "The Black Lotus", "King of Killers", and "Hounds of War".

Interesting Facts

  • Grillo maintains his shape thanks to workouts and a specific diet - for many years he has followed the so-called paleo diet. In the actor's fridge, you can only find those products that were available to cavemen. Frank had to give up cereals, but lean turkey, eggs, and vegetables are always in his diet.
    How I Got My Body: Kingdom's Frank Grillo Shares Boxing and Workout Tips

  • Frank loves to decorate his body with tattoos - he has at least 7 of them. All the drawings have a sacred meaning for the actor: the "Brazilian Christ" tattoo, Thai spell, and Cambodian magical images.