Actor, writer, producer Tony Nappo (Saw II, Saw IV, Mother’s Day) took time to do an interview with Horrornews.net. Tony Nappo stars in Faking A Murderer. It was such a blast talking to Tony Nappo. He’s such a talented actor. He offers up some great advice, words of wisdom and he is from Scarborough. He has a column in INTERMISSION magazine called Nappoholics. Check it out.
Faking a Murderer follows two filmmakers on their noble yet perhaps misguided quest to track down a seedy-looking stranger they’ve discovered online who — in a disturbing video — seemingly confesses to a murder. Or at least that’s what they think. Seeing the popularity of true crime shows, they decide to try and turn this discovery into their own killer hit. With the support (both moral and financial) of a distributor, Stuart Stone and Adam Rodness set off on their journey to try and track down this elusive creep. When they bring the video to law enforcement, they’re told — repeatedly — that it’s really not much to go on, and they’re putting a lot of time and energy into what essentially is a fool’s errand. Determined to make this work, they flex, stretch, and break their budget in pursuit of a hit new crime story, but are they in over their heads?
Hi Tony, how are you doing?
Tony Nappo- I’m doing alright. How are you doing?
I watched Faking A Murderer and the movie is wild. I loved it.
Tony Nappo- Thank you.
How did you get involved with Faking A Murderer?
Tony Nappo- Adam and Stu approached me. I did a film with Adam years ago but we had a great time doing the movie. Adam and Stu have made quite a few films together. I saw one of the movies they made called, Jack of All Trades, which I quite liked. I like both of those guys.
Did you have to do anything special to prepare?
Tony Nappo- I knew what they needed in every scene but there was no script written. A couple of times you try to come up with something clever to say and then other scenes you just be the scariest motherfucker you can be. I’m from Scarborough, and Italian so, I have a long history of scaring people.
My mom is part Sicilian and she’s only 5’4 with a seven feet attitude so.[Laughing]
Tony Nappo – So, we’re scary people by nature. Then it was, just have fun and most of the times you don’t get to be that big and that insane, and crazy. I’ve never done anything like it in any film I’ve been in. I thought this is going to be a lot of fun, I can do whatever the fuck I want. In all the scenes I’m in charge until, I’m not. It was a chance to go crazy.
What was it like working with Stu and the cast?
Tony Nappo- I thought they were fantastic in the film. I like how smart the film is. They set up a lot of little things. I like the dynamic between the two of them. They’re like an old, Jewish married couple, and that reads in the film. They are constantly bickering and correcting each other as opposed to being a team. In life, the dynamic is the same but their very much a team. They knew what they wanted and that’s good because nobody else knew what the fuck they wanted. It was great. We wanted to tell this fake story.
I liked this movie too because it has funny moments, intensity, it’s wild.
Tony Nappo- I feel like you don’t really know where it’s going. It’s a fun fucking ride. They made a fun film with some legitimate scares in it. I think all the elements are there.
What do you want to say to the people that will be watching Faking A Murderer?
Tony Nappo- Be good to each other, take care of each other. This is a really hard fucking time on the planet. I’m glad we made this film and we can provide a little bit of a distraction from life, a little bit of entertainment but we have to go back to life after the movie is over. If I could say anything, it would be, just be good to each other.
What are you working on next?
Tony Nappo- I’m not a hundred percent sure. I’m from Canada, I live up in Toronto. I just finished doing the first season of Strays, which is a spin-off of the show Kim’s Convenience. That’s going to air in September. I have a reoccurring thing and there is some stuff I can’t talk about. Every fucking thing you do now, you have to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). It’s been a really busy period. The whole pandemic I did five TV shows and a couple of movies. Now, I just finished doing another one of the Z-O-M-B-I-E-S movies for kids for Disney.
Tony Nappo- Yeah, we are doing the third installment, Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3. The first movie was zombies and humans live in town, and the second movie was werewolves came to town. It’s fun to do at least one thing that the kids can enjoy.
Do you feel that 2020 brought anything positive creatively or in general?
Tony Nappo- For me it did. It was a chance for a lot of people to reassess their life, and change any shit that they wanted to change. I had a chance to sit down and figure shit out, and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I took that seriously and I made some big changes. I got healthier, I got to spend some time with daughter, she’s sixteen now. Obviously aside from all this pain and suffering that I witnessed around me, I locked down and stayed on my own, and did all the shit I was supposed to do. Partly because I’m fifty-three years old and I didn’t want to get sick and not go to work. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the distractions before the pandemic. Maybe like a month into it, you realize all the shit that was important, suddenly wasn’t that important. It was a chance to look at what is important. It was positive for me personally in that sense. If I could have made it all not happen, I would have. I know so many people lost friends and family members. A couple of people I spoke to who got COVID and survived it said, I feel like I’ve aged ten fucking years. Even the folks who survived will carry this with them.
I received a lot of positive answers to that question. It was horrible but if you had a chance to do something that you would have never done. I think that is a positive.
Tony Nappo- I am lucky that I was working most of the time because I might have written a book or something. That’s one of my bucket list things I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m kind of grateful that I didn’t have to do it because it seems like a lot of work.
I was actually going to ask you if you would write a book one day? Also, would you ever direct?
Tony Nappo- I think I would write a book at some point. I’ve been writing a column for a theatre magazine, an online magazine called Intermission for the last four or five years now. It’s called Nappoholics Anonymous, and it’s for people who are addicted to how amazing I am. It started out as a goofy little thing and then it grew into something. I realized that I have a platform and a voice. I get to say things. It’s serious thoughts that I have or I can share the platform that I have. There’s jokes and I want to make people laugh and think. I’ve become a better writer and I do think there is a book in me. I’m just not sure what story I want to tell? Maybe I would write an acting book because I’m teaching acting now.
The column sounds great. Do you think you would ever direct?
Tony Nappo- I’m not sure if I’m qualified. I know that I’m a really good actor. It’s the same with writing scripts, I could write a script. I don’t want to soil my good name as an actor. When I’m not busy acting, I paint people’s houses. I’ve been doing that since I was sixteen.
I read that you did theatre, have you done theatre lately?
Tony Nappo- Yes, I still do theatre all the time. I try really hard to do one play a year. I try to do a play with people who are good. I try to do it around January or February when it’s not too busy. I’ve been nominated for all the awards you can be nominated for in Canada, including Best Actor on stage. I love it, I think theatre made me a better film actor. Generally, what I’m asked to do onstage is more demanding than what I’m asked to do on film. Ninety percent of what I do in film, I could do in my sleep. It’s long-term, you’re not shooting one scene and then another scene. You are doing a whole play every single day. I think it makes you a better actor.
(Tony and I share a glasses story. Laughing. He is THE GREATEST!)
I wanted to ask you about theatre because I was so thrilled to actually go to the theatre. I got to see Tony Todd in August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned and it’s him just talking and delivering these amazing monologues and you can just tell. You have that incredible talent too.
Tony Nappo- Oh wow. That’s so nice. Thank you so much for saying that. I never think of the character as another person. I always think of the character as myself. I think of myself as a father, a murderer, an introvert. All of those things are in all of us. We have the potential. I try to think if I was in this situation and I was this person?! What would I do? David Mamet has this book he wrote called, True and False. I think that his philosophy is a good one. There are only two kinds of acting, true and false. I either believe you, or I don’t. I have a good bullshit monitor, that’s why I read reviews. If I sucked, know I sucked before anyone else knows I sucked. It’s usually because I haven’t done the work. My only goal is for you to respond that way. You look at me and believe me. In this particular film, the theatricality, the bigness that was required. It’s almost unbelievable but if I believe it, you believe it.
I also think that when actors play villains or “bad guys/girls” they don’t really know they are bad. They are living life and stuff.
Tony Nappo- Not at all, no. The other element I like about this film is the guy looking for me kind of fancies himself a bit of a celebrity. He’s enjoying being in this movie. He’s very aware. The guy wants to be filmed scaring the shit out of people. It’s the fun thing about this guy. He doesn’t see himself as a murderer at all, he sees himself as an entertainer.
Tony, do you have any words of wisdom or advice to offer? You have so much talent and play so many different incredible characters.
Tony Nappo- Thanks so much. Just do it. First of all, train and learn what you’re doing. Beyond training, do something everyday to become a better actor. Watch TV and films, especially things you may be auditioning for. Do something every day. I worked really hard, and I paid attention. Don’t sit around and wait.
I thank you so much, it was such an honor to talk to you. I love you and your work. Thank you.
Tony Nappo- I love you too.
Thank you and take care and be safe. Thank you. It was great talking to you.
Tony Nappo- Thank you so much.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT, FAKING A MURDERER