Mr. Smarty “Pants" - An Interview With Joe Pantoliano
I'd like to say I'm jealous of Mike, getting to meet an incredibly cool guy like Joe Pantliano. Afterall, this is a guy well on his way, scratch that, he is indeed a movie icon! But then I've always rather preferred READING interviews to conducting them. Here's what happened with FilmHobbit.com's Michael Brody got a chance to talk with Matrix star Joe Pantoliano one on one. - JoshJoe Pantoliano is really a stand-up guy. He talks and you listen. You talk and he listens. He’s like the next-door neighbor that you chat with every couple of days. The only difference is that you may not run into him around the corner at a local Pizzeria. Why not? Because he is one of the most widely recognized character actors working today. Having appeared in over eighty feature films, including The Fugitive and The Matrix, Joe, or “Joey Pants” to some, is the everyman who’s everywhere. This year alone, Pantoliano will appear in 5-25-77, Second Best, Bad Boys 2, and the comic-book thriller Daredevil. I sat down for a Q&A with Mr. “Pants” to talk about his roles, his onslaught of sequels, and to try to find out what exactly went wrong with The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
On being a superhero
MB: What superpower would you like to have?
JP: I’d like to have an 18-inch penis. They could call me “Viagra Man.” (Heroically)VIAGRA MAN! (Hold’s chest upward) But you’ll never see me in the red leather. I don’t have the chin for it.
On Ben Affleck
MB: What’s it like working with Ben Affleck?
JP: Ben is a real gentlemen. He’s very smart, graceful, and always consistent. All the great leading men I’ve worked with are like that: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro, and Tom Cruise. But the greatest leading man, in my opinion, will always be Cary Grant.
On what to expect in Daredevil 2
MB: What will happen to your character if they do a sequel?
JP: What will be great in the next one is that I get to be the victim. The Kingpin will be holding me captive, beating the crap out of me, yelling “Who is he?!?,” and Ben will come crashing through the window. I’ll become his Lois Lane (He laughs).
On Just Like Mona (His Directorial debut)
MB: How’s your project coming along?
JP: It just got picked up for distribution. I was working on it before I did The Sopranos and then David Chase made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
On his favorite 80’s movie
MB: What is your favorite 80’s movie that you’ve appeared in?
JP: (Jokingly) What the hell did I do in the 80’s?
MB: Midnight Run, The Goonies, Risky Business, La Bamba.
JP: Definitely Midnight Run. A perfect movie. Just a perfect movie.
On upcoming sequels
MB: What can you tell us about The Goonies sequel?
JP: They’re doing it. I talked to Donner. And then I talked to Spielberg. And they both want to do it. I don’t even know if I’m going to be in it. They didn’t kill me off.
MB: So, you’ve got The Goonies 2 and Daredevil 2. A lot of sequels.
JP: Yeah, I have few more. I’ve done U.S. Marshals, which was The Fugitive 2, Bad Boys II, and they’re doing Cats & Dogs 2, believe it or not. What am I missing?
MB: The Goonies 2.
JP: That’s right. I’m the sequel king!
On title bouts
MB: Who would win in a fight: you or James Gandolfini?
JP: Gandolfini. He’s 6’1, 250lbs. He’d kill me.
MB: Here’s a good one. Who would win in a fight: Kingpin or Tony Soprano?
JP: Are you kidding me?!? Tony Soprano would just shoot him. He doesn’t do any of that martial-arts shit. And then Paulie “Walnuts” would come in and he’d shoot him, too.
On The Adventures of Pluto Nash
MB: What happened with Pluto Nash?
JP: I haven’t seen it. I know a lot of people said bad things about it, but it’s not like we went to Toronto with a hundred million dollars and said “Hey, lets fuck this up.” But Ron Underwood was a terrific director.
MB: I guess you don’t like to talk about it much.
JP: No, Eddie Murphy doesn’t like to talk about it much. One thing that’s great about being a character actor is that a movie doesn’t rest on your shoulders. If it bombs, it won’t hurt my career. Eddie Murphy said to me that it’s better to have a small role in a big movie, then a starring role in a shitty movie. (He pauses) It wasn’t like when we were making The Fugitive. When we were making The Fugitive, we all thought it was going to bomb. Harrison Ford would be standing over the waterfall, and I’d be like “Harrison! Harrison, it’s not that bad! Harrison, come off from over the ledge!” I remember one day, me and Tommy Lee were driving back to the airport after shooting, and he said something like “It’s not like any of us are going to win any Oscars for this!”
Daredevil is currently playing in theaters.
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