The Devil, Bernie and Bollywood: A Conversation with Danny DeVito

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The Devil, Bernie and Bollywood: A Conversation with Danny DeVito


Do I catch you in the middle of any productions or just full on Little demon push?

Right now, no. We are in the middle of our preparations Little demon shows. I love working with demons. Lucy, Jake and I call the creators, in Kiera [Valla], Darcy [Fowler]and Seth [Kirschner], the demons. And they are young and great.

Outside of the family aspect, what made you want to play the devil?

Well, Lucy and Jake called me. We were looking for something to do and she had some theater friends in New York who had an idea for a show and they pitched it to me. And it turns out that Lucy was going to play the Antichrist and they said, “You’re smart as hell.” [Laughs] And I said, “Yeah, man!”

By the way, playing the devil is a really cool thing because the idea is that the devil has his own problems in his realms. What is said kicked him out of heaven, and there are so many complex rivals of monsters and beasts. He has friends who make Tony Soprano look like a choir boy. So this guy has a lot of obstacles. I’m a little rough around the edges, a little rough and I have a lot to learn, but I have a business to run. And I need my daughter. I only get it every other weekend, but I’m not a dead man – I’m doing my best!

We’ve already seen so many versions of the devil in pop culture. How did you manage to distinguish your person?

I wanted to make him seem like he was good, nice, likable. I mean, he’s extreme, he runs the show, but he takes care of his people. So there’s a bit of mwah-ha-ha to it. But people have always exaggerated this when it comes to the devil. Look at yourself! Do you want to see a devil? Look in the mirror, baby! [Laughs] Well, let’s not go overboard with Lee Strasberg, but why not?

You have so many memorable voice credits: Space Jam, Hercules, Look who’s talking. Do you think there’s something specific about your voice that resonates with people?

And I did The Lorax! It was so much fun. Disney’s Philoctetes Hercules, that was the best, i got to sing a song. It’s really interesting. I’ve always had that thing with my voice where if you’re in the back room getting dressed to go out and a bunch of friends come in and say, “Yo, I’m here,” I’m the one they go, “Hey Danny!” Even even if they haven’t seen me, they know the voice.

And a lot of it has to do with the accent. I have a Brooklyn accent because my dad is from Brooklyn, but I also have a Jersey accent because I was born in New Jersey. And then when you go, do It’s always sunny you talk a little more like people from Philadelphia, which is kind of like people from Baltimore. I just made a movie the pool, with Chris Pine— he directed and starred in it. I was doing some monologue and he said, “You’re starting to sound British.” I was like, “What the hell do you want from me? [British accent] It’s not British. [Baltimore accent] He’s from Baltimore, I’m from the coast. [Jersey accent] I’m from New Jersey!” Anyway, it was funny.


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