first time I saw Andrew Divoff onscreen was in the action flick
"Toy Soldiers". I
became a fan right away. Although he played a very bad man in the film
(terrorist), I felt somewhat sympathetic to the character's plight to
free his father. I never forgot his performance or the actor. To my
great pleasure, he hopped on the horror bandwagon via the
"Wishmaster" movies. Giving us a suave, menacing, smirking
villain, joining the ranks of classic monsters such as
"Freddy", "Jason", "Pinhead", etc...
though he mostly plays villains, Andrew comes across as an
intelligent, sensitive man with an obvious love and respect for his
fans. He struggled for hours trying to get this interview to me
despite various computer problems. In the end, the interview came in
and here it is...
1) What's your favorite horror flick?
A favorite of mine is Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, I'm a classissist and
a fan of the underdog, Mr. Karloff had very expressive eyes. When I was a kid
I would sneak out to the TV at 2 or 3 in the morning and if I was lucky I'd
catch the Pit and the Pendulum, I'm also a big fan of both Linda Blair's and
of the Exorcist.
2) You play the Sultan Of Mayhem in the Wishmaster flicks. For some reason I
thought your performance in the second one was funnier and nastier than in the first. What did you do differently?
I've said it before and should say it again- were it not for Robert
Kurtzman's insistence on my playing the Wishmaster, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. Filming the two Wishmaster movies was really like doing two variations on one theme, and
that had most to do with the way the humorous nuances were handled from one film to the other. Aside from the obvious differences in costume and make-up
always potentially tough for the team that bats second as it were. The
artists responsible for Wish 2 were SOTA effects, the first one was done of course by KNB Effects. There was an evolution which occurred from 1 to
2, mostly as I said in the irreverent humor, which got downright ugly in the
second part, the evolution of costume and make-up, and the evolution of being able to pack 8 weeks of work into 4 with a smaller budget. It was a
tough act to follow but Jack Sholder handled his crew and his set like a
captain on a mission and brought us in on time and budget. There is also the part where you're just proud of what you've done with a fun character and
are back to do it again, that's a good feeling.
3) You've worked on high budget films (Toy Soldiers, Air Force One, Hunt for Red
October) and smaller horror flicks (Oblivion, Wishmaster) What are the
significant differences working on the two and on which do you prefer working?
The degree of active participation in helping to create your own
character decreases as the budget goes up. For this reason alone I'm fortunate enough to have created a niche for myself, staying within a
certain budget. This allows me the ability to cross-over, if you will, and
do action films as well as horror pix and dramas. One of my own favorites is
Magic Island because I have a whole crowd of mini-fans who can watch
it (no modesty) because they won't be exposed to the bad words the big people say
all the time!
Having said all that, there is a certain electricity that only exists on a
big budget film and there is no doubt that the STARS of the film are the
ones putting most of the electricity. I have honestly not had and do not
have one bad thing to say about the stars I've been lucky enough to work
with. My favorite is Harrison Ford and I was recently very pleasantly surprised by Gary Busey-
we all hear things!
4) Most of the films I've seen you in, you play the bad guy. Is there a
movie out there which includes a sensitive and kind Andrew Divoff?
There are a couple of films out there with a kinder gentler ADD in them,
one is called Riding Cool- no, not the bobsled movie- this is a little flick
shot in Florida with real bikers, some of them still friends, who hold a run
to save some wetlands...ummm...let's see there's the stuff my mom shot of me
when I was a kid...before I could talk!!!
There may be other characters which had kind and sensitive moments in between heroic
moments, i.e. when the hero of the movie is holding a gun no matter how sympathetic the character, you pretty much have to throw out kind
and sensitive, so there are very few really kind and sensitive characters
any more, the prototypical hero is a man of action and therefore a hardened
5) Any projects in the works? When can we expect to see you again? Is there
another Wishmaster in the works?
This question runs the gamut from good news to bad, we'll do the bad part
first since we won't be dwelling on it- there will be a Wishmaster 3
and I believe even a 4- they will be shot contiguously- I'm sorry to say they
will not include me as the Wishmaster.
I'm excited at the prospect of FAUST "made in Spain" and based on the comic
by the same name and only loosely based on the novel by Goethe. It was great
to be in a new place (work wise anyway-I attended the university of Barcelona
some 20 years earlier) where you could really get lost in your
character- I play M, he's based on Mephistopheles and was a trip to play. I walked around
all day with bleached white hair and eyebrows looking like the albino from
hell! Faust will debut at the Sitges film festival in October this year.
Now for the good news, as you may or may not know from visiting my site, I
paint and draw whenever I get the chance and the thing I am working on now
which gives me great pleasure is my own comic book. The title of it is CYBER
and the artwork which is being done primarily by an up and coming Spanish
artist, is incredible to the point of my worrying whether the story will be.
6) Did you always want to be an actor? How did you get into it?
I was always a shy kid. If you told that gawkish little boy who couldn't
even present a book report in front of a classroom, that he would seek out
audiences to play to, he would not have wanted to grow up! I did always have this thing about needing to show that my shyness was not
due to stupidity, so when I would break out of my shyness for those brief
moments, it was humor that helped me escape. The principal told me that my
sense of humor was too dry for a kid my age (7th grade) and to cut it out.
You could say that what we had there was "a failure to communicate". It was only when I moved out to LA from the east coast some 16 years ago
that I got interested in the acting. It was time, I was a college educated
kid who spoke 7 languages and was willing to experiment with his emotions,
to show what I had inside, so to speak.
My first audition came over a pay phone as I had pulled the limo to the curb
to make a call "could I really speak Russian"? "Yes".
"Can you think of something to say in Russian and scream it for
us? "OK" I did and was told to report to set to play screaming Russian agent. The show was called Blacke's
Magic...the starter's gun had sounded.
7) Of all your movies, which one was the most satisfying to work on
in terms of acting?
In terms of acting, the most profound acting experience I've had was on a
movie called Deadly Voyage. It is a true story and a favorite because of the
experience shared with every one of my fellow actors. My most vivid impression of the 3 month shoot in Ghana, on the west coast of Africa was
going in to work in Takoradi which exists at the pleasure of the port authority. We would travel along a pristine shoreline until we caught the
first glimpse of sunlight, by that time we were at the ship which was our
stage and would begin to climb the 62 rungs which would bring us aboard,
to no one's notice, we'd grab our wardrobe which had not yet rid itself of the
previous day's stench and sweat and climb down another 76 steps into cargo
hold number two- the thought of sunlight was abandoned for the rest of the
8) You're stranded on a deserted island...you can bring one CD, one movie
(u have a TV VCR...work with me), one bottle of booze and a hot girl of your
choice? How would it turn out?
easy: CD: Woodstock, VIDEO: Man Who Would be King, BOOZE: a choice Calvados, the hot girl of my choice would be my sweetheart for the last two
years, although she might want to have a say in choosing the island!
9) What do you do for fun and
I like to get physical, whether it's going on a hike to some hot-springs, or
skiing or working out with my martial arts. My mind needs something to
concentrate on at all times so I find it relaxing to pass the time with
pursuits that are less mental and more physical.
10) What's the worst horror film you've ever
This is a tough one, I'm being so pc when I say that I can not think of
one that offended me so much that I had to round them all up and make them
disappear which as far as I'm concerned would be the only rational solution for such a transgression!
What I do find myself saying some times, because I've watched what goes on this side of the fence is, "I don't know how you got that piece of $#!
made, but hat's off to ya!!!
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have it. Iím a bit sad, the Wishmaster movies won't be the same
without him, in my book he owns the part. I'd like to thank Andrew for
his time and also put out an invite to come back and talk to The Arrow
whenever he wishes.
interview was over 5 words came to my mind: Andrew Divoff: One Class
Andrew Divoff's Official Website above...