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This is how badly Mr. Palminteri wanted to talk to me - he called me twice. I blew him off the first time because it came from a "Blocked" number, and I was in the bathroom.
Mr. Palminteri is coming to Dallas to perform his famous and widely acclaimed one-man play, "A Bronx Tale" on Aug. 22, 23 and 24 at the Wyly Theatre. Click here for www.ChazzPalminteri.net
He was nice enough to chat with me how he and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson started a relationship that led to Palminteri coming to Dallas to put on this show, as well as his thoughts on the upcoming NFL season, and the play that made him a star.
The Big Mac Blog: How did you come about meeting Drew Pearson to set this up and bring your show to Dallas?
Chazz Palminteri: I knew who he was, for sure. I'm a football fan, a Giants fan, so I knew who Drew Pearson was. My manager was the one who set it all up. I was working in Dallas at the time and I was asked if I'd like to come on his TV show and that's sort of how it all got going.
The Big Mac Blog: Have to ask - what are your thoughts of the Giants this season?
Chazz Palminteri: They have a good defense, a good quarterback and a great coach. They're streaky. They're a good club. If you look at how they won those Super Bowls, they just got hot so you never know with them but I think they'll be good.
The Big Mac Blog: And what about your Dallas Cowboys?
Chazz Palminteri: I'm not a Cowboys fan, but they always have great talent. They do. And I think they have a great coach and a very good quarterback in Tony Romo. He's very good. I think he's capable of being a Super Bowl quarterback.
The Big Mac Blog: To your show, have you ever thought how your life would have been different had you sold 'A Bronx Tale' to the first bidder?
Chazz Palminteri: Well, it would be different. My career would be for sure. But I knew I was never going to sell out. I knew I had something good. Most one-act plays aren't very good, but I knew this was. Everyone wanted it but I knew the only way I was going to sell it was if I could write it and star in it. The first offer I had for it was for $250,000 and at the time I had $200 in the bank. Then I was offered $500,000 and I said no. Then I was offered $1 million and said no.
"I was doing the show and afterwards I was told Robert De Niro was in my dressing room waiting to see me. He said he wanted me to write it, that I would play Sonny and he'd play my father."
The Big Mac Blog: Having done this show for many years now, is it easy?
Chazz Palminteri: It's never easy, but it is very original. I mean, it's my life. It was the way I grew up. And it is a cautionary tale of wasted talent and ability. It's why I want school children to see it. It's a life lesson.
The Big Mac Blog: The crux of this show is when you saw someone murdered - does that ever bother you to relive it so often?
Chazz Palminteri: No. Not really. Even when I saw it I don't think it really bothered me.
The Big Mac Blog: I have heard people who have had success with one movie, song, book or whatever tire of talking about that and would prefer to talk about something else - do you ever feel that way about A Bronx Tale?
Chazz Palminteri: Oh, no. Not at all. That sort of stuff is false humility and it's rude. If someone loves it and wants to talk about it, please do. I'm happy to talk about it.
The Big Mac Blog: You're 61 and I would imagine financially you don't have to do this - how much longer do you want to do this?
Chazz Palminteri: It's a passion and it's a love of mine. I don't know what else I would do. I love to act and to write. I've written other plays and I can't see a time when I don't want to do this.
The Big Mac Blog: Between A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects you are attached to two ageless and eternally popular works - does it ever strike you how rare that is as an actor?
Chazz Palminteri: Yes. Most people don't get one and, if you include Bullets Over Broadway (the Woody Allen film for which Palminteri was nominated for Best Supporting Actor) I've been in three. I'm very fortunate.
The Big Mac Blog: Thanks so much for your time and continued success?
Chazz Palminteri: Thank you and I hope to see you at the show in Dallas.
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