Danny Devito Interview The Lorax & Twins Sequel News

Acclaimed actor/diretor Danny Devito spoke to our very own Bernadette McIntyre at The MCM London Comic Con Expo 2012 about his new animated film the Lorax and confirmed that the long rumored Twins sequel is officially happening with Eddie Murphy joining Danny and Arnold Schwarzenegger as a new brother for Triplets. read the full Interview below:

Hello, how you doing, nice to see you. I think I’ve been in London so long I’m starting to talk like you guys!

At the heart of the Lorax do you think it’s a love story? 

This is the thing; this is the great thing, falling in Love! It can be a woman and a woman or a man and a man it doesn’t matter, it’s falling in love! Boy I’m telling you, you can move mountains when you fall in love. That’s what happens with Zac’s character here, he just falls totally madly in love with his neighbour, played by Taylor Swift, rightly so because she’s gorgeous.  It’s also that thing where you look at the age difference and say this girl’s a tiny bit older than he is, maybe just a year or two. Everyone had that experience in school, maybe with a girl who was like a grade ahead of you and you go “Oh Man! I would do anything to get next to her”

Have you ever been through that yourself?

Oh yeah! I mean I’ve never had an opportunity to go and plant a forest for a woman. But I’ve certainly had the feeling that I would go tackle that task if the opportunity arose!

The film has a strong environmental message but it’s also been used to promote SUV’s and disposable diaper, how do you feel about that?

I know there’s a too big to fail sign in there, but basically I’m a green leftie. I drive a leaf which is a car that was available a year ago from Nissan in the United States. It has no emissions and I pretty much never go to the gas station. I do everything I can to. I can’t do it as well as Ed Begley though. He does it to the point that he’ll ride his bike to charge the batteries to do his laundry in his house. But I’m not built that way, I can’t do that. But I am totally 100% behind the film I terms of its message of sustainability. But what we have to do eventually but pretty soon to clean up the mess we’re making all over the world. Not only in our respective countries but also in all the places we’re paying people to cut down rainforests to grow crops. These simple things are throwing the world out of balance.  I just a book about a year ago called Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and it’s really cool book that people should take a look at.

I’m a big YouTube freak; I go on there all the time. I look at all these science things, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson who’s the head of the planetarium in New York. He’s totally into talking about space and what’s going on. But this guy Jarred who was talking about Easter Island and civilisations. Not to get too heavy about it, but those kinds of things remind us that we are this tiny little butterfly blink as a species on this planet. There’s so much stuff that’s gone on before us and so much that’s possibly going to happen in the future. I’s not a question of blowing a dust speck off a table and saying there you got solved it. Those things are scary but in the film we handle it very well. It’s out there, it is in your face a bit, but it’s done with love, care and a sense of fun. Going back to the kids love story as well I felt really good about that being the catalyst for all this.

What would you say is the enduring appeal of Dr Suess?

The thing about Dr Seuss from my perspective is that I have a family of three kids; you start the ids out reading. The main thing about parenting is dedication; it’s about being there as much as you can. Everybody has to work and go off to jobs to make ends meat, but with kids if you put in that time when you come home from work. You start them out with beautiful picture books. Stuff that you can look at. Winnie the Poo and all those things. Then you start moving into word books. What happens is you find Dr Seuss. You find that it’s not only fun, with a story about someone who hears something in the middle of a flower, he’s also got the rhymes going on. They’re silly ass rhymes, I love that stuff! It makes it more palatable for us as parents, brothers, sisters or uncles. It makes it easier to bridge that gap. It varies it up and chops it up a bit. You throw in some Roald Dahl, like Matilda or The BFG, and then you’ve got something else going on. It makes it more enjoyable and it’s a better way to reach the mind of your loved ones.

You’re in the West End playing a furious character in Sunshine Boys how furious is the Lorax?

The Lorax is a ball of fury for sure! Once he found out what’s going on. This guy is naïve, he’s chopping down trees. The obvious thing is that if you do it indiscriminately then you’re going to chop down every tree and wind up with nothing. That’s it, that’s basically the tale. It’s not against the logging industries at all, it’s just about awareness. If you’re going to take a tree, then plant one as well.  Figure something out. Don’t change the environment to the point where you’re having mudslides because you have no ground cover. It’s simple things like that, that men and women need to think about.

Now in terms of being bombastic and crazy… I love that, you know that about me. One of the things about the Lorax he’s not a guy who keeps his feelings to himself. I relate to that. If I see something that I feel needs to be taken care of I’m going to say something. I’m not trying to win friends an influence people. If something’s on my mind I’ll say it, I’m not saying I can’t be wrong, I’m not invincible. But I’m saying that if somebody does something to somebody that I don’t think is right then you have to speak up. You could keep quiet, but that’s not my MO.

Can you tell us a bit more about your West End Play Sunshine Boys?

In the Sunshine Boys my big problem is that I’ve spent 43 years working with one partner who’d had enough at the time and quit. He left me 11 years ago with an act where I ask questions and there’s nobody there to answer. Now I’m already an old guy, doing the same thing for 43 years and it’s very hard to break into other things. It’s hard to get into commercials, it’s hard to get any work when you’re older, but you still have that desire to work in you. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

In Neil Simon’s wonderful play Sunshine Boys the thrust of the play is that they have a chance to get back together for a television special. My character in the play is still resentful and holds a grudge. My partner retired to go live in the country with his daughter in New Jersey.

You recently directed a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a hospital, how’s that going?

I’m working on it now. It’s one of those things where you bite off more than you can chew. I thought while I’m doing he play I can edit it. So I’ve been going back and forth with it. I have a wonderful cast. Lance Reddick is a wonderful actor who played Lt Daniels on The Wire. He’s an amazing man and a great guy. He’s my partner basically; he played a character on Sunny. Then I have bill vicknor who was on tons of movies like Perfect Storm and is going to be playing the bad guy in the Johnny Depp Lone Ranger movie. He’s terrific. Constance  Zimmer,  who played one of the main guys girlfriends on Entourage , she’s cute and a really pretty girl who plays our nurse. When I say Apocalyptic it’s like the city is under siege. There’s a lot of exteriors, there’s a lot going on outside. But the dilemma of these two people is that one of them is drug dealer, the other guy is a cop and they’ve both shot each other in the stomach. The nurse is taking care of them because there are no doctors; everybody has split because the city is under siege. There’s other people that the nurse if taking care of and there’s clues all the way through as to why people are really all there. But you’ll have to go see the movie to figure it all out!

I’m editing the film now on my trusty final cut pro. I got all my material with me. I shot it on a Lexa camera, it’s a beautiful camera. I send stuff back and forth with the composer and sound effects. I sit in my room eating French fries doing it all.

A lot of your work comes from the dark side where does that come from in yourself?

I think it’s like I like the idea of the banana peel, I love the slapstick stuff. I always loved Gerry Lewis, the Three Stooges and all that stuff. There is a thing about comedy which is that it lends itself to farce. I just take that and apply it to something like War of The Roses, two people fighting over material objects. It turns into a fun story where I can kill the people. I kind of enjoyed the fact that I was mean to Matilda, but in the end it worked out for her and she ended up with Miss Honey. In Death to Smoochy, Edward Norton’s character  is a total environmentalist but he’s running around in the ridiculous dinosaur suite. In the first scene he’s playing this song on a little ukulele dressed as the Smoochy character and it’s all about Heroine! He’s singing “You can get yourself off the smack, yes you can!”. He’s singing it in a methadone clinic to people waiting to get their juice.

Is the Twins sequel going to happen and is it really going to be Triplets?

Yeah it’s going to happen. What’s going to happen is I’ll tell you the way it’s going to go we talked about it once you have the dinner about it then you can start. I went with Arnold first we had an initial meeting. There were couple of agents there, which is always a terrible thing to have. The studio was there too, which is really crazy because once the studio wants it they’ll string up your first born to get it. We like Universal; they’re the people who are doing the Lorax. Universal have been so good to us, especially me. I’m really looking forward to it.

Then we we’re trying to figure out what it should be and someone had the idea that maybe we should be triplets. Who better to play the part than Eddie Murphy as our new brother.  So we don’t have the story yet. But the idea going to be that we wind up as scientists. I did the movie Gattaca with Jude Law and Ander Niccol, it was with a great writer and that blew me away. Reading about all the sh*t you can do! We’ve got an eleven finger piano player in that movie and it’s unbelievable.

Would you ever want to direct an animated film of your own?

Chris Meledandri brought The Lorax to me, he did Despicable Me and he’s got a ton of other movies going on. He’s got a company called lamination Arts that works with Universal. I think his son got him hooked on Sunny and Frank Reynolds just sold the deal with those guys. They brought a drawing of The Lorax over. They said, wow imagine your voice coming out of that guy! I just go for it man I was like wild in this movie.

I do this thing that’s really bizarre hat you probably don’t know about called Blood Factory, it’s a hobby it’s not something that’s commercial. My friend is a horror aficionado and he writer these like 5mintue, six minute things.  But we’ve done like ten of them and they’re all online. You have to go see if you can find it at The Blood Factory.com They’re very sick and twisted, don’t let your little kids watch them! They’re all about revenge and comeuppance ad usually there’s a lot of blood. The one point I was thinking was doing a game with The Blood Factory, but then you know I am doing a lot of stuff.

Would you like to see the stage production of Matilda while you’re in the West End yourself?

The movie is amazingly popular. Everyone watched the movie. It’ one of those classic stories about where you fight to get a movie made, which I did. The studio beats the sh*t out of you while you’re making the movie. It happens to very film maker and every director. They beat you down and make you feel like you’re wasting money and you’re piece of dirt. Then all of a sudden the movie comes out half way decent. Then every single kid in the world owns the movie and they make a lot of money on it. Now that movie is evergreen. Whoever watches it passes it on to their children, their nieces or nephews. I have no desire to go and see the play. I just don’t feel like I’d want to go and see someone else doing it. I’d pick it apart.

Final question if you could have lunch with any character form the Dr Seuss world who would it be?

That’s a really good question. You know I have to say, I don’t want to be prejudiced or anything, but the Lorax is a really good character. Here’s what I think, I figure he’s probably a vegetarian, I figure he eats a lot of berries and nuts and stuff. He does come out of a tree but he’s got some magic. I wonder what the community of Lorax looks like. I assume he’s a guy. I’m assuming there’s going to be a girl in his life somewhere, probably living down in the ground under a tree stump. He’s a rare creature of the forest; you don’t get to see him often. But if there’s one of him then there’s got to be two of them. I wouldn’t mind going to lunch with the Loraxes, I’m sure he’s not going to eat one of those little fishies!

Kristen Stewart & Chris Hemsworth Interview

We’re here with Snow White and her Huntsman…

Kristen – I said that on set all the time, I was always saying where is MY Huntsman, where is he?

Q. What are you most excited for the audience to see from this film?

Chris – I mean what I was excited about when I read it was how different it was to the fairy tale we knew. Across the board people have said to me that they didn’t expect it was also for a male audience. Even I assumed it was a fairy tale for kids or girls, but it’s not it’s for everyone because of how epic and visually stunning it is, with such great characters, story and heart. It’s just a big beautiful film.

Kristen – Yeah it’s so fundamentally stunning. The whole reasons I wanted to do the movie was because I wanted to be a part of that whole. I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to help them. I know it sounds totally lame!

Chris – It’s true you can’t help but come along for the ride with each character that comes in. It’s like all of society coming together to take on the Evil Queen.

 

Q. Whether it’s Charlize being scary or the dwarves being funny each character brings something different to the film don’t they?

Kristen – Finding balance is important. Like for anyone who thinks we’re doing this dark twisted tale, it really is quite classical as well. In terms of what you think it’s going to be, the enchantment of it all is like so beautiful. When it gets light, when there’s levity it’s like so unbelievably beautiful.

Chris – I think more than ever films are combining so many different themes. With this one it’s not just an action film or a fairy tale it’s all those things coming together with that perfect set of balance.

Kristen – Life is never a genre. Like right now were not in a fairy tale…

Chris – But it’s somewhat tragic at the same time

 

Q. The film is so action packed, was there a scene that you found the most difficult?

Chris – Anything with a horse is pretty difficult!

Kristen – I’m so happy to hear everyone agreeing about that!

Chris – Especially my horse that seemed to want to go in the opposite direction in battle. I was like Dude and he was just like neeeh. I love how people say to you “By The way Horses can smell fear”. I’m like don’t tell me that I was relaxed before that!

Kristen – It’s true, it’s so true! That’s why I can’t ride. It might look like I can do it but it is just fear literally. Whatever is going on with my face in those scenes I take no credit for whatsoever!

 

Q. Is there something that helps you face your fear in those moments?

Chris – Sure I think you just get caught up in the moment. There’s a hundred horses riding in one direction, then you just jump off and things are on fire. It’s like, this feels like a battle sequence. After each take they would say and one more and I was like No we’ve all survived this one.

Kristen – I’m at war with men by the way it’ like the craziest experience in the world!

Chris – Yeah Kristen came on set being all tiny and we thought she was going to get squashed by all the horses or us in this big battle. Then Kristen comes out of it unscathed every take. Me and Sam were on the ground getting dragged by horses and hit by swords.

Kristen – I got lucky in that sequence but I destroyed myself in others!

 

Q. Can you describe a typical day on set for Snow White and the Huntsman?

Kristen – We were normally really cold and of course wet and muddy!

Chris – Yeah, but more than ever I felt like I was living this story. Normally you’re like I can go home now or back to the warm trailer. This was like Chris can you role in the mud to match the continuity and can you stay like that all day? Don’t wipe it off, don’t get dry. All of us suffered through it for four months, but it pays off in the finished film obviously. There’s no acting involved, you are genuinely uncomfortable

Kristen – All you want to do is get as close to the real experience as you can. You read a script and it does something to you. The reason you do the movie is because it did something to you. You’re like why did it feel like that? It makes you want to get as close as you can to that experience. It needed to put us in a place where we never felt silly. And we’re literally doing Snow White and the Huntsman; it’s a fairy tale with trolls and all that. But we all genuinely believed in it so much. Genuine discomfort, fear and freezing cold people!

Chris – Yeah it might have been the first time I stated to want to get away from the experience. Thinking I hate this acting thing!

 

Q. Do the amazing sets help you get into character?

Chris – It’s much better when 90% of your imagination hasn’t been taken up just creating what’s going on the green screen. You’re really there. If anything you get on those set and in those environments and it’s almost like you don’t want to get in the way. I ook impressive with a  dramatic cathedral behind me.

Kristen – Yeah Chris just stand’s there Huntsmaning out!

 

Q. Kristen what was the most challenging and interesting thing about your character?

Kristen – I think that before she finds her voice there is a survival instinct there which is quite interesting to watch in that package because you know she’s quite small and she is a princess and all of that. But the interesting part is the humanising traits that we essentially all know her to be. She’s good, selfless and compassionate. But all of those things exist more easily in the real world we live in. It’s easier to root for someone you don’t feel is like a superhero. I can’t just have snow white’s effect on people. It was nice to ply someone who’s like an action star but still also such a lady. We’re not doing a girl power movie where we’re suddenly making her really tough. She’s strong because she’s steady she’s not strong because she’s got brawn. I had to stop myself from wanting to learn the choreography and take guys out. I think to keep her someone you wanted to believe in was what I was most concerned with.

Chris – I like the fact she wasn’t doing backflips off the castle wall and juggling different sword and things. You’d be wondering like where did all that training come from? She’s just like biting and scratching instead.

Kristen – It’s like with the Troll I just smile at him and it’s like you stop being silly, you get out of here right now you’ve been bad!

 

Q. Do you have a favourite scene either to film or to watch?

Kristen – I love the first escape, when Snow White breaks out of the castle and getting to the dark forest.

Chris – I love watching Kristen slide down through the tunnel. That whole sequence is pretty epic all of a sudden it’s like now we’re off. Prior to that we’re sort of setting things up an thyen that’ss like the break out of prison.

Kristen – Yeah it like totally kick-starts the movie, it’s like alright… this is the world we live in now. It really is relentless from there it never stops.

 

Q. You never really know what the dark forest is going to throw at you next, what makes it so creepy?

Chris – Obviously we were in there doing our thing, then later on they kind of transform some trees and add the spirits and all the monsters. It’s like wow, where did that all come from.

Kristen – How cool does the snake thing look now! The snake thing is so awesome. I’m sitting there amongst nothing. That actually made me feel stupid. It did feel a little stupid sitting there gasping “Oh no it’s all around me!”.  Then Chris comes up with his axe and chops this branch and it falls in a perfect half.

 

Q. Kristen has this film given you a taste for action now, would you like to do more action roles?

Kristen – Yeah I would like to do more of it, although it’s hard. The reason Chris is like… well just look at him… he’s made for it!

Chris – Kristen is actually going to take on Thor next ! I’m going to hand her the hammer

Kristen – Yeah Mrs Thor.

 

Q. Kristen what do you enjoy most about the action?

Kristen - I really love to physically push myself, I think it’s so much cooler to watch people overcome thing sand face fears. I also have brothers and I grew up just loving running. Anytime I can move forward, if I get to run in a movie I feel so good. I don’t know why. Although yeah… I probably couldn’t do Thor.

  • Chris and Kristen stop to compare biceps

Chris – Kristen’s muscles are like little stones, they’re very sharp as well, her arms are like blades.

Kristen – I’ve lost my muscles dude, when we were working together I was so impressive. Now they’re gone.

 

Q. Do you think they’re could be a sequel to this film?

Chris – Yeah sure there could be a sequel. It’s left open for that. Though what I liked about it was that it’s left open ended not as some sort of cheesy hook that says, hey come back and see it. A lot of the film is left open to interpretation and possibilities. For a sequel it’s just that you’d need a villain who is as powerful and dangerous as Charlize’s character and it’s like where do you go from her! What I loved so much was that it was a villain who you can’t help but understand and empathise with in some ways. Yes what she’s doing is horrific and you don’t agree with that, but she had some traumatic experience and it’s like no wonder she feels this way about men and society.

Kristen – A sequel would have to stand on its own. What’s awesome about the way this whole production has gone is that it does feel like it’s being done for the right reasons. We can’t wait to find where destiny leaves you.  What I’m really stoked about is that destiny can lead you to a certain point, but then it becomes about how does everything that you thought was so perfect fall apart around you. It’s like okay now we’re actually individuals, before we were at war and moving too fast to really consider ourselves as people. So once she actually has to contend with ruling a kingdom. Destiny helped her save the people but it’s like is she the one to lead them. Can you deal with the fact that you are completely stunted emotionally? Like there’s no development, she’s been a prisoner for ten years. But I think a sequel could be awesome.

Chris – I think Snow White needs to go off to high school and have her debutant ball.  She missed out on a lot because she was locked up. She also needs to get a driver’s licence or maybe get better at riding her horse. I mean I’m not going to write the script and it’s not going to happen but that was just my idea.

 

Q. Kristen as a California girl how was it to live in the UK for so long?

Kristen – Cold and wet definitely but I really love it here. I do love LA, I was born in Los Angeles and I do truly love California, I think it’s beautiful but it is pretty isolated. I love living in London because you live in your city things are going on all around you all the time. I’ve never lived in a city for this long. I’ve done trips but most of the time you go make movies in the middle of nowhere so this was amazing to have an apartment right in the middle of London.

 

Q. Congrats both of you on your accents how did you perfect them?

Chris - I had a great dialect coach and I listened to a bunch of films and things. There were a couple of Scottish guys on set so I kept going to them to say stuff and they’d be like no not like that! I’d try it again and they’d say yeah do it like that. I had a nice solid reference for it.

Kristen – I had a great coach too. It did help a little to be here in the UK but it’s so not modem, it’s what’s called Received Pronunciation.  It’s a little bit more fully formed and so perfect for the character. I could never have hoped to ply the character sounding like this (slips into valley girl speak) “So like dude what do you think we should do now? “

Chris – (slips into surfer boy mode) “Dude That Queen is like SO… totally evil!”

Kristen – “I know like…. Listen to me brothers…. Follow me. Like seriously come on dude!”

 

Q. What’s your favourite British Food?

Chris – I like meat pies and things. Although that’s like an Australian thing, you do meat pies as well but we do them better.

 

Q. Which other fairy tale character would you like to play?

Chris – Cinderella… I’d like to play Cinderella!

Kristen – I’d like to play Mowgli. Chris can be my Baloo.

Chris – That is awesome! Man that would be so sick! I’d be the bear.  I love it in the cartoon where Baloo and his friend cry at the end , then they skip off into the sunset together. (starts singing bear necessities)

Kristen – I am so on by the way, if you are!

 

Q. Last question, if you hadn’t become actors what would you be doing?

Kristen – I’ve grown up loving movies. My parents are both in the business  and if I couldn’t act I’d still want to be making movies that’s it for me. But if I wasn’t allowed that answer,  I’d just do the normal thing and go to school and figure it out like everyone else

Chris – Well the reason I started doing this was because I had a different idea every week. It’s was like, hey I want to be a professional surfer, and then I wanted to be a fire-fighter, a lawyer, then a doctor. Every week people were like so Chris what are you doing now? It was like oh you want to get to the Olympics now, that’s cool for this week. Good luck ! In reality I’d probably attempt to do lots of other things and fail and then find myself right back here pretending to do things.

 

Thanks so much and congratulations on the film, we look forward to SWATH Part 2.