Chatting with ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone on Star Wars and My Family Recipe Rocks

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Joey Fatone is famous for being in the boy band ‘N Sync. Since then he’s been in movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and appeared on TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and Robot Chicken (check out his dancing, complete with lightsaber action, at the bottom).

We had a chance to talk to the Joey Fatone about his love for Star Wars and his new show, My Family Recipe Rocks, which airs Sundays at 8:30 pm ET/PT on the Live Well Network.

John “Spartan” Nguyen (Nerd Reactor): Hey Joey, how’s it going?

Joey Fatone: Not too bad.

Nerd Reactor: You have a special Star Wars-themed episode for My Family Recipe Rocks. First, can you tell us about the show?

Joey Fatone: The show’s called My Family Recipe Rocks, and what it is is basically we go to everyday people’s homes and see what recipes they got going on. Whether it’s been handed down from generation to generation or something that they whipped up with their family.

So like in the Star Wars one, we went to Steve Sansweet, who is pretty much the largest Star Wars collector in the world. He also worked for George Lucas at the ranch, and now he has his own non-profit organization for a place called Rancho Obi-Wan and he has all his collectibles. What we did was, we went to his place and kinda went through the Star Wars cookbook to find out some recipe on there that you know, families could make actually. It’s pretty cool, pretty easy. We made some Admiral Ackbars, we made the Twin Suns of Tatooine, and the Sand Dune Biscuits. We made a bunch of different stuff. It was pretty cool.

Nerd Reactor: Ackbar, I’m pretty sure people are going to be curious. Can you tell us what the ingredients for that are?

Joey Fatone: Basically it’s a granola bar with chunks of mango and stuff like that. It’s got an orange color. They were really good.

Nerd Reactor: It wasn’t a trap, was it?

Joey Fatone: Thank goodness, they didn’t try to trick me.

Joey Jedi Mind Trick gag

Nerd Reactor: I saw the preview clips for the museum and it’s huge. That’s a lot of Star Wars items. Have you ever been to anything like that before?

Joey Fatone: I’ve been to Lucas Ranch and visited the archives where they have memorabilia. Well, it’s not memorabilia, it’s stuff that was used in the movies. But with this, it was interesting because it was such an overload. It’s everything you’ve seen when you’re a kid. Any fan that’s a part of my generation and growing up, I was actually born when the first one came out in ’77. And growing up and seeing these toys and playing with these toys, it’s crazy to see them brand-spanking new in the package, never been opened up and stuff like that. You’ve got Han Solo’s gun and all that stuff. The crazy part about it is everything in there is not really a duplicate. He has them in another area, but all the things he has there is either something different about it, whether it may be a word or change – American vs. European versions – or there might be different colors.

Nerd Reactor: Do you have any Star Wars collection yourself?

Joey Fatone: I do. The really interesting ones that I collect, obviously every time I ask him, of course he has everything that I mentioned. There were these rings that FAO Schwarz came out with which were Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. And they were rings. One’s copper, one’s silver and one’s gold. They were kinda cool. There is the Queen Amidala doll. It’s a porcelain doll and it came in like, this case with the Queen Amidala symbol on top of it, which is pretty cool. I haven’t got any older figures, like Luke, Han and things like that. The first, kind of original ones.

Nerd Reactor: People who have watched you on Dancing with the Stars would know that you’re a Star Wars fan.

Joey Fatone: Yup. I did a Star Wars tango. It was actually a lot of fun. A lot of Star Wars fans were really excited about that, and it kind of integrated some people who would normally never watch Dancing with the Stars to actually watch it, or watched it on YouTube. Because I had a lightsaber, I kinda got dressed up like a sith or a jedi in a dance fashion. I think most people wanted to see it because Kym Johnson was dressed up pretty close to the Princess Leia slave outfit. I think that was the reason why most people really watched it.

Nerd Reactor: We have the new Star Wars movie coming out, hopefully in 2015. I was wondering if you tried to egg Disney/Lucasfilm with, “Hey, I want to be a part of this.”

Joey Fatone: Not yet. I haven’t really tried to reach that yet. I want to let them figure it out on this one. Maybe the next one I’ll see if I can get on it as an old Jedi or something, as I get older. But I don’t know. I’d love to get into one of them, because we had a chance to do it way back with Lucas and they never put us in the film, but we actually got a chance to be a part of something, which was amazing.

joey fatone fat one

Nerd Reactor: You’ve done a Star Wars episode for Robot Chicken and the “Enter the Fat One” episode.

Joey Fatone: Yeah, I did one of the first – the first installment – the first season of Robot Chicken. It was actually pretty cool because Seth Green came to me about it years ago when I was still with N’Sync. He was telling me about this idea. Years later he came back to me again and said, “Hey, Cartoon Network picked us up for Adult Swim. I’d love for you to do your voice.” So I did my voice on that, and I also did the Star Wars one. I did the first one. I did a couple voices for that, then a couple other ones throughout the season. So yeah, it was kind of cool. It was a lot of fun doing that, just being creative with that, being silly, which is always a fun thing.

Nerd Reactor: Are you going to do any future episodes?

Joey Fatone: I’m not sure yet. I haven’t done anything yet. I know that they’ve been doing stuff. I’ve just really been dealing with My Family Recipe Rocks show right now and traveling around. But if they call me up with, “Hey, throw your voice on something.” I’ll be like, “Sure, cool!”

Joey and Steve walk museum

Nerd Reactor: As for My Family Recipe Rocks, do you have any other future nerdy-themed episodes?

Joey Fatone: Well, you never know what we’re going to do. That’s what so great about this show. We can go from possibly doing someone who’s a celebrity and you go in their kitchen, to everyday people, to having a themed ones, themes for like award shows like the Oscars. I think that’s the stuff that we could definitely get into, which I’m sure we will. So we’re wrapping up season 2 right now. We’ve got three more episodes and then we’ll start season 3. I’m really excited about that.

Nerd Reactor: How long do you want the show to last? Do you have other projects you want to do?

Joey Fatone: Well the beauty of it is that they do work around my schedule, in a sense of that it’s very flexible in how many times they shoot out of the month. And that’s the thing that’s really cool about it. We get to just be creative with everything, and I think it can last forever just because it’s almost – like the shows on Food Network. They go on forever because there are so many different recipes out there and so many different ways that people cook. I think this is something that can go on forever. And I wouldn’t mind it at all. It’s great. I’m learning a lot actually.

Nerd Reactor: After all this, you should open up your own restaurant and become a chef.

Joey Fatone: (chuckles) I don’t know about that one. I love to come up with a cookbook with all the recipes that have been together, that we’ve seen. But I’m not sure about opening up a restaurant anytime soon.

Nerd Reactor: The cookbook, just doing that, that would be a good idea too.

Joey Fatone: Yeah, that would be kinda fun. I had a really lot of fun with that. Especially since I have kids, so it’s kind of like a combination doing recipes that are fairly easy and healthy for the family, and kind of making some fun dishes that adults can do for parties and stuff as well.

Nerd Reactor: Do you have any cooking that you’ve done from past episodes that you really enjoyed?

Joey Fatone: Oh yeah. I’ve made these Saucy Balls I guess they’re called. They were these pork and ground turkey put together and made basically into a meatball and cooked. Then you take cream cheese with some herbs and throw that together, put a little dollop on that then wrap it up in a puff pastry. Then you make up a balsamic glaze and pour that on top after it’s done. It’s ridiculous. It was amazing. That’s something that I made, I was like, “I need to make this!” I did and it was awesome, came out really good.

Nerd Reactor: Sweet. Would you be down to do a humming of the Star Wars theme?

Joey Fatone: Oh, that’s a pretty good one. (hums the Star Wars theme). I can go on forever with this one though. (laughter)

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