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Nervous Romano makes Sundance debut

He has two new films, ‘Eulogy’ and ‘Welcome to Mooseport’
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

“I’m a virgin,” Sundance newbie Ray Romano confided Tuesday.

“It’s my first (live-action) film, my first Sundance, my first time for everything.”

He’s talking about his Park City turn in the dark comedy “Eulogy,” from Lions Gate and Myriad Pictures. And like most first-timers, Romano’s nerves were working overtime at the first showing of the Premieres selection, which finds Romano as a member of an eccentric family reuniting for the funeral of Grandpa Collins.

“An ensemble piece is something that I wanted to do first out of the gate. It didn’t cost very much to make, so I thought that if it tanks because of me, I can give all the money back out of my own pocket,” Romano muses. “But the first screening — or, well, the premiere, whatever they call it — went well. It was very nerve-racking being in front of 1,200 or 1,300 people, but I managed to get a couple of laughs during the Q&A, and that’s what it’s all about.”

After making his feature debut in “Eulogy,” Romano next moves on to his starring turn opposite Gene Hackman in 20th Century Fox’s “Welcome to Mooseport,” opening Feb. 20.

Now, with a fledgling film career, is Romano finally ready to end his run as head of household on CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond?”

“We are in the middle of deciding right now whether we are going to do another year. It’s just a matter of finding the right time to have a meeting with myself, (creator and executive producer) Phil Rosenthal and all our writers to see what we have for next year,” he reveals.

“I bulls--t a lot in interviews, but I’ll tell you the truth — we don’t know, we really don’t know. It has nothing to do with film. If (these films) do well, it won’t influence me at all. There are so many factors to think about — the 150 crew members, the cast, the audience, my family, CBS. There is a lot to consider.”