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Danny DeVito on Nobel Son

Published December 8, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Freestyle Releasing
Danny DeVito pops up in a small, quirky role in Nobel Son as an obsessive compulsive witness to a kidnapping. DeVito is a close friend of director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin so he did it as a favor.

Danny DeVito on Nobel Son


"I've known Randy since he was a baby," DeVito said. "Rhea [Pearlman] is Randy's first cousin. I saw his first movie that he made which was a short film, when he was at USC, called Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom School. It was a short, I used to show it too the kids all the time because it was really charming. Then he made it into a feature, like the whole thing with he and Jody. They're very, very energetic, they're very tenacious, they're very talented, and what I admire about them is besides being really great parents and nice people, they're doing it all on their own."

As an independent producer himself, DeVito gives Miller and Savin props for being true indies. "I've done a couple of movies like I produced Garden State or Pulp Fiction, or movies that were kind of independent movies, Garden State more than Pulp Fiction, but truly independent movies. This is where you're looking at two people who from the soup to nuts, from A to Z, have done every single thing on their own. Whether it's like, booking the talent, or he wrote the script, doing the books, dealing with the financing, dealing with the distribution, all the way down the line, they did it with. I wasn't in Bottle Shock because I was working on a movie in the East Coast but I would have certainly been in that movie. He did ask me but it was not convenient for me to go to Napa Valley at that time. But these are the kind of films that I think we need to support, I support and I hope that he does more, just to keep going."


Nobel Son PosterNobel Son


Aside from supporting the craft, it also got DeVito outside his gruff comedy box. "I love the fact I get a chance to do something that's a lot different than what I've been doing for awhile, I feel. I don't know exactly what I am in terms of that, but I know that there are moments in my life where I feel that I could be [OCD]. Right now I'm obsessed with the world and what's going on and all the things that, and I've been for the past couple of years. I find that color in my color wheel, that value is in my life somewhere and it was fun to explore it. Just get into it a little bit. Just think about it, meditate on it."

DeVito did not do any specific OCD research, but traveling in Hollywood circle gave him plenty of examples. "I pull things from, in not an overt way, but in a kind of a subtle way, you do a little reading about it and you do a little looking at certain traits that people have. My wife Rhea, anytime she goes through a yellow light that she thinks she's missed, or she's just gotten through it, she does two things. She touches the visor, she does some kind of kissing, some pagan ritual she does, in the car every day, and now it's like just a thing that she does. We did it in Twins, where Arnold and I both had to have our stuff and had to have the meat and the beans and the stuff on the same side of the plate and then we put the napkin and we did it like a mirror thing. So there are millions of things you find yourself doing."

Nobel Son is out in theaters now.

For the trailer, poster, review and more movie info, go to the Nobel Son Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Freestyle Releasing
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