Michael Rapaport (Dick Ritchie), Patricia Arquette (Alabama Worley), and Christian Slater (Clarence Worley) in True Romance
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Michael Rapaport’s, “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast” wasn’t the main motivating factor behind Nothing To Prove. I’ve been a fan of “Mike Rap” for years, ever since I saw him play the role of Remy, socially awkward and tragic figure in the film Higher Learning, followed shortly after by his MTV Rock ‘n Jock appearances. From there, I followed his career and came to realize that he was probably one of the most rough, rugged, raw, and REAL celebrities out there. Twitter made that even more clear, and his podcast solidified it for me. When he announced that he would be doing a live screening of True Romance, one of my all-time favorite movies, and to follow it with a live podcast taping, I didn’t even think twice about the six hour drive to go check it out.
The masses met at the Crestwood Theater just outside of Los Angeles and in the shadows of the UCLA campus on April 1st. An eager and hyped crowd wrapped alongside of the building, awaiting the night’s festivities. I Am Rapaport “soft-ass” t-shirts were available for purchase right next to the complementary Red Vines. As you took your seat, you could tell this was going to be a special night, as a who’s who of music and entertainment entered the room and took a seat right near you to enjoy a cult classic. Tim Armstrong from Rancid/Transplants, world-renowned tattoo artists Luke Wessman, Dan Smith, and Lindsey Carmichael, Carah Faye from Shiny Toy Guns and many others filed in and gave out hugs indiscriminately.
Michael Rapaport, along with co-host for the evening Toby Morse, True Romance super-fan, lead singer of my favorite band on the planet H2O, and another inspiration for Nothing To Prove, kicked off the night giving us an idea what to expect and how to behave. The end result; do whatever the fuck you want! During the screening, some people drank, some people yelled at the screen, some people partook in some of that green “Dick Ritchie”. The thing EVERYONE did, was have an amazing time. Even those who had never seen the film before, and there were more than expected there that night, absolutely loved it and the experience. Massive applause rang out as the last lines of the movie blared from the giant screen in the tone of Patricia Arquette’s sultry voice, “You’re so cool. You’re so cool. You’re so cool”.
Toby Morse (left) and Michael Rapaport host the festivities and talk all things True Romance
After a brief intermission, it was time for the “Gringo Mandingo” and the “Fake-ass Clarence Worley” (filling in for 2015 Podcast Co-Host of the Year Gerald Moody) to take the stage and record the world-wide phenomenon known as the, “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast”. Toby, backed up by his son Max on drums, did an excellent job explaining why he loves the film so much and how closely it ties into him and his wife of twenty years, Moon’s, relationship. True love is hard to find, but Clarence and Alabama, as well as Toby and Moon, are prime examples of what it looks like and that it does exist. Michael, who is unabashedly down to earth, took some time to talk about his experience filming the movie and some of the friendships he made on the set that are still strong today. He shared how he originally read for one of the detective roles later landed by Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore, how this was James Gandolfini’s first major role and what he saw from him, as well as being on-set for the now infamous Dennis Hopper/Christopher Walken scene. It was quite interesting to hear these stories first-hand from someone that was there as it happened, and the way Michael tells a story, it did not disappoint.
The second-half of the taping was mainly answering questions from the audience. Some questions pertained to Michael’s experience in acting in general and some in regards to his time on the True Romance set. One person asked about Michael’s memories about Phife Dawg and filming Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest. His answer did not disappoint (except for one older gentleman in the crowd that took issue with him saying that Phife’s death will mean just as much to music as Keith Richard’s when he dies). Another great question was if Michael’s big mouth ever cost him any roles. You have to tune in to the podcast for that one! I have to give a special thanks to Toby Morse for giving me a small shout out when I went up to ask my question. I’m a firm believer in supporting what you believe in, and the least I could do was come out to support two guys that have brought years of joy and entertainment into my life. xXx
Nothing To Prove Podcast host Dom Vitalli with Toby Morse (left) and Michael Rapaport (right)
With a sold out theater, lots of smiling faces, and boatloads of selfies with the hosts from all fans, I would say that the screening was an absolute hit! Everybody left happy and definitely got more than their money’s worth. It was an experience I know I will treasure for a very long time and won’t soon forget. I’ve heard rumblings about them maybe doing something similar for a different film. If that’s the case, I know I will be there, and you should be too. Hopefully G-Moneti (one of Gerald Moody’s nicknames) can make it out next time, as he was definitely missed by this crowd. It should also be noted how hard the behind the scenes guys for the podcast (Miles Davis, Mr. Morris, Jordan Winter and others) worked that night. Look out for that recorded episode to drop sometime in April. The “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast” is available on Play.It, iTunes, and everywhere else you can find your favorite podcasts. While you’re at it, check out the Nothing To Prove Podcast, dropping new episodes for FREE each and every Monday. We don’t “fact check” either, but we think the “White Arsenio Hall” and the “Black Ed McMahon” would approve, you fuck you!
Follow Dom on Twitter @DomElBomb and hear his commentary on a wide variety of topics on the Nothing To Prove Podcast every Monday.