“No kidding. Me too!” These are the words actor and director Joe Pantoliano has heard many times in his conversations with others about mental illness. He made them his rallying cry and launched the non-profit No Kidding, Me Too!, with mission to promote education and awareness with the hope of removing the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
An award-winning actor, “Joey Pants” is known for his tough-guy roles in The Sopranos and Memento. However, it was his role as a father dealing with his wife’s mental illness in 2006’s Canvas that inspired him to face his own clinical depression and his childhood growing up with a mother who was bipolar. After that, he authored two memoirs: Who’s Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy and 2012’sAsylum: Hollywood Tales from My Great Depression.
With courage, humor, and compassion, Joe Pantoliano has put a face on the mental health issue. Speaking in his no-nonsense style, he shares the experiences that have fueled his craft and creativity while offering hope to those affected by mental illness.
Making it his life’s calling to help others, Joe has become an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. Pantoliano encourages audiences to take action and become more knowledgeable about mental illness—including its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Through No Kidding, Me Too!, he directed the powerful documentary Hope’s Messengers, which presents an honest, empowering portrayal of those living with mental illnesses.