Tony Danza Is Still Affable As Hell And Appreciative Of All The Water That’s Passed Under His Bridge

Features Editor
09.21.18

Netflix

In the new Netflix dramedy, The Good Cop, Tony Danza plays a formerly dirty cop trying to reclaim a relationship with his straight-arrow detective son (Josh Groban). The show feels like a throwback, one part Castle and another part The Commish, relying on the chemistry of the two leads while working around occasionally absurd crimes that often seem to have a tie to Danza’s character. It’s an easy watch in a sea of heavier procedurals and a glove-tight fit for Danza, a TV icon thanks to Taxi and Who’s The Boss who picks his spots, touring his stage show and trying to produce a play while waiting for roles that sing to him.

In our talk with the affable and BS-free Danza, we touched on why this one carried a note, his initial apprehension (and ultimate delight) in working with Groban, taking a “real” job as a teacher for a while, playing against type while not caring about type, and why he doesn’t want to do more Who’s The Boss.

The Geoffrey Owens/Trader Joes thing is all over the news. You pressed pause on your acting career at one point and went off to teach for a while [documenting the process for an A&E series]. Were there any negative responses to that?

Well, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t working that much. [Laughs] It wasn’t like I was dropping out. But I got nothing but positives from that. You know, someone asked me because of the 40th anniversary of Taxi what my favorite… the thing that I’m most proud of, and I actually said Teach. Because that changed me in so many ways. You spend 181 days teaching high school at an inner-city school in Philadelphia, it changes your outlook.

I read that you’re still connected to the school with a talent show.

Teachers versus students talent show there. I try to stay connected to the school — it’s still important to me. There are over 4,000 kids in that school now. Can you imagine?

Have any of the students kept in touch with you?

Oh, yeah. Yeah, a lot of them. I just got invited to one of their weddings.

Oh, that’s awesome.

One of my favorite students. It’s amazing the effect as a teacher that you have on them. This was 10th grade, it was a very impressionable moment. I’d be surprised if they didn’t keep in touch with me.

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