Whedonopolis: Where were you born and how did you get started in all of this?
Steve Tartalia: Born in Rhode Island, raised for a few years in L.A., then off to Florida. The first inkling of anything having to do with the future of being a stuntman was probably swinging on vines on my way to school.
We had a little Southern Florida jungle between my house and my school for the first grade. So my friend Dewey and I had a little route to school through the jungle, so we could swing from vine to vine like Tarzan all the way to school. So that, and building the little tree houses, and playing Batman and Spiderman and jumping around and jumping off of things, that’s my humble beginning, I reckon.
W: Did you have any acting experience before going to Hong Kong?
ST: Yes, I was living in New York for many, many, many years out of high school, and I was doing a whole variety of things there in the music business. I also studied with Stella Adler. I was in the merchandising business and I came up with a toy “E.T.” finger that we got approved by Steven Spielberg, and we got it licensed and made a lot of money in one year. So, all I did was go to martial arts, and gymnastics, and I took acting classes and studied with Stella Adler when she was alive, quite a number of years ago. (chuckles) I learned just enough to know how to work, to act, but I didn’t study enough to become a really good actor. Unfortunately, it was all obliterated when I went to Hong Kong. The kind of acting they want you to do is all cartoonish and one-dimensional. You play an FBI or a CIA agent, or a hit man, and there’s no depth to the character; they want you to overact, so whatever I learned, I pretty much unlearned there… And it took a while to come out of that!
W: How did you find yourself in Hong Kong working in movies?
ST: It was a dream of mine, watching the old Jackie Chan movies, before the “Rush Hour” series and all that. (You know, when he wore his kung fu pants, and he’s doing animal-style kung fu, with the old teacher, and he’s living in a cave, and he’s poor? That kind of movies.) And then studying kung fu… anybody studying kung fu or martial arts, it’s a dream to jump into the screen and dance with your heroes, with Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris or whoever it is. I got a call one day, inviting me to go over and work, and it turned into three years and 30 films or so in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, all of Southeast Asia, but primarily—The first job was in Thailand, with Robin Shou of “Mortal Kombat.” He was the lead good guy, and I was the lead bad guy. It was called ”Death Cage”.
W: Were you always the bad guy?
ST: One time, the co-director of that, who’s the son of a famous director, Ken Russell –his name is Toby Russell- he was sort of co-directing, co-producing “Death Cage”, and later on, when he did his own film, he hired me as the good guy, undercover, and that was fantastic. That was sort of a Chinese “Scarface” type of story. I was the good cop trying to get the bad guy who’d killed my partner, the usual plotline like that. To be a good guy means that you have to fight really hard, but you also get to win, which is nice for a change.
W: Are there many Caucasian actors in Hong Kong? Were you one of the main ones?
ST: Nobody’s big if you’re Caucasian over there, unless you’re Hollywood-big, but if you’re a journeyman actor- stunt person or action actor over there… the only one who got really “her name on the marquee” big was Cynthia Rothrock. She’s not doing too much these days; she’s raising a family and whatnot, but she’s done about 40 films or so over there, maybe more, I don’t know. She was the only girl at the time, the first one, and she hit it big, became a bit of a name, and went on to have her name on starring credits and onto the marquee with top billing. Right after that period, there’s a rush of films for three years, from the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, where they all wanted to have one or two or three Westerners in each film, and there was a nucleus of six or eight of us who just mobbed up all the bad guy work, all of it. If we weren’t working on something with a decent budget, we were working on something extremely low budget just for fun, just to stay in shape, and often those’d be very fun. Put it this way: Working for $7 an hour. (laughs)
W: Oh, Lord!
ST: There was a company—If you weren’t working for a week, instead of going to the gym every day, you’d stay tuned up and get a job with one of these guys, put on some hokey ninja outfit and go off in a pine forest somewhere and just have a good time, just chop-socking it up. That was for $7 an hour, and then they’d raise you $0.50 per film, and you’d top out at $10/hour. And what that company would do was, they’d put two films together; they’d take footage from an old film that’d never been seen, that’d never been sold, and they’d look at it with an eye towards making something new. So they’d write a new storyline, including about a week’s worth of new shooting, and combine the two, so inevitably there comes a time when you have to do a scene with somebody in another movie, maybe from another country… (laughs all around) So they developed this style that became quite popular with the producers, maybe not the people; the people would watch it, but… So, you would do a scene with someone sitting at a table, and they would sort of match it to an extent, they’d look at the person from the other movie and then they’d shoot a reverse of you accepting the mission to go retrieve the Golden Buddha, or avenge somebody’s master, and then you’d take off and go do it. So, they put two and two together… I did like 10 of those; I know the name of only one or two. They were so bad; they’re funny! The dubbing would be hideous!
W: What’s the company’s name?
ST: It was IFD… One of them was “Ninja Thundercats”. If you can find it, please let me know. And Sophia Crawford, who was one of Buffy’s stunt doubles in the early days, she and I knew each other from Hong Kong, and she did one or two IFD films in the early days. We were in something horrible together for IFD, where she was some sort of an evil goddess. The storyline might have been something right out of “Buffy,” but the budget was something far, far, far less. And yet, they shoot in 35 mm., you know? They do a reasonable job, but the corners that they cut…
W: How and when did you transition back to the States? Why did you come back?
ST: Well, with China about to take over in a few years’ time, the kind of work that I was doing was petering out. My friends and I were wondering what we were going to do; differe
nt people started different businesses, like making handbags or sweatshop pants and selling them, and I had to leave. It was just time to go, so I left. Also, I had some immigration troubles…
W: Let’s not go there…
ST: (chuckles) No, the thing with all of us was—the four or five Americans had to leave the country and come back every month, to get another tourist visa for another month. So, if I was working on a movie, I had to tell them, “I can’t work until 10AM on this day, because I have to fly away for my visa and come back.” Nobody’s giving you a work permit there. So, for three years, in and out, in and out, in and out, and they ask you, “What are you doing here?” For one, two, three years, and everybody had a different story. Mine was that I was practicing Tai Chi in the park with a master. Somebody else was a food critic and carried articles with him. Sometimes they’d ask me to demonstrate it –“We don’t believe you”- and I’d have to do a few moves… (shows off some arm movements) “Okay, okay!” (mimes stamping the passport) But then, over time, they’re like, “We’ve seen you in a movie. You’re working here in movies!” (I was in a movie with Jet Li called ”Once Upon a Time in China”and something else called “The Middleman”) “We saw you; we don’t believe you! You’re working! Go talk to immigration headquarters.” So, if they catch you working, they want you out.
W: So what year was this?
ST: (sighs) Oh, God! 1992? Late ’91?
W: How did you get involved with “Buffy”? Were you always James’ stunt double?
ST: What happened was, I was visiting L.A.—and no, I wasn’t. Somebody pointed a stuntman in L.A. that I was visiting, and he asked me if I knew Sophia. I said, “Of course, from Hong Kong!” He said, “Well, she’s Buffy’s stunt double, you oughta go say hi to her,” and I thought that was a swell idea, because I hadn’t seen her in many years, since Hong Kong, and I’d heard she was doing really well, first with “Power Rangers” and then with “Buffy”, on TV, so I went to say hi and her fiancé at the time gave me a job. And the way that came about was, James at the time was appearing occasionally? He’d done three or four episodes…
W: He was recurring, and then he was made regular.
ST: Right! So, before that, it was explained to me that they’d tried a few fellas out, and nobody was quite right, and the day I stepped in was—
We were doing the interview in a public place, and at this point, we got interrupted by a rather rambunctious homeless man in a heated argument with… probably Marcie (from Buffy’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”), I guess, because we couldn’t see anybody else.
ST: It’s always so colorful around here! (laughs all around) Some of these guys are fine, but I’ve had to bounce a couple of them outta here…
W: Wait, you bounce people? That’s cool!
ST: Yeah, in the coffee shop. If they get too rowdy? Yeah… No, one guy just went insane in the hair salon over there, and I had to put him in a headlock…
W: That totally rocks!
ST: I got a free haircut out of it! (laughs all around) I still get a good discount… Where was I?
W: You were talking about coming in on “Buffy”…
ST: Yeah, what’s the episode where James has a ring on him?
W: “The Harsh Light of Day.”
ST: That was my first work on there. On the first day, we shot the entire fight outside in one day, pretty much… Can I tell you a story?
ST: On “Harsh Light of Day” it was the first time I really got to see Sophia, and we had a lot of catching up to do. So, first things first, we rehearsed the whole fight, and the boss said, “Okay, I’m gonna leave, you guys rehearse” and walked away, but we didn’t feel we needed to, we already had it in our heads. So, we were just sitting down on the grass there, and the stunt coordinator and some of the producers and people came to look at the rehearsal, and the boss freaked out. “Why aren’t you guys rehearsing? What’s up? They need to see the fight!” “Relax, we have it.” And so we stood up and did the fight. “Okay… that’s cool.” Cos it was long and… anyway, they were impressed with the rehearsal, so I heard right on the spot, “If you want this job, would you like to have it? The producers like you, and if you’ll dye your hair, they want to keep you.”
W: So, you had to go through the whole bleaching of the hair with the Sweet-N-Low and all that?
ST: No, the Sweet-N-Low is something special for James only, his special superstition. (laughs heartily) That’s special for the star! (more laughs)
W: You just had to suffer the burn! So I have a couple of James’ quotes – back in April, at Sci-Fi Grand Slam, a fan asked him about the jump that Spike does on the coffin in the musical episode, whether it was actually him, as she had heard, and James said: “Yeah, that was all Steve Tartalia, yeah. Basically, if my feet were on the ground, it’s probably me. But, if my feet were off the ground, whether it’s because I’m flying through the air about to hurt myself, or because I’m doing triple leg combinations and getting really fancy? If one foot’s on the ground, it’s maybe me. But if both feet are off the ground going (makes swooshing noises), that’s Steve.” He also added he was there for the entire shooting of that coffin scene, and then was asked about an incident with flatulence on your part at that scene? First he said, “You guys listen to that crap a lot!” And then the fan said she “knows one of the men involved in moving the coffin, and that it had been actually his fault (not yours, the guy raising the coffin). “I was standing on the side, man. I don’t know; I didn’t smell anything!” Then he sings your praises as follows: “Steve Tartalia was a godsend. He came to us straight out of Hong Kong; he was the premiere Caucasian actor in Hong Kong, where they don’t know the meaning of the word ‘safety.’ He was so good, he made me wanna throw up.”
W: And I have one more, from Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, during his Sunday panel. James said he’s lived his life like “a disposable Q-tip” (Steve laughs) because he’s had knee surgery, he’s broken a foot, he’s got his back messed up, and so he worries about “how many more years of pretending to be youthful I have, because I’ve done a lot of damage. If I exercise, I’m good; if I don’t, I get creaky. On “Angel”, I did a lot of
my own stunts, and I could barely walk. I was crawling to the chiropractor across the street, and people almost run me over!” He said he’s now better and can jump –and he started jumping on stage, actually- “and I’m also smarter too, because I’d let the stuntman do his job. There’s no need for it; let Steve Tartalia make me look good.” Care to reply? (laughs all around)
W: He wants to kill James! (laughs all around)
ST: No, no, you gotta love him; he’s really kind, and a lot of what he says is true, but he’s also… what a brother!
W: He also said on the featurette about the stunts of “Buffy” that you are as much Spike as he is.
ST: That’s beautiful; that’s really nice. Two things- from the very beginning on “The Harsh Light of Day,” when they started shooting the fight with me and Sophia, and James is watching the fight to see where he’s gonna pluck in, he saw how much they were shooting with Sophia and me and went, “Why didn’t anybody come get me? Help me, help me.” I told him, ‘James, I’m just doing what I’m told right now, but, yes…” So from that point on, we developed a relationship where he was asked by the boss, or if he wasn’t, or if there wasn’t enough time, I’d go out of my way and he’d go out of his way to learn as much as he could, because the reality is that he would do 9/10ths of the fight, or even more. He’s being very kind right now. Overall, as time went on, he’d do a huge amount, and there were moments where there’d be nothing for me to do, and he’d be doing a pretty complex fight. And his reactions were spot-on too! He’d get in a mood, and he’d whip his head and go flying and hit the deck and go slide up and pound up on a wall like that. And then, what a good boy! He goes and gives me credit for stuff like that, you know? He takes air; he takes flight. He knows how to fly! But, sometimes, if his neck was hurting or something like that, he had no problem with giving it up, and I had no problem with doing it then, too.
Now, about the musical episode, at the moment that Stunt Spike lands on the coffin, and the pallbearers lift it, one of them, I think Pallbearer #6, passed gas. I learned it’d been him later, but everybody thought it’d been me. So, I went up to Pallbearer #6 and asked him to please step up and say it’d been him, and he said, “Absolutely not! You’re on your own!” (laughs all around) Because everybody had heard it clearly as they were rolling sound at that time. You can’t hear it too clearly, but I had the dailies from that time, and it’s clear; you can see everybody laughing. It was very hard not to laugh at that incident; I had to wait until the cut, and then I laughed so hard, I fell off. I couldn’t live that down for a while. The boss, John Medlen, was a prankster. I think it was only one week later, we were shooting in the back of the “Buffy” lot, in the street where all the little stores were. Joss was still directing, the whole team from the musical was there –I think they were finishing that episode- and off to the side there was a 1K light that was shining very brightly. John called me to the side, he stopped me in the light, and says, “Come here, I want to talk to you.” And it was very close to where Joss was directing, and then he passed gas as loudly as he could, and took off running, leaving me in the light. (laughs) And everybody turned and they saw me standing there…
W: That’s evil!
ST: (laughing) On, my God! But what can you do?
W: I understand you and John got hurt shooting “Smashed”?
ST: Oh, yes! John Medlen was horribly, horribly, horribly hurt. I did get hurt, but in a separate incident. Was it really during “Smashed”? (thinks) Yeah, we had a whole day shooting that episode, where we’re bringing down the house and Buffy and Spike are fighting and kissing and fighting and kissing… In another part of that scene, Spike has to hang from the chandelier, and instead of letting me demonstrate it for the camera crew and the director, John insisted on doing it himself. He liked to get in there; John Medlen is a very good stuntman himself, and if you’re running the show and you’re the boss, you get frustrated after a while. You want to get out there and shake a leg, you know? You wanna move yourself, and so he said, “Let me do this, Steve,” and he grabbed the chandelier and he swung… And it broke and it fell on top of him, on his face!
ST: Yeah, he fell a good 7 ft., because he’s swinging and the legs come up, and the thing broke, and it pancaked on top of his face. It was a very close call; it was horrible. Could have been worse, he broke his nose. Thank God it wasn’t worse. He went straight to the hospital and that was that.
W: And you got injured too how?
ST: On “Smashed,” at the end, they go through the ceiling and they hit the deck. They cut and the next episode is obvious there was some activity between the two episodes. On that fall, our legs got tangled in the breakaway ceiling, and it caused us to tilt at an angle so that my head would be the first thing to hit the ground. And it did, and it knocked me out. Basically, I came to with some flashlights and smelling salts or something, and then they just redid the ceiling and I went again. (laughs) The funny thing is, it might as well have been two sacks of potatoes, because you can’t see us. You just see something falling with a bunch of debris, so… Sometimes it works like that; you think it’s a big stunt and then you don’t see something, you don’t see it’s you or the character.
W: I have one quick question about the fight Spike has with Glory at the hospital, in Season 5, where he hits the X-ray thingy with his back, then lands on the table full of instruments and falls off. Was that difficult to do?
ST: Even though it looks complicated, it was more of a precision thing. I was just putting together a stunt reel the other day, and I have some behind the scene footage of that, but I couldn’t use it because it’s really too small. Often in a small space like that, we don’t have enough room for a catapult, but we have enough room for a mini trampoline. If you don’t have enough space to run and hit the trampoline, you have to stand on it and jump up, bounce and hit the thing and put yourself exactly in one place. I think the only trouble with that was… I needed to roll off, not land and hit hard. I think I had to do it twice because the first time I hit it and then rolled, and they wanted to see me sliding off. So that was two takes.
W: Were you happy to move on to “Angel” once “Buffy” was over?
ST: Oh, yes!
W: Tell us about working on “Angel”, a show that’d been on the air for some time, and here you come, the new kids on the block…
ST: Well, it’s like this: Most producers and writers like to keep their fans in suspense, and so the talk that Spike was gonna go on to “Angel” was just talk, and certainly there was a big rumor mill going, but there was no certainty in my mind, nor in James’ mind, or so I understand. And then it happened, but he was a ghost. That’s great for James, he’s got a
lot of ghost acting, but in my head, I just sank. I thought, “My God, if you’re a ghost, you can’t do any action! There’s nothing to do! You’re just gonna be a ghost, going through walls and talking to people.” And then they had the big ghost fight, so I was really happy with that bit. That was a nice, fun run too that was cut short, as you know. And the beautiful little campaign to “Save Angel” was really beautiful too; I still have like five or six of the candy bars. I think I actually had one for a midnight snack a few months ago. It’s a pity that, despite you guys getting on the news and all that with the campaign, it didn’t work.
W: Yes, that is part of the reason, I think, why Joss doesn’t want to do any more TV, what happened with “Angel” and “Firefly”. However, you’ll be happy to know that as of this Fall, “Angel” is coming back in comic book form, co-written by Joss and Brian Lynch, from IDW, who’s written great Spike comics (“Spike: Asylum” and “Spike: Shadow Puppets”)
ST: Oh, great, I didn’t know that! Any chance of the comic books becoming a live action Spike movie?
W: We don’t know, but according to what James said in the panel he did on Friday at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, when Joss tried to take the project of a Spike movie to other studios, like Paramount, there was no interest.
W: If there were a chance of James becoming Spike again, would you jump at the chance of being the daredevil part of Spike too?
ST: I wouldn’t say I’d jump at the chance; I’d rise to the occasion, if offered.
W: Cool! What are you working on right now? What have you been up to?
ST: I had a little Internet business for the last couple of years that I’m slowly getting out of, but let’s see… Right after “Angel”, I went on to most of the second to last season of Alias doing stunts for Michael Vartan’s character, Vaughn. Then I did The Legend of Zorro, down in Mexico, playing a bad guy with Nick Chinlund. He was the guy with the wooden teeth, and I was one of his henchmen. That was some fun! I hurt my knee on that job, so I had to take it easy for a while… And last fall into Christmas, I had a good run on “Pirates of the Caribbean 3.” Boy, memory is kind with anything painful and hard! It was a really difficult shoot for everybody, with 100 mph winds and rain— the boat battle at the end of the movie, where there’s a whirlpool? There were two boats on hydraulic lifts to make ‘em tip and turn, with giant rainmakers and windmakers and 40 or 50 people on each boat, just hacking away, lighting cannons and flying and all that stuff… It was great fun.
W: Are you working on anything right now?
ST: I’m starting to train and prepare for “Indiana Jones IV.”
W: Mike Massa is working on “Indiana Jones IV.”
ST: Oh, good! Good, good, good… I’ve no idea what I’m gonna be doing; I’m just in line for it. The boss is Gary Powell, who was the stunt coordinator for “Zorro.”
W: Tell us about working with Mike on “Angel”, specifically in the fight between Spike and Angel in “Destiny.”
ST: (pleased sigh) Oh! Well, Mike wasn’t in “Destiny”, sorry to disappoint you, but at the time he was working on another film, “Iron Fist” or something like that. The guy doubling Angel then was JJ Perry, another great stuntman. That episode was… well, it was a three-day fight. How was it? It was bliss! (laughs) Just to look at the script, and see the fight was 15 pages long! It makes a stunt double’s heart just sing! You just get a really big, warm, fuzzy feeling, and you feel such happiness and camaraderie and joy with the writers and the people who did it. Stephen S. DeKnight wrote it, and Skip Schoolnick directed it, and I was going out of my way, going around the corner whenever there was a little break, or hiring someone to keep Skip in ice-blended “Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf” beverages, that were very popular. We kept finding people to go get cases with added double shots of espresso to keep us going. If you see that scene again, and it looks very kinetic, it’s largely fueled by a lot of caffeine from Coffee Bean.
W: Yeah, James mentioned that David (Boreanaz) had had knee surgery, and they had him doing triple spin kicks and stuff, and he grew to respect David a lot that day, because he was almost limping and they had him doing all that complicated stuff.
ST: When we were doing the rebar fight part with the stunt double, we worked that up and we shot our version of it. When it came time for Angel doing his, he didn’t learn the whole fight, we just needed some plug-in pieces for him, and so… (cracks up) I can’t even say it! Oh, my God!
W: Go ahead, whatever it is, we can take it.
ST: I figured, because his knee was bad, we did something called a loop, a combination of techniques, say, high, low, high, medium, low, like this. And I figured, “Well, he’s gonna go at a modest clip because his knee is hurting.” He pressed me so hard and fast; he came at me… I remember the whole loop choreography going to hell, and him just coming at me full-tilt boogie with his stick, and I had to really defend myself for real, which is good when you have a good stuntman to work with, but I always worry with actors. I remember leaving with some really sore, bruised up fingers that day. But I was super impressed that he had the energy to press me hard enough to give me a run for my money… And all the air jumps Spike did on the wire, when he’s coming down and is trying to skewer Angel from high to low and from low to high? That’s all James.
ST: Yes, and he did it beautifully! Couldn’t have been better.
W: You sound like a proud papa.
ST: Oh, no, when he nailed something big that should be kind of, “Come on, James, relax! Let the stuntman do it”? When he does it? Oh, yeah, pride!
W: So, was James a good student of yours? Did you guys become friends?
ST: (ponders) I couldn’t call him a student by any stretch, because James has enough background in stage combat and movement, and as an actor interpreting all this stuff, he really could be a stuntman if he wanted to. If he weren’t acting and he’d applied himself, and he couldn’t say a few words naturally as well as he can, he could easily be a stuntman. Teaching him the moves is just showing him the choreograph
y; it’s hardly at all having to teach him something. It never felt like that, honestly, because he’s so bright and capable, even something complex that would have me having to practice it, it’s the same for him. If anybody has to get on a wire– in the last episode of “Buffy”, “Chosen”, there were a couple of great Spike moments that never made it that we were rehearsing for. Spike had to get up on a wire and— he was fighting with three people, and he had to be on the wire and have some tension, then punch or kick or something, and then jump up in the air, spin 1.5 revolutions, kick guys #3 and #1 over there, and then land like Jet Li, in a “Crouching Tiger” sort of a move. And I would have had to practice it in the same way, and he got it in two or three pulls. He got it pretty good! This is not super-easy stuff; this is stuff that any good stunt guy would struggle for and rehearse, and he’d just take the same amount of time as just about anyone, you know? So… he’s like a colleague, really. That’s the way I look at it.
W: We got to the final part of the interview, and that means it’s times for the questions from “Inside the Actor’s Studio.”
ST: I love “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interviews! How many times have you watched them and wept towards the end? There’s very few things that make me cry, but something happens when the music comes on at the end that gets me weepy-eyed. Right?
W: Yeah… I actually cried this morning, because TNT showed “Not Fade Away”, the last episode of “Angel”, and I cry without fail when Wes is dying and Illyria asks him, “Would you like me to lie to you now?” and he says, “Yes, thank you, yes.”, and she turns into Fred… I just lose it every time.
ST: Aww! Tell me, of all of “Buffy” and “Angel,” who made you cry the most?
W: Spike, of course!
ST: I rest my case. What was that scene? In season 5 or season 6, Spike is sitting on a step with Buffy, and I think her mother had just died?
W: No, she just found out her mother is sicker than they thought. It’s the scene at the end of “Fool for Love”.
ST: Right! And she doesn’t want to talk to him, so he sits with her and he’s about to pat her on the back, but he doesn’t do it. (Actually, he does pat her back, repeatedly.- Editor’s Note) I was watching them film that, and I was like… (dries tears pretending he’s fixing his hair) You know? Even live, not even with music on the show, even on set! I got weepy; I had to go and hide. You know how guys do it, when you pretend you’re fixing your hair, and you’re just… (moves hand over eye first, and then on to the back of the head)
”Answering Pivot’s Questionnaire is hard!”
W: Okay, the key to Pivot’s Questionnaire is not to overthink it, because then you get frustrated. So, Steve, what’s your favorite word?
W: What’s your least favorite word?
W: What’s your favorite sound?
ST: Honestly, it’s my motorcycle when it’s running right. It’s a Kawasaki H2750 Widowmaker.
W: What’s your least favorite sound?
ST: My neighbors, when they’re doing it.
W: Okay! On that note…
ST: I’m sorry!
W: No, it’s fine! What turns you on?
W: What turns you off?
W: What’s your favorite curse word?
ST: I like ‘em all; I don’t have a favorite… (thinks) *censormode*tard.
W: Nice! What profession other than yours would you ever like to attempt?
ST: Kung fu master. Tai-Chi master.
W: What profession other than yours would you never like to attempt?
ST: Any of the jobs that you see on “Dirty Jobs,” particularly the guy that puts the rubber bands around the lobster claws. Up in Maine, in the winter, there’s someone who has to take the lobster and put a rubber band on their claws. Imagine having to do that for 12 hours a day!
W: And finally, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
ST: “He’s paid his dues. Let him in.”
W: Thank you so much for talking to us.
*Originally, we’d planned to do the interview with both Steve Tartalia and Mike Massa (Angel’s stunt double.) As it happens, Mike is in Hawaii working on the new “Indiana Jones” movie and is moving on to his next job in New Orleans, for the new TV show “K-Ville.” We’re making arrangements to have Mike in “The Job” in the coming weeks.