Lillo Brancato Jr., a former Sopranos actor who was sentenced in 2009 for an attempted robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a New York police officer, has gotten a second chance in Hollywood.
Brancato, 38, who first rose to fame when he played Calogero, Robert De Niro’s son in A Bronx Tale, will next play Nicky Germano, cousin to the main opponent in the boxing film Back in the Day, starring Danny Glover, Alec Baldwin, and Mike Tyson, EW has confirmed.
This will be his first role since being released from prison in 2013—and on Tuesday, he told the New York Post that he couldn’t be more grateful for the second chance.
“I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes. And there was a strong possibility I would never see daylight again from outside those prison walls. And every day, just being free, I’ve learned not to take anything for granted,” he said.
In 2009, Brancato was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the death of off-duty officer Daniel Enchautegui, who woke to the sounds of Brancato and Steven Armento attempting to break into a Bronx apartment to steal prescription drugs. Enchautegui died from a fatal wound to the chest, following an exchange of shots. Brancato, who was unarmed and didn’t fire any shots, received early release for good behavior and enrolling in college courses. Armento is currently serving a life sentence.
EW has learned that he will also play a priest in the upcoming film Monsters of Mulberry Street.