Emmy Award-winner and “Sopranos” alum Joe Pantoliano – aka Joey Pants – sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Joey opens up about drunkenly putting Bill Clinton in a friendly headlock at an Election-Day party, and talking Andrew Davis out of killing him off on the set of “The Fugitive.” The episode also features surprise guest, Joey’s daughter, Dani Pants, who remembers eating Lucky Charms with Keanu Reeves after her family’s Christmas party, what it was like being the daughter of an actor, and much more with this pair of Pants. Highlights below.
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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Joey and Daniella Pantoliano —
Joey on crashing an election party and putting Bill Clinton in a headlock:
“It was President Clinton. I was bombed out of my mind. It was when they pulled the rug out on Gore in Florida… We broke in. What happened was, we had a party at Caroline’s to watch the results, and then they took Florida. By then, Nancy had enough of me and I was with Tony Spiridakis and Roseanna DeSoto, who played the mother in “La Bamba.” Somebody said ‘Hey, there’s a party over at Elaine’s, Harvey Weinstein is throwing a party for Senator Clinton…’ So, long story short, we go to break into that, and I said, ‘They’re not going to let us in.’ Sure enough, they let us in. We broke in, we found out that President Clinton and the Senator-elect couldn’t come to the big Harvey party, but it was going to be at this hotel on 42nd Street. So we go there, and Tony sees Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow and a whole slew of people – Harvey leading the pack – into the kitchen. So we go into the kitchen and we get on an elevator, and there are guys with Uzis. And they grab me, the three of us – but they’re grabbing me because I’ve got a cigar. And Jessye Norman, the opera singer, was complaining that I had a cigar. But it wasn’t lit! So they put us in a room, there was cheese and wine and beer – and it was just the three of us. And Tony was like, ‘You got us arrested, God damn it!’ And I said ‘Relax! There’s cheese and wine, that’s not an arrest!’ And I go to the bathroom to wash my hands and when I come out, now the room is filled with 200 people, and I walk right into Hillary Clinton and Chelsea. And I’m like ‘Hillary! We did it, right?’ And I’m hugging her, and I’d always wanted to get that picture. So we’re taking pictures, and then there’s President Clinton, whose arms are folded and he’s near this little black and white TV that’s on a stand… And what he’s saying is, ‘What Gore’s got to do is he’s got to win Florida.’ Because they just pulled it. And I was like ‘Oh, President Clinton, I’m going to miss you, I love you!’ And I’m hugging him, I’m like, ‘You’re the man, I’m going to miss you!’ And somebody’s, like, pinching my leg. It’s Tony, and he’s like, ‘Sit the f*** down, they’re going to shoot you! Look at these guys, they’re ready to shoot you!’ It was, like, half the size of a subway car, but it was packed with all these high-end donors and celebrities, and somehow I wound up there.”
Joey on talking Andrew Davis out of killing him off in “The Fugitive”:
“That was ‘The Fugitive.’ They were going to hit me in the head with a beam. And I told Andy Davis – because it was, you know, we were shooting in continuity because we had to, we didn’t know how the movie was going to end – they would improvise. They were going to hit Tommy Lee Jones in the head, and he said, ‘This is nuts. You’re going to hit me in the head with a beam and then I’m going to dust myself off and save the day? Doesn’t make sense. I won’t do it.’ So they leave – and I was lucky enough to be part of the production meeting. So it was always Tommy Lee and Harrison [Ford], and Andy would let me in, so I was the third actor. And I was in all of those meetings. With the department heads, it was fantastic. So they leave and I turn to Andy and I go, ‘Andy, hit me in the head.’ And he says, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘He says “Cosmo, you go that way,” and you go that way, the bad guy hits me in the head, the bad guy gets my gun, Tommy Lee Jones saves the day.’ So Andy likes the idea. A couple days later, I go to my dressing room… and I’m reading the stage directions and they kill me. I go running with the piece of paper, ‘Andy! You can’t kill me! What if there’s a sequel?’ So that night… It’s like four in the morning, they’ve already hit me in the head, I’m lying on the ground, and the bad guy is going to take the gun out of my hand. It’s that shot. And I’m thinking, like, ‘I can’t be knocked out completely, because then they can make it look like I’m dead.’ And right after the take, Andy says ‘Let’s do it again,’ they’re resetting. I see these pants, and I look up and it’s Harrison Ford and he’s looking down at me, and he’s shaking his head. Now I knew it was his idea. I go ‘What?’ and he goes, ‘You should be dead.’ I go ‘Why?’ He goes, ‘Because anyone who got in the head with a beam like that, they would be dead.’ And I said, ‘Well they’re going to hit Tommy Lee Jones in the head, and he wasn’t going to be dead. And Harrison starts laughing and he goes, ‘What do you care? You get sympathy votes, it’s a great idea, the audience will feel bad for you.’ I said ‘No, no, no, no, what if there’s a sequel?’ And Harrison smiled and he said, ‘There’s not going to be a sequel.’ And I said ‘Why not?’ And he said ‘Because I won’t do this piece of s*** again.’ And I said ‘Oh yeah? Well, who needs you? We’ll just chase some other $20 million a****** through the woods.’”
Daniella on eating breakfast with Keanu Reeves after a raucous Christmas party:
“So, my parents used to have these wild Christmas parties. I guess my mom discovered Keanu had spent the night, and was very surprised to see him. He was, like, sleeping under a pile of laundry. And she went to go get the laundry, and he starts moving, and she was like ‘Oh my God!’ And he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’ And everybody knows Keanu’s the sweetest soul ever, and I guess I just come down the stairs and grab him by the hand and am like, ‘What do you want for breakfast? What’s your favorite cereal? Mine’s Lucky Charms.’ And he says ‘Oh, I love Lucky Charms too,’ and we have a bowl of Lucky Charms together. And my older sister, I guess, comes down the stairs and sees me, but at the angle, I’m just eating Lucky Charms and it looks like I’m talking to nobody, and she’s like, ‘Dani, who are you talking to?’ And she peeks around the corner – and she’s with a friend – and is like ‘It’s Keanu,’ and they’re gasping. But I guess it’s kind of like – he was never Keanu Reeves, he was just some guy that was at my house and I wanted to be his friend.”
Joey on how being on “The Sopranos” influenced him:
“It was already a big hit because I came in on seasons three and four… Jimmy Gandolfini, I remember on the first day of working – because I had three episodes to catch up, we were doing a lot of reshooting. And he said, ‘You know, this is a phenomenon. Once this show starts getting burned up and hits the airwaves, it’s going to change your life. I just want to warn you.’ And I couldn’t quite understand that. Because I’d had quite a lot of work under my belt. You know, I’d been there, done that. I’d been on successful jobs. But being on ‘The Sopranos’ was I guess like being on a soap opera, so people called you by the character’s name, they didn’t identify you as the actor playing a part. Like reality shows, you know? That always annoyed me.”
More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” 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.
Upcoming guests include Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), Wayne Federman (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Tonight Show”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Melissa Manchester (“Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Through the Eyes of Love”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Kyla Pratt (“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” “Call Me Kat”), and Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”).
Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Evan Handler (“And Just Like That…,” “Californication”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid,” “Shameless”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Younger”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Reid Scott (“Veep”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Alena Smith (“Dickinson”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), KT Tunstall (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” “Suddenly I See”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”).
More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.