British Entertainment Journalist
“The secret to happiness is helping others and if ever my work helps anyone learn, laugh or feel inspired then I’m a very happy guy,” says Sandro Monetti.
A leading international entertainment reporter regularly-seen on CNN and BBC covering Hollywood, and a Journalist of the Year nominee for the last two years, this Beverly Hills-based Brit is also a pop culture expert on Bravo TV series ‘Then and Now.’
In addition, he’s a mentor, educator, author and scriptwriter who has written hit plays for the New York and London stages and is next writing for film and TV.
“It may seem like I do lots of different things but to me they are all the same thing – telling a compelling story with insight, enthusiasm and passion.”
He adds, “While living and working in LA, I’ve been lucky to meet just about every big name in showbusiness and I’ve learned something from every one of them.” But he says the message that resonates most with him now is a quote from actor Kevin Spacey that, “Anyone who experiences any degree of success has a responsibility to send the elevator back down.”
It’s those words that drove him to become chairman of the BAFTA LA Newcomers, a program set up by the British Film and TV Academy in Los Angeles to help talented Brits new to Hollywood climb the showbiz ladder. “We give them networking and mentoring opportunities where they meet the kind of great teachers I’ve been lucky enough to have,” adds Sandro.
Another way he “sent the elevator back down” was by creating the world's first Bachelor of Arts university degree course in Celebrity Journalism – now being taught in Britain – as an attempt to raise standards and status of showbiz reporters.
Something else he created, “to share my love of movies with fellow fans,” was the Celebrity Insider Movie Locations Tour of Los Angeles with tour firm Tourific Escapes.com, and it rapidly became the number one rated attraction of its kind on Trip Advisor. “Instead of seeing the supposed homes of the stars, I wanted to see the homes and locations where my favorite films were shot and as that tour didn’t exist I decided to create it.”
Sandro grew up in England as a huge fan of films and TV with American stars a particular influence and he long dreamed of moving to the United States. Now he does, he still retains the same child-like enthusiasm for Hollywood and that accounts for the passion he brings to all projects.
After a career working for Britain’s biggest newspapers, covering sports, royals, news and ultimately celebrities, he relocated from London to Los Angeles to report on Hollywood and soon went on to write two bestselling books on two of his favorite actors, Mickey Rouke: Wrestling with Demons and Colin Firth: The Man Who Would be King.
He quickly established himself as the man the stars talk to, first as a Q&A moderator for BAFTA and then hosting spectacular celebrity interview events on stages around the world with Hollywood greats like Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and George Clooney. Interviewing is his favorite aspect of his work. “I’m fascinated by people and everyone has an interesting story,” says Sandro, who also teaches interview technique.
His status as a showbiz insider has made him a much in demand Hollywood expert on countless TV and radio shows, most notably on CNN International’s ‘Newsroom Live’ and Bravo’s ‘Then and Now,’ and he also co-hosts BBC radio’s Oscars coverage each year. He is an expert on business as well as showbusiness having been managing editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal and host of the leading annual LA business conference, the World Funding Summit.
Talking of conferences, Sandro was recently at the World Government Summit in Dubai where global leaders gathered to discuss the future of the planet. But while he was covering that one as a reporter, Sandro was one of 179 “creative thought leaders” from around the world invited to participate as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly at a recent event called Novus where ideas-filled creatives like him helped the UN find alternative solutions to the problems facing the planet.
Giving advice to others is a big part of Sandro’s latest project, which combines that experience and expertise in media with his passion for making a difference. He’s now a consultant to boutique international PR firm Right Angles, working on publicity strategy to raise the profiles for leading business figures and firms.
Meanwhile his own profile as a scriptwriter is on the rise. He has written a series of acclaimed and award winning short films and plays in recent years and enjoyed a huge success in 2016 when his play ‘Marilyn and Sinatra’ became a big hit around the world, with sellout runs Off Broadway in New York and then in London’s West End. The show tells a little known true story he discovered of the romance between showbiz icons Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. It has just been released as an audio play now available for download from bigfinish.com and coming soon to Audible and other outlets.
“Seeing how that show moved audiences to both laughter and tears was really impactful and gave me confidence that telling little known stories of well known stars was a good path to pursue in future and that’s what I’m doing in the scripts I’m working on now,” added Sandro, who is represented as a scriptwriter by leading British agency Cole Kitchenn and has both a film and TV series currently in development.
His own story is fascinating and it’s one he tells in a one man show he has performed around the world. Called “Clooney, Cruise, Pitt and Me” it tells of his amusing encounters with stars from Madonna to Michael Jackson.
Such stories will form the basis of an upcoming book he has planned – just as soon as he can find time to write it.
Whatever happens next we know Sandro will do it with a smile on his face because, like he says, “I’m doing what I always wanted to do in the place where I always wanted to be and getting to help others achieve their dreams too.”
Sandro will be hosting the World Funding Summit at the LA Convention Center November 17 and 18 - details at worldfundingsummit.com
photos by Brenda Saint Hilaire Photography
Hair and Makeup by Ximena Rolfe (CNN America Inc.)
Sandro's blue suit by Ben Sherman
Location CNN Los Angeles