Ten or 15 years ago, if you were to ask most little girls what they wanted to be when they grew up, they might just say a teacher, a nurse or a ballerina. As noble as those professions are, not all girls fit into those molds. With the ever-growing world of job opportunities for women, there are many doors open now that might not have been before.
When she was younger, Francesca Zappitelli was one of those girls. She was born in Northern Ontario and soon developed a love for the equestrian competitive circuit. She learned early on that hard work and determination is what you need to get what you want in life.
She has completed high school early, went on to college and became a certified ACE trainer. She trained in bodybuilding and entered into the professional world of wrestling and fighting. From there, she studied drama and public speaking — which has led her to acting and producing.
It’s Just Movies was able to catch up with Ms. Zappitelli to see if her is taking her down the path she wants and what her future plans are.
It’s Just Movies: How long were you on the equestrian circuit? Do you still ride for relaxation?
Francesca Zappitelli: I competed for five years. My last year, I successfully made it at a national level. However, for me to continue at that level and get to the next level, I needed a new horse, which was out of my price range. I ended that chapter of my life and my Olympic equestrian dreams and started college and competing in fitness instead. A gym membership was $80,000, cheaper then the horse I needed. I’ll always love horses and whenever I can, I’ll grab a trail ride.
IJM: Through all your accomplishments, is there one that was harder to achieve than the rest?
FZ: Ha ha. Everything is much harder than it appears. I’ve had to work for everything, which I’m thankful for because it makes you really appreciate where you’re at and what you have.
IJM: It seems like your timeline of accomplishments goes seamlessly from one to another. Did you plan on each step or did the steps open up to you as you went along?
FZ: I definitely believe in God. It’s only by Divine grace that I am alive and continue to find my way one step at a time.
IJM: Have you ever been seriously hurt while wrestling?
FZ: No broken bones from wrestling, but I broke my collarbone jumping my horse. I’m afraid I’ve inflicted more injuries than I’ve sustained. I once knocked out Christie Hemme’s front teeth in a match and one time I was sparring with a dude and he didn’t tap while he was in an arm bar and I broke his arm. I found both incidents rather disturbing; I really don’t want to hurt anybody. This helped me realize my destiny is not in the octagon.
IJM: Is “Ballerina I’m Not” your first feature film?
FZ: “Ballerina I’m Not” is the first feature film I’ve produced and starred in. My first speaking part in a feature film was a lil’ role in “Miss March.”
IJM: Do you have any words of wisdom from your experiences for young women who also have a vision?
FZ: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t! And make a plan.
IJM: How can people who are interested in seeing your film get a copy?
FZ: Stay tuned. Presently, it’s entered in a bunch of film festivals. In the summer, I’ll be locking in domestic and foreign distribution.
IJM: Now that you have your production company up and running, do you have any projects lined up that you would like to share?
FZ: I just finished a short film called “Frankie” that I’m proud of. I actually have a slate of films I’m developing: a horror creature feature, a psychological thriller and a love story with a MMA backdrop.
IJM: Do you have any plans to make an album or maybe do some of your own music for a future project?
FZ: That’s funny you ask. I did make a mix tape a few years ago, but I’m not planning on dropping an album or anything like that. There’s so much work that is involved in film-making, to do the music also is a little inundating. What do they say again … Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. But one never knows, maybe one day. I love making music, but it’s not presently on the to do list.
Definitely a woman with a plan, Francesca Zappitelli has made the most of her opportunities and keeps opening those doors to explore the next level of her career. She’s a woman on the move and one to watch for.
. . .
Follow Lynn Tackitt on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pvtgiggles.