My Breakfast* with Enrico Colantoni

Interview Transcript - May 28th 2006

All photos by Seth Williams

Me (Teresa) and Enrico Colantoni

[As I start my nifty new digital recorder]
Rico: So, you just download that onto your computer?
Teresa: Yes, you just take it out and it’s got a little USB thing down here and you just put it right in.
Rico: Right, right, right.
Waitress: Anymore milk for you?
Rico: Oh, nothing, thanks, yeah. And then you guys are old friends?
Seth: Yes. [Seth is my photographer, super friend and sometimes chauffeur.]
Rico: From Arizona.
Seth: From Arizona. It goes back to our Doctor Who days.
Rico: Oh, nice.
Seth: Yeah. So since ’85.
Rico: These are the original Doctor Whos, right?
Seth: Yes. Exactly. We’ve been following the new series as well, but, you know, we’re big fans of the old series.
Rico: Right on, because not a lot of Americans know about the old series. We used to get it all the time up in Canada.
Seth: Right. It’s such a small group of people. You either love it or you hate it.
Rico: Yeah, as a kid watching it, it was a little intense for me.
Seth: Really?
Rico: Because I just wanted to watch the hockey, you know. And with only three channels, flipping back and forth over three channels and Doctor Who keeps showing up.
Seth: Aw, might as well watch this, huh?
Rico: Yeah. You tolerated it, you know. Yeah remember those days. What year were you born?
Seth: I was born in ’64.
Rico: Oh, nice. Oh, look at all that.
[He spies my long list of questions.]
Teresa: Yes, those are all the questions I have for you.
Rico: Oh, nice.
Seth: It looks like a menu.
Rico: Now tell me again what you do during the day?
Teresa: I work for The Nature Conservancy here in San Francisco.
Rico: Right on. There’s a lot to conserve here.
Teresa: Yes, there is.
Rico: Wow, beautiful parks and gardens and things.
Teresa: Mmm hmm.
Rico: I’m supposed to be doing this film at the end of June that is filming just north of here, but I’m not sure if they said it’s twenty minutes or two hours north of here.
Teresa: That covers a lot of ground.
Rico: Cause what’s two hours north of here? Just like the whole Napa Valley?
Teresa: Yes. [to Seth] How far can you get in two hours going up?
Seth: Yeah, it’s about Napa Valley, San Jose possibly, Monterey Bay if you squeeze an extra hour out of it.
Teresa: Yes, but that’s south.
Seth: Yes, that’s south. So Napa Valley is about it, depending on the traffic. On the weekends when we go it’s less than two hours.
Teresa: It’s beautiful up there and when we get out of the city that’s where we go.
Rico: I can’t wait. They say it’s just God’s country.
Seth: This whole coast is beautiful up here.
Rico: Well, yeah, anything north of Cambria is. I like that. The rest is just L.A. and San Diego. San Diego is nice. I like that.
Seth: I went to school down there.
Rico: Where?
Seth: Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad.
Rico: Oh, wow. So not only were you an army brat, but you went into the military?
Seth: Actually, no. I went into military school, but I never pursued a military career. Somewhere I jumped.
Rico: Isn’t the whole idea behind the military school to sort of….
Seth: Gear you towards it? Yes.
Rico: But you didn’t? You just got the education.
Seth: Yes, that was the big thing I got out of it was the education and the discipline side of it.
Rico: Oh, sure. So they still treated you like a military guy.
Seth: Yes, you got up in the morning and you made your bed. You made sure your room was perfect. You all went to breakfast together and classes together, lunch together.
Rico: Oh, wow. And that was four years? That was high school or college?
Seth: Five years. Cause it was tenth, eleventh, twelfth grade and then two years of college.
Rico: Oh, amazing.
Seth: People always ask me, “Did you do something wrong?” and no, I actually wanted to go. I was just one of those odd kids that really enjoyed it.
Rico: Was that something that you just saw in your father and said I’ve got to do that.
Seth: Yes, I think so, because he was a military man and that was like the path I wanted to go.
Teresa: But you’re all over that now.
Seth: Yeah, exactly. Now I’m on my rebellious side with the long hair, hippie.
Rico: Aww, living in San Francisco.
Seth: Exactly.
Rico: That’s awesome. What do you got for me, Teresa?
Teresa: I thought we’d start with some Monk questions.
Rico: Oh. Monk. Okay.
Teresa: Okay, how did you get the role? Did Tony Shalhoub ask you?
Rico: You know what? It was interesting because…. Remember the John Turturro character? His brother, his sort of reclusive brother?
Teresa: Right.
Rico: Right, I never saw the episode, but I met them all. I mean I knew Tony from Galaxy Quest, but I met them on that role. They were considering me for that role.
Seth: Oh, wow.
Rico: So when I went in and sort of approached it from a realistic kind of way, it was like a really wonderful audition with me and Tony. So I think that sort of sparked something in them, because then the next season they just said, “Do you want to do this?” I hadn’t really watched the show, so I didn’t realize how poignant that character was, because apparently it was a glimpse into Monk’s past before the trauma.
Teresa: Right. We hadn’t really gotten much of that before in his relationships.
Rico: So that was pretty cool, but that’s how it happened, sort of like a two step process.
Teresa: So have you watched the show much since?
Rico: Uh, uh.
Teresa: No?
Rico: No, I don’t watch much TV.
Teresa: No time?
Rico: It’s a choice I make, because between the work and my kids and hockey season….
Seth: Something’s got to give?
Rico: Uh, huh. You know, plus all the good shows are on at like nine, ten o’clock. And I like to be in bed by then. And you know if I try to watch a show that’s intense like Sopranos are something like that I tend to carry it with me so I don’t sleep and if I don’t sleep I’m an asshole. You know?
Teresa: Did you get enough sleep last night?
Rico: I did, but you know I was writing until midnight and I didn’t realize it was so late, but I did get eight hours.
Teresa: That’s good.
Rico: Yeah, I won’t be an asshole anymore. Even if I feel like an asshole, I won’t be.
Seth: How many kids do you have?
Rico: Two. Yeah he’s…. the boy [Quintin] is eight and the girl [Madelyn] is five.
Teresa: Is the girl easier to raise?
Rico: You know what, psychologically easier, but not in the moment easier. Because I sort of I look at him and I realize that he is more of an extension of myself and I feel the weight and the responsibility of like having to be a good example for him. And not that I don’t with her, but I know she has her mother to teach her all the things that I know nothing about like earrings and make-up and nails and fashion and shopping. Aaaaah, you know what I mean? So my time with her is just sort of spent just sort of hugging and kissing.
Seth: Being Daddy.
Rico: Yeah, as opposed to my son. I have to be Father.
Seth: Right.
Rico: Saying, “You know what, dude, this is how we do things. This is, you know, this is how we deal with things.” With her it’s like, oh mom will worry about that. But she is much more temperamental and just, well, she’s a girl.
Teresa: Would you say she’s more like you?
Rico: Yeah, I think so. I think when push comes to shove she is much more articulate and dramatic and expressive than he is. So maybe, you know, who knows?
Teresa: Okay… getting back to Monk, do you have any interesting stories about what went on on the set?
Rico: Ummm.
Teresa: Was it all pretty smooth?
Rico: You know what? The only problem that I remember was those damn dogs. You remember they had dogs for the security. They were the nicest Dobermans. So we spent more time trying to film it in a way that could maximize their aggressiveness. And me going like aarrrgh! and the dog is like err err err aarh. You know, and [the director]’s just like cut. And you know they had this bark for like two seconds and all the sudden he’s like…. [makes licking noises] They’re lickin’ you.
Seth: I think I saw a couple of scenes where you don’t quite catch the aggressive side of the dog.
Rico: No, it’s sort of like [doing pretty impressive Scooby Doo imitation] Errrr? Errrr?
Teresa: And when the dog’s running through the store and he slips and you just feel sorry for the poor dog.
Rico: Right, poor dog. What a dummy. And I think the cut they actually used was me doing this. Uhhhh uhh huhh uhh. The dog’s like okay.
Teresa: Awww.
Rico: And the fact that I got to hang out with Tony again. And just sort of have this relationship with him in a character way, plus the past that I’ve had with him.
Seth: That’s something I really saw translate across the screen, that you two knew each other.
Rico: Yeah. Nice.
Seth: That there was a betrayal in the friendship and it really came across really well.
Rico: The coolest thing about Tony is that he’s an old world guy and I think we share that. We have that immigrant sort of mentality in a way.
Teresa: Well, that’s right. I guess both your fathers are from the old country.
Rico: Right, so we have that in common.
Teresa: You also both went to Yale.
Rico: Yeah, and I knew of him before. One of the greatest theatrical experiences I ever had was watching Rameau’s Nephew at CSC in New York and I was like 23 or 24. And Shalhoub was doing it. And he was like the greatest actor and it was the greatest performance I’d ever seen up until that point. And I’m reading his bio and I go, “Oh shit, Yale School of Drama. I wanna go there.” So it was a combination of watching his performance and seeing David Alan Grier [also a Yale Graduate] in an audition room. The two of them together sort of made me go, “These are the greatest actors I’ve ever seen. I want to go to Yale.” So I owe them a lot, especially Tony, because if you’d ever seen Rameau’s Nephew, he was like he was so fucking good.
Teresa: What was it about his performance that you think made it really stand out?
Rico: Well if you know the play, it’s a two hander and it’s about I guess Rameau, some painter or something during the French past, I don’t know the history of Rameau at all, but his nephew was a scoundrel and a cheat and a vagabond and a drunk and a whore and when an actor gets to play all those things…. he was having the best time. And his voice and his vocal range were just so beautiful because it was like a whole… I remember this coughing fit that he had that lasted ten minutes and just how it built and what he did and it would stop and it would go back again. His physicality was just divine.


Teresa: You and he really seemed to have a great rapport in your scenes.
Rico: I think so, yeah.
Teresa: Do you attribute that to having the past together?
Rico: Well, yeah. That’s valuable homework. You know somebody and you already respect them and admire them for what they do and what was the characters name again?
Teresa: Joe Christie.
Rico: Yes, you know the admiration he had for Monk and his ability you know he was like a true gumshoe. He was like a true investigator.
Teresa: Have they asked you to reprise the role?
Rico: No. I wonder why? Maybe they know I’m busy.
Teresa: You do have a series of your own.
Rico: But it’s sort of remarkable how so many people have seen that and they remember that episode. There are a lot of fans out there, aren’t there?
Teresa: There are.
Rico: Incredible.
Teresa: I think I told you that’s one of the most popular guest characters they’ve ever had.
Rico: Incredible. You know I don’t get out much. There’s a lot of traveling a lot of time in the car, going to San Diego and stuff, so I’m always amazed when people say, “Hey, I saw you on blah blah blah.” I go, “Oh yeah that’s right, that’s what I do. Good to see you.” I think it’s a good place to come from.
Teresa: Is that pretty much the only feedback you get for television roles. I mean for a play, of course, you have the audience right there.
Rico: Yeah, I think that’s the best that could happen, because when people say, “I appreciate what you do.” That’s the greatest. So let’s get back to Monk. [He leans over to look at my questions.]
Teresa: I think we’ve covered that.
Rico: [Reading] Would you consider returning…? Yes, I would consider it. Oh yeah, that would be great.
Teresa: Okay. Where were your scenes films? We’re curious because we like to take pictures of where scenes are filmed.
Rico: They have there own lot, right. What was that? [Ren-Mar Studios] I don’t know, but I know we ended up on the Universal lot, cause that whole diner thing with the old partner was in a diner. That’s one of those old streamliner things. And then we were in Simi Valley, which I’ve never been to Simi Valley the whole…. It’s funny all those years in L.A. and I’ve never been to Simi Valley.
Teresa: Simi Valley: that’s where the shopping center was. That didn’t seem very San Francisco to me.
Rico: Yeah, I know. I didn’t think so.
Seth: It’s funny to see a shopping center in San Francisco.
Rico: Right. Because that’s insane, right?
Seth: You may get six cars in a parking lot here and that’s about it.
Rico: There’s got to be a…. I mean didn’t it take place in some suburban part of it?
Seth: Yes, probably. That’s the way I think of it.
Rico: Yeah, how does that feel when you know it’s clearly not….?
Teresa: Oh, that’s okay with me.
Seth: You kind of let your imagination go with it. You know I tend to kind of try and fill in the gaps.
Rico: That’s what I love about the sitcom. They just have the stock footage in the beginning and then they’re in some stage somewhere.
Teresa: Everybody knows it’s a stage and that’s something they agree to.
Rico: Yeah, but we had that stock footage. When I did Hope and Gloria we had that stock footage of Pittsburgh. It’s like, Pittsburgh? Awesome.
Teresa: Weren’t you glad you didn’t have to film there?
Rico: Well, you know when we first did that pilot it was set in Philadelphia, so you know I sort of had an idea of a Philadelphia regionalism and then they day we shot we go, we’re in Pittsburgh now. I can’t just drop a regionalism. So I resorted to me.
Teresa: That worked.
Rico: Yeah.
Teresa: Okay, what was the experience like working on Galaxy Quest?
Rico: What was that experience like? Perfect. From beginning to end. Because It’s not often where actors are allowed to do their work. Sometimes directors have such a strong vision of what they want.
Teresa: Is that more true in films?
Rico: Yeah, I think so, because I think they’re scared. They really just want to hold on to that vision. They’re afraid to sort of let go and let all the elements come together. And I attribute the whole experience to [Monk Pilot Director] Dean Parisot who was the director who had this very laid back attitude. He was brought on it late. I think it was… what’s his name? [Barry Sonnenfeld] He had just done Wild Wild West.
Seth: Uh Kevin Kline?
Teresa: No, the director on that.
Seth: Oh, the director. No, shoot. And I’m such a fan of the old television series.
Rico: Harold Ramis, maybe? Somebody like that was supposed to direct it. He wanted Klein. The studio wanted Tim Allen. He said “No, I’m tired. I don’t want to do it anymore.” So right in the middle of it they brought Dean in. He sort of started behind the eight ball. Well, maybe that’s how he works all the time. He’s just sort of like, “Whatever you guys want to bring,” which allowed me to just be goofy and bring that guy in. He said, “Great!” Actors usually don’t have that luxury.
Seth: The nice thing about Galaxy Quest is the parody was spot on.
Rico: The writing was great, you know what I mean? It was such a good story. So everybody was having fun. There was not one ounce of drama going on. It was perfect.
Teresa: There was nobody who thought they were bigger than everybody else? It had a very big name cast.
Rico: Nooooo. And Tim couldn’t do it. You know, I’m sure he was capable of being the Prima Donna, but Sigourney [Weaver] was there you know to keep him in check and Alan [Rickman] was there to just remind everybody that there was a real fuckin’ actor on stage. So everybody was like hmmm. Even Tim had a wonderful sense of humor about it. He goes, “Huh, I guess this isn’t a Tim Allen movie is it?” I go, “I don’t think it is, Tim.” And he realized that it wasn’t his movie. He had to interview. He had to meet the people and then in the middle of the interview he realized, “Oh, this isn’t mine, is it?” He realized it and that just brought him right down. He was actually a joy. He had such humility about it and I think to date it’s still his favorite thing that he’s done.
Teresa: I think it’s the best thing he’s ever done.
Seth: It’s funny because the thing about the character, you know, he’s the Captain he’s supposed to fix everything. He’s perfect.
Rico: Yeah, right.
Seth: That’s what he brought across in the character. “It’s my show!”
Rico: Right, right, but not really though. Yeah, it was all just great. And Chill was… I just remember him as Chill.
Teresa: That’s Daryl “Chill” Mitchell. Yeah, he had an accident, right?
Rico: Yeah he’s like…
Teresa: He’s paralyzed from the waist down.
Seth: When did this happen?
Rico: Years ago. 7 or 8 years ago.
Teresa: This was just a year after Galaxy Quest.
Rico: Yeah, not much longer, yeah.
Teresa: And he continues to act.
Rico: He sure does. And why shouldn’t he? Yeah. So what else you got?
Teresa: All right, so, Veronica Mars, which is well it’s kind of not my second favorite series. It shares the top spot with Monk.
Rico: Oh, right.
Teresa: As the star of the series, well co-star, do you get any more control? Do you get input into the character?
Rico: Um, not really. Rob [Thomas] is pretty clear-minded. He knows what he wants. You know he’s already broken half the series, half the season for next season, you know. What he is open to is problems that might come up. Just a difficulty understanding the plot line or a history point or…. but he won’t tell you who the killer is. He won’t tell you how much you know. He just sort of…. it’s all on a need to know basis.
Teresa: So when did you find out who the killer was this season?
Rico: Oh, when I watched it.
Teresa: You didn’t know until then?
Rico: I read that last episode, got to the part where I died in a plane crash and I went I’m not going to read anymore, but then they said keep reading.
Teresa [to Seth] I don’t want to spoil it for you, but he doesn’t die.
Seth: Oh, right.
Teresa: But I won’t tell you who the killer is in case I can get you to watch it.
Rico: I was so surprised by it. It was very cool. I can’t talk about it if you’re going to see it.
Seth: Oh no, go ahead, guys. It doesn’t mean…. Sometimes the information doesn’t always reach the end point when I start watching it anyways.
Rico: Right. You’re on auto-pilot too.
Teresa: No, for some reason with Monk, I get spoilers all the time and find out what’s going to happen before it happens.
Rico: Oh, you do? Oh, nice.
Teresa: With Veronica Mars I try to avoid it entirely, because it really would kind of spoil the show for me.
Seth: It’s like Twin Peaks?
Rico: Yeah, the whole season is around a big mystery.
Seth: Okay.
Rico: But what they’re going to do next year is have two or three big mysteries throughout the year. So they’ll be like a six or seven story plot line, a four story a four episode plot, instead of this…. in the past it’s been one big mystery.
Teresa: With the separate mysteries for each episode, right?
Rico: Yeah.
Teresa: Why do you think they decided to go that direction?
Rico: Just to spice it up. Make it a little more interesting. I think it’s hard to write 22 episodes having to keep including bits of information.
Teresa: And not just the 22 episodes, but he brought in the first season mysteries again.
Rico: All that stuff too.
Teresa: That was brilliant.
Rico: And that’s where you sort of look at Rob and say, “You know what you know better than me.” Because a lot of those things, they happen in the moment. You know, “Harry Hamlin we need you back for an episode.” Well, Harry says he doesn’t want to come back for anything less than four episodes. “Okay, well then we’re going to have to deal with that. We’re going to have to find another story line, it wasn’t what we were intending, but what a great idea.” You know so you’re working, you’re open to everybody and everybody’s collaborative input. That’s what makes him great.
Teresa: [Harry Hamlin’s] character’s resolution was great for the audience, too.
Rico: Wasn’t it so satisfying?
Teresa: Yes.
Rico: He was so smarmy. What a brilliant man though. I just love listening to him talk: a smart, smart man. Yeah, but when he died I didn’t lose any sleep. You can even tell in Keith’s reaction when he asked Veronica so how’s Logan taking the, you know, whatever and he’s sort of like, thank god, another one bites the dust.
Teresa: I think Logan was as relieved as everybody else.
Rico: Yeah, but Logan, oh boy, talk about the weight of the world.
Teresa: Do you want you’re TV daughter dating him?
Rico: You know what, he’s loyal and true.


Teresa: Okay. So how’s it feel to be surrounded by all the younger actors?
Rico: It’s really weird.
Teresa: Not use to that are you?
Rico: No, not at all. Because I have admiration for them, you know, their talent. So when they sort of look up to you and say, “What do you think of this?” I go, “Uh, I don’t know. I’m a kid too. I don’t know.” And then I have to rewind and go, oh yeah, I’m papa. I’m a young papa, but I’m still papa compared to them. I’m like what George Segal was to me.
Teresa: See, that’s what I had down here. Do you feel like George Segal now?
Rico: In a lot of ways, but George has got the greatest stories in the world. George’s stories include, you know, everybody. So I’m like “George what was it like hanging out with you know Larry Olivier?” [He does a George Segal impression, something not too many people have in their repertoire.] “It was all right. It was quiet.” Wow! Good old George.
Teresa: He’s kind of youthful himself for his age, isn’t he?
Rico: Yes. And we’re born under the same astrological sign, so I hope and pray that I am as youthful and as happy as he is at his age.
Teresa: Do you think that at that age you’ll still be doing television? Do you think there will be television?
Rico: Yeah, no absolutely. It will be on little things like that, but TV’s great. TV is fun and it satisfies my blue collar work ethic. I get to go to work everyday. You know, movies would be great, but then there would be way to much time off in between.
Teresa: And you’d get nervous.
Rico: I’d get nervous. Even if the money’s in the bank it’s just…. I don’t know how anybody can just do one picture. Yeah, you make like 90 million dollars in that one picture, you don’t need to work, but my mind would rot. I need to go and dig my ditches. I need to go bang a nail every day. I need that and TV gives it to you. And I’ve been really fortunate because it’s been one show after another show after another show. Even Hope and Gloria it was like 35 episodes it was like a year and a half of steady work. And now we’re going for three years on this thing.
Teresa: Are you surprised?
Rico: No. No, because we were we are truly the right show at the right time for the UPN and the CW. If we were on CBS or NBC we wouldn’t have lasted a season. We just wouldn’t have.
Teresa: You think you’re sort of a prestige project for them.
Rico: Yeaahhh. Oh yeah. That’s why that’s why we have that clout, the press and the loyal, loyal fan base, even if it’s a tight 4 Million.
[Try a loose 3 million.]
Teresa: But they’re there.
Rico: They are they’re so there.
Teresa: And organized.
Rico: And organized and that whole banner thing. That’s enough to make Dawn Ostroff go, I love this show as much as you guys do, she’s thinking, so yeah that’s all I need. You know, ten million people aren’t watching us, but you’ve got to weigh into account that it’s not on a big time network. Now the CW is going to cover like 97% of the market that UPN didn’t so….
Teresa: How much do you think UPN was, maybe 70?
Rico: Maybe 70% yeah.
Teresa: So that doesn’t give you a chance really to climb up in the ratings?
Rico: No, no, it doesn’t. Even in San Diego you couldn’t get UPN unless you had a certain cable subscription. So, that’s why I never watched it, because I couldn’t get it in my hotel room where I was staying. It’s like, “Look they don’t have UPN. What’s that about?”
Seth: They did that with the SCI FI Channel for a long time we couldn’t get that when they first started out.
Rico: Yeah, couldn’t get it.
Teresa: Yes, but UPN’s supposed to be a network.
Seth: Yeah exactly.
Teresa: Well, not anymore. So are they going to continue to film down in San Diego?
Rico: Oh, yeah. That’s the only chink in the armor, I think. If they could film in L.A. it would just be so wonderful. Everybody would be so happy.
Teresa: Well, now would be the perfect time to move up, because Veronica’s going to college now. You could change all the sets.
Rico: I understand, but it’s just, it’s still not a runaway hit.
Teresa: And it’s cheaper to do it in San Diego?
Rico: So much cheaper. They save I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars every episode just by filming it in San Diego. Like half a million dollars an episode they save.
Teresa: Wow. What do you think the CW will expect from Veronica Mars next year?
Rico: You know what? I think they’ll expect everything they’ve been expecting. Hold on to Gilmore Girls, because that’s really their flagship show, and if we do as well as them maybe even build on them, you know, especially in that key demo which they love so much that 18 to 34.
Teresa: They do get that demo though?
Rico: They sure do. Yeah.
Seth: [taking pictures] Can I get the thumbs up again?
Teresa: It’s a slow camera.
Seth: It is. This thing is like the old 1800s where you’ve got to do the hold, freeze 30 seconds, don’t move, you know.
Rico: [imitating sound of old-fashioned flash blub] Schooom! Big plates.
Seth: Yeah.
Teresa: You mentioned before that you were directing a play. Is directing something you enjoy doing.
Rico: It is now, but not on television.
Teresa: Different?
Rico: Those guys are whips. They’re right brain oriented. You know what I mean? They’re just like [machine gun sound] efficient and organized and I’m like “What do you think of this?” and “How about that?” “Yeah, that’s good. We could do that.” And all the sudden there’d be a producer over my shoulder [tapping his watch] “You’re four set ups behind.” You know, it’s like I would just…. I would lose it. But theater or a film when there’s time to nurture and watch things organically evolve, it’s great. It’s great.
Teresa: So is this the first play you’ve directed?
Rico: Yeah, my first play outside of an acting class.
Teresa: What’s it called?
Rico: Well, the theater company is the Echo Theater Company and every year they do a series of one acts and we commission playwrights that we’re quite fond of to write new one act plays. This year the theme was an outdoor park or a back yard. So we got eight playwrights who wrote variations on that theme. Mine was a seven minute piece called Hartshorne, which is about two extremely conservative teenagers who are looking to break out of their restrictions and they become Satanists. So they decapitate their dog. And it starts right at the end of the decapitation where they’re going: “What did we just do?” “What happened?” “This is for Satan.” “Oh right, okay.” Because, you know, it’s very funny and very dark and it’s exactly what I like.
Teresa: Funny and dark?
Rico: Dark and funny. Dark and funny. Dark and funny.
Teresa: Veronica Mars has a little of that too.
Rico: It really does, right? Especially that pilot, I really liked that pilot. In the original pilot it was so much darker and seedier. I mean the opening shot in the original pilot, before we changed it, was her taking pictures of a john in a motel room. And then the episode they showed she was like in school in a classroom, but that opening shot in the beginning it was like, ooh my God, Then where they live is just so clearly on the other side of the tracks, where the pool was just dirty and it was just like a small apartment and that’s where they lived. Les Moonves says, “We can’t have that. We’ve gotta feel like she’s taken care of. Like her father can take care of her.” Suddenly we went up the social ladder a little bit.
Teresa: There are still lines in the earlier scripts that give the impression that they’re living in a little more poverty than it appears they are.
Rico: Yeah, yeah. Because the exteriors of that apartment building is in Pacific Beach and it’s beautiful and very expensive. It’s right on the water.
Teresa: There aren’t a lot of really cheap apartments in that area.
Rico: No, there aren’t.
Teresa: Do you think having been the TV father of a TV teenager that you’re going to be better at being a father to your own daughter when she gets to be that age?
Rico: Yes, because I feel that who I am I sort of lend to Keith. I don’t think he was necessarily written that way, but I love Kristin and I respect her and I love my kids and I want to respect them. So it does give me an opportunity to sort of see how it feels. You look at a daughter and know that she’s like doing things you don’t really want to know and you give her enough rope to hang herself and you know that you’re going to be there when she needs you. That’s the only thing I can hope for as a dad that when they are in trouble that they’ll come to me. Not to stop them from getting into trouble, I just don’t want them to hide it. I want them to be able to come to me when they fuck up.
Seth: Not to fear to come to you.
Rico: Not to fear to come to me, right. That would be the greatest achievement I could hope for as a dad.


Teresa: I think some of the best scenes in Veronica Mars are the ones when he has those discussions with her.
Rico: Right, I love those scenes. When I get to work with her it’s usually in a chunk it’s like a whole day, because we do all the interiors at the Mars apartment and the Mars investigation stuff all in one day. It’s great, it’s great. It’s like home. And then there are those odd days when we’re on location and I’m working with somebody that I’ve never met and it’s like uhhhhh.
Teresa: It’s not as easy cold like that.
Rico: Not as easy and it’s cold and you gotta like you know jump out of window and stuff.
Teresa: They made you do that yourself? Didn’t they have a stunt guy for that?
Rico: Oh, for sure. It was like, “Cut!” “Oh, thank God. Doo Doo Doo,” coat over my shoulders. “All right, action!” [Imitates breaking glass.] “Great.” [Claps.] “Good job, Rico. I love it when they pat me on the back.”
Teresa: After the stunt guy’s done the work.
Rico: “Thanks, thanks. Good job, Rico.” “Shut up.” Rod, the guy who plays Liam Fitzpatrick…. I actually saw the one episode where he was about to beat the shit out of Veronica. Remember that one?
Teresa: Yes.
Rico: And I thought, who is that guy? He’s so intense and so mean. Oh fuck. And then when I realized I had to fight him I go, “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?” And I’m in the dressing room and I see him and I go, “Uh oh.” And he looks at me and he goes, “Do you remember me?” I go, “I don’t know.” “I’m Robbie from New York” “Robbie? That skinny little fuck back in New York.” He goes, “Yeah, I bulked up a little bit.” But it turns out I’ve known him way back in New York. We used to hang out all the time in New York and what a joy it is to have that connection with somebody that you’re supposed to hate. I’m not one of those actors who needs to hate somebody, you know, to hate them. I need to really feel safe with them. I really need to trust them and then we can we can get up and say, “Hey thanks, bro. Thanks for holding me up. Thanks for, you know, making eye contact with me. Thanks for keeping it safe.” Thank God, cause he…. That’s intense when you’ve got to fight somebody.
Teresa: I’m sure it made it easier for him to do that, too.
Rico: Yeah, but he could do that anyway. He’s that kind of actor. He’s all [panting]: “Arrr I hate you.” And I’m laughing. “Action! Cut!” It’s just so funny, because as a kid I would embrace that whole method thing, you know, bang my head up against the wall. And thank God for Yale it was like, “You mean I don’t have to that anymore, Earl?” [He imitates Earle] “No, no. Just act.” My teacher at the time Earle Gister had just lost his voice box to cancer so when I met him he talked like [imitates voice box] and for some reason I thought that would make him deaf. So I kept talking louder, “Hey, Earle!” “Not Deaf.” It took me awhile to adjust. You ever talk to somebody with a voice box?
Seth: I used to work at Radio Shack and we had a customer like that asking for parts and that’s so grueling.
Rico: That was tough, right? You really have to hear it a lot to know that they’re being articulate.
Seth: Yes.
Rico: But that initial shock of what, what did he say? Alright, keep going.
Teresa: All right do have any other projects?
Rico: Well, this one movie Joaquin, Joaquin Sedillo [] who’s the Director of Photography on Veronica Mars, he and his partner just wrote this movie. And he’s going to film it and his partners going to direct it and this is a movie I’m going to do this summer with Steven Weber [] and another person, I don’t know his name. That’s coming up in June. And then I go back to work in July and I just finished directing a play. And I’ve been writing a lot.
Teresa: What are you writing?
Rico: I’m writing something that started off as a novel, ended up being a play and is now a screenplay, because my intention was to write a screenplay, but I’d never written a screenplay before, so I just sort of wrote, because I didn’t… you remember The Artist’s Way. You know that book? It’s a wonderful book.
Seth: Julia Cameron?
Rico: Yeah, so you know, I do my morning pages. And I go, this is so much fun. That’s what I need I’m just going to write what I want to write, have a theme, and just get on my computer and write 190 pages and then just look back and see what the fuck I wrote. And I go, wow, this is what I wrote. It was all on a theme of Love, but of course it was dark….
Teresa: And funny?
Rico: And funny and really, really quirky. But it was a novel. It was dialogue. It was 170 pages of dialogue and description, but it was a novel. Everybody who read it said, “Oh, this is like impossible to film.” And I go, “What do mean. I can see it in my head. Tight shot here, you know, you zoom in there. What’s the problem?” They’re like, “Dude somebody’s got to read it and understand what the fuck you’re talking about.” I go, “Oh, all right.” So I went back and then it was like a play because it was just like all these ideas and things and it’s like uhh uhhh [mimes offering to reader and does Scooby imitation.] And it’s like, “No, dude, simplify. One story not twelve different stories coming together.” “But Dude, how do I do that. That’s such a great story.” He goes, “That’s another story.” I go, “Oh all right.” So finally I went back to Vancouver this weekend with all these notes from all these people who have written screenplays and I go, “Well this is what we’ve gotta do.” So I think I’ve finally got something about, of course, it’s about an Italian man in Toronto: a young Italian boy trying to you know break loose, escape from familiar….
Teresa: Just a little autobiographical?
Rico: You know what it’s so autobiographical that I had to mess with it. I had to make shit up, because I had to go, I can’t fuckin just right about…. Because I just left. I got my letter of acceptance into the Acting Academy and I just went, “See you later.” It wasn’t so hard for me. So I had to make it difficult for this guy and it’s really just fucked up, like keeps him there. It’s like whoa, but I won’t bother you with that, but I am. And I’m learning how….
Teresa: But it will be a film, right?
Rico: It will be a film and I’m learning that because I’m sort of having a mid-life crisis….
Teresa: But you’re not there yet, are you?
Rico: I am there. Oh, I’m so there. Because what happened was I spent all my life thinking I want to be an actor. I want to be an actor. I’m going to go to school to be an actor. I’m going to study to be an actor. I’m going to be the best actor I can be. And I never expected that it would just…. I mean in hindsight you realize, oh shit, it kind of happened quickly. Because my twenties were in New York and I just wanted to learn. I went to school. I wanted to study and the minute I was 30 work started happening and I go, “Oh, that’s it. I’ve got the brass ring. Now what do I do?” So all these TV Shows come and I go, “TVs pretty good, but it’s not it’s not what I really really want to do now.” And I was bored and miserable and I hated Just Shoot Me. Not the people, but I was just so miserable by the end, because it was just 38 hours of just sort of waiting around. You got your one scene. You go, okay and then you gotta go. So in the middle of all the years of Just Shoot Me, I would make myself do like plays: MacBeth and Uncle Vanya. I needed to do something that was, you know, larger than myself and with Veronica Mars there’s absolutely no time to do a play so I go, “I gotta do something” So I just started and I go, “Oooh, what a wonderful life project to just watch this thing come to fruition.”
Teresa: Even when you’re working on Veronica Mars you have a lot of downtime, right?
Rico: So much downtime, but not enough….
Teresa: You have to be there.
Rico: You have to be there, a lot of waiting, days off in between. I don’t work everyday like Kristen does. So there are chunks, days and sometimes a whole week where I’ve got nothing to do and I can’t do anything else. I needed to find something fast. And reading just kept putting me to sleep. So this is the beginning of a new phase in my life, where I want to create something that comes from me and just watch it become something else.
Seth: There’s a lot of opportunity right there.
Rico: I guess. I’ve never done it before. I feel like I’m in school all over again. Which is so exciting.
Seth: Like a seed watching it grow.
Rico: Yeah. It’s like, how do you do this? And how do you do that? How do you raise money? And how do you get a distributor? How do you do all that? I don’t know. I mean I’m not particularly interested in being a producer or screenwriter or director, but I know I have something I want to share. And I never ever wanted to do that before. I always wanted to be an actor for hire you know. Hire me. I go to work. It’s really weird to say I need to go to school all over again.
Teresa: I know how that is. I’m taking a television writing class right now.
Rico: Are you? Tell me about it.
Teresa: It’s an online computer course.
Rico: Oh nice. Have you written anything? Yes.
Teresa: Half scripts. But I see from this class that there’s a whole process you have to go through, you know it’s not just write the script and you’re done you have to go through a lot of steps before you get to writing the episode.
Rico: Yeah.
Seth: Yes, the course, because I’ve just been kind of following remotely, is they say write a one paragraph description of the story, you know, a TV guide synopsis and then write a page, an outline, then write a script.
Rico: I know. I know. You know what? I took a class like that and I go, “I can’t do it like that I have to start backwards.”
Teresa: Naturally, I want to write the whole script first and I now I have to go backward and pare it down.
Rico: Right. But that’s the thing about TV. There’s no time for that. They are so efficient and so organized those writer’s and it’s just, well, boring to me. I like to just vomit it out and then mold it and shape it.
Seth: I occasionally do training classes in my work….
Rico: Training? What do you train?
Seth: Computers.
Rico: Oh, nice.
Seth: Troubleshooting and when I first started doing the training class I scripted out everything I was going to say for the next few hours and then eventually I learned to tailor it down to you know the concepts and ideas.
Rico: Right. Concepts and ideas.
Seth: But yes, initially I just wanted to write everything out.
Rico. Yeah, yeah. [To Teresa] Well, good luck with that.
Teresa: Oh, thank you.
Rico: There’s a staff writer on Veronica Mars who was a teacher from Seattle a librarian up in Seattle.
Teresa: Oh, yes, I read about her.
Rico: Right, yeah. She just sent Rob a script and he said come on down I’ll hire you. And she’s like, wow. [Looking at the questions again.] Where are we here?
Teresa: Is there anything you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
Rico: Yes. What I just said.
Teresa: The writing.
Rico: The writing. And that’s the first step in the process. Because it’s my voice. I would like to experience life where it’s my vision and not making somebody else’s vision happen. I’m fine with doing that, but once in a while I’d like to say “you know what guys, follow me. I’m good at following you, I’m good at like taking your words and making them into what you want. I’ve got something now too. Can you help me make it.” And that’s just a weird adjustment to make, but that’s what I want to happen.
Teresa: Anything personal: I mean I know that is personal too, but
Rico: This screenplay and I know there are other stories… I mean I know I want to write about my sister who passed away when she was 10. I was six and she was ten when she passed away and she was my greatest childhood memory, but I sort of want to flesh that out for myself. There are questions that I still have that I want to have answers to. So if I have to make the answers up in a story form, then I will. There’s something in that that I need to explore. I don’t know if it will make a great story but I need to do that.


Teresa: Who are your favorite actors?
Rico: Oh, the obvious. Mr. DeNiro, Mr. Pacino, Mr. Penn, Paul Giamatti who I went to school with is still one of my favorite actors.
Teresa: Sideways
Seth: Oh, okay.
Rico: He was then and he is now, you know what I mean? Paul was the kind of actor that would make you want to quit. You know what I mean? Because he was just so good at it. It was like I can’t do that.
Teresa: You don’t think you have that effect on other actors.
Rico: I’m sure I do. In fact we belonged to the mutual admiration society while we were at school. It was such a thrill to watch him. Good actors, man.
Teresa: How about an actress? Anybody you’ve wanted to work with?
Rico: Well. Sigourney was just a great example of someone after so much time being in the business still putting so much of her into it. I mean, I thought she was like a ditzy blonde. I really thought she was a ditzy blonde the whole time, because she was just like that. And then Alan [Rickman] just did a movie with her in the summer because she was an autistic woman.
Teresa: She also went to Yale, right?
Rico: Yes she did and hated it.
Teresa: Did she?
Rico: She hated it. Because I think she was a classmate of Meryl’s
Teresa: Oooh. Somebody else who makes you want to stop acting?
Rico: Exactly, but I think that Sigourney was the black sheep of that class and was treated as such. You know what I mean?
Teresa: She came from a show business family right? There may have been a little resentment there.
Rico: Maybe, I don’t know we really didn’t get into it, but I just know. “Oh, yeah,” she goes. “I hated that, they hated me and I hated them.”
Teresa: It looks like she learned a lot anyways.
Rico: Yeah. Well, you know Whoopi’s my favorite.
Teresa: You did that pilot episode of her show.
Rico: Yeah, she’s a real performer, you know. She’s a performer. I wouldn’t even classify her as an actress or a comedienne. She’s a performer, she’s everything. She’s like gimme that hat and she’ll put on a play.
Teresa: Okay, what was your best professional experience?
Rico: My best professional experience was my first professional experience. My first real professional experience was NYPD Blue, because that was the first time I felt that I was being respected for what I did. And then they allowed me to do what I do.
Teresa: That was an incredible performance.
Rico: Oh, thank you, thank you.
Seth: I’ve actually never seen NYPD Blue.
Teresa: You haven’t? I hadn’t either until I knew you were in it and I started watching the repeats.
Rico: When a guy like Dennis Franz comes up and says, “You know what” This isn’t working lets call Milch down and let’s talk about this.” “Milch is coming down?” “Yeah.” And Milch is like, “Yeah what did you want to say? Okay, that’s good. Yeah, let’s do that.”
Teresa: That was a very realistic role and sort of like a feature because it was a two-parter.
Rico: A two-parter, yeah. It was great and they treated you good and you got to do good work and you got to work with great people. Peter was…. Peter Boyle was an innocent. You know, there’s another example of a guy who’s been in it forever who still is so concerned about protecting the quality of his work.
Seth: Boyle really disappears into his parts.
Rico: He really does.
Seth: You know, I know him, but if I come back and watch a film and say that was Peter Boyle? You know, he’s one of those invisible actors.
Rico: Yeah.
Teresa: But you have that talent to.
Seth: Yeah.
Rico: Thank you.
Teresa: Yeah, some of your roles I wouldn’t have known unless I was specifically looking for you in them. In fact I didn’t know for a while that Mathesar was the guy on Just Shoot Me.
Rico: Yeah, Mathesar was great. I miss him.
Teresa: I heard some talk many years ago that they were considering a sequel to that.
Rico: Yeah, they’ve been talking about it forever. I think the original screen writer wrote a sequel. I hope they don’t. They can’t.
Seth: It would be fun, but it’s almost like past its prime sort of.
Rico: Yeah, yeah. And not only that, they do it with every movie. You don’t even remember the first one anymore.
Seth: Like Austin Powers.
Rico: Yeah it’s like now they’re just all one big blur. Like is that one, two or three. If there’s just one it’s like, there it is.
Teresa: It’s its own work of art.
Rico: Its own work of art, that’s right. I’m glad they didn’t do it.
Teresa: What was your worse professional experience?
[He pauses]
Teresa: You don’t have to name names.
Rico: No, and you know what it’s never a bad emotional experience it’s always what your given within the time constraints and the limitations that your given that make it miserable. I remember doing a whole thing on The Outer Limits that was really a great thing to work on, but it was just one of those examples where it happened so fast that you didn’t have time to catch up with what you were doing, you know, I’m my own worse critic, but if you don’t feel like your connected to what you’re doing, you just want to slit your wrists.
Teresa: I think it kind of worked for that character.
Rico: I think it did. Maybe it did.
Teresa: He was kind of supposed to be disconnected.
Rico: He was, yeah, disconnected and stuff it was just like, uck, yeah. But no one bad, bad emotional experience with actors or directors or anything like that. It’s like I’ve been the luckiest son of a bitch. No divas, no egos.
Teresa: No plays that bombed?
Rico: Well sure but, you know a bad review, but who cares?
Teresa: So the reviews you don’t care about?
Rico: In the moment you kind of go aww they didn’t get it, but they got it. You know what I mean? I don’t understand the critic’s role in all this, because I think they misinterpret their responsibilities. A critic needs to understand an artist’s intent before they can criticize it. If they don’t get…. I mean that’s the only legitimate thing you can do as a critic. What is the artist’s intent? Did we actually accomplish the intent or not. Don’t bring your personal shit into it. You know, “I don’t like this stuff because the kid had a high squealy voice and what’s she doing?” I don’t give a shit about that. Judge something based on why we did it. Why are we doing this? Did we fail or did we achieve it? Yes or no. And nobody likes a good guy. You have to be smart to do that. You have to do your research.
Teresa: It’s gotten worse in recent years. People don’t even know what’s good.
Rico: They don’t. It’s all a personal one man’s, one woman’s, opinion of what they’re seeing.
Teresa: They’re not applying a standard really.
Rico: No, they’re not.
Seth: There was this one time Sarah Brightman she did a show here and the reviewer said, “Why did she sing that song from the Titanic in French. It was horrible.” And she sang in Italian.
Rico: That’s exactly what I mean.
Seth: Exactly, they don’t do their research or understand why….
Rico: No, it’s like an emotional response to what they’re seeing and suddenly that’s legitimate? That’s worthy of print. And you’re going to influence…. I hope neither one of you are critics.
[Ahem, not professionally at any rate.]
Seth: No, just critics of the critics.
Teresa: Well, it’s an odd profession to choose though, isn’t it? I mean you don’t do anything yourself.
Rico: It is. It’s like, imagine the karma you’ve got coming. It’s like I couldn’t criticize a sci-fi show, because I don’t watch sci-fi shows. You have somebody who understands the genre. Who understands that and you have them criticize that.
Teresa: Was there a particular experience that convinced you to go into the profession.
Rico: It was because at the University [of Toronto] I had discovered the drama elective where I felt like I was appreciated on some level. That somehow I was doing something to make people go, “Hey.” I had never recognized that in myself before. I didn’t really grow up in an environment where people would acknowledge your good traits. You know it was an Italian immigrant family. You know, go to school, don’t be seen, dream small, ask for little, keep your head down and trudge ahead.
Teresa: Were you good at that?
Rico: Sure. That’s why I’m a good worker. I’m a good supporting actor because I can support. I can support your vision.
Teresa: But what made you get out?
Rico: Then this class was like, oh, you can actually experience and have a life with joy and fulfillment. You know what I mean? That you could learn something. I can expand my consciousness and see what the world really is. And it was scary.


Teresa: And it was pretty much on your own too? Your family wasn’t supportive of this choice?
Rico: No, no.
Teresa: How do they feel about it now?
Rico: The cool thing is that Veronica Mars is in Italy. You know, and up until now they’ve sort of taken my word for it that I was doing it, because Just Shoot Me was never there. They’d seen little movies here and there, but now the whole family is sort of getting around the TV now on Wednesday night and watching Veronica Mars.
Teresa: So maybe a little pride now?
Rico: A lot of pride. A lot of pride.
Teresa: That’s good.
Rico: Yeah, that is good.
Teresa: So you recently became a US Citizen is that right?
Rico: I did and I’m really proud of that. Although I like having both, because I love Canada.
Teresa: So you can just go back and forth however you like now?
Rico: I’m a lucky guy. It feels really, really good to be able to vote and because I had just left at the time. It was a weird time there was no election at the time I left. So I never got to vote until the last California…. what was that thing back in November.
Teresa: The bond thing.
Rico: Yeah.
Teresa: So what do you miss most about Canada when you’re here?
Rico: No matter where I go, no matter what I do, it will always be home. I’ll always feel safe. I’ll always feel comforted by the people and just the air. And sure enough every time I land in Canada it’s like I feel a sense of relief. I can relax. Here it’s all about you gotta do this and you gotta do that and you gotta go go go. And in Canada it’s just like relaxed.
Teresa: The pace is much slower?
Rico: Much slower. There’s still ambition in Canada. People work hard. But there’s just a reminder of where I’m from. This is where I really, really belong. I was born here. That’s what my dad did, you know, when he retired he moved back to his home. I wouldn’t be surprised if at 65, my kids are off, I go back to Canada.
Teresa: So have you been over to Italy a lot to visit your parents?
Rico: Yeah, once a year. I go once a year. Yeah, my kids need to know here they’re from too.
Teresa: So is it that an unusual experience when you over there. Does that feel like home to you?
Rico: Nooo. Not home at all. It takes me two weeks just to get the language back. Just two weeks of getting your brain around what you’re saying. And by that time we have to leave. It never fails.
Teresa: But you did grow up speaking Italian?
Rico: Oh, yeah. Everyday.
Teresa: Because your Mom didn’t speak English, is that right?
Rico: No English. My Dad’s English was broken.
Teresa: Did that make school more difficult for you?
Rico: Well, you know what it did and it didn’t, because we grew up in an Italian neighborhood, everybody was Italian. The teachers were Italian. The priest’s were Italian. All my friends were Italian and had Italian immigrant parents. The stores were in Italian. My mother lived in Canada for 30 years and never had to learn English. So it was like everybody was struggling with the language. Everybody was coming to terms with it. So it was like normal.
Teresa: So did you have like a trace of an accent for a long time?
Rico: Just my oots and boots and my soaries. That’s about it. What are you guys going to do today?
Seth: You’ve got your class.
Teresa: I’ve got my class today
Rico: Your class, the screenwriting. Nice.
Seth: The only time I jump in is when she has to watch an episode.
Rico: But you haven’t caught him up on Veronica Mars yet.
Seth: No.
Teresa: No I haven’t yet. I’m having a hard time with that.
Rico: I think you’ll like it.
Seth: I’m sure I would.
Rico: I’m going to wait for the second season to come out on DVD and just watch it in one weekend because maybe I’ve seen two episodes all year.
Seth: I tend to resist against watching it because I might get hooked on it so…
Teresa: That’s what we need.
Rico: Yes, yes and that’s why I don’t watch television. If I start watching the Sopranos, Wednesday night’s going to come along and I’m doing something and I can’t watch it.
Teresa: See, that’s what TiVo is for.
Rico: I tried the TiVo thing, suddenly I come home at midnight and I’ve got twenty shows that I need to watch. I go, “What is this?”
Seth: So where do you put life on pause to watch TiVo for 20 hours.
Rico: Yes, yes. Then you have like twenty shows you gotta catch up on. I go, like come on. Better not to know what’s out there instead of risking missing two or three episodes.
Thank you for articulating that for me because that’s exactly what it is. The addiction of it. And I can’t fulfill that addiction. I can’t satisfy that addiction. I can’t promise the Sopranos people that I can be there at nine o’clock.
Seth: Yeah and I know the Sopranos I would totally fall in love with that.
Rico: Yeah, but I’ve avoided that on purpose. I saw one episode of Sopranos and I’m like this, Oh my God! The images. And it’s like when Tony Soprano is going through heaven with the door, that party, remember that?
Seth: No, I haven’t seen that.
Rico: Oh my god, it was exhausting watching that. It was exhilarating. And I go I can’t watch this. I can’t put myself through this. I’m not gonna do it. I’m going to go to the airport.
Teresa: Where are you going?
Rico: Back to Los Angeles.
Teresa: I see, so you were just here for a couple of days.
Rico: To tell you the truth I was in Vancouver and I blew my friend off at his graduation. He graduated from law school, because of our play. So I couldn’t come to his graduation and I promised him that I would come back this summer. So I knew that my layover was in San Francisco. So I saw him last night. And I wanted to meet you. So I’m glad it happened.
Teresa: Me, too.
Rico: Yeah uh, and Forest who you’ve been in contact with is starting a website like an official website.
Teresa: Great.
Rico: But I’m hoping we can put a link to you.
Teresa: Oh, sure.
Rico: That’s all right?
Teresa: Mmm hmm. Now Forest, I looked him up, he’s like a sound guy. Is that right?
Rico: He’s a sound guy. He wants to be a manager, you know, so he’s sort of managing my life.
Teresa: How’s he doing?
Rico: He’s, you know, he’s still a 26 year old kid who’d rather sleep in and stuff, but he’s doing fine. And he’s really a whiz with the computer stuff and the sound stuff. So yeah, if that’s all right with you?
Teresa: That’s great. I’m out of questions. Was there anything else you wanted to say?
Rico: No. I’m a little disappointed nobody came to take an order.
Teresa: That’s true. She never came back.
Rico: Never came.
[I pull a bunch of pictures out for him to sign including one with his Wayne Gretzky hockey stick.]
Teresa: Do you get enough time to watch hockey?
Rico: Yeah, I make time for hockey.
[As he signs Galaxy Quest DVD]
Rico: [quietly] Never give up. Never Surrender.
Seth: So did they pull you together to do the alternate audio track on that or did they do that separately?
Rico: What’s the alternate audio track?
Teresa: It’s in Thermian.
Rico: It’s in Thermian?
Seth: The whole script. It’s the funniest thing to listen to.
Teresa: I could only sit through twenty minutes of that.
Rico: You gotta be high.
Teresa: Oh, there you go.
Rico: Thermian. What a stupid idea.
[As he signs another hockey picture]
Teresa: I haven’t seen you play. Are you very good?
Rico: No. But I care a lot. So you know we get to play with a lot of the pros or former pros. I’m not good at all, but they admire my blind effort to just go head first.
Teresa: And what position do you play?
Rico: You know what?
Teresa: Just whatever?
Rico: Yeah, defense, forward, wherever they want me. Because growing up, again because of the immigrant mentality, I’d end up watching Canadian kids playing hockey. So again I was like catching up to them. They were starting skating when they were four or five years old and I didn’t start skating until I was like nine. Way too late. Already too late [As he signs the hockey stick shot.] I’m going to write it over Wayne Gretzky’s.
Teresa: It’s like a double autograph. Have you met Wayne Gretzky?
Rico: Funny Story. No, I haven’t, but Nancy my ex-wife was Janet Jones’ best friend. And Janet Jones married Wayne Gretzky. So here I am dating this woman who was at their wedding, who knew Wayne intimately, you know. Not biblically, but she was the wife’s best friend. But they had just had a falling out maybe a year before I met her. I’m like, “Go. Go make it up to her. Go say you’re sorry.” So, no, I never got the chance. Plus Alan Thicke was very good friends with him, but I always sort of just missed the party he was invited to.
Seth: What a fabulous morning. Thank you.
Rico: It’s such a thrill to meet you. Thanks for everything.
Teresa: Thank you.
Rico: I’ll walk you out.

*Our waitress never actually came back, so I really shouldn't call it breakfast. I guess she thought we were busy and she didn't want to bother us with, you know, service. We weren't hungry anyway.

Me and Rico

Thanks to Forrest Prull for all his help setting this up.

The Monk Fun Page Portion of This Interview

The Veronica Mars Portion of This Interview

The only difference between what you'll find here and
what you'll find in these are the pictures and some of the links.

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