Danny De Vito is a hardcore fan of home video, and has been for at least 20 years, so it’s good to hear he’s preparing Blu-ray special editions of his films “Hoffa” and “War Of The Roses” right now.
I met DeVito for the first time when I was working at Dave’s Video in the early ’90s. There were three customers at that store who bought everything that came out, and I’m not exaggerating. Danny DeVito, Ivan Reitman, and Steven Spielberg were voracious fans of laserdisc, and they all had the same standing order with the store. Whatever we ordered, we were to order them copies for purchase as well. I can’t even imagine what DeVito’s laserdisc collection must have looked like, but I know he took it seriously.
When it came to transferring his own films, he went above and beyond. Both “Hoffa” and “War Of The Roses” got the deluxe treatment from Fox at the time, and when we sat down to talk about his work in the new film “The Lorax,” I couldn’t resist asking him about Blu-ray, and he told me that he’s getting ready to bring those films out again, with new features added just to take advantage of Blu-ray.
We were also able to bond as fathers who love to read Dr. Seuss aloud to our kids. I’ve seen him with his kids, and he always struck me as a dedicated father who took visible pleasure in hanging out with his kids, who encouraged a sense of play in them. Reading Dr. Seuss to your kids is one of those pleasures that you have to experience to fully understand, but those books are meant to be read aloud. They’re meant to be shared that way, and for the reader, they are invitations to do big silly voices and to really enjoy the music of what’s on the page. I know that there are very few things that make my boys laugh as hard as my reading of “Yertle The Turtle,” and I’m sure every parent has their particular favorite.
For DeVito, being asked to actually play The Lorax was an honor, and he speaks about what it meant to him. It was a pleasure to catch up with him, and I sincerely hope he’s got something else in the works as a director, because as much as I enjoy watching him onscreen, I think he’s got a great twisted point of view as a filmmaker, and it would be a shame if there’s nothing more for him to say.
“The Lorax” opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.