From western Mass to Hollywood

  • Forest Quaglia shot his first reel at Amherst Media. Contributed by Forest Quaglia

  • Although he has acted in may kinds of films, Quaglia says he enjoys being an action star the most. Photo by Lexie Piepmeier

Staff Writer
Published: 10/28/2022 2:52:53 PM

When you see a punch being thrown in an action movie, the actors actually have a foot distance in between them, explained rising action star Forest Quaglia.

Quaglia has been in numerous films spanning multiple genres including thriller, action and horror. He started his career with the help from his father, a Cummington resident, by hiring the local media company, Amherst Media, to shoot his first reel which launched him into several roles in films. Some of the films include “Damon's Revenge,” “Agent Stone” and “Map Heist.” In the spirit of Halloween, we spoke with Quaglia about what it is like being featured in films that are typically watched this season. 

Quaglia first walked through how action scenes are made. Stunt coordinators block every move the actors make. They practice the moves in repetition, making sure they turn the correct direction and can anticipate everything that is coming next. “We practice it over and over again until we have the correct coordination,” Quaglia said. 

This doesn’t stop accidents from happening altogether. Once during the shooting of an action film Quaglia accidentally elbowed his villain in the face, when he was supposed to turn the opposite direction. Luckily Quaglia was wearing enough padding under his costume that no one got hurt. 

Aside from fight scenes, Quaglia explained how special effects makeup is used to make everything look extra realistic and scary to the viewer. He said in his films, the special effects makeup goes all out. Make-up artists will use a jug of “blood” or fake skin to manipulate the actor into looking however they need for the scene. 

“It is like arts and crafts. You name it, they got it,” Quaglia said. Quaglia explained how his face has been transformed using makeup to look like a demon without a nose, or that he had received nasty cuts, or even to look like he was dead. “It is really fun (to do) whatever the scene calls for,” he said. 

He explained with action stunts it's easy to get in the “fear mindset,” but it gets harder when he has to act scared without a big fight scene. 

“The hardest part is acting contrary to the environment,” Quaglia said. He explained the set can be lively with people “goofing around” and laughing, and he will quickly shift as soon as “action” is called.

“When something scary happens, there is dim lighting. You zone into imagination and block out the camera to access how I would feel if there was a real killer in the room,” he said. 

Despite all the danger on screen, Quaglia said the biggest injury he incurred was his toenail got ripped off while shooting with a pair of boots that were too small for his feet. He went all day pretending to fight bad guys left and right, but the only injury was something not seen on camera.

At the end of shooting “Agent Stone,” an action film Quaglia produced and starred in, he was covered in bruises and scrapes from doing his own stunts. “I had such a good time pretending to be a hero and saving the world. I can't do it without a few scrapes and bruises,” Quaglia said as he laughed. 

Quaglia said through his experiences in many kinds of movies, he enjoys being an action star the most. “As an artist, my primary goal is to be in films with an inspirational message. To play a hero and inspire people as an artist is what I am hoping to achieve.” He said action films often have the inspirational arc that inspires watchers. 

Quaglia said that different genres require different acting styles, and the main difference is about improvisation. For comedies, actors often get space to banter and improvise. In thrillers, the actors do “exactly what is on the page,” he said.

“Agent Stone” can be watched on Youtube at

“Damon's Revenge” can be rented on Youtube at

“The Junkyard Dogs” can be rented on Vudu at

Bella Levavi can be reached at or 413-930-4579.


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