Carb Cravings, Defining Theatre, and Jean Valjean

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. I was on the film Four Brothers for about three weeks. I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with André Benjamin. I was a huge fan. I told him about the time Randy Hughson and I were driving through the backroad of Kingston cottage country blasting the song “We Luv Deez Hoez” full volume—how ridiculous it seemed for two middle-aged suburban white guys to be ghettoing it out in the middle of the woods, thinking he’d get a kick out of that. He very calmly said, “Yeah, I hate that song. I think it’s stupid. I refused to sing on that one.”

So, then, we talked about other stuff.


2. Scientists in the Arctic recently discovered an 800-page document frozen in a block of ice. It turned out to be a letter to Santa from an eight-year-old Tony Nardi detailing everything that was wrong with Christmas.

3. I wouldn’t call myself a method actor. I’m more of a methaDONE actor.

4.  They’re making a movie version of Cats. I am praying Ben Affleck is in it. That guy can do anything.

5. As an actor, I occasionally have to find creative ways to avoid giving in to carb cravings.


6. I once took my daughter to see Much Ado About Nothing and during the scene where the groom is wrongly denouncing the bride for being a “wanton” woman, Ella leans over and whispers to me, speaking back to the groom for the bride, “Don’t break my balls.”

My work here is almost done.

7. I enjoy watching gay men texting on the subway. They often look like they’re playing poker and have a really really great fucking hand.

8. My favourite definition of theatre is “The EVENT that takes place MIDWAY between the AUDIENCE and the ACTION on the stage.” There is always a certain point in the run where the show is the show. The audience is the thing that makes it different from night to night.

9. I flushed the toilet one time in 2012 and it’s like I’m fucking Jean Valjean over here.


10. There was a book we read in theatre school called The Fervent Years about The Group Theatre in the 1930s, written by Harold Clurman. I took a quote from it that has been a mantra of sorts throughout my entire career. I used to write it in and on everything I owned. Here it is: “A certain blindness is necessary to undertake any important thing with some degree of confidence.”

11. Sometimes I think talkbacks should just be called “stare ats.” Somebody ask a fucking question, already.

12. David Fox is a god. He is one of the actors I have learned so much from in terms of a strong work ethic and endlessly searching for the details in a performance. A performance is never complete. There is always something to look for or something new evolving.

Also, years ago, when he met my girlfriend, Kate, she said to him that she loved the last name Fox and that she wished she had a last name like that. Without missing a beat, and with a twinkle in his eye, he replied, “I can make that happen for you, you know.”

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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.