NJ’s New Original Movie The Bastard Sons Is a Modern Day Sopranos

by Bridget Mulroy
The bastard sons movie

“I typically don’t like gangster movies, but The Bastard Sons is unique and the ending will have your head spinning.” – Joselin La VecchiaIn early January of 2024, The Bastard Sons premiered in theaters, and audiences are raving.

The movie is being compared to a modern-day Sopranos – which is a big pair of shoes to fill. There is a clear correlation between the two dramas: real people living in a criminal world, and it captivates people. The movie is now streamable on most major streaming platforms (linked below) and through all primary cable providers.

New Jersey-based actor Kevin Interdonato, recognized worldwide with over 20 Best Actor accolades, makes his directorial debut with The Bastard Sons. His New Jersey roots and extensive acting experience in film and television (he was cast in season 4 of The Sopranos before being deployed to Iraq, played a character on CSI, How To Get Away With Murder, and landed plenty of other iconic roles) have helped create the movie that so many people are talking about. Kevin Interdonato’s ability to tell a story while simultaneously engaging an audience is impressive and something to be on the lookout for in 2024.

People around the country are reacting positively to The Bastard Sons, but anyone in New Jersey who has seen it is really talking about it since the movie is extremely ‘Jersey.’ The movie is filmed in iconic locations throughout NJ, from the Poconos to Asbury, Bloomfield to Toms River, and the entire cast (minus a couple of key players) are from New Jersey, which helped portray NJ culture and validate the link between The Bastard Sons and The Sopranos.

The movie takes place over a single day (very Pulp Fiction/Tarantino) and tells the story of revenge and precision when avenging the death of a patriarchal family boss, but nothing is quite as it seems. The film stars Kevin Interdonato as Vincent Damiano, Frankie Edgar as Donny Mac, Charles Malik Whitfield as Darius, Joseph Sernia as Dobson, Kirk Ponton as Marco, Al Sapienza as Frank Rome, and Anastasia Ganias as Olivia (whose character is being equated to Carmella Soprano, Tony Soprano’s wife on The Sopranos.) Additionally, The Bastard Sons was acquired by Vertical Entertainment, one of the more prominent names in film distribution and production, particularly in the Indie realm.

“I went into it blind, but I trusted my gut. I’d never directed, but I took stock in the fact that I had experience engaging an audience from playing lead roles through the years and telling a story. I wanted to make a movie that an audience would watch because they could relate to it. Obviously, mob life isn’t the main point people gravitate to, but family, loyalty, friendship, the feeling of righting a wrong, coming out on top – who can’t relate to that? And this is a Jersey movie. Being from Jersey, it was crucial to make this movie an accurate representation of true Jersey culture.” – Kevin Interdonato, Director, Producer, Writer, and Lead Actor in The Bastard Sons.

Frankie Edgar plays ‘Donnie’

If you’re from New Jersey, you’ll want to watch the movie to see if you recognize any of the spots filmed and how true-to-life the representations of modern Jersey life are.

Throughout the movie, little seeds are planted to create an ending that drastically diverts from the initial premise, and the viewer is left to piece it together – again, very Tarantino. You’ll want to watch a second (or third) time to figure it out. Details were meticulously considered for each scene, each role, and each angle.


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It was during the lockdown when Kevin Interdonato decided to try his hand at writing the script for The Bastard Sons, along with two other scripts within the course of six months: Malicious (debuted in October of 2023) and Saint Michael of the City (set to premiere in April 2024.) The script for The Bastard Sons is a rewritten adaptation of a script originally written fifteen years ago by the then seventeen-year-old Glenn Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the Creative Producer for the The Bastard Sons movie. Interdonato met Rodriguez in 2015 at a casting call in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the two aspiring actors hit it off. They later worked in Los Angeles together on plenty more movies before the lockdown hit. Both decided to bring their careers back to New Jersey and revisit the fifteen-year-old script. Once the script was ready, Interdonato knew he wanted to try directing – this was different from any other movie he’d ever been involved with. Having typically played the role of actor, this was a new and exciting opportunity.

Between the lockdown and the movie premier, Interdonato and the team worked tirelessly. It was nonstop seven days a week for the year before filming (which lasted only thirteen days,) and they had an extremely modest budget for the entire production – but they did it.

Ultimately, actors have different views of what life is, and how it’s intended to be portrayed. Interdonato uses his versatile perspective as an actor to convey the raw, relatable aspects of honest human behavior. He employs this with a cast entirely from New Jersey since this was integral in creating a believable and relatable storyline. Some of familiar Jersey faces include:

“I’ve been acting for a while now, but this role was a new and welcomed opportunity. I met Kevin in Staten Island a year before on another film, Team Marco. When he wrote Olivia’s part in The Bastard Sons, he told me he had me in mind for the role, but even after looking over the lines, it wasn’t until we filmed that I realized how aligned with Olivia’s character I was. Interestingly, I’m from a small town outside of Boston, Worcester, Massachusetts, and the role demanded a real ‘Jersey’ connection. I grew up in a Greek/American family, we actually have a lot of the same cultural correlations you’d encounter with an Italian family. I used my understanding of family and loyalty to bring Olivia’s character to life. 

At the time, during [COVID], I’d just had a baby, and this was the first production coming out of the pandemic, I had to give it my all. I missed being collaborative with other actors. It was perfect, and really cool to see Kevin, who I knew as an actor, play all of the vital parts of making a movie. A lot of actors depend on their agents and managers, but that’s not the way things work anymore. I thought no way he wrote, produced, directed, and acted, and he just did it. He’s really inspirational.

The Bastard Sons

I’m most grateful for my support system. They say ‘it takes a village’ to raise children and a family, and it’s true. I have three kids, an olive oil business, an acting career, if it weren’t for my babysitter, my mother, my husband, and my faith in myself, I would have never been able to give the performance I gave for Olivia’s role. It’s empowering for women to know that. This isn’t how things used to be, but there’s no shame in needing extra hands to help hold things down. I’m creative at the core, expressing myself through acting, food, and art; it’s my truth. Having been in this industry for as long as I have, it was so nice to be given such a dynamic role; a real girl whose character was appreciated beyond her looks. When you see what happens to her, you feel it, and those are the roles I love playing – someone valued for more than their looks. I had plenty of those roles when I was a younger actress. Now, I know what I’m capable of, and I love the idea of my roles and my work improving as I continue to grow within this industry. I would love more opportunities that enable this type of growth as an actress.” – Anastasia Ganias, Lead Female Role in The Bastard Sons

“I’ve had experience filming for different UFC-related things, but this was my first true acting role. I was nervous, but Kevin trusted me and I took it seriously. The character needed to be a solid guy, someone who genuinely portrayed a knowledge of balancing business and everything else. I wanted to make sure I studied all the lines and ensured I was ready for each scene, and I think my experiences with training and discipline helped. This may have been my first acting role, but I liked it enough to want to have more fun with it. Being a part of this movie was a big first for me, but it was an experience I was happy to have been a part of. My son also had a less obvious key role, and it was exciting for the movie to have been a family affair.” – Frankie Edgar, American MMA Fighter & Supporting Actor in The Bastard Sons

Since the release of The Bastard Sons, the movie has been one of the top-viewed movies on Amazon and iTunes amongst studio productions, films with larger budgets, and star-studded casts. 

In my opinion, The Bastard Sons is the crime thriller of 2024 – it’ll take a lot to top it.

Where To Watch The Bastard Sons


Apple TV

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About the Author/s

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Bridget Mulroy is a journalist based in Red Bank, New Jersey, Calabasas, California and Manhattan, New York who covers geology, seismology, botany, biology, & community news.

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