Joseph D’Onofrio


Of all the interviews I have done in the entertainment industry, this one is definitely one of my favorites because Joseph D’Onofrio knows how to make you laugh. Just look at one of his film clips and you will understand. In real life he is the exact opposite of some of the gangster roles he plays and when you see him in one of his comedic roles, you will want to be around him. He is a natural comedian with a down-to-earth personality who makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

Joseph D’Onofrio is a well-known American actor best known for his roles in Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale and his recurring role in the TV sitcom Are We There Yet? In which he plays Staten Island Mike. He is extremely grateful to Robert de Niro for teaching him a lot about acting and giving him a chance to play in A Bronx Tale, which most likely put him on the map of young actors to watch at the time.

Today, Joseph appears in larger budget films as well as in low to medium budget indie films proving his great popularity and talent as a comedic and dramatic actor. The list of films he has been involved in is considerably long. Which once you have explored this prolific actor’s impressive projects further – by visiting his IMDb page and his YouTube page – is easy to see.

Joseph D’Onofrio_Goodfellas

Once he accepts a role, he takes it seriously and does extensive research in order to do justice to the character he was hired to portray. In the future, he would like to play completely different characters than his previous roles, such as a doctor, a lawyer, a Wall Street banker, or even to be casted in a Western themed film.

As an actor and as a private person, he loves to make people laugh. He is one of those actors who always put a smile on my face even without uttering a word. His jovial disposition does just that, and when I hear him speak he reminds me of a young Joe Pecsi whom he played as a kid in Goodfellas.

I had the pleasure of watching him in his most recent role as Matty in the boxing drama Back In The Day (2016), which was released May 20, 2016 in AMC theaters and is now available on CD and VOD. The next film to be released with Joseph playing Andy Roma is Who’s Jenna…? (2016).

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Joseph D’Onofrio’s acting career began in 1982 when he entered a Break Dance contest at the Roxy. Out of about 550 contestants, he made sixth place. Thereafter he was approached to do a show, which resulted in him booking a commercial for Pringles, followed by 6-7 additional commercials.  Since then he has appeared in over 80 films and TV shows. And it was a pleasure to quickly catch up with Joe and see his current development.

Joseph D’Onofrio_profile

[All Images Provided By Joseph D’Onofrio ]

Did you always want to be an actor?

JD: No, I kind of stumbled into it through the Break Dance contest.  After I booked some commercials as a result, I was sent to an audition to be cast in a film.  When they told me that I would audition for Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, I didn’t even know who they were at the time. So I auditioned and got the part. The movie was Goodfellas.

What do you do when you are not filming?

JD: I spend as much time as I can with my 13-year-old daughter. We play video games, do other fun things or talk about life, and I take pride in teaching her how to be a good human being.

What film can we see you in next?

JD: After Who’s Jenna…? I will be playing a priest, Father Scott, in the comedy feature film Romance in the Digital Age.

What did you love most about filming Goodfellas?

JD: Being in Goodfellas was like an acting class for me. I learned so much from Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and all the other great actors because it gave me the opportunity to learn from their acting techniques.

What are people usually surprised to find out about you?

JD: That contrary to some of the characters I play, I don’t drink, don’t smoke and don’t do drugs. When fans get to experience me in person, they are pleasantly surprised to see how easy going and down-to-earth I am.

What is one moment in your life you will never forget?

JD: The birth of my daughter.

What do you admire in other people?

JD: I admire people who are genuine, positive, polite, helpful and respectful. I pray for people who don’t have these attributes because I think they need it most.

Where would you like to see yourself in the future?

JD: I would love to be cast as a regular in a sitcom TV series. Apart from that I would like to play different characters in the future.

How would you like to be remembered?

JD: As an inspiring, positive person and entertainer who makes people laugh and helps others to be the best they can be.

Joseph D’Onofrio_movie



Edit By Florence Bailey