Danny DeVito: The Lorax speaks

Really, who is cuter in this picture? We can’t decide.

Danny DeVito is becoming quite the multilinguist — or at least that’s what it looks like. For his new film, “The Lorax,” DeVito took on the unprecedented task of recording foreign versions of the movie in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian. It turned out to be a much more monumental task than he’d expected, though. “It’s a fun thing, but it’s time-consuming. I thought it was going to be like a couple of days. I’ll do German in a couple days. Right! It’s more like a week,” he admits.

“This is the thing, I don’t speak any of those languages. I speak a tiny bit of Italian, but I did it all with coaches and phonetically,” DeVito explains. “What I would do is tackle one at a time. And Universal brought in people from the country because sometimes the lines were very long. And there was no way for me in German or in Russian to get through that entire line without messing up some intonation. And I really wanted it to capture the performance, and I didn’t want people to think I had an accent.”

The process of recording each language took about five days in a recording studio for DeVito and his advisers, and the biggest lesson he learned in that time was that he should’ve kept things simpler when recording the English version — or at least stopped for a breath more often. “There are about 90 lines of mine in the movie, and some of them sometimes you can’t break them up,” he explains. “Like if you say to me, ‘Coma esta usted?’ That’s one thing. Or in Italian if you say, ‘una tazza di caffe’ — that means a cup of coffee — it’s easy. But if you’re saying something like, ‘Didn’t you see me come out of that stump with all the lightning and the thunder and this and that? Did you chop down that tree?’ Well, I didn’t think I was going to be doing this when I said those lines back then and didn’t spit in the middle.”

Normally, animated films get dubbed by local actors for each territory, so isn’t he technically taking work away from actors in Europe?

“I did some Russian interviews on the phone and different places, and I always preface it with, ‘I know that you guys have great actors to do this,’” DeVito explains. “It was just one of those things where I got it in my head to do it, and once I said I would do it I didn’t want to back down.”

The eco-message

Lou Dobbs made waves recently by insisting that “The Lorax” is an insidious attempt to indoctrinate children into an anti-industry mind-set.
   
Danny DeVito insists the message is about being responsible while succeeding in business. “It’s not saying that we can’t be inventive and still think of things to sell or make or manufacture,” DeVito explains. “But the idea is that if we’re going to take the goods from the Earth — the supplies, the materials from anywhere — we should think about the sustainability of it and the replenishing of it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…