Theo Rossi Is Finding His Place in America

Jul 31, 2018 225


The first time Theo Rossi felt seen as a New Yorker was when Enter the Wu-Tang dropped. It didn't just herald the arrival of one of the most revered names in hip-hop. It featured the RZA and his soon-to-be crew of legends shouting out "Shaolin Island," giving New York's oft-forgotten borough one of the biggest claims to fame a neighborhood could possibly have. Rossi was born in Staten Island, coming of age when RZA and the Clan bid the world to enter the 36 Chambers.

"It was the first time it felt like people heard of Staten Island!" Rossi says. "You always felt like a bit of an outcast." Though his career has separated him from his hometown for some time—Rossi left Staten Island at 17 for school, then for L.A. and his acting career—he still carries himself like an old New York head. A slight rasp in his voice, eyes that have sized you up before you note their color, and a lot to say about how the city has changed.

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