The career of Australian actor Vince Colosimo once again hangs in the balance years after he squandered a chance at Hollywood fame and fortune.
On Thursday, the man best known in Australia for playing underworld gangster Alphonse Gangitano and Chopper’s Neville ‘No Cash’ Bartos indicated he would plead guilty to driving while under the influence of methamphetamine.
Given it would be the second time, Colosimo could be facing a stint behind bars.
In November 2017, Colosimo was convicted and fined for driving through Melbourne’s CBD while suspended and under the influence of ice. Pictured leaving Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on November 3, 2017
Actor Vince Colosimo returned to the spotlight on Celebrity Apprentice Australia and two new movies are about to be released
Vince Colosimo was booted off Celebrity Apprentice in May – about the same time word of his latest drug driving went public
Colosimo ought to have been enjoying one of his best years in a long time on the back of not one, but two expected movie releases.
He was also the poster boy for this year’s Celebrity Apprentice Australia, which was a perfect opportunity for him to remind Australians just how cool he can be.
Colosimo’s star had already faded by 2017 when he got busted driving while suspended a third time – this time whacked on ice.
Magistrate David Starvaggi told Colosimo he should not have been on the roads and that driving under the influence of drugs was a basic issue that ‘even a kindergarten kid could understand’.
‘You’re building a nice little history for yourself here,’ he said.
‘You’re risking a jail term … if you’re back here for a fourth time it won’t be pretty.’
That fourth time is penciled in for late October, with Colosimo facing the prospect of spending Christmas behind bars.
Rewind to 2008 when Colosimo was at the top of his game.
It was the year he would cement his name in Australian television legend with his role as ‘The Black Prince of Lygon Street’ in the original and best Underbelly series and appear alongside mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio in Body Of Lies.
The importance of that role cannot be underplayed – and proved to be the highwater mark of his push into the big time.
It had been directed and produced by Ridley Scott, who directed films such as Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise and Gladiator – a movie that featured another Body Of Lies star in Russell Crowe.
Vince Colosimo worked alongside Leonardo DiCaprio on Body of Lies. Sources claim the Aussie did himself no favours
Vince Colosimo starred as Alphonse Gangitano in the first, and best, Underbelly TV series
History would suggest that whatever happened during the filming of that movie has held him back from more coveted roles in Hollywood.
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia Colosimo and the production’s star DiCaprio had actually got on like a house on fire.
In fact, the pair are rumoured to have had so much fun during the shoot that it became somewhat of an issue when the hungover DiCaprio failed to back it up on set following drinking sessions with his new Aussie mate.
Colosimo’s Australian accent had also become an issue in Hollywood, where years earlier his mate Anthony LaPaglia had struck gold playing Jack Malone on the US television series Without A Trace, which ran from 2002-2009.
Colosimo had worked alongside LaPaglia on 2001’s Lantana – an Australian film which earned good reviews and did well financially both home and abroad.
LaPaglia pulled off his New York accent so well for the tv role he actually had to hire an accent coach to relearn how to speak like an Aussie when he scored the role years later for Australian drama series The Slap.
Colosimo had impressed during a guest appearance on LaPaglia’s show during season two.
So much so that Colosimo’s character was in discussions to become a main player in the series.
All he needed was some work on his Australian accent.
But sources say the proud Aussie wouldn’t have a bar of it and Hollywood kissed him goodbye.
Colosimo will appear in the latest Wog Boy movie alongside mate Nick Giannopoulos (pictured)
Anthony Lapaglia (right) gave Colosimo a break when he got him a gig on his series Without a Trace.
Back in Australia, Colosimo continued to get acting gigs, but like many a struggling actor on Australian soil might say, they don’t come often and when they do they don’t pay enough.
In 2014, the same year Colosimo is credited with appearing in television’s ‘Shappelle’, ‘Fat Tony & Co’ – an awful cash grab on the original Underbelly series – and ‘It’s A Date’, the actor claimed to be cleaning construction sites for cash.
His lawyer Patrick Dwyer told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Colosimo needed to work very hard just to stay afloat.
‘Acting life is not highly remunerative,’ he said. ‘He sands, he paints, he cleans building sites in between acting roles.’
It had been Colosimo’s first starring role in a real life courtroom and an astonishing fall from grace.
Over the years Colosimo has been rumoured to have spent time working at the Prahran market, packing boxes among the pigeons.
In 2018, after the dust settled, Colosimo couldn’t help but whine that he had become a victim of rotten journalism.
Vince Colosimo in January 2022, when he believed his year was going to be nice and simple
‘I thought the coverage went way too far,’ he told The Age then.
‘Let’s add this, let’s colour it this way, let’s embellish a little. I felt people weren’t careful enough, and the cost to me didn’t matter.’
He claimed the negative publicity he received at the time almost killed him.
‘Someone’s having a bad time, and they’ve done stuff they’re not proud of – isn’t that when you help them, instead of driving them into the ground?’ Colosimo whined.
He told the publication he had merely dabbled in ice back then, but was over it.
‘Sometimes you’ve gotta test the water before you know if it’s too cold or too hot. But other times you take a little leap – I always have, I’m a curious person – without knowing the cost. Now I know what it costs,’ he said.
Colosimo claimed he was never addicted to ice and required no professional help to stop.
‘I’ve been addicted to things in the past, but not that,’ he said.
In January, Colosimo hit the headlines again amid claims an opportunistic conwoman threatened to ruin his career if he didn’t hand over $50,000.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia the woman made the alleged threat to Colosimo’s long-time partner Sabella Sugar, who was told to hand over the cash or face the consequences.
Sugar appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court shortly after where she was granted an intervention order against the woman lasting two years.
Not long after that story appeared, Colosimo told a Melbourne newspaper he was single, which by all accounts had come as a shock to Sugar.
Vince Colosimo and Sabella Sugar were enjoying the sights of Paris when he ought have been appearing in a Melbourne court
Whatever the case, Colosimo popped-up in photos with Sugar living the good life with her in Europe at the Cannes film festival in May.
It just happened to coincide with Colosimo’s latest court date on the other side of the world in Melbourne, which he missed.
Colosimo was charged with unlicensed and drug driving in April last year.
Prahran Highway Patrol members had intercepted his car on St Kilda Road, St Kilda about 2.30pm on Saturday, April 3.
His car was impounded on the spot.
Incensed that the actor did not front court, prosecutors reminded the judicial registrar that Colosimo now faced jail.
In October, after he again dons the dark sunglasses and swaggers along the red carpets for two movies, Colosimo will sit before the magistrate and play the role of a broken man once again.
The price of failure may be his liberty.
Colosimo is pictured in psychological thriller The Second, a Stan original film
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk