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The first time I saw Andrew Divoff onscreen was in the action flick "Toy Soldiers". IArrow in the Head 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...

Even 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 man.


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 day.

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?

That one's 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 relaxation?

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 seen?

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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There you 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.

Once this interview was over 5 words came to my mind: Andrew Divoff: One Class Act.

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