Interview: The legendary Joe Pantoliano on Bad Boys: Ride or Die, The Goonies and more from his career

Joe Pantoliano (aka Joey Pants) chats with us about his career as a character actor and how he wound up back in Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024

The Matrix. Risky Business. Memento. Midnight Run. Bound. Four Bad Boys movies. Joe Pantoliano (or Joey Pants – as everyone calls him) is one of the most successful and iconic character actors of our time – and that’s just from his movies! Let’s also not forget that the man played perhaps the most vicious Sopranos character of all time (the dreaded Ralph Cifaretto on twenty-one episodes). Indeed, Joey Pants has had a career like no other. I gotta say, it was truly an honour to interview the man on Zoom in honour of this return in Bad Boys: For Life, with his character, Captain Conrad Howard, so popular that it looks like Will Smith himself pushed for him to return despite having been killed off in the last movie.

In our wide-ranging interview, Pantoliano talks about how delighted he is to still be making Bad Boys movies nearly thirty years after the first movie’s debut. Always generous with his time, Pantoliano indulged me when I asked him to confirm some of his more famous Hollywood tales. One of these included a famous one where he made sure his character in The Fugitive was seen moving around in the climax so that he would be known to have survived and return for the sequel U.S. Marshals

He also opened up about the challenges of being a character actor versus being a star (he would have preferred being the latter for the money) and how The Goonies will always be his favourite experience as far as making movies go. He even tells us a great story about how Steven Spielberg and the cast played an epic practical joke on director Richard Donner shortly after principal photography ended, and how even his grandkids like the movie, even if it’s forty years old at this point.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (which we loved) is now playing! Will you be going out to see the movie? Let us know by leaving a comment below – and let us know what you thought of our Joe Pantoliano interview while you’re at it!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.