Schmoozing With the Iconic Tony Danza on “Taxi,” Broadway, Boxing & More….
Los Angeles, CA (June 20, 2023): Legendary actor Tony Danza is this week’s featured guest on Hollywood at Home with The Creative Coalition. The beloved actor, known for his roles in “Taxi,” “Who’s the Boss?,” and “Don Jon,” sits down with host and CEO of The Creative Coalition Robin Bronk to discuss his illustrious career and personal journey.
In this episode, Danza recounts his days on the hit sitcom “Taxi” and his experience playing Max Bialystock in the Broadway production of “The Producers.” He also shares insights into his transition from professional boxing to acting, and how his passion for the arts has shaped his life.
And, as a special guest-of-a-guest, Danza is joined by his acting coach James Price.
“Hollywood at Home” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and more.
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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Tony Danza:
On the “Taxi” audition.: “I entered the Golden Gloves and I did pretty well. I got a break when a gentleman walked into the gym on 30th and Eighth Avenue – Gleason’s Gym – and saw me…asked me if I would come to his office and read…the office was about the size of a phone booth, but I read and I couldn’t help thinking he was surprised I could read. He said, ‘I have this idea. It’s about a young fighter who works out of the gym and the gym is run by an older fighter and they have this relationship.’ I had ended up in James L. Brooks’ office.”
On taking punches versus acting classes: “I had a very, very successful actor, who I really looked up to say to me, ‘what are you doing?’ I had this show coming on Netflix –“‘The Good Cop.” He then says to me, ‘…and some of us had to go to acting school.’ And, I said, ‘Give me a break. Take some punches, see what that feels like.’”
Danny DeVito rescuing him on the Paramount lot: “Danny became my mentor, my pal. [The first day of working on ‘Taxi’] I pull into the famed Paramount lot and I parked in the wrong spot. Somebody yelled at me, ‘you can’t park there.’ Somebody tugged on my jacket. I looked down, and it’s Danny DeVito. And he says, ‘I think you’re with me, come on.’
On the brilliance of the late Andy Kaufman: “Andy didn’t like to rehearse, and he was the boss. Andy had a contract where he not only didn’t have to rehearse, he’d only come in Tuesday for the run through and Friday for the show. And we would have a guy who had his cadence and worked with us. Andy never made a mistake. He may not have rehearsed, but he never made a mistake. He was such a genius.”
On learning the ropes from “Taxi”: “‘Taxi’ was the greatest comedy school you can imagine because you got a joke and you had to make it work.”
On his relationship with Alyssa Milano on “Who’s the Boss?”: “I felt like I was her father. I was a pain in the neck….I took on the role of a father, I couldn’t help it. I loved her so much. And you know what else too? I’ll be perfectly honest, I felt threatened a little bit about it. You know, I’d walk into a store and some big schmo would say to me, ‘hey, I really like your daughter,’ And, I thought, ‘Hey, what are you a jerk? She’s 10, creep.’ So I got very protective of her.”
Price on Danza joining his acting class: “I was terrified…I came to the studio; normal afternoon. And they said, ‘Oh, by the way, you have an interview with Tony Danza at 4:30.’ We sat down and talked for about 30 minutes and just had a real human to human talk.”
More about Hollywood at Home:
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Previous guests include Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), among others.
More about The Creative Coalition:
Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns, including #RightToBearArts, to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.