Actor Chazz Palminteri says don’t read too much into the reports that his friend, Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson is quitting acting. News accounts surfaced this week that the three-time Oscar winner was walking away from his profession because he was having difficulty remembering his lines.
Palminteri who has known Nicholson for years says “nah he’s not going to do that. Jack says that but forget it.” The actor known for “A Bronx Tale” adds that Nicholson has threatened to walk away before adding that the Academy Award winning actor is likely to “take a few years off but he will be back.” As for the report that Nicholson was walking away from Hollywood because of difficulty remembering his lines, Palminteri says “when actors get older they say that,” reassuring Nicholson fans that “Jack’ll be back.”
As for Palminteri he will be back in Philadelphia September 19th thru the 21st with his one-man stage version of “A Bronx Tale.” The 85-minute production features Palminteri playing 18 different parts in the stage version of his hit movie. He is quick to point out that for him performing “A Bronx Tale” on stage represents that his story, based on his life, has come full circle.
In 1989, Palminteri wrote a one man play about a killing he saw when he was nine-years-old. He performed his show off-Broadway and at a small theater in Hollywood attracting the attention of a number of producers. As Chazz tells the story, with $900 in the bank and million dollar offers from Tinseltown, he refused to sell his play unless he was guaranteed the lead role of Sonny as well as the chance to write the screenplay. When actor Robert De Niro saw the show he approached Palminteri seeking the rights to the play promising Palminteri he could play Sonny and write the screenplay if De Niro could direct. With a handshake the deal was sealed between the two actors and the stage play was turned into a movie and hailed as a huge success.
More than two decades after De Niro and Palminteri collaborated, the pair is working again in turning the play-turned-movie-turned-play, into a Broadway musical. While cagey about the details, Palminteri confirms that De Niro is “in the process right now” of adapting the story into a musical. While he is happy to see the next chapter in his story evolve, Palminteri says he doesn’t think he will be in the production but rather will work behind the scenes in writing the book for the adaptation. He says it is time to “turn it over and watch someone else do it now.”
But for now Palminteri will continue to tour with his one man show “A Bronx Tale” playing the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. For a listing of other cities the production will be staged visit http://www.chazzpalminteri.net/