Joe Pantoliano Interview

Recently I had the chance to talk with Actor, Director, Producer, and Writer, Joe Pantoliano about his work in the new film “The Amateurs”. I want to thank Joe for taking the time from his busy schedule for the interview.

GVK: What attracted you to the part?

JP: The film was very Capra-esque and I liked the details that the script paid to the characters and their friendships. I also like the notion that the characters thought life had passed them by and they that were trying to change their lot in life by making an armature porn film.

The character of Some Idiot was also out of type for me and the chance to work with Jeff Bridges was something that was attractive to me as well.

GVK: What sort of research did you use to prepare for the part, as I am sure that your previous work did not give you a lot of background on writing and directing a porno?

JP: I read the script a lot, and took heed of the name of the character, and why he was called “Some Idiot”. The character also lives at home with his mother. I wanted to be different from the rest of the cast as I knew that the brilliant actors would kick my ass, so I wanted to be ready.

GVK: Why did the film take so long to come out in America?

JP: The film was done four years ago, but the distribution company had no money and the production got into all sorts of legal mix ups. In a very life imitates art moment, First Look got involved and got the film released. It was similar to the film where the final film meets a setback after it is completed and hopes went up in smoke.

GVK: Where there any funny moments during filming that stand out?

JP: Since it was almost four years ago, my memory for specifics is bad. I do remember that we cracked up a lot, and that I really enjoyed Ted Danson and Glenne Headly.

GVK: Since you have done both comedy and drama, which do you prefer and which do you find harder?

JP: I like comedy as you know instantly if it is working. If the audience is laughing, then it is working, but I find comedy very hard to do.

GVK: Since you have done Directing in “Just Like Mona”, do you have a desire to do more Directing?

JP: I would love to do more, I have also been producing a lot, as I love that you do not have to be on set all the time to do that.

GVK: With the writers’ strike, do you find yourself limited creatively as one of your outlets is not open to you, and does not being able to write hamper other planned projects?

JP: That is a great question; I am getting involved into some mini films that are based on the web. It is a 2 minute movie that is black and white and very film noir I was over at Matthew Modine’s and we had Sarah Lancaster who stars in Chuck.

The process is like Fellini as you have to improvise and add dialogue. There is also one with a blind writer who has her job outsourced to India. This is a great as it reminded me of when I was younger and there were few opportunities. The website is