Over the past 24 months, Bedford resident Chazz Palminteri has taken his critically acclaimed one-man show based on A Bronx Tale around the country, which, he says, has kept him away from his home too often. But after a stint this May in New Orleans starring in an upcoming film with Andie McDowell, he is looking forward to returning home to finish writing and producing a film called Mob Street.
“Once he comes home, it’s like his cave and he never wants to leave,” says his wife, Gianna, a producer, who has filled their Italian-style home with all the things he loves.
|The Circle of Life
Hearing the water flow from the stone fountain at the entrance to the driveway creates a sense of calm before entering the house. Purchased in Stamford, the fountain was hand-stained by decorative painter Andy Shires.
A Meditative State
“No, it’s not the real one,” Chazz jokes about the replica of one of Jackson Pollack’s paintings. It was a gift from art collector Peter Brandt, who produced a movie about the artist’s life and used the painting as a stand-in for the real thing. “I’ll sometimes kid people to check out my Pollack and see them register that it’s worth something like seventy million dollars. Then, of course, I tell them the truth.”
|A Taste of Salerno
Friends know that Chazz is a wine connoisseur, which is why many give him signature bottles. An artist friend painted the mural from a family photo of the family visiting their home in the Italian hills of Salerno, which is also Gianna’s parents’ hometown. Although many of the bottles are from Italy, Chazz loves Californian wines with Caymus being his current favorite.
Whenever Chazz is on extended leave from home, his “Relax the Back” chair—the most comfortable ever, he says—is shipped with him. Many of his best scenes were conceived while sitting in this chair, which has a zero gravity position for zero back impact.
Of all the pictures of his children, Dante and Gabriella, Chazz thinks the one above best captures their personalities and always makes him smile. His other favorite is of him with pal Robert DeNiro (below), whom he met on the set of A Bronx Tale; they have been great friends ever since.
Touched By an Angel
Before visitors enter his office, they are greeted by a wooden sign on the door that says, “Angels Gather Here.” Inside is a large plaster angel, painted gold, that Gianna bought as a gift. It inspires him daily. “I believe in angels and have had a blessed life, so I thank my angel every day,” Chazz says.
Photography by John O’Donnell