Rejected Movie Catchphrases, Montreal Audiences, and NudgeGate

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 "Nappoholics Anonymous"

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. When we did Crow’s Theatre’s The Seagull at Berkeley, there were seven of us squeezed on top of each other in the one dressing room, which also had a costume rack and a washer and dryer in there too. We called it the Clown Car. I am pretty sure I won’t be in any dressing room of any size with that much talent ever again. Eric Peterson, Marcus Jamin, Gregory Prest, Tom Rooney, Phil Riccio, Tom McCamus, and me.


2. If you can change the life of JUST ONE CHILD during a student matinee, you’ve pretty much wasted everyone else’s afternoon.

3. Top 5 Rejected Romantic Movie Catchphrases of All Time:

5- “We’ll always have Paris Hilton.”
4- “Play it again, Sam, and I’ll break your fucking fingers.”
3- “Love means never having to say good morning.”
2- “You deplete me.”
1- “Frankly, my dear, I don’t dental damn.”

4. Making Mike Babcock the coach of the Leafs was like making Thom Yorke the lead singer of Nickelback. Who fucking cares if they’re only ever gonna keep playing Nickelback songs?

5. Years ago, we did Pinter’s masterpiece Betrayal at the Saidye Bronfman (now the Segal Centre) in Montreal. It was a fun house to play because the audience was primarily an older, Jewish crowd who called it exactly as they saw it. Daniel Brooks had directed the show in a fairly minimalist way that emphasized and reflected the script and story, which is told in reverse-chronological order. The audience, I suspect, was accustomed to a little more flash and bang for their buck. One night as we got into places for the bows, a voice from the front row, whose patience had clearly been exhausted, said, loud enough for the entire audience to hear, “Is it over yet?” After a beat, a second, even more tired and weary voice said, “I hope so.”

And lights up.

And bow.

6. It’s an unpopular thing to say in Canada, but listening to the band Rush, to me, is like listening to people doing math.

7. If you’re only gonna Pay What You Can, I’m only gonna Act What I Can. That’s only fucking fair.

8. I hate booking tickets to anything ahead of the actual day of the show. I mostly don’t ever really want to go anywhere anymore unless I absolutely have to but I ESPECIALLY don’t want to go anywhere I’m SUPPOSED to go.

9. I got my Equity card when I was thirty working on a show in Montreal by Vittorio Rossi called Paradise by the River. Vito is a very serious guy with a dry sense of humour so you rarely see his knockout punch coming. One day, after rehearsal, he looks me dead in the eyes and says to me, very softly and very Italiany, “Tony, your work is beautiful up there, so specific and so open, so emotionally available… BUT… You know that play I wrote? Could you fucking say some of it?”

10. When I came out of rehab in 2000, I decided I was gonna have one professional fight, as I had been a Golden Gloves Champ and an Ontario Champion boxer when I was younger. The guy training me had been a former sparring partner to Chuvalo. He decided that I was a real power puncher so we focused on that. After about six months of training, the guy said, “Holy shit, you’re hitting like a sledgehammer. This fight isn’t gonna go past one round.” Feeling pretty confident, I asked, “What if it does?” He answered, quite quickly and matter-of-factly, “Oh, if it does, you’re fucked.”

I never had the fight.

Nappo 2

11. It speaks volumes to how fucking lucky we are as a country that NudgeGate (Nuri Frame’s coinage) was covered by the media as if it were our 9/11.

12. They’re making another Kindergarten Cop starring Dolph Lundgren—the only actor on earth who makes Schwarzenegger sound like Derek Jacobi.

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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.