About an Italian-American crime family in the southern Brooklyn nabe, “Gravesend’s” second season will pick up where the riveting production left off last season, and Ceppos will play a Parisian businessman and restaurateur who finds himself pulled into the mafia world by chance.
“It’s pretty exciting being involved with this production because everyone loves New York, the writer, the director, everyone involved in it has New York in their blood. I’m a fifth generation New Yorker, so everything about New York, I love. It’s great to be a part of it,” he told Brooklyn Paper.
A fifth generation New Yorker, Ceppos started his acting career at just eight years old, when a school teacher encouraged him to participate in a rendition of the King and I.
He landed the lead role before his teacher bumped him down to a chorus member after hearing him sing.
“We started rehearsing and she listened to me sing and she said ‘Alan maybe you just better be in the chorus and mouth the words,” he said. “I went home and I cried half of the afternoon and I kind of realized, as an eight year old, if I was going to get so emotional about this, I must really have the bug.”
His parents soon enrolled him in a drama school and attended college at the state’s University at Albany, where he studied French and Theater.
The actor decided to put acting on the back burner for some time and moved to Paris right after college, where he taught English for over 10 years. While in France, Ceppos met his husband and stepped into the business world when they launched PIQ — a toy and gift store, nearly twenty years ago.
“Having lived in another country and speaking another language gives everyone a leg up in anything. To be able to understand what the world is like outside of your immediate world helps,” he said.
Since moving back to the states in 1979, Ceppos has worked on hit TV shows such as The Conan O’Brien Show, The David Letterman Show, Days of Our Lives, New York Undercover and Law and Order.
He says in order to maintain a successful career in acting, you have to have tenacity and be willing to put your career first.
“You really have to be obstinate and keep trying. You have to keep trying,” he said. “You can’t give up. You have to follow what you want to do and be clear about it in your mind.”
Now, back in New York on the small screen.
“Gravesend” in its first season focused mostly on Benny Zerletta, a character played by fellow Brooklynite William DeMeo, who also created the show and works as its writer and director.
The high-suspense drama is palpable on screen, as the characters navigate tough moral dilemmas stemming from a life of crime while maintaining their Catholic faith, and intensity while trying to skirt the law and their fellow made men.
“It’s Brooklyn through and through,” DeMeo previously told Brooklyn Paper of the show ahead of season 2.
The new season will see some change of scenery, with prolonged plots occurring outside Kings County, but fans will surely still get the iconic feel of the neighborhood that gives the show its name.
“I mean down to the filming locations,” DeMeo said. “We got Lenny’s Pizzeria on 86th Street, Spumoni Gardens, John’s Deli on Stillwell Avenue. Staples for Brooklyn.”
Ceppos, for his part, said the authentic New York feeling is part of why he was so excited to be a part of a production.
“You don’t meet many people of that generation being New York. Most people you know have come from elsewhere, Ceppos told Brooklyn Paper. “So I don’t need a whole lot of inspiration. You just say the word New York to me and I feel it in my blood.”