Exclusive Feature

“A Bronx Tale” Star, Joseph D’Onofrio: Where is He Now?

From his role as “Slick” in A Bronx Tale to playing young Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Joseph D’Onofrio is known for his extensive and accomplished acting career, landing roles in other iconic movies like Jungle Fever, Analyze That, The Deli, Wannabes, and Spider-Man to name a few. 

Since his breakthrough acting role in A Bronx Tale, D’Onofrio has been on a roll, acting in both movies and television series in addition to writing a movie, producing a short, doing stand-up comedy, and more. 

In our interview, D’Onofrio explained how he unexpectedly stumbled into his acting career when he was a kid. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, D’Onofrio loved break-dancing. He recalled how placing in the Roxy Big Break Dance Contest got him noticed as a child actor. 

Soon after he was performing in commercials and shows all over New York and New Jersey, he began auditioning for movies, landing one of his most iconic roles as Young Tommy in Goodfellas in 1990. 

When asked about some actors that have influenced him in his own acting career, he named legends like Robert DeNiro, Chazz Palminteri, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Eddie Murphy, and Adam Sandler. 

After talking about his role in A Bronx Tale, D’Onofrio said, “I feel grateful that I got the opportunity to play the part. I’m very grateful to Chazz Palminteri for writing the script and to him and Robert DeNiro for putting me in the movie. It’s a blessing!”

Since A Bronx Tale, D’Onofrio has taken on both dramatic and comedic roles. Some of his favorite roles he’s played since being “Slick” include his current role in the television series Gravesend as Johnny Mad Dog Mangano and his hilarious character Staten Island Mike in the TV comedy, Are We There Yet? with Terry Crews, Essence Atkins and Ice Cube. 

While D’Onofrio has worked both in film and television, he weighed in on which he likes better and why. “I love doing both. For film, sometimes you have to travel all over,” he continued. “For TV, it’s mostly all in the studio. I was on 30 Rock for a couple of episodes. It was great—you go to Queens to the set, and they build these sets for each room. So, you go to the set, go back to your room, and go to another set. It’s easier, I think. More comfortable.”

Some other titles he’s acted in include The Pallbearer, Astoria, Crooked Lines, Third Watch, Law & Order, Delirious, We Own the Night, The Bronx is Burning, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Price Check, The Shoemaker, Men In Black 3, Back in the Day, Gotham, Who’s Jenna…?, Sarah Q, Gravesend, The Black Donnellys, Friends and Romans, #Lucky Number, The Brawler, Power Book 2, Raising Kanan and more. 

Whether big or small roles, D’Onofrio plays memorable characters in both film and television. He said, “It’s funny because I’ll do little parts in big movies. Like in Spider-Man, I had a small part playing a cop. So many people recognize me from it. I only had like two lines, but it’s funny how people that see me on the street will recite my lines to me from some of my movies.”

With the variety of characters D’Onofrio has played, he expressed how much he loves every opportunity he has to play a comedic role. “I love comedy; it’s my favorite thing. You leave the set, and you’re in a good mood. You’re laughing and having a good time.

“I mean, when you’re doing dramas and you’re playing killers, gangsters, and crazy people, you have that in your head ’cause it’s all about being into the character and being into the role. If you’re into comedy, you gonna have a good time. If you’re playing a killer, you might not be in a good mood afterward,” D’Onofrio joked.  

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More recently, D’Onofrio’s been busy acting with multiple projects either in production or post-production. In addition to his role as Johnny Mad Dog Mangano in the TV series Gravesend, D’Onofrio has been busy filming a comedy called Townhouse Confidential where he plays a mortgage broker and the movie Don Q where he plays the iconic role of Al Capone. 

When talking about this amazing character he gets to play for Don Q, D’Onofrio said, “It was great to play a real-life character like Al Capone. I mean, Robert DeNiro played Al Capone. So many iconic people have played Al Capone, and then they ask me to play Al Capone. I was very flattered and very happy that I got the pleasure.”  

One of D’Onofrio’s greatest accomplishments this year is the short film he wrote, directed, and produced, called “The Romano’s.” After entering this film in the Manhattan Short Film Festival, D’Onofrio’s film when on to win Best Romantic Short Comedy. 

“The Romano’s” is a must-watch short film about the negative impacts of social media, taking on the qualities of a psychological thriller. Watch D’Onofrio’s amazing performance in “The Romano’s” here

Since writing “The Romano’s,” D’Onofrio is focused on the next film that he’s writing and producing called Tony about a guy named Tony who works in a pizzeria. Throughout the course of the plot, Tony takes injustice into his own hands after finding out he’s sick. 

In our interview, D’Onofrio describes the main character almost like a funny version of Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker. This action-pact, fast-paced film is sure to be another amazing creation from Joseph D’Onofrio.

“I’m writing this script. It’s going to be fun to shoot it. It’s comedy horror and death wish all wrapped up in one. Who doesn’t like horror movies? Who doesn’t like comedy and vigilante movies?! It’s a great mix.” 

When he’s not filming, D’Onofrio is writing, playing with his dog, exercising, or watching reality TV or comedies. 

One of his favorite past-times is stand-up comedy. After being challenged by another stand-up comedian six years ago, D’Onofrio has been writing and performing his own sets at many locations in New York including Dangerfield’s Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, and the Governor’s Comedy Club on Long Island. 

“I love doing shows. It’s great. I get up on stage and make people laugh. I get to interact with my audience. That’s my thing—I love to interact with the audience and talk about good stuff, like jokes and stories about my life.” 

D’Onofrio typically does six shows a year, either hosting, headlining, or producing comedy shows for New York natives to enjoy. Follow his social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with all the projects D’Onofrio is working on.

Some new projects for D’Onofrio include writing and producing his film Tony and filming shorts called “Black Mike” and “Surf’em Up” in addition to multiple other acting opportunities coming his way. Long-term, D’Onofrio is working on staying happy and healthy while cheering on his daughter while she’s in nursing school. 

Another long-term and very important future goal for Joseph D’Onofrio is finding a cure for a rare, pediatric brain tumor called DIPG. D’Onofrio is a big supporter of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, started by John “Gungie” Rivera after the loss of his son to this horrific disease. 

“The Cristian Rivera Foundation is such a great foundation. I think everybody should know about it, and everybody should try to help out. My biggest goal and dream would be if they could find a cure for DIPG and help millions of people around the world.”

Every year, D’Onofrio attends the Cristian Rivera Foundation’s annual gala fundraiser in order to raise funds to find a cure for this inoperable brain tumor. Over 300 kids are diagnosed with this brain cancer every year, and through supporting the Cristian Rivera Foundation, we can help raise awareness for DIPG, support groundbreaking research for treatments, support DIPG-afflicted patients and families, and ultimately, find a cure for DIPG. Donate to the Cristian Rivera Foundation here

Joseph D’Onofrio has been working hard since A Bronx Tale, playing many more iconic roles and making an impact with his comedy and films. Follow this amazing actor and keep up with the many projects he has coming up! 

Follow Joseph D’Onofrio on his social media accounts where he will follow you back!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialjosephdonofrio/?hl=en 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/josephdonofrio7?lang=en 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RealJosephDonofrio/ 

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0195844/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2 

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