Of all the supporting players on CBS’ six-year hit Murphy Brown, Robert Pastorelli can claim the most thriving secondary career. Indeed, moonlighter Pastorelli has churned out parts in films (Dances With Wolves, Striking Distance) and TV movies a lot faster than Eldin Bernecky is painting Murphy’s house. Now appearing as a Hollywood manager in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Pastorelli also plays a nasty bounty hunter in CBS’ Dec. 14 thriller, Robin Cook’s Harmful Intent. Next spring, he’ll play a schizophrenic in the ABC movie The Yarn Princess. We snared him for a quick but wide-ranging update.
EW: Candice Bergen used to call you ”my little scrotum,” and you called her ”my little Pap smear.” Do those still hold?
Pastorelli: No, I now call her ”my little pee stain.” She still calls me ”my little scrotum.” I guess she is not as imaginative when it comes to groin-acological humor.
EW: Do you rent your own movies at the video store?
Pastorelli: Only to have scenes put on my (resume) reel. I accidentally sent my reel out once with this boxing match and Jailhouse Rock on it. They were probably looking for me in Jailhouse Rock or the audience of the Hearns-Hagler fight.
EW: You’ve never done a nude scene or even appeared shirtless. Any reason?
Pastorelli: What — has there been a call to see me shirtless? I don’t think so! Actually, I appear shirtless in Yarn Princess. And I have all these tattoos — dragons, angels, wolves, a black rose. But I got them before they were in style.
EW: If you could invite Madonna, Jackie Onassis, Mother Teresa, or Hillary Rodham Clinton to dinner, who would get the nod?
Pastorelli: Easy — Madonna. God bless Mother Teresa. But I’d invite the little Italian girl who has shaken up the world.
EW: Does this mean you’d rather not talk politics or religion?
Pastorelli: I talk about anything usually, but I really like to talk about boxing and animal shows. I love animal shows on the Discovery Channel. I’m this dichotomy.
EW: Okay, you’re in a plane crash, in the Andes, with the Murphy cast. There’s no food. Who do you eat first and why?
Pastorelli: (Without pausing) Faith Ford (Corky). ‘Cause she’s the sweetest thing on God’s green earth.