In support of Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign several right-of-center actors participated in a campaign video. Among the leftist blogs, most of the actors were insulted for being “has-beens” and “Bible thumpers.” Except one. Robert Davi was called a “great character actor.” Another said, “Don’t diss Robert Davi.”
An actor friend said, “Robert Davi is the kind of actor that other actors want to be. You want his roles. You want his commitment. You want his passion for ac ting.”
To many, Davi is best known for playing the bad guy. Jake Fratelli in The Goonies. Franz Sanchez in License to Kill. Aziz in An American Carol. He’s also been on the other side of the law as FBI Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard and Agent Bailey Malone in Profiler. In The Dukes Davi plays “Danny DePasquale,” a former Doo Wop singer whose time in the spotlight has passed. He is now working in his aunt’s failing restaurant. The Dukes is Davi’s debut as a writer and director.
“Directing is a way for me to open that book andexpress to the world much more of who I am and what I would like to say,” said Davi.
Like many of Davi’s roles, Danny has an edge. Danny’s Doo Wop group, The Dukes, once commanded large crowds, but after many decades pass, this now middle-aged guy finds himself unable to provide for his son. He tells his friends, “We’re not looking for jobs, we’re looking for money.”
When a man driving a Rolls Royce passes by, his friends imagine themselves in the driver’s seat. Danny sees his son and his ex-wife with her new boyfriend at the wheel. Danny has lost hope in his American Dream. Davi said:
“I wanted to tell a story for the every manbut with a light touch. By having a Doo Wop group, whose music is no longer seemingly relevant, parallel an industrial world changing to a technological one, I am able to explore the intricacies of re-defining oneself, dealing with lost fame and holding on to your true self in changing times through music and humor.”
In one of his most enjoyable on-screen performances, Chazz Palminteri plays George Zucco, a fellow “Duke” with perfect timing and the virility of a typical Italian man. Following a threat to George’s mojo – his smile – he and Danny find a new opportunity for The Dukes. They plan a heist to steal thousands and thousands of dollars worth of the dentist’s gold.
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