‘Mr Hollywood’ takes on ambassador role for Noosa
HE IS Mr Hollywood to Brisbane locals, as any A-lister will tell you.
Damien Anthony Rossi is the glam man behind the social pages, the handsome bloke who loves nothing more than to get out among Brisbane events and report on what is happening around the traps.
He freely admits he is one lucky man to have such a gig.
“I love to get around and report what’s going on,” he said as he was about to take off for a family reunion holiday in Hawaii.
As if one such pleasant job wasn’t enough, Damien Anthony is also the entertainment guru on Channel 7’s The Great South East.
“I feel so fortunate,” he said. “I get to go behind the scenes to all the shows and interview cast members.
“I’m doing The Sound of Music. I love bringing all the gossip to the viewers.”
Okay, so that’s enough of the good times. But there is more.
Damien Anthony Rossi is also Ambassador for the Noosa Long Weekend (July 15-24) and he is pinching himself to ensure the dream role really is his.
“I’ve been to the Noosa Long Weekend for the last few years and I’ve really enjoyed myself,” he said.
“It’s such a unique, wonderful vibe. It’s a chance to be close and intimate with so much theatre, so many events.
“And Noosa is glorious in July. Last year I not only immersed myself in the event, I met amazing people.
“You not only get stimulated by the wonderful art, cultural and culinary offerings, it is socially wonderful as well.”
Being asked to be ambassador for the regional event is just one of many highlights in a rewarding career for Damien since he left his home town of LA to settle in Australia 25 years ago.
“I was an assistant casting director in LA when I took a trip to Brisbane to visit friends in 1990,” he said. “I loved Brisbane straight away. I loved Queensland. I went back home to LA, continued working on a show I was doing and later had the opportunity come back to Brisbane and work here. Then I really fell in love with Queensland.”
Damien’s first job in Australia was not as a casting director, but as production assistant on two movies being made at the time.
“One of them was Muriel’s Wedding,” he said. “I was production assistant, running around getting coffee for Toni Colette and Rachel Griffiths.
“That was wonderful but I had no idea the movie would end up becoming such an iconic film.
“I didn’t know any of the actors at the time.
“The other film I worked on was a movie with Jason Donovan. He was really big at the time, with Neighbours.
“The movie was called Rough Diamond and it certainly was a rough diamond. It never turned into a valuable one.
“I spend three months running Jason around. I thought his movie was going to be the big one. It went straight to video.
“And to think I thought Muriel’s Wedding would be a small art house movie.”
After those two experiences, Damien went on to run his own company in Milton, Rossi Casting Group, using his experience as a casting agent to grow the business.
In between he hosted an annual charity event, Rossi’s Oscars, held on Academy Awards night, for two decades. He raised a quarter of a million dollars for cancer research and cancer charities.
Full Noosa Long weekend program of events and tickets at: noosalongweekend.com