‘Late Night With the Devil’: David Dastamalchian Says Young Costar Spooked Him More Than Heath Ledger’s Joker

“Late Night With the Devil” star David Dastmalchian has worked with such formidable actors as Heath Ledger on “The Dark Knight” and “Clockwork Orange” actor Malcolm McDowell, but he told TheWrap that his young costar in the horror film was the spookiest one yet.

In the indie horror film, opening Friday in select theaters, the actor plays a late night host struggling to stay on the air alongside teen actress Ingrid Torelli as Lilly, a demon-possessed girl who was rescued from a satanic cult.

“Ingrid is such a gift to our film,” the actor said. “She is a wonderful, lovely, sweet young woman who I trusted so much that she would babysit my children when we were shooting the film. And yet, when we would get on set, few people have scared me as much as Ingrid Torelli.”

Dastmalchian, who played one of the Joker’s thugs in “The Dark Knight,” added, “I’ve been on set with some of the most wildly prolific actors who can scare the pants off of anybody. And yet Ingrid was so grounded in this space that felt so dangerous and so on the edge of the precipice, that every moment we were working together was like, ‘What’s about to happen?'”

The actor remembered one moment where he was walking down the hall past her dressing room, the door was which was left ajar.

“I went to say hi, and she was staring at herself in the mirror getting ready to do a scene,” he recalled. “She had this crooked kind of smile on her face, and it sent shivers down my spine in a way that not even Malcolm McDowell made my spine shiver when I worked with him.”

TheWrap also spoke with the actor — whose films include “Dune,” “Prisoners” and “Oppenheimer”— about his fascination with the horror movies he wasn’t allowed to watch as a child, his own experiences with the supernatural and why he felt he “had” to make “Late Night With the Devil.”

Did you catch up with ’70s shows about the paranormal like “In Search Of …” before making this movie?
I’ve been drawn to [things like this] from a very young age. So from “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” to “Unsolved Mysteries” as a kid to all of the Time Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” books. It’s some of my favorite stuff. I am like Fox Mulder. I want to believe.

At that time, there was such a fascination with the occult and things like the Bermuda Triangle. The movie really taps into that.
I was so afraid of the urban legends of my youth. I was raised in a very conservative, very religious community, where we were convinced that the Billboard chart-topping rock acts of the time were secretly recruiting youth for the Church of Satan and that on some farmland nearby, there must be sacrificial, ritualistic events happening.

Satanic Panic wasn’t a fun zeitgeist-y thing. It was actually a real way of scaring people into doing what people wanted. So I lived in terror of that. I remember my mom, who was so well intentioned, believing that Saturday morning cartoons were being manipulated by people that may be involved with the occult, things like that.

So when I got to be a part of this film, I was like, “Oh, my God, this feels like a film that I’ve always needed to be a part of.” I’ve always needed to tell the story.

Have you ever had what you would call a paranormal experience in real life?
This is a great question because I have had experiences that to me, felt absolutely supernatural, almost bordering on poltergeist and possession. And yet, stepping back with an objective point of view, and understanding my own struggles with mental health issues and addiction issues, I have this prismatic kind of view of some of the darkest moments of my life.

Were there elements of the metaphysical or supernatural at play in those experiences? Certainly possible. It certainly felt like it at the time.

I’ve gotten a lot of help in the last 22 years since I got clean and sober and started the path of mental wellness and the journey that is a lifelong, never ending journey. I’ve had many glimpses of stuff where I scratched my head. I just, unfortunately, haven’t been able to get the glass of ectoplasm that I could point to and say, “Here it is, look!”

“Late Night With the Devil” opens in select theaters on Friday and will stream on Shudder on April 19.

The post ‘Late Night With the Devil’: David Dastamalchian Says Young Costar Spooked Him More Than Heath Ledger’s Joker appeared first on TheWrap.