An in-demand actor for decades, Tony Danza has been a star of television (e.g. Taxi, Who’s The Boss?, The Tony Danza Show), film (e.g. Angels in the Outfield, Don Jon) and theater (e.g. Honeymoon in Vegas, The Producers). Danza has also done well a syndicated talk show host, an author, a teacher — as documented in the A&E reality show Teach: Tony Danza — and a musician. He has been nominated for an Emmy and four Golden Globe Awards, in addition to winning a People’s Choice Award in 1998.
But the native New Yorker has never been known to slow down. He will be starring in an upcoming Netflix series, The Good Cop, as helmed by Monk creator Andy Breckman. Meanwhile, his “Standards & Stories” tour includes upcoming stops on October 21 at Batavia, Illinois’ Batavia Fine Arts Centre, October 27 at Hampton, Virginia’s American Theatre, November 12 at Springfield, Massachusetts’ Springfield Symphony Hall, November 25 at Rahway, New Jersey’s Union County Performing Arts Center, and December 21 at Westbury, New York’s NYCB Theatre. Danza also recently made time to participate in this year’s Feast of San Gennaro, hosting the 2nd Annual Meatball Eating Contest. As related to San Gennaro, Danza is a partner in Alleva Dairy, the Little Italy eatery that is America’s oldest cheese shop; it is not uncommon to find Danza behind the counter at Alleva.
On behalf of the Inquisitr, I had the pleasure of talking with Tony Danza by phone. Was he as friendly and relatable as one would assume him? The answer is yes. More on Danza can be found at www.tonydanza.com.
One project of yours that I know that is upcoming is the Netflix show The Good Cop. Can you talk about that?
Tony Danza: Sure.
How would you describe the show overall to someone who hasn’t yet read about it?
Tony Danza: Well, it is sort of a throwback show… It is written by the guy who created and wrote Monk. His idea is to do standalone episodes. Most of the Netflix stuff is continuing, but this is going to be standalone episodes, one hour. The whole plan is that we’re going to do 10 little mysteries, where we will have a villain and a plot that is not, you know… One of the things I don’t like about the procedurals on TV, they are fine, but it is so by-the-numbers sometimes that there is no thinking involved. If you go back to a show like Columbo, where he had to solve a case and he had a nasty villain, that is the kind of thing we are going to try and do.
Are you keeping up the tradition in your character being named Tony on the show?
Tony Danza: Actually, the only thing is this time it is going to be “Big Tony,” because I am older now… Big is funny, you know? Big used to be BIG, but now big is old. (laughs)
8 shows announced for this fall. Ticks on sale. Here's the dates/venues. Hope to see you there! pic.twitter.com/rcS8fMNVqM
— Tony Danza (@TonyDanza) September 20, 2017
Being at the top level of entertainment that you have been for over 30 years, is there a goal that you are still working on?
Tony Danza: Over 40 years!
Okay, over 40 years…
Tony Danza: I need to admit it, but it is over 40 years.
I wasn’t trying to make you “big” right there.
Tony Danza: No, I know… But if you are going to talk about 30 years, you might as well talk about 40 years.
Being that you have succeeded in different programs and also within the reality TV world, and you’ve written a book and all that, is there something you are still hoping you will accomplish? Or are working towards?
Tony Danza: Well, I want to go out and make the best show I can make. Maybe see if we can keep it on the air a few years probably… I wrote a play this year and I am hoping to get it produced in New York. I am trying to do a lot of writing and stuff, but I am getting to the point where you can’t keep chasing, you know?
That makes sense, so when you are not busy working, what do you like to do for fun?
Tony Danza: I am singer and a dancer and a ukulele player, so I do a lot of stuff like that.
Do you think we might ever see an album from you?
Tony Danza: Well, I do have one out there, it is on iTunes. It is called The House I Live In, but you never know what the future holds.
So in closing, Tony, any last words for the kids?
Tony Danza: It is a bit of acting advice that I sort of… When young actors talk to me, they say to me, “Do you got any advice for young actors?” I tell them all the time that number one is perseverance. You’ve got to understand that there is a lot of people trying to do the same thing you are doing and you are going to have days when you get rejected, and so perseverance is big.
But the thing is that I really believe is really important to tell young actors is that when you are out there, so many times you are working with people and they blow you away. They look so accomplished and you say to yourself, “Geez, I couldn’t do what that guy can do.” The thing is, though, he can’t do what you can do, nobody can do what you can do. If you really truly believe that, it takes a lot of pressure off. You have to really believe that, “What I have to offer is of value.” Stick to that and really believe it and it really makes a difference.
I tell them also, you can’t go off to succeed. You can’t go off and act or perform to get another job so somebody will see you. You can’t do that. What you have to do is go up there and do is enjoy the gift you are getting, because everybody wants to be doing what you are doing and yet you are getting to do it. If you go up there to have a good time and you have a good time, usually it all works out.
[Feature Image by Feast of San Gennaro]