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Chazz Palminteri Talks About the ‘Bronx Tale’ Movie and Costarring With Robert DeNiro [AUDIO]

Chazz Palminteri of A Bronx Tale
Ben Gabbe, Getty Images

Chazz Palminteri called into Ray and my show this afternoon, and talked all about the original of “A Bronx Tale,” the classic movie that reminds so many of us of our own childhoods. (I call it “our generation’s Godfather – I’ll get to that in a second.)

Palminteri gives a lot of credit to Robert DeNiro, who saw Palminteri’s one man show version and helped get the movie made. Palminteri was frustrated because the studios that did want to make it didn’t want to give him a lead role or let him write the screenplay.

“I walked to the dressing room, and Bob [DeNiro] was there, and he said, ‘I think you should play Sonny and you should write the screenplay.’ I shook his hand, and that’s the way it was.”

You can hear him talk more about this in the interview on NJ101.5 in the audio player below

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Palminteri will be performing A Bronx Tale this Saturday night at the Trump Taj Mahal.

The movie and the play tell the story of Calogero Anello, a young boy from a working class family who gets involved in the world of organized crime. Calogero’s father is a bus driver who tries to instill working-class family values in his son. As Calogero gets older, the aura and mystique of the Mafia, and the charms of Sonny, the local mob boss who befriends Calogero (and ends up becoming a father figure to him), become difficult to resist.

As Calogero comes of age, he must struggle with the choice of following his beloved father’s values or submitting to the temptations of the life of organized crime.

What’s great about A Bronx Tale is that it’s based on a true story. If you’re a fan of the movie, you must see the play. If you grew up hanging on any city street corner, you must see the play. It’s told in that fashion where you can imagine Palminteri standing under a street sign telling the story and doing all the voices. It takes me back to when I was a kid growing up in Union City handing out at 17th and West late at night (for a 15 year old, 10 pm was late at night ;) ) and listening to people tell stories and doing all the voices.

If The Godfather was the movie for the baby boomers, then I feel A Bronx Tale is the play for the next generation after that. If you’re a fan of either you owe it to yourself to see it.

Listen to the rest of the interview with Chazz Palminteri below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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