Danny DeVito

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, Danny DeVito talks about his early love of television and film, and reminisces about growing up in New Jersey. He speaks of early roles in films such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and early television roles on Starsky and Hutch. He discusses landing the role of "Louie De Palma" on Taxi, for which he won an Emmy, and describes his costars, including the comedian Andy Kaufman. DeVito also recalls his wife, Rhea Perlman's, guest appearance on that show, and recounts his own guest appearances on TV comedies such as Friends and The Simpsons. He touches on his production company, Jersey Films, and some of its projects. He then details his then-latest role as "Frank Reynolds" on F/X's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, created by Rob McElhenney. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on July 27, 2011 in North Hollywood, CA.

"I think 'Taxi' is one of the seminal, great shows that was ever made on television. I mean, the story and those characters, that's what makes a great show - it's the characters. And I always fell in love with the characters."

Highlights
Danny DeVito on his physical type
Danny DeVito on his advice to actors
Danny DeVito on his proudest career achievement
Danny DeVito on the legacy of "Louie De Palma" on Taxi
Danny DeVito on "The Night Man Cometh" musical on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Danny DeVito on the end of Taxi and its legacy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his "new look" - blonde hair for a movie he was shooting during this interview; he talks about the new phase of "Television on the internet"; on the state of his hair on his current show It's Always Sunny in Philadephia
On his early family life; on growing up in New Jersey and his early love of movies
On loving to watch television as a kid; on his education
On acting in high school; on growing up Italian-American
On going to beauty school; on trying to enroll in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts
On starting a career in television; on appearing in "Cuckoo's Nest" off-Broadway; on All That Glitters
On the value of television and its future on the internet; on being able to watch television on-demand 
On getting cast on Taxi; on his character "Louie De Palma"

Chapter 2

On his early television work on Starsky & Hutch
On his Taxi co-stars Andy Kaufman, Marilu Henner, and Christopher Lloyd; on guest-appearances by his mother and by his wife, Rhea Perlman
On his Taxi character "Louie De Palma"; on how much he enjoyed the role
On why he went back to television with his current sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; on Charlie Day and his Sunny cast; on how his Taxi fans might react to his new character - comparing "Frank" and "Louie"
On "Louie De Palma's" special "space" on Taxi, what he kept in that space and how he decorated it; on the legacy of that role; on Taxi being cancelled then picked up again by NBC; on his Saturday Night Live appearance; on changes with censorship on TV
On the changing face of television and new media

Chapter 3

On his physical type; on the end of Taxi; on the show's legacy
On what he watches on TV now
On the film "Man on the Moon" about his Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman; on his appearances on Friends as "Uncle Herb"
On why It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has tapped into the American psyche
On what he looks for in a film in order to take a role: five good things
On his proudest achievements and career advice to actors; on his directing style; on meeting Milton Berle and Red Buttons
Shows

All that Glitters

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Danny DeVito on appearing on All That Glitters, a Norman Lear TV project

Friends

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Danny DeVito on his Friends appearance as "Uncle Herb"

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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Danny DeVito on why he returned to television on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as "Frank Reynolds"
Danny DeVito on his nude scene on an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas episode 
Danny DeVito on "The Night Man Cometh" musical on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Danny DeVito on why It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has tapped into the American psyche

Saturday Night Live

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Danny DeVito on his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live after Taxi was cancelled and before it was picked up again on NBC

Sopranos, The

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Danny DeVito on his fascination with watching The Sopranos; on the value of watching it on-demand on DVD
01:15

Taxi

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Danny DeVito on his Taxi character "Louie De Palma"; on meeting the cast
Danny DeVito on his Taxi co-stars
Danny DeVito on his real mother playing his TV mother on Taxi
Danny DeVito on his wife Rhea Perlman appearing on Taxi and the first utterance of "holy crap" on TV
Danny DeVito on his Taxi character "Louie De Palma's" softer side
Danny DeVito on "Louie's" "cage" on the Taxi set
Danny DeVito on creating his iconic Taxi character, "Louie De Palma"
Danny DeVito on the Taxi episode "Louie Sees the Light"
Danny DeVito on Taxi and its legacy
Topics

Technological Innovation

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Danny DeVito on the value of television and its future on the internet
Professions

Actor

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Danny DeVito on advice to actors - "don't be nervous just go in there and knock their socks off"
People

Milton Berle

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Danny DeVito on meeting Milton Berle

Red Buttons

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Danny DeVito on meeting Red Buttons

Andy Kaufman

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Danny DeVito on working with his Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman
Danny DeVito on his Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman and the episode "Brother Rat" which featured Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton

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