When I was younger, the first scary movie I saw was It. I was a nervous little seven-year-old, and I watched the movie with my older sister and her friends. I was trying to play it cool and say that I wasn’t scared, but the truth was I was nearly pissing my Superman pajama pants and holding back tears the whole time. To this day, I’m scarred for life and can barely stomach horror movies, but for Franky Villani, he can’t get enough.
I reached out to Franky to learn more about his horror obsession, expecting a hyped up masochist that parties his brains out, but it turns out Franky is quite the opposite. He’s an awkwardly mellow guy that just likes to skate, hang out with his girlfriend, and sometimes watch movies that freak him the fuck out. Over the course of a few phone calls, we got a chance to talk about being the new guy on Zero, meeting Bam Margera, and BDSM.
Do you get any shit for being one of the younger guys on the Zero team?
No, not at all, actually. I just go with it and nobody picks on me. Wimer though… [Chris] Wimer get’s a lot of shit. He’s just always saying some dumb shit [laughs]. Like always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but he doesn’t do anything too bad. He’s a little older though, I’m 22.
I saw you were in a sling, what happened?
I hurt myself at Bam’s house. We were around Philly on tour and we stayed at his house for like two or three days. It wasn’t the Viva La Bam house, but it was still sick. There was a gnarly hill right in front of his house and I just got smoked on it!
He just had a bunch of cool shit all over his house. In the bathroom, he had a taxidermy bat which was super cool. In the room that I was staying in, he had these cool undead teddy bears that I’ve seen online before. They’re teddy bears that have their faces ripped off and they’re all like bloody and gory. Had had some skate stuff, but that was in his basement, and also like a lot of crystals and stuff like that.
Did Bam do any crazy shit?
He was actually super mellow. I didn’t seem vibed out by him or anyone there. But he looks different so it felt different, a little bit. It’s almost like a different person.
Was it his weight that threw you off?
[Laughs] No, it was just how he was. I was expecting like what he was like in Jackass and stuff. Maybe he’s not crazy mellow, but maybe it was because my expectations were so different. But he’s about to be a dad, that’s crazy. His kid is going to be a total badass. You know what would be harsh? If his kid is as crazy to him as he was to Phill. That would be some crazy payback. Phill would probably be so hyped. I can’t wait to see his new Epicly Later’d. This season is about to be insane. I like what Vice is doing with skateboarding, like King of the Road. There’s some dumb shit, but it’s pretty entertaining.
If Zero was on King of the Road would you want to do it?
Fuck no, fuck that. It’s a little bit too wild for me. The challenges just seem to be getting so much gnarlier and ridiculous. At least the way I think it would be, everyone would probably want to win super bad and I wouldn’t really care that much. It seems mentally draining. Fuck dude, I would probably get a wedgie from someone and I would be so bummed. I think Jake ripped fucking Jackson’s underwear and kind of fucked him for the day. That sounds terrible.
Did you ever get a wedgie in school?
No, I never got wedgied. I was one of the lucky ones.
I heard you’re into horror movies. Are you into like 80’s horror stuff or newer ones?
Like 80’s, yeah, but I don’t like black and white. I can’t watch those and I can’t pay attention without the color and the cool effects. But the 80’s 90’s movies are sick because it’s all like makeup effects, not computer stuff. Computer effects are kind of not cool.
The last one I watched was called Slugs and that’s pretty cool. Dead Alive is really good, you should see that. Night of the Living Dead will always be crazy. I really like the gory movies, they’re really scary and shit. Oh and, all of the Friday the 13th movies are good!
Do you have any ideas for a Halloween costume, or is it too early?
Oh no, it’s never too early [laughs]. It would be cool to have a legit Jason costume. I was thinking about doing one of the Killer Klowns From Outer Space guys. I was looking up the masks and the costumes this week, actually. I found this one website that had like studio grade masks and shit, and they were like $400 and they move with your face when you open your mouth. They look all real! One day, man… I’m gonna get one one day.
Do you want to get into collecting horror movie memorabilia?
If I had more space I would collect all of that stuff, and if I had my own house, it would be so cool to have like horror stuff everywhere. I already collect horror movies. I have over 250 movies. I haven’t actually watched them all, though. Sometimes I’ll see a movie but it’s like the sequel, and I won’t watch it until I get the first one. I just bought the movie Mirrors 2, but I haven’t seen the first one. I think my girlfriend said that movie gave her nightmares. I was already kind of scared of mirrors so I feel like it’ll be tight. I’ll just be paranoid whenever I look in the mirror for the next couple days.
Are you into any horror BDSM fetish type stuff?
What is that? You said a bunch of letters there.
[Laughs] It stands for bondage, domination, sadism and masochism.
Oh, I’m not into anything like that. That’s gnarly, and I’m right next to my girlfriend [laughs].
Since your shoulder is still busted and Tommy Sandoval is an avid pothead, has he been smoking you up to heal?
I don’t really smoke, but I think he smokes up everyone else. He did give me this CBD medication ointment and stuff and that’s really really good. I’ve been using a lot of that. He gave me a roller and I put it on my heel bruise and that was sick. Now I’m putting it on my shoulder, and I feel like I’m healing a lot quicker because of that. You gotta try it. It’s really good.
Do you ever get shit for being part of a shoe company that wasn’t born from skateboarding?
I get some stuff from like a random kook on Instagram, and they’re always private so whatever. But I feel like everyone is pretty hyped on New Balance. I think it’s like the most accepted out of the more corporate brands. It has the feel of a small company but it’s backed by a large company. The skate part of it is its own separate thing, sort of. There’s a small office I can go to whenever I want in Long Beach. If I ever need anything or need to talk to someone I can just go there. It’s super mellow.
How do you think New Balance separated themselves from other big shoe companies?
They go for skaters that are insane but they’re often overlooked. I don’t want to say “underdogs” because that’s super cheesy, but people like Marius [Syvanen] who didn’t have a shoe sponsor, but he’s like one of the best skateboarders ever and one of the tightest dudes ever. Pretty much all of the people [on the team] are like that. I feel like the way they go about picking a team is a lot different. It feels more like a bunch of homies than a team. And I’m super awkward and I have a hard time with meeting new people, but they’re all super cool and understanding.
A lot of young skaters seem to be vlogging on Youtube these days. Have you ever thought of starting one to help your skate career?
No way man, there’s no way. Just being alone in front of the camera would be terrible. Vlogs are weird but I can’t stop watching them. They’re so cheesy and entertaining. I watch them though, I guess. Whatever floats your boat.
I think some of those guys are making serious money, like that dude with the helmet in New York. Josh or something. I’ve seen his videos a few times. I don’t know how I feel about them. Kids are so hyped on them and the unboxing videos and shit, they love it for whatever reason. I guess you have to be pretty self-confident to just walk through the streets talking to your camera. If I see someone walking down the street doing that, I usually think it’s pretty weird. And like dude, I don’t have any sort of confidence to be doing anything like that at all.
Now that you are making some money from skating, what did you do with your first solid paycheck?
I probably put it in my savings account. Last year was the first year I had to file my taxes and I didn’t think it would be that much, but I had to spend so much of my savings. That was because I didn’t save any receipts or work related things, so it added up. I’ve been saving that stuff this year though, so hopefully, I don’t get fucked over. I really do try to save my money, but something always comes up, or I spend my money on eating out when I’m skating or on movies. Just random shit too, like a lot of shit I don’t need. I recently bought coins in the game Pokemon Go. But my future purchases are a hat that holds the two cans on the sides of it and a backpack cooler for when I skate.
If you had the money to buy Virtual Reality porn goggles would you do it?
I don’t know man, that’s dedication. That shit has to be like your hobby if you want to get into that. You have to be deep into porn…
Have you put any money away for after skateboarding?
That’s the first thing I’m gonna do when I get a big paycheck. I don’t make that much yet, but when I do I’m gonna save most of it. That’s probably the first thing I thought of. It’s so easy to fall off and hard to stay relevant. There’re so many new skateboarders that you’ve never heard of popping up every day who are so gnarly. I feel like it’s dumb to think that you’re going to stay relevant forever. I don’t really ever think that far ahead though, because in skating you never know. Shit can go south real quick then I’m working a regular job. Nothing is solid I feel like. But I’ve always wanted to start a board company, but later on. Right now there are too many skateboard companies.
Do you still live with your parents?
Yeah, I do, in Santa Ana. I’d like to move out as soon as I could afford it, though. Maybe to Long Beach. Pretty much the skate industry out west is in Long Beach or in LA, but I hate LA [laughs]. There are too many people and the traffic… I don’t know, it’s just too much. I hate the spots too, they suck. They’re all gray and boring and they all kind of look the same. I don’t really like skating there because even the shit spots have been fucked up by other people. Every trick has been done there.
Do you still skate with any of the guys you grew up with from your area?
Kind of, a lot of guys get good but then they just stop. They usually get caught up in drugs and drinking. It’s easy to get caught up in the scene over here. A lot of the guys sit at the top of the ramps and they smoke and drink and stuff. They’re all super cool, but it’s easy to just smoke and drink all day if you’re hanging with them.
How did you avoid not getting caught up in that?
I think it’s because I didn’t really drink at all until I was 21, so I wasn’t hanging out drinking at the park. I always thought it was weird getting hammered in public especially at a skate park. I’m also not big on liquor. I’ve seen people do stupid shit when they get all sauced up, and that’s where the problem starts. And like getting high and just piling out in front of everyone seems so weird to me. That’s what you would do with your day? Why would people just sit around all day and just do that and nothing else?
I saw some clips of your girlfriend skating. How is it dating a skater?
It’s pretty sick. I’m able to just go to the parks and skate with her and shit. I think she’s a little more gnarly than me. I’ll be trying to sleep and she just like wakes me up early to go skate. I can’t wake up that early to skate. It’ll be like 10 a.m. which is so early. I need to relax.
She’s been on a couple missions, but not like a trip. It’d be cool to go on a trip with her. I feel like it’d be so sick if we went to Europe with all the cool banks and everyone on that trip can skate those banks and have fun on it, no matter how good you are. We were just in New York for a few days, recently.
What’d you do in New York?
We went to the Museum of Sex and that was funny. There was some crazy shit there, like the boob room. The gift shop was just like all crazy dildos and stuff. I don’t know if this company is from New York, but that brand Alltimers has really cool stuff. My girlfriend got me the Billy Madison hat and I was stoked. They’ve got sick graphics over there. That last part Zered [Bassett] put out was insane. He doesn’t age. How old is he, like 20? He skates like it for sure.
Did you buy any dildos from the Museum of Sex for her?
[laughs] Nah, I didn’t pick anything up.
Do you think chicks have bigger boobs in Cali than they do in New York?
Oh man, I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention. That’s a pretty random question. If I knew that was gonna ever be a question I would’ve paid attention. And I was with my girlfriend when I was in NY, so like… Yeah [laughs].