Late Night With the Devil’s David Dastmalchian Reveals How Horror Role Was Inspired By Heath Ledger’s Joker

    David Dastmalchian says his new horror character was inspired, in part, by Australian talk show host Don Lane.

    David Dastmalchian’s latest film, Late Night With the Devil, is in theaters now and while the independent horror film is very different from his first feature film, The Dark Knight, it turns out that the two films have a surprising connection. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Dastmalchian revealed how his role as Late Night With the Devil‘s late-night talk show host Jack Delroy shares inspiration with his late The Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger’s Joker making for an interesting full circle moment.

    “The Cairnes brothers sent me a bunch of footage that they accumulated of Don Lane,” Dastmalchian said. “If you’re not familiar with Don Lane, he was the Johnny Carson of Australian television. He was an American who lived in Australia, and he became the host of this huge syndicated talk show [The Don Lane Show]. He did this famous interview with Tom Waits, and a lot of people think Heath Ledger took inspiration from it for his portrayal of the Joker.”

    “It’s pretty cool, and it’s also the cyclical nature of being a storyteller and the strange path that it’s followed,” Dastmalchian said of the probably shared inspiration between his character and Ledger’s Joker.

    What is Late Night With the Devil About?

    Directed and written by Cameron and Colin Cairnes, Late Night With the Devil follows Jack Delroy (Dastmalchian), a late-night variety show host in the 1970s who, in an attempt to boost his show’s ratings, decides to do a special occultism-themed episode on Halloween featuring a young girl who had allegedly been possessed by Satan as a guest. Over the course of the episode, things go horribly awry for both Jack and his guests. In addition to Dastmalchian, the film also stars Laura Gordon, Ian Bliss, Fayssal Bazzi, Ingrid Torelli, Rhys Auteri, Nicole Chapman, Georgina Haig, Josh Quong Tart, and Michael Ironside.

    The film is, at the time of this article’s writing is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 96 percent rating from critics and is also doing well with audiences. Audiences presently have the film at an impressive 80 percent audience score.

    Late Night With the Devil Has a Devilish Day at the Box Office

    Late Night With the Devil came in sixth overall at the box office with $2.8 million during its opening weekend, but its Sunday box office numbers are of particular interest. The film brought in a particularly devilish $666,666 on just Sunday (and no, we are not making that up.) The film’s $2.8 million opening makes it the biggest for distributor IFC, putting it ahead of 2022’s Watcher.

    “This weekend’s release of Late Night With the Devil set fire to our old opening record,” Scott Shooman, head of AMC Networks Films said (via Variety). “[It] continues to showcase that there is still potential for highly reviewed, intelligent auteur films in movie theaters across all genres.”

    Late Night With the Devil is in theaters now.

    Have you seen Late Night With the Devil? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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