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Rehab, Line Readings, and the Raptors

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 / May 18, 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. When I went to rehab for cocaine in 2000 for twenty-one days, my parents came up to visit and we sat at a picnic table and my mom talked nonstop for an hour while my dad said nothing at all. When my mom finally went to the bathroom, my dad looked at me and said, quietly and simply, “What the fuck’s the matter with you? Didn’t you see Scarface?” That is my favorite thing my father has ever said.

2. I was in a world premiere last year of a John Patrick Shanley show and he came for the opening. After the show I said, “I hope I didn’t fuck it up too much.” He replied, “You were fine. I was really only half watching the show, while the other half of my mind was remembering and visiting all the people and places that I had written about.” He wasn’t being dismissive or uncomplimentary, just stating the facts.

Another lesson learned. Don’t be needy. Don’t seek validation. Just do your job. You never know where another person’s head is at and everything can’t be about you.

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3. The men’s room of my favorite Indian restaurant was out of order today. That’s like not allowing me to applaud after a good show.

4. When people tell me they’re interested in becoming an actor, I find they mostly mean they are interested in eating lunch with famous people.

5. “How long does your play run for? I really want to see it.” 97 percent of the time, this is a bullshit statement uttered only because someone who was avoiding contacting you until the end of your run had the misfortune of bumping into you by accident. I, personally, know exactly how long anything that I “really want to see” is running. Why do people tell this lie? Because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and, ultimately, because they want you to like them. I never take it personally.

6. I was shooting a film with James Caan called Wisegal. In this one particular shot—a very wide establishing shot—of a funeral procession either entering or leaving a church, we weren’t even wired for sound.  When Jerry Ciccoritti, the director, called action, the actor beside Caan, Alvaro D’Antonio, decided to impress the legendary actor with his improv skills: “He was such a good man, he will truly be missed” and such. Caan looked confused for a moment and then said to him, while the cameras were still rolling, of course, “What the fuck are you doing, acting? The camera’s like two miles away.” Another lesson learned.

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(And, yes, that is the beautiful and wonderful Gina Wilkinson standing on the steps behind us. Rest her soul.)

7. When I was a younger actor, I was offended and insulted by a director giving me a line reading. Now, I just ask for them. I am not literally gonna copy the reading, it’s just the quickest way to understand what the fuck someone is trying to ask you to do.

8. Is it me or is Steve Buscemi actually morphing into Don Knotts?

9. I once walked in on Ed Asner naked and the first thing that hit me is how much his testicles looked exactly like Ed Asner.

10. Sometimes people ask me what growing up in Scarborough was like, and I say in many ways it was the exact opposite of what it’s like now. For example, our mothers used to cut out baby laxatives with cocaine.

11. All of this insane election business to the south reminds me of a great thing Hume Baugh once said: “Your politics is really just how you treat every single person you encounter every day. Nothing more than that.”

12. Ella begged me to turn off the last quarter of the game 7 Raptor/Heat game because she was bored. She said it was just goal after goal after goal and that it “lacked conflict and plot.” She actually said those words. Fucking kid.

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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