Screen Legends 4: Danny De Vito


A while ago I started a Screen Legends thread on this site. Thus far we’ve had profiles of such mega-thesps as Peter O’ Toole, Armand Assante and Matt Le Blanc. In today’s installment, we’ll be considering the career of everyone’s favourite actorling, Danny De Vito:

When Danny De Vito was a baby, he was the size of a hamster. Now 58, Danny De Vito is size of a baby. Indeed, Danny De Vito is Italian for “Danny the Baby”. But De Vito has taken advantage of his homunculine proportions, for instance by insinuating himself into the unsuspecting papooses of breastfeeding mothers, so that he might dine in high style on their overburdened paps. He does this not because he is a sexual misadventurer, but because he is addicted to calcium.

Danny De Vito played Harry Potter in Harry Potters 3-5, and made for a more convincing Potter than the two actors who preceded him: namely, Pierce Brosnan and Steve Guttenberg (in Harry Potters 1 and 2 respectively). He was succeeded in the role by Daniel Radcliffe, who cast a spell on the minds of the cinema-going muggle population, making them believe that only Radcliffe had ever played the pubescent warlock. It is therefore difficult for film reviewers to evaluate De Vito’s performance objectively, on account of Radcliffe’s bad hoodoo gumming up their brain-valves.

In Tim Burton’s funny little filmy-wilmy, Batman Returns, Danny De Vito played ‘A Penguin’ (definite articles didn’t enter the Batman mythology until the Christopher Nolan muscled in on the franchise). When De Vito learned that he would have to share not only a trailer but a bed with the incorrigible biter, Michael Keaton, he threw one of his world-famous and widely-celebrated tantrums. This involved throwing food on the floor and other classic signals of grumpiness and/or tiredness, as outlined by the rogue babyologist, Gina Ford. But help was at hand. Tim Burton’s siamese twin/wife, Helena Bonham Carter, stepped in, or rather, leaned in (Burton has 90% control of their shared limbs) and swaddled De Vito up a treat. Result: a happy, restful Danny De Vito.

In conclusion, I give Danny De Vito eight out of ten.


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