Joe Pantoliano

  1. William Sanderson, Blade Runner, 1981.     UK wiz Ridley Scott had 25 potential Deckards – but only Pantoliano or Dean Stockwell for the disease-riden genius JF Sebastian, sympathetic to the cause of the replicants or “skin jobs.”

  2. Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988.      Surprisingly, the murder mystery where the chief suspect is a cartoon character was based on the never made Cloverleaf, Robert Towne’s third Jake Gittes script. For Chinatown, read Toontown. So who should be Gittes, er, shamus Eddie Valiant? Well, why not Gittes, himself – aka Jack Nicholson? So who should be Gittes, er, shamus Eddie Valiant. Well, why not Gittes, himself – Jack Nicholson? No, producer Steven Spielberg could see no further than Harrison Ford. Too expensive! OK, Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone? Director Robert Zemeckis considered Charles Grodin,Aussiue comic Don Lane, Eddie Murphy (soon a toon in the Shrek movies), Joe Pantoliano – and auditioned voice artist Peter Renaday. And they could never contact the hideaway Bill Murray… When he read that in a paper, Murray screamed out loud- he would have loved being Valiant. Not that much fun, reported Hoskins. “I had to hallucinate to do it,” he told Danish TV. After working with green screens for six months, 16 hours a day, he lost control.  “I had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me.”

  3. Joe Pesci, Lethal Weapon 2, 1989.  As if Mel Gibson and Danny Glover weren’t already side-kicking each other, director Richard Donnert  ordered an extra sidekick. Enter: a hyperkinetic and peroxided ex-Mob accountant called Leo Getz. Fully equipped with his own catchphrase: “Okay-okay-okay!”  (Akin to Christian Clavier’s “Ookay, Oookay!” in the French Visiteurs comedies). Unfortunately, the more annoying than engaging Pesci was chosen from Danny De Vito, M*A*S*H’s Radar Gary Burghoff and Pantoliano  (shooting The Last of the Finest)… and polluted the next three chapters, getting $1m for #4 in 1998.
  4. Denis Leary, Memento, 1999.  “I’m positive I’m not this guy’s first choice, so just FYI, we won’t get the offer.” Pantoliano calling his agent after meeting auteur Christopher Nolan about Teddy, who manipulates Guy Pearce when he  can no longer make new memories. When Leary passed, Joey was in. “I remember being interviewed during the press junket and a journalist asking, ‘Did you know what you were getting into with Memento? and Chris Nolan laughingly said; ‘He’s still trying to figure out the plotline for The Matrix!”  
  5. Mark Boone Jr, Batman Begins, 2004.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  5