Edoardo Ballerini

Edoardo Ballerini (born March 20, 1970) is an American actor, narrator, writer, and film director. On screen he is best known for his work as junkie Corky Caporale in The Sopranos and the hotheaded chef in the indie film Dinner Rush (2001). Ballerini is a two-time winner of the Audio Publishers Association's Best Male Narrator Audie Award (2013, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter; 2019 Watchers by Dean Koontz) and the co-author of the Audible Original "The Angel of Rome" (2021), with Jess Walter. His directorial debut, Good Night Valentino, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.[1]

Edoardo Ballerini
Ballerini in 2007
Born (1970-03-20) March 20, 1970 (age 52)
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
  • Actor
  • Narrator
  • Writer
  • Director

Early life and educationEdit

Ballerini was born to an Italian father, the poet Luigi Ballerini, and an American mother, the photo historian and writer Julia Ballerini. He grew up between New York City and Milan, Italy. He is a dual citizen, and bilingual. His early schooling took place in New York, at P.S. 41 and later Friends Seminary, before he left home at age 14 after his parents' divorce for boarding school at Deerfield Academy. From there, he attended Wesleyan University, graduating a Bachelor of Arts degree English after studying under Paul Horgan. The summer following his graduation, Ballerini was given a scholarship to study Latin in Rome with Father Reginald Foster, a Vatican priest. While in Italy, Ballerini discovered a group of international actors who were forming a theater company. He quit his studies and joined the troupe.[2] The following fall, he attended regular acting classes in New York at HB Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He was then invited to became an observer at the Actors Studio.[3]


Film and televisionEdit

Ballerini's first professional role on screen was as an autistic teenager on Law & Order (1995). Following that he had small roles in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and The Pallbearer (1996), opposite David Schwimmer. In 1997 he starred in the John Leguizamo comedy The Pest (1997) before appearing in Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (1998) and Amos Kollek's Sue (1998), then again in starring roles in Martin Davidson's Looking for an Echo (2000) and the action blockbuster Romeo Must Die (2000).

That same year Ballerini was cast as the "star chef" in Bob Giraldi's Dinner Rush (2001) opposite Danny Aiello. The film grossed only $638,227[4] but received largely positive reviews.[5]

Following the success of Dinner Rush Ballerini wrote, directed, produced and starred in "Good Night Valentino," a short film about 1920s film icon Rudolph Valentino. The film premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and was entered into the permanent archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. The film was also presented at the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, Italy in 2009 as part of a Valentino retrospective.[6] Emily Leider, in her biography of Valentino titled Dark Lover (2003), wrote that Ballerini "infuses his [Valentino] with exactly the right mix of pride, elegance, grace and anguish... on screen, Ballerini's resemblance to Valentino is uncanny."[7]

Ballerini was also cast as another famous 1920s Italian, the anarchist and labor leader Carlo Tresca, in No God, No Master (2011).

In 2006 Ballerini was cast as junkie Corky Caporale, friend of Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos. He appeared in four episodes. This led to an eight episode appearance as Igantius D'Alessio in Boardwalk Empire in 2010. Ballerini was later offered a contract role in Quarry (2016) opposite Logan Marshall-Green and Peter Mullan. "Quarry" was cancelled after its first season.

Other film credits include Life is Hot in Cracktown (2009), opposite Illeana Douglas, Michael Almereyda's Experimenter (2015), opposite Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder and First We Take Brooklyn (2018) opposite Harvey Keitel.

TV credits include roles on 24, the BBC's Ripper Street (2013), Elementary (2015-2016) and Neon Joe (2017).


Ballerini is a frequent and award-winning audiobook narrator. In 2007 he recorded his first book, Machiavelli's The Prince, as a favor for a friend who was starting a new studio.[2] Ballerini considers Beautiful Ruins (2012) to be a career changing moment; prior to this he had only recorded a few books, and its success catapulted his audiobook career.[2] Beautiful Ruins won the Audio Publishers Association award for best audiobook of the year on the solo male narrator category.[2] Ballerini is also a two-time winner of Society of Voice Arts Awards.[8]

He received Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine for his recordings of Stephen Greenblatt's National Book Award-winning The Swerve, Paul Farmer's Haiti: After the Earthquake (with Meryl Streep and Eric Conger), and Kristopher Jansma's The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards.[9] In a feature profile, The New York Times Magazine called him "The Voice of God", in part because of his narration of the Hebrew Bible.[2] Other major titles include War and Peace, The Metamorphosis. His 135-hour recording of Karl Ove Knausgaards six-volume autobiographical opus, My Struggle which he considers his most ambitious, took him 200 hours over the course of five years to finish.[2][10]

His short form narration work includes episodes of "Sunday Reads" for The New York Times The Daily Podcast,[11][12][13] stories for the "Modern Love" Podcast,[14] as well as "Sleep Stories" for the popular Calm app, and frequent narration of articles for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair through the subscription service Audm.[citation needed]


Ballerini made his first professional appearance on stage as a child at the age of 10 at Theater for the New City, New York, in Mario Prosperi's "Uncle Mario." He subsequently joined the Italian Commedia dell'arte troupe "I giullari di piazza"[15] for several performances. Stage credits as an adult include "Crossroads" at The Henry Street Settlement (1994), several pieces in "The Eugene O'Neill Project" (1995-1996) at The Actors Studio and The Eugene O'Neill Center, Stefanie Zadravec's "Honey Brown Eyes" (2010) on Theater Row, and John Jesurun's "Chang in a Void Moon" (1997-2015) at The Kitchen and other venues.

Personal lifeEdit

Ballerini moved to Los Angeles in 2000 before eventually returning to the New York area,.[2] Ballerini has a small sound studio in his house where he records books; the house was once owned by a silent movie star.[2] He is married with two children.



Year Title Role Notes
1996 I Shot Andy Warhol Editor of School Paper
1996 The Pallbearer The Job Interviewer
1996 5 Dead on the Crimson Canvas Blaine
1996 I'm Not Rappaport Man at the Rally
1997 The Pest Himmel Shank
1997 Sue Lost in Manhattan Eddie
1998 The Last Days of Disco Victor
1999 Suits Johnny Akida
2000 Romeo Must Die Vincent Roth
2000 Dinner Rush Chef Udo Cropa
2000 Looking for an Echo Anthony Pirelli
2001 Free Paul Farley Uncredited
2004 Malevolent Oliver Chadwicke
2005 The F Word Walt Whitman Quoter
2005 Freezerburn Kevin Korlowsky
2005 A Year and a Day Benji
2006 El Cortez Roy Morrison
2008 The Caller Teddy
2008 No Exit Jonathan
2009 Life Is Hot in Cracktown Chas
2010 Bad Ass Salvatore
2011 Trophy Kids Christos
2012 Hellbenders Father Atherton
2013 Run Luke
2013 No God, No Master Carlo Tresca
2015 Experimenter Paul Hollander
2015 The Dark Side Dan
2017 The Unattainable Story Skene
2018 First We Take Brooklyn Dimitri
2018 7 Splinters in Time Darius Lefaux


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Law & Order David Vilardi Episode: "Cruel and Unusual"
1997 The Substitute 2: School's Out Danny Bramson Television film
1998 Vig Leo
1999 Homicide: Life on the Street Selwyn Wetherby Episode: "Identity Crisis"
2002 Going to California Devin Episode: "Mixed Doubles"
2002 NYPD Blue Dennis Clancy Episode: "Hand Job"
2002 24 Frank Allard 3 episodes
2003 Threat Matrix Bobby DaCosta Episode: "Flipping"
2004 Charmed Damien Episode: "The Courtship of Wyatt's Father"
2006 Medium Sam Elkin Episode: "The Darkness Is Light Enough"
2006 Without a Trace Frankie Lamaj Episode: "The Damage Done"
2006–2007 The Sopranos Corky Caporale 4 episodes
2007 Protect and Serve Officer John Esparza Television film
2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Timms 3 episodes
2008 Moonlight Pierce Anders Episode: "Fated to Pretend"
2009 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Jack / Vulture Episode: "Return of the Fearsome Fangs!"
2010 White Collar Signore Tomassi Episode: "Out of the Box"
2010 Boardwalk Empire Ignatius D'Alessio 8 episodes
2011 Body of Proof Jeremy Nichols Episode: "Helping Hand"
2011 Bar Karma Wet Tech Episode: "Hack Job"
2013 Ripper Street Frank Goodnight 2 episodes
2013 Gilded Lilys Tommy Barone Television film; unsold pilot
2014 Forever Clark Walker Episode: "Skinny Dipper"
2015, 2016 Elementary Agent Lukas Muller 2 episodes
2016 Quarry Karl 8 episodes
2017 Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter Vance Dontay 5 episodes


  1. ^ "The Sundance 2003 Lineup". About.com. 2003. Archived from the original on 2005-09-19. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Susan Dominus (May 13, 2020). "The Voice of God. (And Knausgaard, Whitman, Machiavelli … )". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  3. ^ Iain Alexander (January 11, 2010). "In conversation with actor Edoardo Ballerini". Film Industry Network.
  4. ^ "Dinner Rush". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  5. ^ "Dinner Rush". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  6. ^ "Rodolfo Valentino: La Seduzione Del mito" (PDF). unito.it. February 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Emily Wortis Leider (2003). Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 420-421. ISBN 0374282390.
  8. ^ https://www.sovas.org/
  9. ^ "RFeview: The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards". AudioFile. 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "Narrator of 133-hour audiobook proclaims boom in 'evolving art'". TheGuardian.com. January 2019.
  11. ^ "The Sunday Read: 'A Mother and Daughter at the End'". The New York Times. 10 January 2021.
  12. ^ "From the Sunday Read Archive: 'Weird al Yankovic's Weirdly Enduring Appeal'". The New York Times. 16 May 2021.
  13. ^ "The Sunday Read: 'David's Ankles'". The New York Times. 11 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Modern Love Podcast: When Two Open Marriages Collide". The New York Times. 30 June 2021.
  15. ^ Alessandra Belloni (2002). "I Giullari di Piazza". alessandrabelloni.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-10.

External linksEdit