After we interviewed Trevor W., star of the mockumentary The Doorman, we noted that it was real-life doorman Fabrizio Brienza who stole the scenes with his outlandish outfits, copious chest hair, and his talk of doing very perverted things to a steak. At the time of the movie, Fabrizio was an owner of Happy Valley. Before that, the part-time model and actor (he has appeared in a soft-core porno — more on that later) worked at Miami’s hottest clubs, before coming here to do time at Pink Elephant, Crobar, Bed, and Guest House, back when it was cool. (“Now? Fuhgeddaboudit,” he says in an Italian accent.) These days, he minds the velvet rope at Danny A.’s exclusive lounge at the Plaza Hotel. We asked him whether his job is as absurd as The Doorman makes it seem and whether he’s allowed to wear his boas and alligator-skin suits at the Plaza. And, because we know you want it, we’re giving you another photo.
You worked in Miami for several years. How are the crowds different there?
The Miami crowd is really carefree: They just want to have fun and dance on the tables and go crazy. In New York, it’s more business — more serious, less colors.
How about the crowd at the Plaza?
The Plaza is top of the line. We have A-list celebs only, and models. Danny A. is best friends with every single one of the most powerful people in the world, from Leo DiCaprio to Ron Burkle to Adriana Lima to the prince of Abu Dhabi to all the supermodels that come on a daily basis.
Is it hotter than Rose Bar?
Maybe the Plaza has even more top celebrities coming. I bet after Fashion Week, it’s going to blow out of proportion. It’s going to be the hottest spot in New York.
So how does someone get in if they’re not a celeb?
My policy of doing the door is really simple: If you look good and you’re cool and you’re stylish and you’re surrounded by beautiful, chic, chic girls, I’ll take care of you. If you look like shit and you have the wrong attitude and you show up with a bunch of guys, there’s no way I’m going to take care of you. The good are in; the bad are out.
Your performance in The Doorman was pretty over-the-top. How much of that is you?
I was playing along with the part. At the end of the day, I don’t like when people take themselves too seriously. Because doormen make a decision of who goes in and who doesn’t, they feel like God. But at the end of the day, it’s just another job.
You’ve also starred in a soft-core porno, Hotel Erotica.
In 2002, I was young, I needed the money, and then I did it. I had a lot of fun, and then they called me to do many more, but then somebody in the business told me don’t do it, because it’s not good for the business.
In The Doorman, you’re shown drinking on the job. You don’t seem to separate business from pleasure much.
I always party. I go inside, take care of some people, we have a drink together, dance a little, do what we gotta do.
So do you pick up as many women as Trevor does?
It’s very easy, but at this point in my life I don’t really dig those girls that want to get in your pants to be nice just because you let them in. Been there; done that. Sure, you’re surrounded by hot party girls every night, but it’s a look thing. At the end of the day, I like to hang out with people who I can have a conversation with, who can stimulate my mind, not just my third leg.
You’re a pretty flamboyant dresser. Do you have to dress down for the Plaza?
I’m not really more conservative at the Plaza. Visuals are very important. I want to look good, I want to look different, so I have these crazy suits. Maybe during summer I’ll go Miami Vice style. During winter, maybe sport coats, a little seventies Joe Namath–Sylvester Stallone look. A pink suit, white patent-leather loafers — fun stuff.
What about the crowd at the Plaza? Is there a dress code?
There are the skater-model guys who look cool no matter what. I’ll let him inside with a skateboard because he looks cool. The dress code is mostly upscale, but models always look good. If Adriana Lima comes with a plastic trash bag over her head, she’ll be fine.
Is there a bottle minimum at the Plaza?
It’s not like a regular club: It’s like a multi-million-dollar hotel, and it doesn’t need three or four guys to buy a bottle. That’s a plus.
So, I asked this hypothetical question of Trevor W.: Would you let Eliot Spitzer in the club with a prostitute?
Why not? I would also let the hooker in because actually I used to know her and she’s a very good party girl — good for the club, good for the business, good for the clientele.
We’ve heard that doormen knowingly let prostitutes in so they can operate in the club. True?
A club is not a church. People need to have fun. I don’t care if she’s a hooker. That’s actually better, because I want boundaries to be free. But everything in a cool, respectful way. If you’re a hooker, good for you! If you look good and you make my customers happy, welcome!