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'I'm a Proud Mama's Boy'

Photograph by Twitter

He’s the type of man you’d bring home to Mama. The only problem is, she’d probably like him much more than you do. He has a way with the ladies, especially the ones who go by the name "Mom." But there's only one special lady for this guy. The love of his life—his own mom.

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Jay Giannone is living his dream as an actor in Hollywood and he owes it all to his mom. 63-year-old Janet Giannone of South Boston had no idea she was planting a seed for stardom during her younger years when she dragged both of her sons to the community theater to watch her rehearse and perform because she couldn’t afford a babysitter.

After their father died, Janet’s dreams of becoming an actress were put on the back burner so that she could raise her sons. Unable to process losing one of his parents Jay began to rebel and act out, much to his mom’s chagrin. She worked double time—talking to him, chastising him and pulling him out of sticky situations so that he wouldn’t fall through the cracks in the rough and tumble South Boston neighborhood. Because she came to his rescue, he grew to trust and respect her opinion, which is why he says she is his best friend.

"We may be vulnerable at times and people consider that to be weak. It’s not."

“My mom is the first person that I call when there is any good or bad news,” Jay says. “She still treats me like the baby and cooks for me and does my laundry when I am home visiting in South Boston. She never let me out of her sight as a kid and still is in my life every day. I love my mom. She is my best friend.”

Being called a mama’s boy isn’t typically something a man would be proud of since it is usually used in a derogatory way, but Jay doesn’t care. “Mama’s boys have a bad rap 'cause they aren’t considered masculine,” Jay explains. “It’s basically a stereotype. We may be vulnerable at times and people consider that to be weak. It’s not.”

Jay says his mom offered key words of wisdom about understanding and accepting his feelings that have ultimately helped him in his career. “My mom always told me to be myself and to never be ashamed of who I am and to never be afraid to express my feelings,” he says. “I think that advice has been beneficial to me as a man and in my career. I don’t have to ever act. I can just be me and my real friends will love me for me. My mom said the key to acting is don’t act; draw on your natural emotions from real life experiences. Which is what I have been doing, since I’m a man who was always encouraged to feel and accept my emotions.”

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“I am a mama’s boy to the core and am proud of it,” announces Jay, who recently appeared in the Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated film American Hustle. “She passed the torch and I am working hard—her dream became mine.”

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