The pint-sized star of “Twins”, “Throw Momma from the Train”, “Ruthless People”, “War of the Roses” and countless other popular movies – not even including the one’s that he’s produced and/or directed – lends his lungs to the new animated hit “The Lorax”. On the eve of the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release on August 1, Moviehole talks to Danny DeVito about bringing the little orange guy to life.
So how much of a stretch was it for you to play a grumpy little guy?
Oh, it was really a big stretch! I’m like Cary Grant when I get up in the morning, but by the time I get through breakfast, I turn into Danny DeVito. So it was very, very, very hard for me to jump into the Lorax, and be a little bit upset with the Once-ler for cutting all the trees down. I think the Lorax was nice to him initially, and unfortunately, the guy did cut all the trees down. We got lucky though, because romance triumphed through Zac Efron’s character, falling head-over-heels for the beautiful Taylor Swift character. What does she want? She wants something real, which women always want – and men do too – they want something real; they don’t want a plastic thing, they don’t want a phony thing, whether it’s an emotion or a physical thing, they want it to be real. So he has to go on a quest to find the real thing … thank goodness that the Lorax is around to get everybody in shape.
So tell me more about the Lorax: he looks like you around the eyes, it’s amazing.
He does. I wore glasses because I can’t basically see anything normally, but the animators did such a great job … they got the eyes. They gave me different colour eyes – but they captured all the gestures and all the things that I do, like when I say something that maybe a little over the top. I don’t know how they do it, but they’re really good at it and they did a great job with the Lorax.
Did you enjoy being in the voice booth?
Oh yeah, I did. I am a little bit selfish as it is, you know, I like to do things on my own, so this was like a perfect opportunity to have no outside influences. The director would talk to me in the headset and I carried on like a crazy man.
Tell me why you love Dr. Seuss?
Well, Dr. Seuss has always been a favourite of mine. I have three kids, and I have read them everything. Now they are grown up they sometimes read to me! I think it is going to be me asking “Read me a story!” soon. The Seuss books were always fun ‘go to’ books and I loved Horton Hears A Who! and all of the different books that he’s written. This story happens to be… all of his stories have meaning other than just the colourful rhyming and beautiful characters he creates, but this one touched me in a great way because it really talks about the life we have and what life we can have if we all consider giving back to the Earth.
To Win 1 of 5 copies of “The Lorax” on DVD (available August 1) from Universal Sony Home Entertainment, tweet us the answer to this question : “Which of his popular ’80s comedies is Danny De Vito about to do a sequel to?” (Entries Close August 3)