October 5, 2012
(AP) In his autobiographical movie and subsequent play, "A Bronx Tale," Chazz Palminteri doles out lots of advice as a young man learns from two father figures.
Now the writer-actor-director is taking his advice skills to the airwaves with "Ask Chazz," a four-week series of live, call-in shows on SiriusXM Radio, where callers will get Palminteri's thoughts on a variety of topics, including entertainment business and relationships.
"It's like life lessons told in a street-savvy way," the actor said. "People say I have my own Chazz-isms. That's why I started the web site, Ask Chazz."
The online advice site caught the attention of SiriusXM President Scott Greenstein, who suggested Palminteri try his hand at a live call-in show. It airs every Wednesday in October.
Don't except someone along the lines of Dear Abby or Ann Landers. Instead, the 60-year-old actor feels he's more like the young hero of "A Bronx Tale," navigating between his father and the gangster he admires.
"Everybody has a dilemma between right and wrong and good and evil, and not knowing what evil looks like sometimes," Palminteri said. He added that giving advice comes naturally to him: "One time I wanted to be a shrink. I'm very honest in my opinion."
Palminteri said he'll be offering advice, insight and perspective on everything from show business to the business of life.
There's a scene in "Bronx Tale" where Palminteri's character suggests a test to find out if a girl is a good match. He tells a young man to lock the car doors when he picks her up, and to open the passenger door for her. After that he should walk around the car.
Palminteri's character advises: "If she doesn't reach over and lift up the button, that means she's selfish and all you're seeing is the tip of the iceberg."
Though not in the movie, Palminteri suggests a similar test for women.
"When a guy drops the woman off at her door, he should wait for her to go inside. And if he leaves before her door closes, then he's out," Palminteri said.
As for his need to want to share information with people, Palminteri remembered the person that helped him finally become a star in his late 30s.
"Robert De Niro helped me. He gave me my first big break, and I never forgot it," Palminteri said, referring to De Niro seeing him perform his one-man show, "A Bronx Tale," in an off-Broadway theater.
In the spirit of "paying back," Palminteri wants young actors to send him a one-minute monologue via his web site, which he will keep on file and pass on to potential producers.
"I love helping young talent," Palminteri said.
John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/jcarucci_ap