Find us one person who doesn’t like Danny DeVito and we’ll give you a nickel (not really), with the humour and grace of the iconic actor being unmatched by anyone else in the industry. OK, so Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman come pretty close, but no one really matches DeVito’s idiosyncratic charm and genuine talent, having worked as an actor and director in the industry for over half a century.
Gaining a modern fanbase in the ever-popular subversive comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it’s easy to forget that DeVito has worked with some of the greatest filmmakers of all time on the big screen, collaborating with Miloš Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Tim Burton for Batman Returns and Sofia Coppola in The Virgin Suicides.
Despite this, DeVito hasn’t had the easiest time in the industry, rising to cultural prominence through constant Hollywood challenges and casting prejudices. Speaking about his time in the industry back in 1996, DeVito stated, “Hollywood is a jungle. It’s full of quicksand, vermin and flesh-eating beasts. Making a movie is not a walk in the park. Every movie is like navigating treacherous terrain”.
Thankfully, DeVito was able to rise above such challenges and become the dynamic oddball of comedy that he is known for today. Such a personality shines through during countless interviews with the star, particularly during one with CigarAficionado back in the late ‘90s where the actor discusses his “favourite cigar story”.
Speaking to the publication, he set the scene for the story, explaining, “I was flying to Europe right after we finished The War of the Roses. It was an all-night flight. We had a great meal and they were going to pour some Port and I had a stogie with me and there were only a handful of people in first class. I had had a couple of drinks and I was with friends and I was feeling good”.
Too tempted by the luxurious situation, DeVito added, “It was just the perfect time for a nice stogie,” presumably saying so through his familiar charming grin. Asking the friendly flight attendants if he could light the cigar onboard, they replied that he could only do so if he got the permission of every single person sitting in first class.
“I got up and walked the full length of the plane and said hello to everyone who was awake and asked if I could smoke,” Danny DeVito hilariously recalls, with everyone being surprisingly OK with the request from the actor. Although most people didn’t mind his request, he further explained, “there was one guy in the back of the first-class cabin who said, ‘There is no way you are going to light up a cigar on this airplane’”.
Thinking his dream of smoking a mile-high stogie was over, DeVito quipped back, “unless you give me one,” and convinced the passenger to let him smoke onboard.
So, with all his mates around him and a glass of port in one hand, just how good was it to add the cigar into the mix? As the actor recalls, “It was the most enjoyable transatlantic flight I ever had”.
For more DeVito/stogie action, take a look at the clip below from when he and Arnold Schwarzenegger got all excited over a brand new cigar.