Before Branden Williams became one of the top real estate brokers in Los Angeles as founder of The Beverly Hills Estates and a representative for stars like Jennifer Lopez and Bruce Willis, he was known for his acting work in everything from footnote to me Halloween H20: 20 years later. And while he loves his day job — which he finds working with his opposite wife and fellow realtor Renee Williams — the 47-year-old couldn’t turn down the chance to get back into the acting game once his offer came.
Williams is currently filming the offer, Paramount + Limited Series About Made The Godfather. In it, Williams plays actor Gianni Russo who played Carlo Rizzi in the famous Francis Ford Coppola movie, opposite Miles Teller, Rudy. Williams says director John Papsedra reached out to him via email; The two have known each other over the years, even as the contributor took notice when Williams wrote about his real estate deals in publications including The Hollywood Reporter.
“He’s one of the biggest acting directors in Hollywood and he emailed me asking if I was still interested in acting because he was working on this project,” Williams recalls, adding that Russo’s role included exploring the colorful past he’s flirted with the mob and they were close friends with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. I answered in three words: ‘No problem, easy.’
Williams hired realtor Zach Goldsmith to help him score the audition (wife Renee also offered input), and he sent it in. “After two days, they told me I had it,” Williams says. “Lucky enough, I have a great team now and I am able to do this. I don’t have an agent and I don’t want to go back to acting, but I had to say yes to this because I believe God puts things in front of you to challenge you.”
Williams, who is also close to new president and CEO Brian Robbins, a client, says returning to the movie on the iconic Paramount plot was like an “emotional roller coaster.” “I grew up there and used to go to Lucy’s Al Adobe all the time. It’s such a creative and integrated experience to be on that level.”
Williams says he had no aspirations to become an actor. But one day in the ’90s, Williams was heading to the theater to see a movie with his friends when he found himself in one of the classic Hollywood scenes. The casting director approached him at the theater and said he has a perfect look for a short film called ritual That was about to go with famed Hollywood filmmaker Gore Verbinsky.
“Suddenly, I’m in my early twenties, acting and living a good life while working on some really great films,” he explained of the path that has taken him into films like I can hardly wait, never kissed And TV shows like The party of five is ignorant And unknown files. He’s also made heads turn and has found himself the subject of several stories about playing Scott, the love interest of Eric McCormack. Will & Grace, after the two exchanged a kiss on the screen.
While he was enjoying his Hollywood career, by the time he turned 30, Williams was yearning for a change. He explains of his emotional state at the time: “I was still auditioning, but I felt like I had peaked.” “I needed to make some personal changes in my life and get away from it all, and the real estate market was hot at the time. So, I got my license and it’s funny enough, that I sold $5.5 million in property that year and $20 million in the following year.”
Although he may have stopped acting for a few years, Hollywood was never far from his sales pitch. “For me, Hollywood is one of the most amazing places in the world. This is where people come in to make it happen and discover a new film and TV industry that impacts the rest of the world. When I sell real estate, I always try to do it because people come to Los Angeles to chase their dreams.” It’s really a special place. There’s a reason they call it the City of Angels. Just being a part of the offer It is an honor and a dream come true for me.”
A version of this story first appeared in the November 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.
Adsgeni code is : 748912