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Smoke Breaks, the Pope, and Good Advice

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads
/By / Apr 6, 2016

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. House of Cards is so ridiculous and predictable. It feels like all the fired writers from Dexter and Scandal joined forces to write the worst and longest Tennessee Williams play ever.

2. I find if I can work two smoke breaks into a show, it’s gonna be an enjoyable show… For me, anyway.

3. In retrospect, the Bee Gees were way better at singing about staying alive than doing it.

4. If you were stranded alone on a desert island and had to choose whether you would spend the rest of your life with either my top lip or my bottom lip, I don’t think you could. I don’t think anyone could. It’s just not a fair thing to ask.

5. This photo was taken just before talks fell apart for Francis and me to star in Robert Lepage’s groundbreaking four-day cycle of The Odd Couple.


6. A priest once told me, “Masturbation can be fun but it’s no way to meet people.”

7. My favorite direction I ever got was from George Romero on Land of the Dead. I had a scene where I pull up to a store with John Leguizamo on motorcycles and I say a line and we go in to the store. After the first take George yelled cut and said, “Foxy [my character name], after you say your line, it’s like you’re waiting for applause—just get in the store.”

8. How the fuck does nobody ever recognize that Just for Laughs Gags guy? He’s been doing that shit to people for twenty years now. ON TELEVISION!!!!

9. It was an early lesson in generosity, one of my favourite qualities in any acting partner. I was twenty-five or twenty-six years old on Murder at 1600. We shot Wesley’s coverage first for this scene. Often, movie stars just leave when they are done and you shoot your coverage with a script supervisor or someone reading the other character’s lines, but the Snipes not only stayed but gave me everything he did in his own coverage to react to during mine. I have, since, always done anything I can to make the most of my scene partners’ coverage.


10. I don’t think we should have a Rob Ford statue but it would be fun if we had a hundred of them, like we did with those moose things under Lastman. I mean, if the guy’s legacy was to turn Toronto into a joke, we may as well make it a REAL fucking joke.

11. Lawrence Bayne posted a very wise bit of advice on FB about being nice to people along the way in your career, because life is long and you never know which third AD or receptionist or assistant is gonna end up being able to hire you down the road when they become a director or producer or whatnot. I would only add not to take any shit from douchebags, either. Cause those assholes aren’t ever gonna become anything.

12. My bet is that the end result of the Brendan Fletcher on-set gun accident in Sudbury is that it’s put on the individual performer to “not do anything on set they don’t feel safe doing.” It’s a tough one, on the day, to be the person holding up production that costs thousands of dollars per hour. And if that costs you your job, I am hoping that ACTRA will make sure that you get paid no matter what. I think that is the best-case scenario outcome. Because, the fact is, when you hurry things, accidents do happen and time is always a factor on set but no job is worth a serious injury or your life.

Tony Nappo

Tony Nappo

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.



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