GQ: What’s your working relationship like with your daughter?
Danny DeVito: The family is very Italian, Jewish. It was this really cool mix, Rhea and me. And so that filtered into Lucy and Gracie and Jake, and we all talk about everything and we have a good time with each other.
One of my favorite moments with Lucy was when she was just a baby. I was directing this movie. I was doing one shot over and over again. It was pushing this woman who had a little monologue on a divan. And I’d say, “Cut!” I did it about six or seven times. The last take, Lucy said, “Cut!” It was the cutest thing. Actually, that’s the take that’s in the movie.
You’re great together onstage, too.
We have a good time. She gives me the business.
Do you relate to Sam at all? Are you a hoarder?
I started being much more conscious about it, because I do collect. I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks and there’s a lot of stuff in this room. My apartment in New York, it’s just full of pictures and knickknacks and stuff that I pick up.
What’s your most prized possession?
Oh, gosh. I have so many. So many nice things, and memories of a shirt that I wore in 1960-something. I always take something—shirts, pants, shoes, a hat from a movie I’ve done.
Do you have any opening night rituals?
No. I’m looking forward to it, though. I always come early. I have a trampoline. I don’t know if you can see it, over there.
Is the trampoline for exercise or fun?
I start every night with it to get myself going. I guess you would call it exercise, but it’s like getting ready to go out.
Do you feel like you’re getting back to your roots by doing theater again?
Yeah. I just love it. I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and did all the theater. Even if you’re off-Broadway, the audience is part of the whole mix. You go to California, and it’s quiet on set. You tell a joke, they’re paid to not say anything. I did a couple of movies, like Cuckoo’s Nest. And then I got Taxi in 1978—now, here’s the great thing about that show. First of all, the people, I love them dearly. We’re still friends, all of them. It’s like a family.