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Spotlight on Michael Rapaport

Spotlight on Michael Rapaport


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Michael Rapaport’s acting career goes back to his first appearance on the ABC TV show China Beach in 1990, but it was likely his role as struggling actor Dick Ritchie in the Tony Scott film True Romance (written by Quentin Tarantino) that propelled him onto national consciousness. Since then, the actor has tackled some incredible roles, such as Officer Murray Babitch in James Mangold’s Cop Land, and his unforgettable turn as a disenfranchised kid-turned-neo-Nazi named Remy in John Singleton’s 1995 hit Higher Learning. Rapaport’s popular podcast, I Am Rapaport has been a successful soapbox for the actor/comedian (don’t let the rating fool you — he was the victim of a smear campaign by Barstool Sports podcast fans with an axe to grind after his departure from the series), whose loud, unabashed opinions on politics and sports have garnered him more than 45 million listeners since it launched in 2014. Here, Michael doesn’t hold back on the state of the music industry, how much he hates the Miami Heat, and what’s in store for the future of the nation. 

French Davis: You’ve been in more than 60 feature films over the last 30 years. Are there any that stand out to you that carry more weight or mean more to you than others?

Michael Rapaport: You know I’ve had a great time doing shit movies and I’ve had a great time doing movies that were better received. I don’t really have one that stands out — that’s for the fans to decide for the paying customers to decide. I just want to show up and perform the best way I can, do what I can do entertain and tell the story and I hope people can appreciate that

FD: As outspoken as you are, you’ve had no shortage of backlash from things you’ve said from time to time. Have you ever been motivated to walk it back? 

MR: No. Never. I mean there are times when I’ve written something or said something where I didn’t articulate it in the best way, but I’m comfortable with saying what I have to say, even if how I say it doesn’t get out exactly right. You know, I consider myself an (Allen) Iverson performer. Allen Iverson left it all out there, every night. That’s what I try to do — give it everything I’ve got every time. 

FD: Okay, since we’re talking about former Denver Nuggets (if briefly), what do you think about this NBA Finals series?

MR: Man I’m rooting for the Nuggets — I’ve liked them all the way back to the Kiki VanDeWeghe days, the Alex English days. They’re a good team. And I fuckin’ hate the Heat. But they’re a bunch of fuckin’ zombies, just hanging around and not going anywhere. I think the Nuggets are going to take it, but it’s not gonna be easy. 

FD: What’s your take on Nikola Jokic?

MR: He’s an inspiration to big, slow, lumbering white guys everywhere. He takes these weird shots from weird angles and looks like he’s out of breath and completely relaxed at the same time. He’s really fun to watch and he’s still young, at the start of his career. Denver’s lucky to have him, and you can see the impact he’s had getting them here.

FD: Shifting gears — as we trudge into the fifth week of the Writer’s Strike, what’s your take on how this whole thing’s gonna play out?

MR: It’s gonna be a long strike, probably another 60 days or so, hopefully not much longer. It’s gonna be an arduous strike. But the thing is, I’ve worked with great writers and actors and we’re all — well maybe not me — but we’re all smart people. What we do is unique. And producers — no offense intended — but what they do isn’t unique. We can do what they do, they can’t do what we do. Ten years ago, streaming networks were considered kind of a “C” level media behind movies and network TV and we took a chance working with them and now you can see that’s not the case anymore, and they need to evolve and recognize that you can’t replace great writing or great acting. 

FD: Okay, let’s shift gears again. Get out your crystal ball, and tell me what’s going to happen on the political scene in the next couple of years.

MR: I think it’s gonna be Trump and Biden in the run for President, and I honestly don’t know which one’s gonna win. It’s a complete disgrace that we’re stuck with these two old white guys. I’m not an ageist, like if Biden was a spritely 80, then that would be a different story, but he is what he is. He’s a flawed candidate. He isn’t a terrible president and he’s not a great president. And you know how I feel about Trump, I’ve been very outspoken on that topic. Obviously I’ll take Biden over Trump. But this is just a disgrace that these are gonna be the two options we have. Desantis is looming, but I think Trump’s gonna be the last one standing on that side. 

FD: Back to you. Are there any projects you still have in mind or goals you have that you haven’t achieved yet?

MR: I have a lot of things I still wanna do. I’ve never directed a feature film. I’d like to do that. I’ve never directed myself in a feature film, and I’d like to do that also. And I wanna get more involved in the political arena — more out front. I’m gonna do it my way and on my own terms so I don’t have to be beholden to someone else’s rules, but I’m gonna get out in front more and more involved in the process. 

FD: Finally, for someone who’s never seen your act, what should they expect?

MR: Expect a lot of passion. Expect a lot of energy. Expect to have fun and be a part of something unique for the evening. I love Denver, it’s a great city, and the people there are great, so it’ll be a great time. I’m really looking forward to it. 

Michael Rapaport performed five shows at Comedy Works South in Greenwood Village, Jun 15 — June 17.

 

Author

French Davis
Meet Dave Flomberg | Writer, musician, creative director (aka French Davis). There is so much to say about Dave aka French that we think you should read these articles:https://yellowscene.com/2020/02/29/french-davis-a-master-of-many/ ••• https://shoutoutcolorado.com/meet-dave-flomberg-writer-musician-creative-director

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