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INT: Andrew Divoff

03.13.2008by: JimmyO

In Robert Kurtzmanís THE RAGE, the clever genre splicing film takes a stab at animals gone amuck and the mad scientist horror flicks. Put it together and youíve got fun times in B-movie land. And if you add the great Andrew Divoff as the crazed doctor, Dr. V, you have yourself one hell of a time watching this warped horror pic with transvestite little people. Mr. Divoff is one class act on screen (and off). His villains are always memorable, especially his work as the WISHMASTER. But he has done so much more in his career including a recent stint on ďLostĒ.

I got a chance to talk
THE RAGE with Andrew, and for some reason, I wasnít surprised how great he is in person. He is sincere, polite and an all-around terrific man. He has the ability to display his intelligence without making you feel beneath him. Because letís face it, the man is very smart. He has had a pretty fascinating career, and yes, he is soon to be seen in a little movie called INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. But if you are a fan of horror, especially the gooey and gory fun of movies like RE-ANIMATOR, you owe yourself to bask in the fun of THE RAGE. You canít get any better than killer vultures. Pick up your copy now.

First off, Andrew, you know nine languages?

Ah, you know, I speak eight. I used to include Romanian as number nine, but through lack of usage and just falling out of practice with it, really I can say Iíve forgotten it.

Eight is pretty impressive.

I love languages. I really am a polyglot, oh, I donít know how youíd say itÖ a linguiphile?

That sounds right. You had worked with Robert Kurtzman before with WISHMASTER, how did you get involved with him for THE RAGE?

Well THE RAGE most directly came as a result of Robert moving away from the [Hollywood] system as it were. And him wanting to do his first sort of production to [start with]. He had written it and wanted to sort of put a trailer together. Just something that he could show people that he could get it further made. And it really was a process of three years. And Robert and I had kept trying to work together and things would come up and I would, for one reason or another, either I was working or they had already cast it. And we werenít able to do it until THE RAGE. And when I heard that he had that project and that he had written it and wanted it to be the first horse out of the gate here, at his P13 studios, I was really enthralled. I was happy to hear, first of all, that he had made the move and sort of built this studio. He converted a bowling alley into a studio which is just in itself a you know, Herculean sort of task. And then to get his first production off the ground. So we kept in touch, we did that and we figured it would end in sort of, my participation in those first few days of filming. And then he and John Bisson got together, and I of course, begged to keep the character alive and thankfully they did. And so now, Dr. V is more of a part, a bigger slice then sort of first envisioned. Iím just glad I had the chance to play with the character like that.

What was nice about it is that it is almost two characters, even though he is twisted in the beginning, he did feel a little Jekyll and Hyde by the end.

Yeah, absolutely, and so with very good reason. Whereas Jekyll and Hyde sort of came about as an experimentation by the doctor and he sort of came up with his own monster, this monster you could say was created in the sense that he believed that he had done a great thing in finding the cure for cancer. And then once it was just tossed aside like a nuisance, he sort of went and createdÖ he sort of became the monster. And of course, that is taken to a completely new level once you come upon him in the woods.

How was it to work with such a young cast, many of them having very limited experience?

It was great. It was great because they were all very excited about being there and being part of the thing. And you know, loved the story. Loved the fact that it was being done locally, you know, the hero Josh [Ryan Hooks], heís a local. Sean Surino, I had also worked with before, we sort of did that little first part of The Rage and got back together just about a year later some eight months later to finish. She was great to work with. Erin Brown was also very good. She has, sort of, her very close following, and she was great in The Rage. Just sort of brought a cool, tough chick, energy to it that I liked. She definitely brings her craft, brings her following, which is much appreciated. She was great to work with, very professional. As were all of the actors really. And of course, like Bob says, and has been quoted in several sort of interviews that heís given, its just so great for him to be able to walk down the hall to the special effects department, which mind you, has every piece of equipment that a top CG and/or special effect company has.

Iím sure that would make much of it easier, but at the same time, there are probably a lot of difficulties because it all falls on him.

Absolutely right. And you know Robert is not going to leave the crowd wanting for specials, thatĎs for sure. You know that heís helping it and if he has anything to do with special effects, you know that they are going to be top-notch. Even when it came to, and I donít think Iím giving anything away, when it came to fighting the vultures. That was an homage to Harryhausen and his effects, and it was a lot of fun to do it. The thing that made it fun is that it really was a practical effect, though they were puppets, I wasnít fighting a green screen. Robert could have done that and did do some green screen stuff with the vultures in the movie but Bob, when it came to the fight, it was all kept sort of Harryhausen, which I totally dug. Like JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, all those old Harryhausen classics.

I really miss the more practical effects used because CG can really hinder a film at least in its current state.

Yeah, I think so. Even though it is seamless, thereís a point where, I donít know, its got to be really, really well woven into a story for it to work. I think THE MATRIX is a good example or a well woven CG sort of tale.

Now Iíve got to talk a little bit about INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, what can you say about that? Without getting in trouble of course.

Not that I wouldnít want to, not a whole lot. I can tell you a couple of obvious things, how wonderful it was to be on the set with, first of all, Steven Spielberg. And second but not least certainly, Harrison Ford, to be on the set with him again. To see him work and interact with this cast and crew. And all the other actorsÖ I got a big kick out of John Hurt, heís just great to be around and to play a wonderful character as you will see. Cate Blanchett of course, was wonderful to watch and just great to be a part of the set with her. And then, the truth of it is, my role is really sort of, not to diminish it but itís a fairlyÖ shall we say, very supportingÖ

Is it more of a cameo?

You know, I would like to think so. But yeah, I think that would be a fair way of putting it, a cameo. And nobody, mind you, was able to read the whole script. They are being very secretive about it which I can understand.


And Iíll tell you, there was a lot of question before, sort of. And a lot of commentary, both on late night stuff and you know, roundabout Mr. Ford, you know, coming back to do Indy at his age. But I can tell you, having been on the set and watching him do all of this physical elements, these stunts himself, as much as he could. Heís not a stupid man, when he realizes, you know, itís time to back off he will. But as much as he can he gets his face in there and does some very hairy stuff. So he had no problem moving around the set and climbing and jumping and doing all this stuff. You know, itís important to him and as an actor, I do know actors that donít like to do that, and I know some actors that do. And you know, I can look at both their performances and enjoy them. But knowing what I might know about a certain role and an actor, and what he did in it, for me it embellishes the whole thing, absolutely. So all of that, just by way of saying that it was great to be on there. The story does continue, it will be edge of your seat, you know, flying by the seat of your pants stuff. And of course, the beautiful thing about, again talking about special effects and stuff, Mr. Spielberg is that he loves to shoot on film. Thatís his thing. His specials effects of courseÖ and one of the other main parts of the movie, Mr. Lucas, you know theyíre going to be top-notch. So, you know, Iím going to go see it with open eyes and sort of new eyes, and really not knowing the story so Iíll be as much in awe of the whole thing as anybody else sitting in the audience. I am also included, who knows why, on the TOPPS Trading Cards that theyíre going to have for the series.

Well because youíre a legend man.

Well itís funny man, itís interesting but, my character, I donít see why, but never the less I say thank you.

You seem to have the best of both worlds. You can do something like INDY or the series ďLostĒ, and then you always come back to smaller budget horror like THE RAGE. That seems like a very nice place to be.

You know, without seeming pretentious, I expect it. And the reason I expect it, more than anything is that I have played so many accents and characters, characters that speak other languages and so forth. A friend once told me that, because I was just starting out, that that would be a main part of a career. I thought so too, I never really knew how it would be defined. But I guess in a phrase, Thomas Jefferson said, and he himself spoke three languages, he said that a person is as many different characters or personages as the languages that he speaks, because each language brings with it its own sort of cultural mannerisms and physical as well. So I think in that, Iím in a sense, a little ahead of the par, you know. So I think that Iím fortunate to be able to say that, and I really want - Iíd like to think that as an actor that when I play these characters, that I am that character for however long I need to be. Because Iíll be rude or go out as the character necessarily but you know, Iíll tell you man, Iím tickled to be able to say that in one year, because I was a character on ďLostĒ and I got to be a character in the INDIANA JONES series and then I did THE RAGE man. I was actually congratulating Bob on the fact that he canít find any on the shelves so itís a good thing.

Well it is a really fun movie and it really is reminiscent of movies like RE-ANIMATOR, when horror was fun.

Yeah, and thatís one of the greatest compliments I could hear about it.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@joblo.com





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