Dead Tony, James Dean, and Dicking Around on Set

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. Recently, whenever my penis is in the mood and the rest of me isn’t, I’ve taken to saying, “OK, Boner.”

2.

Watch out Craig’s Cookies! There’s a new kid in town!!!

3. I wasn’t sure how to celebrate International Men’s Day, so I Googled it. Apparently, it’s almost exactly like celebrating Easter, except that instead of hiding eggs you hide anything that might even possibly recognize women as being completely equal to men in every way and then you just leave those things and go watch sports or porn for the rest of the day and hope those things are never ever found again.

4.

Joy Tanner is amazing, as are a lot of the folks at ACTRA who I am constantly giving a hard time to. But no team has ever gotten better or stronger due to their cheerleaders. Now is the time for us to be carving better deals for ourselves—going back to the original 105% and 135% buyouts (which was what replaced residuals here in the first place) and shrinking those four year buyout periods to two or one. ACTRA HAS done a lot in this industry in this town, paving the way for all of the production that is currently happening, but it’s time to shift the focus now. Now is the time, with so many outlets needing and creating so much content. They can’t do any of it without us. It’s the basic rule of supply and demand.

5. I had these thoughts last week while I was working:

When I am on set, I like to have fun. I can understand how people who don’t know me or don’t understand what it is we do might see me as goofing off or not being focused at all. I am constantly joking around and trying to entertain the crew and other actors between the words “cut” and “action.” The days on a film set can be super fucking long and boring and I do my best to make them seem less so to anyone there. A thing I can’t stand is when an AD or director or anyone tries to shush me or treats me like a disruptive schoolboy. I don’t ever try to be disruptive intentionally. My behaviour isn’t attention-seeking. I don’t get in the way of anyone doing their job. In fact, I’ll go out of my way to help anyone do whatever it is they have to do, to do their best work—be it a grip or a movie star.

But in the world of the film or the show, where I am acting and doing my work, there is no set, no camera, no lights, no crew—none of that shit is there. All of the activity that happens to create that world I am going to inhabit doesn’t exist in the world of the story. I just need to stay relaxed and in the moment, while everyone else does whatever the fuck they need to do so that I, ultimately, can do my bit. And you never know when that moment will come. Could be five minutes or five hours until I am needed. And whenever it does come, I have to be ready to deliver. What happens between the words “action” and “cut” is ultimately the only reason I am there. Between those words, I know exactly what the fuck I am doing and I am completely focused on doing it and nothing else.

But that time probably amounts to under ten per cent of any shoot day. It’s an odd job. And I don’t think most actors probably approach it the way I do at all. All of the shit I do between takes has absolutely nothing to do with my work. It’s just what I have found that works to keep me in the best state I can be while I’m waiting to get the opportunity to do my actual job, and it provides a little levity for people who are working their asses off around me. It may not work for everyone around me and, when I recognize that another actor doesn’t particularly benefit from my nonsense, or that there is a lot of tension on set, I leave people alone and shut the fuck up. So that they can do what they need to do to get their jobs done. There is a lot of subtlety and nuance in the whole dance but, when it works, which is most of the time, I not only leave set feeling like I did everything I could have possibly done to make the scenes I am in better than they would have been without me, but I feel like I am the luckiest fucking human being who ever lived.

6. Fuck Yeah of the Week:

7. Being the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs is kind of like dating The Fonz. Sure, it’s kind of fun and cool in a way, but you know from day one that it isn’t gonna last.

8.

Michael Miranda is not only a ceramic artist but also an accomplished actor and one of the finest men I have ever known. He began sculpting seven years ago and works in stoneware, porcelain and Raku pottery—a 500-year-old Japanese technique of firing and glazing. His pieces are both wheel-thrown and handmade with a particular love for masks, helmets and tile carvings. He does not have a website as yet, but I have posted his business card. I would encourage you to contact him on Facebook if you are interested in seeing more work or ordering something for Christmas.

9. When they say they are going to put James Dean in a new movie digitally, that’s bullshit. It literally is like making a cartoon.

It might look like him and they’ll likely hire some actor who may sound like him, but it won’t be him. It won’t have his soul. It won’t have his mind. It won’t have his anything. It won’t be authentic. I always tell students in my class that the most interesting thing you can ever be as an actor is yourself.

It doesn’t offend me that they’re going to try to do this. I get that people need to see what exactly they can do with technology. But it will neither detract from Dean’s legacy, or add anything to it. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with him.

I understand the idea. I understand the attempt. I understand the challenge. But the one thing technology can’t ever be is human. And, in their greatest moments, that’s all that makes great actors great—their ability to capture what it is to be a human being in a particular circumstance. It’s what people relate to and why they watch them. Still, knock yourself out, technology. Do what you gotta do. But give me Rebel or Giant or Eden before some Xerox imitation of an actor any day.

10. TV Theatre Find of the Week:

11. I print both public statements here below as they are all of the information that I have to share. If both statements here are true- and I have no reason to believe they aren’t- why wait until this all blew up to issue this statement of apology? I’m sure this is a question that most are asking so I am asking it on behalf of the community and giving you, Michael Kelly, the opportunity to respond either in the comment section of Intermission Magazine who prints this column today or on my personal Facebook page – both wouldn’t hurt, you just need to hit copy and paste – where the column will be shared on Tuesday November 26, 2019.

 

12.

I mean, you can see why this is hurtful, right?

 

 


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Written By

Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.