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'Jersey Shore' Star Vinny Guadagnino's Shakespearean Secret

Vinny Guadagnino

First Posted: 10/18/11 06:36 PM ET Updated: 12/18/11 05:12 AM ET

Vinny Guadagnino dreams big. Bigger than the "Jersey Shore" in the U.S. and in Europe, bigger than an MTV spin-off. He wants to be an actor, and surprisingly enough, he has the Shakespearean chops to back it up.

"I have been doing acting my whole life. I did plays in high school. I take it pretty seriously," Guadagnino told The Huffington Post. "I used to do a lot of Shakespeare and Shakespearean festivals and monologues."

Well, color us surprised. The reality star said his biggest role was during senior year of high school.

"My principal told me it was the best play he had ever seen. I had played RP McMurphy in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'"

But that wasn't his favorite.

"I think my favorite one was Marc Anthony in 'Julius Caesar' where Caesar dies. I made my drama teacher cry. I only took drama to get out of writing papers in English and the teacher was this thespian Broadway geek and here I was this Italian guy from Staten Island and I would put her in tears."

And no, he didn’t even drop his Staten Island accent when on stage.

"People think for Shakespeare you have to have a big English accent, but it's not true. He designed it so it can be performed in any accent in any time period," Guadagnino said.

Another fun Guadagnino fact: He graduated from college with a 3.9 and was studying for the LSATs the day the "Jersey Shore" premiered.

So what he really wants now is not another free trip to Europe or another summer down at the shore, but a serious acting role -- like the one he was recently given on "90210" where he plays a celebrity poker star.

"I would love a recurring role on '90210.' I would say yes to just about any role in acting that doesn’t tarnish my image," Guadagnino said.

And while some may question whether his image could be further tarnished following his stints with Snooki in the hot tub in Seaside Heights, there is no questioning that this 23-year-old does have a heart. He's done several PSAs for anti-bullying campaigns, including this most recent video for GLAAD in honor of Spirit Day.

He doesn't see it as ironic at all to be doing a bullying campaign following a show that often glorifies fighting and name calling.

"I'm not saying I am an angel, and the reason why I want to contribute to this is that I am a regular guy with my friends," Guadagnino said. "I do clown on people. But I do have a heart and I definitely am a regular guy. I joke around and when I go out I mess with people, but there is a thin line between joking around and hate speech. The way I see it, kids will listen to me because I am part of their peer group and I am not a saint."


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