Photobucket Back to the 80s: Interview with John Kapelos from The Breakfast Club & much more - Kickin' it Old School

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Back to the 80s: Interview with John Kapelos from The Breakfast Club & much more - Kickin' it Old School
05.03.12 (7:30 pm)   [edit]
As I feel the need to say each time, I am so pleased that interviews continue to be a legitimate part of this little blog of mine! When the opportunity presents itself to ask a few questions to someone who contributed to the awesomeness of the 80s, I will continue to share those answers with you right here. Again, lucky for me (and hopefully you), I do get to share a little more awesomeness with you.John Kapelos

This time that awesomeness is John Kapelos. When it comes to the early John Hughes films, most people know that Molly Ringwald was his muse and Anthony Michael Hall his alter-ego. But if you look a little closer, there is another actor that appears in all three of the first films that Hughes directed himself. That actor is John Kapelos and he had roles in the trifecta of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science (and almost a fourth). Kapelos, whose roots came out of the great improvisational tradition of Second City, has gone on to a successful career spanning over 30 years and well over 150 roles in movies, television and stage. Find out more about his roles in those 80s classics, his take on John Hughes and his experiences working with him and much more as we get on to some selections from my interview with John Kapelos...

Q: When and how did you get bit by the acting bug? When and how did you get involved with Second City? At what point did you decide that acting/performing would become your career?

John: I started acting in high school. My first production in high school was Guys and Dolls when I was in 10th grade. I played "Nathan Detroit". The year before I did an audition for the school show, but I ended up working on stage crew and pulled curtains. But I sort of got the typical stage show bite when I did Guys and Dolls. It satisfied three basic things: I got attention, I got girls and I got to get out of class. Well, I don't know if I got to get girls, but I know I got to get to get out of class! There was that and I was literally bit by the show business bug. My father was not in show business. He had a clothing store. I was the youngest of three and my brother and sister were very academically oriented. I went to University and started doing some plays there.

Through a couple tricks of fate, I got involved with Second City taking workshops in Toronto. I got to know John Candy. Second CityWhen I decided at about the age of 20 or 21 to pursue acting full time, I told my father. He then made a deal with me that if I got a job within a year, then I wouldn't have to go back to school. He insisted I get a job, so I started taking these workshops at Second City in Toronto. It's a long story, but I started working as an extra on SCTV and I met Bernie Sahlins, the producer at Chicago's Second City, I asked him if he had a job available, he said he did, I waited two weeks and he never called me. I told my parents that I had a job offer, borrowed my Dad's credit card and I went down to Chicago. At the same time, I had been working on getting my American citizenship because my mother was an American. I auditioned for Second City Chicago on August 4, 1978. The same day they offered me a job. I called my mother and she told me that my passport had arrived in the mail, so I figured that was my ticket out of Canada. I worked at Second City in Chicago for eight years. I toured for three years and was in the main company for five. That's really where I learned how to act, how to improvise and how to work.

Q: Second City has such an outstanding legacy. Who were some of the other actors that you worked with during your time at Second City?

John: Well, my teacher at John CandySecond City was originally John Candy. He really was a wonderful person and obviously a great performer. Sadly, he is missed after dying way too young. He was also a really, really good teacher. I would say, first and foremost, John Candy. He was working on SCTV in Toronto, so he wasn't in the company. When I went down to Chicago, the ones I worked with in my main stage company were Richard Kind, Isabella Hofmann, Meagan Fay, Mike Hagerty, Jim Belushi, Lance Kinsey, Tim Kazurinsky, Mary Gross and many others. There were many names. There were lots of others who are famous, but famous more for creating shows and producing and not necessarily famous as actors.

Q: Many of the biggest stars on Saturday Night Live came from Second City. Did you ever have ambitions of being on SNL? Did you ever audition for SNL yourself?

John: Saturday Night Live came to audition us, but the producers of Second City didn't want them to see our company because we were a really good company. So they took them into a back space where there were a bunch of other unknown actors and they ended up hiring most of them. That was Practical Theater and included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Hall, Gary Kroeger and people like that. There was a little bit of a competition when Lorne Michaels came. Second City didn't want everybody to be poached from them. They would sometimes hide us. That's just the way it goes. I never did directly audition for Saturday Night Live though I think I would've liked to have been on it at one point. But it became evident as Saturday Night Live developed that I was not who they were looking for since I am not a person who does imitations and so many of the ones chosen do. I don't think that was the case with John Belushi or Bill Murray and initially that first generation. They did more characters. But then the type of actor that Saturday Night Live wanted mutated in my opinion and that didn't really play to my strengths. And my strengths are, you know, acting.

Q: How did the role of "Rudy Ryszczyk, the oily bohunk" in 1984's Sixteen Candles come your way?

John: While I was working in the touring company of Second City and I think I was just about to get into the main stage, I told my agent in Chicago at the time that I wanted to get into films. Apparently they were starting to shoot more films in Chicago and there was sort of a gush of them. John HughesThe Blues Brothers and a bunch of others came in. As luck would have it, John Hughes wanted to meet a lot of local actors. I didn't know who John Hughes was at the time, so I did a little bit of research. I found out that he had worked in advertising, he obviously worked on the National Lampoon and he'd written some great stuff for the Lampoon. I had some friends who were hip to that and that were total "Lampooniacs". I went in for the audition and Jackie Burch was the casting director for what was going to be Sixteen Candles. And I just did a kick ass audition. I am not sure what the Ryszczyk's were supposed to originally be like, but I think that after they saw me they changed the temperament of the family and went more ethnic deciding them to be more Italian-American. I think initially they were thinking in a different way for the family, they saw me and liked my audition so much that they tailored the family more around who I was. The Ryszczyk's became who they were, a sort of dubious-where-they-got-their-money-from ethnic family who had definitely a different slant on things compared to the Baker family. It sort of fell together as these things tend to do. Kapelos as Rudy in Sixteen Candles

I am not privileged to what went on backstage or how they made their decisions, but boy they really came down in favor of me. John was a huge fan of mine. I remember the first day of shooting on Sixteen Candles was all of the wedding stuff. That was daunting in itself because you were doing the end of the movie at the beginning. I remember just how supportive he was. And I was working with all these wonderful actors like the grandparents who were played by Max Showalter (who was in the film Niagara with Marilyn Monroe), Edward Andrews, Billie Bird and Carole Cook (who is still living and as vibrant as ever). So the casting for the film, I have to say, was pretty cool. Of course, you also have Brian Doyle-Murray playing the priest. So it got off to a good start and after that I started a relationship with John.

Sixteen Candles was filmed during the summer of 1983 and released in May of 1984. It was written by John Hughes, but also marked his directorial debut. It starred Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, both just 15 years old at the time, but they were joined by an outstanding cast of supporting characters. This is the wedding scene that he referenced and features several of those characters including Kapelos as "Rudy" and his wobbly bride-to-be "Ginny" played by Blanche Baker...


Q: You would end up appearing in three John Hughes films in a row. What can you tell us about John Hughes and your experience working for him?

John: Well first I have to say that I am sad that John is gone because I never got a chance to resolve anything since I never really saw the guy for many, many years. John HughesHe was a very difficult guy to communicate with later on in his career and after he stopped working because he was elusive. Many people who knew him better than I did have talked about his elusiveness. When I first met him, he was very, very engaging. He was totally into his work. He really knew that he wanted to do these movies. He was a man on a mission. He had written so much and he was so hell-bent on getting this stuff down on film the way he wanted it to be that there was a specific nature to his game. I could see that his wife, Nancy, was very, very supportive of him. He had a very tight group of people around him that worked for him. There was part of John that ruled by intimidation. I think that he was somewhat passive-aggressive in his behavior. He would never tell anybody anything negative directly, but you would hear if somebody fell out of favor or if something wasn't working through his minions. He was very specific. He had a very tight relationship with Anthony Michael Hall, as you might imagine, who was basically his alter-ego. John was really kind to me.

He was really hard-working with me. I'm thinking specifically about The Breakfast Club. Kapelos as Carl in The Breakfast ClubI remember the first scene where I come in and they are all in the library. I am emptying the garbage can and I say "Hey Bri" and "That clock's 20 minutes fast" and that whole sequence. There was a moment in that sequence that, after shooting eight or nine takes, John asked me to improvise since he knew I was from Second City. That we could come up with stuff on the spot is one of the reasons he liked working with me. An example of that which ended up in the film is during the scene in the basement with Vernon, I came up with the line "When I was a kid I wanted to be John Lennon". That's my line. What John would let me do and what we had a really great time doing was improvising. There was a moment in the scene in the library when I looked at them all and, before I say "That clock's 20 minutes fast", I tell them where I think they're all going to be 30 years from now. It was a great improvised speech and lasted two to three minutes of solid screen time. We shot it and I thought that maybe it would be in the movie. Dede Allen, the late great film editor, put her arm around me and said, "When I cut Gene Hackman out of Bonnie & Clyde..." and I stopped her asking her what she meant. She said, "That whole thing you did here, out. This whole thing you did there, out." So basically I improvised a lot of things with John that didn't make the final movie which was disappointing, but at least we had the actual opportunity of doing it.

The overall thing I got with John is that he was totally in charge of his films, he usually knew exactly what he wanted to shoot and when he didn't know exactly what he wanted to shoot he knew exactly how he wanted to improvise something. He was very specific even when we were improvising. He had strong likes and dislikes. That extended to people. He had a really contentious relationship with Hollywood. He also worked in a great deal of mystery and things were shrouded in secrecy.Man of the Year I can't say that I really knew the guy because I found him to keep himself very much behind a facade. He protected that part of him. He was very observant. He had a very good eye and when you were around him you sort of felt like you were being scanned into his computer. If you met with his approval, that would be a good thing.

The next year, The Breakfast Club was released in February of 1985. It was once again written and directed by John Hughes and once again starred Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. It also starred Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez and Paul Gleason. Kapelos played the role of "Carl Reed" the janitor and self-described "eyes and ears" of the high school. In the opening scene, Carl's picture appears on a plaque that reads, "Man of the Year" in 1969. This implies that he was a popular kid at that same school when he attended 15 years prior. Here is the scene he referenced when we meet Kapelos' character for the first time and Carl interacts with the kids in the library (along with several others)...

John Kapelos as Carl the Janitor - Full Scenes from THE BREAKFAST CLUB from John Kapelos on Vimeo.


Q: So then how do you remember getting the role of "Carl the janitor" in 1985's The Breakfast Club? I read that it was originally given to Rick Moranis who left after creative differences with Hughes. Do you know how that went down?

John: It was supposed to be Rick Moranis and it was Rick Moranis. CarlThey did shoot for a week or so, maybe less. But Rick insisted on playing the part with a big set of gold teeth, a chain with a wad of keys hanging between his legs which he would play with provocatively and a thick Russian accent. He wanted to do it as sort of a broad SCTV type of character that he was prone to playing. John went with it for a few days, but then he asked Rick if he had read the script because this guy was supposed to have gone to this high school. So they had a definite parting of the ways. I was in New York at the time working with Second City off-Broadway at The Village Gate. Long story short, I'm flown back to Chicago the next day and started working on the movie. An offer was made directly to me and nobody else was being considered for the part at that point. After Rick Moranis was let go, John just got in touch with me. I have to admit, I was initially disappointed when I heard they were shooting The Breakfast Club and I wasn't involved because John had said during Sixteen Candles that he had a part for me in his next film. So he had talked to me about "Carl the janitor" and he had sort of promised it to me. But as much as anything gets promised to you in show business, it gets taken away just as easily. When I read in the trades, literally the day before I ended up getting the part, that they were shooting it in Chicago I thought, "Well, there that goes." It was Kismet, fortunately for me, Rick Moranis and John had a parting of the ways, so I came in and started working.

Q: How did you mesh with the cast especially since you arrived after filming had already started?

John: To be honest, Paul Gleason as Principal VernonI had a little bit of a stylistic clash with Paul Gleason who played "Principal Vernon". We ended up becoming friends later and I went to his funeral [he passed in 2006]. I liked Paul a lot, but initially he was a little bit tough on me and didn't necessarily like what I was doing. John [Hughes] did like what I was doing. We shot the scene in the basement where I see him going through the files and he was improvising a little trying to extend his screen time in a way. John asked me to cut him off by just saying, "50 bucks". If you look in the movie and see Paul's reaction when I say "50 bucks", he is really actually pissed because I'm cutting him off. After they yelled cut, he even started pushing me and we almost got into a little fight there. To let you in a little behind the scenes, there was slight tension between us that is evident in the film. When he goes, "Carl, don't be a goof", he's also laying it on John Kapelos the actor to not be a goof. For some scenes, you shoot one actor's lines straight on and then come around and shoot the other actor's lines. In another case, we shot Paul's lines first and then they came around on me. CarlJohn started to ask me to do something different visually and Paul said, "If I would've known he was going to do that, then I would've done something different, so you have to come back and re-shoot my lines." John said that we didn't have the time and it wasn't necessary to do that. So there were incidents like that with Paul. Paul Gleason was good friends with Robert Duvall and there was sort of a machismo in the way he worked. It worked perfectly for the part of the principal. A lot of Paul Gleason is in that character. He was kind of a no-nonsense, jock, not much of sense of humor, old school guy. It all worked out in the wash.

Towards the end of the film the two adult characters get to interact. Carl helps put it all in perspective and challenges Gleason's character saying, "Listen, Vernon, if you were 16, what would you think of you?" Here is that scene (sorry, poor quality) when he also says the line "When I was a kid, I wanted to be John Lennon"...


Q: What can you tell us about working with the rest of the outstanding and mostly young cast?

John: In so far as the cast and the people that I worked with, I never really got close to Molly. I really liked Molly. I remember her mother and father. Hughes & HallHer father is a jazz musician and I believe he is blind. I remember Molly's sister, too. Molly had a really strong support group around her. I remember Michael Hall, of course especially in Sixteen Candles but also in The Breakfast Club, just how bright and amazingly funny he was. I really, really liked him. It was obvious that he and John had a kinetic relationship and they were close, close, close. You know Judd Nelson is only a few years younger than me [Kapelos was 28 years old and Nelson 25 when The Breakfast Club was released] and he was playing a teenager in the film while I was playing an adult. Judd's still pretty much the same guy. I saw him recently and he hasn't changed much. He still has that "John Bender" teenage rock n roll rebellion aspect to him. I don't know how well that ages, but that's another story. I never really got close to the guys on the set because by the time I got there they were already pretty much a unit. They all kind of looked at me askance. When I shot The Breakfast Club, I literally found out where the janitor's room was at the high school we were shooting at and I hung out there. When I'm working, I like to stay quiet and focused, although I do like to chat with people at times. I really, really liked all of them. Hughes & cast of The Breakfast ClubI particularly liked Ally Sheedy. Ally was very smart and, you can tell by some of the work she's done since, very intense and very focused. I really liked the conversations and discussions we had. I remember specifically going out for a walk with her around the high school and having a really good talk. These weren't life-long bonding experiences. Working on a film is somewhat like working in a gypsy camp. You make friends quickly and you're lucky if you keep in touch with them over time. The fact of the matter is that I really, really enjoyed working with all of these kids. There was never a moment where they behaved in a negative way. There was a time when I made a joke about Martin Sheen in front of Emilio Estevez not knowing that he was his father and he sort of gave me an icy reply. I think that maybe he and I had the least friendly relationship, but it certainly wasn't unfriendly. He's just a pretty intense keep-to-himself kind of guy and I don't think we had any personal chemistry as it were. You know it's funny, my recollections of these actors is that they will always be young in my brain and when I see them now, I go "wow!"

Q: You mentioned earlier several scenes that were shot that didn't end up in the final film. Were there any other scenes that you recall that you could share with us? Do you think we will ever get to see any of the deleted scenes as DVD extras someday?

John: There was a lot of stuff shot for The Breakfast Club that didn't end up in the movie. Like I said before, there is a lot of stuff I improvised. There was another sequence when they are looking at a bunch of attractive middle-aged mothers (maybe called "milfs" today) in an aerobics class in the gym. They are sort of checking them out lasciviously. There was also lots of stuff shot that was extraneous. The movie you see ultimately is the movie that it was meant to be. I don't know if any of that footage will ever be released or see the light of day. I think that Nancy Hughes and the John Hughes estate probably have a tight control over that. It probably will never be released as DVD extras. A lot of us were hoping that it would be. At this point, I don't think so. I'd be surprised if it still exists because it probably was destroyed knowing John and his need to control things. Which, in his creative world, is his prerogative.

Q: What were your feelings about it when the film was released in 1985? What are your feelings about The Breakfast Club now over 25 years later?

John: I think I like the film better now than I did back then. I wasn't a teenager, so it didn't seem to have the same cultural impact on me. I realized The Breakfast Clubit was a good movie when it came out. I didn't realize that the quality of the film was going to be as high as it was, as strange as that is to say. I mean there were production aspects, Johnny Corso's set, Universal's publicity, the whole nature of the movie. I think that The Breakfast Club is, rightfully so, a classic film now. I do believe it has stood the test of time. There are so many from the 80s that just do not. One of the main reasons I think the film works is because it's honest, it doesn't pull punches and it was one of the very first films that talked to teenagers on their own level, it didn't talk down to them.

There were also some special cinematic things going on like the use of popular music in the soundtrack. The Simple Minds song ["Don't You (Forget About Me)"] was a stroke of genius. Ironically, the Simple Minds guys didn't like that song and they believe it was forced on them from what I understand. I have met Jim Kerr [lead singer of Simple Minds] and he said they wanted to do their own song, but this is the song they will always be known for. I think it's a great iconic song, but also the fact that John Hughes used pop music in his soundtrack was something other films started imitating more after that. Putting popular music in soundtracks became the thing. I believe that's partly a John Hughes innovation.

The script is f**cking great! The words are great. And the sentiment is great. That's what works. That's why you will find people in high schools today still relating to it. There's always going to be the geek and the jock and the pretty girl and the displaced guy and the quirky girl. There's always going to be these types. And there's always going to be that bullsh*t f**cking teacher that's going to try to ram stuff down your throat because he's holier than thou. There's always going to be that janitor in the corner who has seen it all. I think there's a universality to it and that's what makes good films resonate over time.

Q: Your third Hughes role was as "Dino" in one of my favorite scenes from 1985's Weird Science. What can you tell us about Dino and filming that hilarious bar scene? Who came up with referring to "Gary" as a "malaka"?

John: Let me tell you about Dino. My best buddy, Dino, is a lawyer from Milwaukee. I chose the name Dino because of him. I asked John if I could use the name and he was fine with it. When we shot that whole sequence when they enter the bar and everybody goes silent was my first time ever actually working in Hollywood. We shot that on a big sound stage at Universal Studios.Kapelos as Dino in Weird Science

There was this very large woman who was an extra playing a bar maid. There was this one long shot where they just wanted to get me walking around the bar. Every time I walked across her, she would block me from the camera. Finally, after about the second take, John told me to try not to let her block me but that I could say something to her that they might use in the movie. So I introduce myself to her after the third take and ask her if she wants to work out a bit. She looks at me and says, "Yeah, right" and walks away. So we start shooting it again, I walk up to her and say, "Hey (whatever her name was), can you get a beer to this table?" and she says, "You're standing between me and the camera!" She then jabs me in the chest with her shoulder crushing the microphone I was wearing. They yelled cut and sound guy went, "Whoa!" She ruins this $1500 microphone and I've never seen anybody escorted off the set faster. So that was my first experience with the Hollywood extra.

Yeah, we're pretty much improvising a lot during parts of that scene. We had all of these incredible black character actors working with us. John just thought it was funny, which it is, to have this black bar owned by this Greek guy. I can't say that there was much more forethought that went into that. It's just an amazingly funny screen moment. I came up with malaka. It means jag off or masturbator in Greek slang. So Greeks all over North America were pissed off that I used "malaka" because it wasn't a household word at that point. My mother particularly asked me why I had to use that terrible word. But mothers don't often get their way as we find out.

Weird Science was released in August of 1985 and once again featured the comedy talents on Anthony Michael Hall. He played "Gary" who along with his friend "Wyatt" (played by Ilan Mitchell-Smith) were considered two high school dorks until they invent "Lisa" (played by the gorgeous Kelly LeBrock) and she helps them find their inner cool kid. The film is a little silly and far-fetched, but never fails to make me laugh. Michael Hall was brilliant in it, in my opinion. The scene when they visit the Kandy Bar and he wins over the guys after saying,"She's into malakas, Dino" is one of my all-time favorites from any movie to this day. Here is that entire scene which includes Kapelos as "Dino"...


Q: After three films in a row, was there a reason that you did not appear in other John Hughes films after that?

John: I actually did four films with John Hughes. I was also in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but was totally cut out of the movie. Ferris Bueller was actually my last experience with John. Ferris, Sloane & CameronFerris Bueller was an odd experience because he was sort of counting on me to be something and I think I kind of let him down or the part wasn't constructed well enough. I played the cab driver that drove them all throughout the downtown area, but they edited the part right out of the movie. I don't think the part was well-conceived or necessarily well-written because it was sort of thrown together at the last minute. I think in that regard, if I really look back at it overall (and I have never really said this to anyone so this is your exclusive), maybe after that moment he decided he would move on to a different group of actors. Maybe there was somewhat of a break point that happened there. Because he then did go off and work with different groups of actors and his success was such that John had anybody in Hollywood he wanted to work with. He developed long-term relationships with other actors like John Candy, of course.

Q: Were you able to keep in touch with John Hughes after your time working with him?

John: I never really saw him later on. I bumped into him a couple times socially here in Los Angeles. I tried to get together with him many times, but then he moved back to Chicago and kind of quit the business in a huff. John HughesThe story goes that he was shooting a film, it was the last night of shooting and he wanted to go an extra shot but the studio shut down the set. He was so upset that he literally went to the airport, got on a plane, flew back to Chicago and never came back to L.A. Whether that story is true or not, it sounds pretty dramatic. I think that it might be at least partially true that he left L.A. and never really came back to Hollywood. He really felt, and I think this might be part of his naivety and his ego at play, and always believed that his creative ideas took precedence over any economic factor or sanctions a studio might put on him when making a film. In other words, he felt that money was beginning to trump him too often. Those controlling the money in Hollywood were becoming too intrusive into his world. John had a real healthy image of himself. John HughesYou know, he had a big ego. I think it was indulged and, in a lot of ways, he and Hollywood did not understand one another on a basic level. That's my take on it, humble though it may be.

As far as my interacting with him years later, I reached out to him many times and I never heard back from him. This was in the days before email was so prevalent, but I would call his assistant and left many messages. He never returned them, so there's nothing too dramatic there. He just didn't return the calls. Either he was out of touch or didn't want to get in touch or was on to something else. You never know what goes on inside people's brains, right? I think in a lot of ways that John was a talented genius that probably had a lot of stuff going on. One thing I do remember health-wise is that he and his wife were chain smokers. So when I heard he died of a heart attack, it made me think he never quit smoking. He smoked a lot. That sort of belied a nervous or intense level of anxiety he seemed to possess in his being. Hell, I'm not a shrink, I just play one sometimes on TV, but I always thought he was pretty tightly wound. But, so am I, it takes one to know one. I think a lot of creative people are. You just look at the tell-tale signs. He wasn't a drinker. He wasn't a druggie. He may have smoked pot as a teenager because there are certainly pot references in his films. But there was never any evidence of him being like that. He was a pretty solid family guy with two beautiful sons who are now grown and probably look an awful lot like him. I lamented his death. I feel sadly for Nancy and his children. And, obviously, I think he died too soon. And, I think the f**ked up nature of Hollywood prevented us from having more great John Hughes movies.

Q: What can you tell us about your role as "Chuck" in the 1987 film Roxanne? How did the role of "Chuck" come your way? The adaptation was written by Steve Martin who also starred in the film. What can you tell us about Steve Martin and your experience working with him?Kapelos & Steve Martin

John: Roxanne is one of the best experiences I had after working on the John Hughes movies and really in movies period. It still remains to me one of those golden memories where the experience of making the movie and doing the film up in Canada and working with Steve Martin equals the product. I think it's still a great movie. I think it stands the test of time. It's a tad dated, as so many of the 80s movies are, but not as dated as many of the other ones.

Roxanne was an adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac written by Steve Martin. It starred Martin along with Daryl Hannah and was released in theaters in June of 1987. Roger Ebert described it as a "gentle, whimsical comedy" with an "ineffable spirit" and I would certainly agree with him. Kapelos plays "Chuck", sort of an obnoxious jerk who owns a store called All Things Dead and who considers himself a ladies man but is unsuccessful in his attempt to pick up "Roxanne" in an early scene at the local bar. Also in the later 80s, John Kapelos appeared in Nothing In Common (1986) with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason, Vibes (1988) with Cyndi Lauper and Jeff Goldblum, and The Boost (1988) with James Woods and Sean Young. Among his many other film and television roles, you may remember him as "Barry" the sniffing accountant in a 1993 episode of Seinfeld [Season 5, Episode 4].

Q: You have continued to work steadily for 30 years. From your long and impressive list, are there any other films that you are particularly proud of from your career so far?

John: After the John Hughes films, I would say that next to Roxanne my favorite film that I've done is Internal Affairs [1990]. Which is, obviously not a comedy, with Richard Gere, Andy Garcia, Laurie Metcalf, Billy Baldwin and directed by Mike Figgis. John KapelosNext to that would be The Boost [1988] which was with James Wood and Sean Young. Those are some of the other films that I have particular pride in.

Q: What else has John Kapelos been up to more recently? Both acting and otherwise?

John: In recent times, I've done a whole pile of television as cops, detectives, doctors, lawyers, etc. Right now, I'm doing a play at the South Coast Repertory called The Prince of Atlantis which is really great world premier play that we're performing through the end of April. I'm also producing films through my company Carpuzi (which means "watermelon" in Greek). MayI did my short film Commentary about three years ago which went to Sundance. I'm in the process of prepping a film that I'm going to direct called Palmerston Avenue and another one called The Visiting Professor which we are developing the script for. So I want to direct and do more of that in the near future.

I'm also doing some music. I've been doing a lot of music. I write and play music. I have two albums out. One is called Syd the Karaoke Kid and the other is called May. [Here is a link to check out May on Amazon.com] I'm working on a third album now called Too Hip for the Room which is some humorous songs. That about does it.

I am very happy and honored that John was able to take some time to answer my questions so I could share them with you here. You can keep up with John at his official Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/John-Kapelos-Page/117419508331194/ . I want to take this opportunity to again thank John Kapelos for his contributions to 80s pop culture especially his roles in those classic John Hughes films and, even more, for going back to the 80s with us here for a little while as well.

That'll do it for another special issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading and hope you are enjoying the interviews as much as I am. If you want a summary of all of my Back to the 80s Interviews posted thus far, please click on that link. Be sure you haven't missed any of them. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the Fan Page where I ask you to then click on the "Like" button. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.

Quote of the day: "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." -Orson Welles



 


posted by: surrogate (reply)
post date: 05.03.12 (8:45 pm)

Nice piece. He's incredibly versitile. His looks changed so much over the years too. Very cool.



posted by: (reply)
post date: 06.18.12 (9:40 am)

Great article. Fabulously talented actor.



posted by: Andrew (reply)
post date: 10.30.12 (12:52 pm)

Cool interview! There is some really interesting stuff in there.

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