I had the pleasure of interviewing actor, author, activist, coffee spokesmodel, podcaster, fantasy football analyst and hard core New Yorker Michael Rapaport earlier this week. Michael has had a very versatile and interesting career in the past 20+ years. The fiery red head brings a ton of energy to everything he does. In addition to being in some cult classic movies like True Romance and Beautiful Girls, Rapaport has delved into the world of the sports and rap music throughout his career.
Nice work if you can get it.
And despite his deep and proud Big Apple swagger, Rapaport has recently become somewhat of an adopted son of Boston and New England at large. Recently he has teamed up with several local brands including…
Cumberland Farms: Rapaport serves at their ‘advertising barista’ touting their low-cost, high- quality coffee in their pursuit to steal some market share beans from other local java giants like Dunkin Donuts and Honeydew.
Barstool Sports: the lifestyle and sports enterprise that has taken the country by storm with the audacious content, no-holds-barred credo and up-to-the-minute-of-everything across social media.
DraftKings: The powerful on-line Fantasy Sports engine that is the latest and greatest thing to all happen to sports and gambling junkies.
Rapaport will host an event this Sunday, August 20th, at Gillette Stadium titled DraftKings Fantasy Sportsfest; the premier annual festival for football fans, offering pre-season insight from football insiders, behind-the-scenes access and a day of premium entertainment just weeks from the kickoff of the fantasy football season.
Rapaport discussed the event, his Boston-New York relationship, his upcoming book and even played a spirited game of ‘Speed Round’ where he displayed brutal honesty with Boston Sports Extra.
(Disclaimer: Michael is a world-class talker so I paraphrased his answers for words’ sake! Guy is a hurricane of enthusiasm.)
@BosSportsExtra: You’re a hard core New Yorker. Your New York accent has a New York accent, yet you seemed to be drawn to the Boston scene given some of the brands and companies you have aligned with. What’s the deal?
Rapaport: Look, Boston is an awesome city. I love it. I think New York and Boston will always have a love/hate relationship; but at the same time, we respect one another. We both live and die by our sports teams. We have broken each other’s hearts over the years, but there is just something special about the cities’ rivalry. But I do love Boston and New England as a whole.
@BosSportsExtra: Talk to me a little about Barstool Sports? Dave Portnoy and his company are deeply rooted in Boston but have obviously exploded to a national sensation.
Rapaport: Barstool is absolutely amazing. What they have done is nothing short of remarkable and a I am lucky to be a part of their team. Dave is an awesome guy and we got to talking. He offered me an opportunity and I jumped at it. I cannot wait to see where this company goes. They are unique. They push the envelope. It is incredible what they have done so far. So much respect.
@BosSportsExtra: OK, so the big news of the week is this event happening at Gillette on Sunday, August 20th with DraftKings. Tell us all about it.
Rapaport: Yeah, man. Its gonna be awesome. I’m teaming up with Gronkowski – who I have never met – Pat McAfee, Matthew Berry, Jim Breuer and we are just gonna have an great day with all the fans. People will get an up close and personal feel for Gillette Stadium. We are doing some on the field drills with Gronk and some other players. Some folks will even get to host there fantasy draft right there. Its gonna be incredible. And I really cant wait to meet Gronk. Tickets are still available.
@BosSportsExtra: You two seem like you might get along?
Rapaport: I don’t know…but I love what he brings to the game and to the field. Just seems like the ultimate team player and teammate. Lot of enthusiasm and love of the game. I am really pumped up to hang out.
@BosSportsExtra: You have a new book coming out titled….This Book Has…?
Rapaport: Balls. This Book Has Balls. I put a lot sweat into writing this book. I describe it as a Sh”t Talking Extravaganza”. Ah, I shouldn’t say that…I’ll call it a “trash talking extravaganza”…keep it PG. I pretty much cover everything in this thing. Q & A with Bill Belichick, how Lebron will never be Mike, Tiger Woods needs to get back with the ladies to get his game back, why LT – Lawrence Taylor – is the greatest of all time and my love for Mary Lou Retton.
@BosSportsExtra: You are covering a lot of subjects there?
Rapaport: Yeah, it’s all over the place. It’s a lot of fun. You can get it on early release but it drops officially this fall. October 31.
@BosSportsExtra: And that’s really you on the cover, dunking the ball?
Rapaport: Damn straight. I threw that sh”t down for the picture.
@BosSportsExtra : OK, you seem like a straight shooter. I prepared a little game of Speed Round. Just answer the following 10 questions right off the top of your head. You up for it?
Rapaport: Let’s do it!
@BosSportsExtra: Here we go…..
1. You had a recurring role on Friends as Phoebe’s boyfriend, what was it like kissing Lisa Kudrow?
Uh, refreshing. Lot of gum. Had to keep the breath fresh for those scenes.
2. You were brutally beaten to death by Nicolas Cage in Kiss of Death, on a scale of 1-10, how crazy is he in real life?
I wouldn’t say he is crazy. He is very existential. Very committed to his craft.
(@BosSportsExtra: Yeah sure, moving on. Number 3)
3. You had a starring role Massachusetts cult classic, Beautiful Girls, …who is better looking in person? Uma Thurman or Matt Dillon?
That’s a tough question. Haha. You know, at that time…Uma was right at her peak. Her prime. Absolutely gorgeous. Matt’s not too bad either though.
4. If you could have the choice, would you be an actor, a rapper, or an NBA player?
NBA player, for sure.
5. In recent days you have shown your contempt for racists; what was it like playing budding Neo-Nazi, Remy, in Higher Learning?
That question keeps coming up in light of this week’s events. Movie was a long time ago. I have to say I enjoyed the challenge of the role. It really was challenge and I liked that. I thought we made a great movie and I was happy to be a part of it.
6. You worked alongside some Hollywood heavyweights in True Romance including, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, Brad Pitt…list goes on and on…but in one word describe Christopher Walken?
Professional. The guy really gets in to his characters. But besides that, absolutely hilarious. One of the best senses of humor I have ever been around. We had so many laughs on that set. Can’t even begin to tell you what a funny guy he is in person.
7. You played an FBI agent, Don Self, in the Fox Series, Prison Break. Have you ever served a night in prison?
Oh boy. Yes and no. I spent about 12 hours in a jail cell one time. Not a full night.
@BosSportsExtra: Can I assume no “white bread and olive oil” went down while you were in there?
Oh Jesus, no.
8. You are the Cumberland Farms coffee guy and a NY Knicks fan…Would you rather be caught on camera drinking a Dunkin Donuts coffee or wearing a Larry Bird jersey?
Very good question. But, I would proudly rock a Larry Bird jersey. Guy is one of the all-time greats and I have always appreciated that about him. Just cause I am a Knicks fan, I can still appreaciate that greatness. Not to mention I would look way more handsome that he did!
9. OK…gonna push the limit a bit here. Understanding you are a staunch heterosexual, lets play the game of F, M, K – Brady, Gronkowski, Edelman? GO!
Hahaha. Alright man. (pause) I kill Brady. Sorry, Tom. Love ya, but. I think I would “take Gronk for a few laps” and marry Edelman. But let me say this, I am the husband. He would be Mr. Julian Rapaport. He would need to take my name. Just for the record.
10. Last one, Patriots record on 2017?
14-2. Don’t you even think I am predicting a 16-0 perfect season. Ain’t happening. 14-2 and I believe they will return to the Superbowl.
Amen to that prediction, brother.