Here’s a Hollywood anecdote that’s nothing if not ironic.
Director Peter Bogdanovich, as film fans need not be reminded, was a golden boy during the ‘70s. Among his now-classic flicks are The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon and What’s Up, Doc?
Since then, however, he’s been working more on-screen that off-, making cameo appearances in TV shows like The Sopranos and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Now Chazz Palminteri. He made his name as star and writer of the 1993 flick A Bronx Tale (which was directed by Robert De Niro – though forget De Niro; he’s got nothing to do with this story).
Since then, Chazz – in addition to dabbling in directing – has carved out a niche for himself as a big-screen mobster, having played one in such hits as Bullets Over Broadway and Analyze This (which starred Bobby De Niro, who, remember, we don’t care about here).
Chazz: Reigned in on Robert’s set.
Now onto Robert Davi, another tough-guy actor who’s perhaps best known for playing an FBI agent in the original Die Hard, and the villain in the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill.
Unlike Peter and Chazz, Robert (Davi, that is; we still don’t care about De Niro) had never directed until getting behind the camera for The Dukes, his feature film about an aging doo-wop group, which opens today, and which he also stars in – along with Peter and Chazz.
So this week on BlogTalkRadio’s Movie Geeks United, host Jamey DuVall asks Robert the natural question: Was it hard for him to direct a skilled director like Peter, or even, to a lesser extent, Chazz – all of whom are real-life pals?
“The funny part is, there were a couple of times,” says Robert. “Because, when you’re close friends, every once in a while somebody might challenge you by saying, ‘You know, I don’t really…’ As a director, if you let the horses out of the corral, it could be devastating. So you gotta maintain that kind of a thing.
“I remember one time, Chazz asked [about a scene] and I said, ‘Chaz, just do it – da da da – this way, and I think it’s gonna work.’
“Then he looks at Peter and says, ‘Peter, tell him.’ And Peter, in that inimitable way he has, turns to Chazz and says, ‘Robert’s right, Chazz. Listen to your director.’”
To hear Robert dish more about his first outing behind the camera, click here.