It’s not every day that dancing at a restaurant leads to a job in show business.
But that was the case for Alexandra DiNovi — a Hinsdale native — who was approached about a dancer role for a movie set in Chicago while still in high school.
“He said, ‘I think you’d be great for this dancer role in this movie,’” DiNovi, 23, said. “I thought he was joking. He then asked what I did. I said I wanted to be a lawyer, but I really wanted to be in the movies.”
A week later, DiNovi was on set of “The Break-Up” dancing with Vince Vaughn.
“It was crazy,” DiNovi said. “It was really surreal. Some scenes got deleted and I didn’t have a speaking role. I got asked to do the strip poker scene and I said no.”
“[Jade Dragon] is a really good Asian place,” said DiNovi, who was the captain of the poms team in high school. “One of my favorite Hinsdale spots. Really good food.”
While growing up, DiNovi took to the arts because of her father.
“My dad is so creative,” DiNovi said. “He’s a storyteller. My dad would always make up stories and tell them at night and come up with a whole fairytale of a story he would weave.”
After her performance in “The Break-Up,” DiNovi has appeared in a number of television series and starred in multiple shorts.
She points to winning Best Actress in a Short Film for “Purity” at the New York International Film Festival in 2010 as being the breaking point in her career.
“It changed everything for me in LA,” DiNovi said. “I felt like I was part of the young Hollywood world. I was getting invited to all kinds of interesting events, films and premieres.”
DiNovi is excited about her upcoming opportunities.
“There’s a film shooting in West Hollywood this summer,” DiNovi said. “I’m in talks with the writer. I fell in love with the character. It’s something that’s never been done before. It’s a view of Hollywood that only a cab driver could have.”
In addition to acting, DiNovi plans to explore her writing more thoroughly.
“I’m writing a book,” DiNovi said. “Over the summer, I had 263,000 hits on my blog in one day. I thought I should publish some of my writing. It will be notes on love in LA, New York and Chicago.”
To be closer to her family, DiNovi now splits time between her places in Chicago and West Hollywood.
“I miss my family and spending quality time,” DiNovi said. “When I first moved to LA, I would only come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s nice to see some people.”
DiNovi attributes much of her success to the Beverly Hills Playhouse and Allen Barton.
“It’s a place where working actors can go and truly help each other,” DiNovi said. “Los Angeles has been really kind to me. That is a place where I feel really comfortable.”
In addition to show business, DiNovi — a graduate of Loyola Marymount — said her dream of being a lawyer like her father might still be in the cards.
“I’m considering going to law school,” DiNovi said. “I’m looking at a school in Chicago.”
And what about her work in the industry?
“One movie or project a year,” DiNovi said.