Oh, New Jersey! Why does everyone hate you so? Growing up in New Jersey but going to school in New York, there wasn’t a Jersey related pun or joke that I didn’t hear. One day a classmate opined ‘Why doesn’t New Jersey and New York combine into one state…” “Then they can just call it New York,” I interrupted “Yeah – I’ve heard that one before too.”
Certainly media has done little to challenge the perception of New Jersey as a toxic waste-infested paradise for the mob, guidos and philistines alike (but mostly the morbidly obese). The Sopranos, Garden State, Jersey Shore, & Clerks – none exactly depict Jersey as a beacon of human civilization.
This week’s newest entry in the Jersey filmography, Danny Collins, does little to challenge this perception. From the moment, Al Pacino’s titular aging rock star gets off a plane from California to New Jersey, the puns come a flying. Collins shacks up in some low-rent Hilton there in search of his long-lost/abandoned son (played by fellow New Jersey native Bobby Cannavale). There’s a lot of jokes (mostly from a delightful Christopher Plummer) about how sitting in a bar in a Hilton in New Jersey is the nadir of a career, how Jersey is just a step removed from your inevitable tombstone, how you’d rather be anywhere but here (i.e. the usual).
What makes New Jersey such an easy punching bag? This was the question posed to Bobby Cannavale, who seemed perplexed yet understanding of the state’s repute. Therein ultimately lies the oxymoronic truth: New Jersey – undeserving of its accurately lackluster reputation.
In the below interview with Cannavale, the actor discusses (besides New Jersey) working with Pacino both on stage and in film, how his approach to a performance has grown and his fight scenes in this summer’s upcoming Ant-Man.
Danny Collins opens March 20th in select theaters.
- Why does everyone hate New Jersey?
- Bobby Cannavale attempts to name one good thing about New Jersey?
- What did Cannavale glean performance wise from watching Pacino work?
- How has Cannavale’s approach to acting changed from set-to-set?
- Has Cannavale seen any footage from Ant Man?
- Does Cannavale have any action scenes in the film?
- What is Cannavale’s approach to a fight scene?
- How does Cannavale stay ‘active’ opposite a blue screen?