When you run down the list of actors commonly ranked among the greatest of our time, you find yourself knee-deep in a pool of Oscar-friendly dramatic gravitas. Names like Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, and Joaquin Phoenix are more likely than not to dominate the conversation of our generation’s greatest thespians, and for good reason. I’d argue, though, that those truly deserving of this superlative have long gone unheralded thanks to the very subtlety and nuance that render their performances so dynamic in the first place. And nobody fits this bill better than Danny DeVito.
Though he’s not likely to headline pictures of the same grade as the mentioned stars, DeVito is hardly wanting for work. Per TVLine, his newest project is a yet untitled Amazon Prime original comedy series, in which he’ll play one half of a pair of longtime musician partners who’ve always hated one another. That said, even this announcement is likely to shaft DeVito of the attention he deserves. Why? Well, the other half of this musical duo is none other than Jeff Goldblum.
I can’t exactly take issue with excitement over the idea of watching Goldblum do much of anything, let alone play a musician (for which he’ll be able to show off his own musical talents, no doubt) who can’t stand his partner. Our love for Ian Malcolm, Seth Brundle, and the real life kook himself is well documented here at Nerdist, and there are very few acting talents we’d be more pumped to see take on a new small screen role.
But DeVito is one of those select few. Though nearly 40 years separate his first appearance as Taxi‘s Louie DePalma and his most recent turn as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Frank Reynolds, you’d be hard-pressed to find any loss of comic aptitude in his work. While likewise humorously evil, this pair of characters–the two for which he’s best known, most likely–are also incredibly different: one sinister, plotting, and Machiavellian, the other who, over his 12 years onscreen, has degraded into an explosive, noxious id of bad ideas and intentions.
However DeVito’s comic villainy (or, perhaps this time around, good qualities?) manifest in his new project with Goldblum, I’m optimistic they’ll reinforce one solid fact: he is indeed the best actor of our generation.
Featured Image: FX