NEWPORT, R.I. – Actor Joe Pantoliano may be best known for his on-camera roles in “The Sopranos” and “The Matrix,” but he’s using his behind-the-camera talents as a documentary filmmaker to help end the stigma associated with mental illness.
As part of that effort, Pantoliano will visit Salve Regina University on Thursday, Dec. 6, for a screening of his 2009 documentary “No Kidding, Me Too!” The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Ave. Free and open to the public, the screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Pantoliano.
“The message of the film is empowerment—empowering those with mental illnesses to admit their illness, seek treatment, become even greater contributing members of society, and obliterate this stigma,” Pantoliano says.
According to Pantoliano, he often played characters who dealt with issues of mental illness. From these roles and from his own personal experience, he became aware of the grave injustice people suffered because of society’s stigma.
“We have found that by infusing humor into a message that the message not only grows faster but is retained longer,” Pantoliano says. “That is our hope.”
One of today’s most recognized actors, Pantoliano has starred in films such as “Risky Business,” “The Goonies,” “Midnight Run,” “The Matrix,” and “Memento.” Today, the actor is credited with over 100 film, television, and stage roles.
The screening is sponsored by the university’s social work club, the psychology and English departments, the campus activities board, and the office of academic affairs.
More information about the charity “No Kidding, Me Too!” can be found at http://www.nkm2.org/