THEN: For the past few decades the world of horror has been blessed with some inspired demons to haunt our dreams. From Freddy Krueger to Michael Myers or Pinhead to Jason Voorhees, these monsters of mayhem have satisfied fans looking to get their scary on. However, there is one delicious demon that deserves credit thanks to the perfect actor taking on the role of 'The Djinn' in WISHMASTER. This 1997 Wes Craven production directed by special effects wiz Robert Kurtzman was all sorts of cheesy fun. In the flick Mr. Andrew Divoff made for the perfect baddie. With his deep wicked voice and his menacing smirk he was an unforgettable creep with a whole lot of evil power to spare.
Many may know of Andrew from his work as a nightmarish Wishmaster, yet this was not the beginning of the Venezuelan born actor’s career. The hard part is to narrow down his impressive resume into only a few paragraphs. With a hundred acting credits as well as a couple of producer credits according to his IMDB page, the man has done it all. Well before he made your grisliest wishes come true, he appeared as “Doc” in the 1986 flick NEON MANIACS. While it was a small role in a not terribly memorable horror flick, he also found plenty of work on the small screen. The actor appeared on a number of television shows including “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”, “The A-Team”, “MacGyver” and “The Twilight Zone” among others.
After a ton of TV work, the actor was involved in some high profile feature films including THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and ANOTHER 48 HOURS in 1990. That same year he took a GRAVEYARD SHIFT in the monster rat flick based on the short story by Stephen King. It may not be the best King adaptation, but this creepy creature feature is still a good watch after a few drinks. Taking a break from horror, his next appearance was terrorist Luis Cali in the 1991 teen action flick TOY SOLDIERS opposite Sean Astin. Over the course of the next few years he appeared in BACK IN THE U.S.S.R (1992), INTERCEPTOR (1993), EXTREME JUSTICE (1993) and he even got to play ‘Blackbeard LaCutte’ in one of my favorite classic TV shows opposite Bruce Campbell in “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”
Divoff worked… all the time! From the sci-fi sequel XTRO 3: WATCH THE SKIES (1995) to the action comedy A LOW DOWN DIRTY SHAME (1994) and even the “Highlander” series, he was a busy man. And then came 1997. That very year he was featured in both the Harrison Ford/Gary Oldman action thriller AIR FORCE ONE as well as WISHMASTER, the film that helped place him in horror film fandom forever. While this series was not nearly as successful as FRIDAY THE 13th or A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – WISHMASTER also featured Robert Englund and Kane Hodder as well as Tony Todd from CANDYMAN - it did enough business to bring The Djinn back in 1999. WISHMASTER 2: EVIL NEVER DIES continued to let Divoff collect a few souls with gruesome results.
After a successful enough run, this series spawned two more sequels with WISHMASTER 3: BEYOND THE GATES OF HELL in 2001 and WISHMASTER 4: THE PROPHECY FULFILLED in 2002. Sadly however, it was never the same without Divoff’s diabolical smile. That is not to say that the actor was finished with horror. Not even close. Balancing between action and television, he appeared in FAUST in 2000, a “Dracula” TV movie in 2002 and once again reunited with his WISHMASTER director Robert Kurtzman in 2007’s THE RAGE. I was lucky enough to interview Mr. Divoff (which you can read here) for the film and found him to be incredibly kind. He even offered to send a few autographed pictures to my son, which he remembered a couple years later when I spoke to him at a horror convention.
Over the past few years he worked consistently. He had memorable turns on both the series “Lost” as Mikhail Bakunin as well as “CSI: Miami” playing the role of Ivan Sarnoff. He didn’t stray far from horror appearing in the low budget THE DEAD MATTER (aka RAGE 2: DEAD MATTER) in 2010. For all you “Call of Duty: Black Ops” fans he was the voice of Lev Kratvchenko in the popular video game series. The actor turned producer for the 2012 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3D: RE-ANIMATION flick in which he also starred. Last year he made an appearance on the series “Nikita” in the episode entitled ‘Reunion.’ It is incredibly impressive how this talented fellow has managed to balance his prolific career from television to features.
NOW: Recently, he appeared in the 2013 flick IMMIGRANT plus a couple other movies coming up including BAD ASSES alongside Danny Trejo and Danny Glover. One project that is “in development” is the horror film BLOOD FLOWER according to IMDB. While WISHMASTER is far behind him, Andrew Divoff still truly relishes the iconic role. On his official website you can order “Custom Silver Djinn Rings” and autographed photos including many from the WISHMASTER films. The actor/producer is also a founder of Verdant Resource Inc., which according to its official website is “a flexible purpose corporation dedicated to location, retrieval and provision of resources found throughout planet Earth, and promoting their use in a sustainable way of life employing verdant methods.”
Andrew Divoff is a true horror icon. He is a talented character actor. He is a gentleman. He is a kindhearted fellow looking to bring water and resources for those in need! You just don’t get much better than that! The actor is and always will be a favorite of mine thanks to one hell of a career. Hell, he was even in INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Sure that wasn’t everybody’s favorite Indy flick, but how many of us can say we were in an Indiana Jones movie? Still pretty damn cool in my book! If you’d like to see more of what Mr. Divoff is up to, you can check out his official Facebook page here .