5 Things You Don’t Know About Vincent Piazza

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So just who is Vincent Piazza, the New York-born actor who recently began dating Ashlee Simpson, 26? Us Weekly uncovers some need-to-know info about the Boardwalk Empire star.

01. He's a former athlete. As a student at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Piazza was a Division I ice hockey player. A recurring shoulder injury forced him to quit playing after his freshman year, thus prompting him leave college and pursue acting.

02. His acting career began in theater. Before breaking into television and film, Piazza appeared in several off-Broadway productions, including Baby Steps, A Match Made in Manhattan and Much Ado About Nothing.

03. He guest-starred on The Sopranos. Early in his career, Piazza played Hernan O'Brien in three episodes of the HBO hit. "I was flattered because I felt like a day player coming onto it," the actor told Collider in 2008. "They really established a family. It was a really tight unit and everyone worked really well together."

04. Boardwalk Empire is threatening his waistline. "I've picked up a great appetite for pastrami on rye and nice cream soda," he said in a March 2011 HBO interview. "It's fantastic, but I have to be careful or I'm going to get really fat."

05. He's worked with some of Hollywood's biggest stars. In just five short years, Piazza has shared the screen with Dennis Leary in Rescue Me, Anna Kendrick in Rocket Science and Tilda Swinton in Stephanie Daley.

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