Joe Mantegna Poster

Quotes (7)

  • [referring to his voice role as mob boss Fat Tony] Nothing interferes with my doing The Simpsons (1989)!
  • My father died just as I became an adult. It's a tough thing because you've kind of known this guy as a child and then, just at the point where you start to understand where he's coming from, he's gone. So now you look back and he almost becomes a mythical person to you.
  • [1991] I'm just grateful to get the work I do.
  • [2008, on The Godfather Part III (1990)] That was quite a year, because I wound up doing that role, and I also worked for Woody Allen on Alice (1990). I was shooting both films almost simultaneously. Literally, I would work on Alice (1990), then fly to Italy to work on Godfather, come back to New York, work on Alice (1990) again. Then Godfather came back to the States and I worked on that again. So that was a real productive year, 1989-1990.
  • (2008, on playing Dean Martin in The Rat Pack (1998)) That might be in my top five characters I've played. I had such admiration for him and respect, and loved the era and that music. When I was offered that, it was similar to Godfather, in that my initial feeling was almost intimidation, like "Oh my God, can I really do this? He's such an icon. How do you do this and get anybody to buy it?". But HBO was great, I think they did it right. They spent enough money to do it right. Had a wonderful screenplay, and it was good people involved. Ray Liotta, Don Cheadle, Bill Petersen, everybody just down the line. Well-directed. The cinematographer was the same cinematographer who Christian Bale recently went fuckin' nuclear on. We didn't have that problem-he's a pretty good cinematographer, actually. He was great. In fact, if you look at The Rat Pack,the look of the film was a very big part of the film. It was beautifully shot. But anyway, I loved doing it, and I became dear friends with a few members of Dean Martin's family, his daughter Dina in particular, who actually has been wanting me to help her get a book she wrote of her life story into a film. So it was my introduction into that world, and it was great, we had great times on it. To this day, Ray and Cheadle and I are friends, especially Don, 'cause I see him more often. But it was just fantastic to play those guys, and the fact that Don won the Golden Globe and I was nominated with him-we both were nominated for Emmys as well-it was a satisfaction. For me, it was a payoff for all the work I did. Because I did do a lot of research, and I did work really hard to play Dean Martin, 'cause I didn't want to do him half-assed. I knew I couldn't exactly look like him, or sound like him, or sing like him, there's just no way. But I thought if I could just get the essence, if I could just for a couple hours have the people watching this film forget that it's an actor, you know what I mean, which can happen in any biographical film... At least I get enough comments about it that I feel, "Okay, I have nothing to be embarrassed about.".
  • (2008, on The Simpsons (1989)) I've been doing Fat Tony for 17 years now. I just did a little thing for it last week, for the DVD. I think that one might've come partly due to Godfather III, which had opened just prior to my getting that role. That's my guess, I never really asked them, 'cause I thought it was just gonna be a one-shot deal. I read the script, thought it was funny, I loved The Simpsons, I think they were in their third season at the time. What I'd seen of it, I thought, "This is real smart, this is clever. I like what they're doing, so I'd love doing this." So I went in and did it, but who knew that Fat Tony was gonna resonate in the hearts and minds of the Simpsonites out there? Apparently they'd gotten enough feedback as to how the character was liked that they wrote it in again and again, and I was kind of a recurring guy that they'd tap into at least a couple episodes a season. And I was more than happy to do it, because it's my longest-running character, and one that I think the quality of it has been maintained. I like it as much today as I did 17 years ago.
  • Without Memorial Day, there is no other holiday.