Danny DeVito Was A Little Too Committed To His Batman Returns Role

There are few universal truths in this world: human beings are mortal, the earth revolves around the sun, and Danny DeVito always plays characters wearing trademark hats in Tim Burton films. Before he became the rude gambler in "Mars Attacks!," the circus ringleader/werewolf Amos Calloway in "Big Fish," or the circus-running Max Medici in "Dumbo," he entered the Burton universe as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin in "Batman Returns." The Batman films of the 1990s are usually remembered for being campy or downright silly, frequently forgetting that "Batman" and "Batman Returns" were sort of horrific, and definitely not family-friendly. Michelle Pfeiffer has regained popularity as people reassess her amazing performance as Catwoman, but the Danny DeVito love train seems to have not yet left the station.

As a child of the '90s, one of my earliest fascinations was with The Penguin, a character I was both fixated on and absolutely terrified of seeing on screen. DeVito was not the first nor the last actor to transform into The Penguin, but it's safe to say that no one, and I mean no one, has ever played the role quite like him. DeVito's commitment to the role is incomparable — the costume design, the body carriage, the vocal inflections, the constant spilling of black goo from his mouth, and most importantly, the truth behind the raw fish scene that plagues our collective nightmares.

You Don't Want To Know The Fish Truth

Move over Daniel Day-Lewis, there's a new method actor in town. In one of the most memorable and certainly most gif-able moments of "Batman Returns," Oswald Cobblepot is seen gnawing on some raw fish, having a full conversation as streams of fish guts and blood drip from the sides of his mouth. It's grotesque and gag-inducing, and that was before we learned what he was actually eating. DeVito was asked in an interview about this scene, and he confessed what he was actually eating ... was real, fresh from the fish market, raw fish. The interviewer can't believe it either, replying with "Wait, what?!" the moment he says the words "raw fish." Here's the full quote:

"Oh yeah, that was real fish. Bluefish. Fresh, of course. Movie stars only eat fresh fish. Don't try to pawn two-day-old fish on us. You bring that right from the market."


As DeVito clarifies, he would also include a mixture of mouthwash and spirulina (blue-green algae) in his mouth to make the gross black goo, which makes it even worse because if there's anything grosser than knowing Danny DeVito was chowing down on actual raw fish, it's knowing he was devouring minty raw fish. I can't say for sure that Colin Farrell is not going to eat raw fish in "The Batman," but I can say that if he's not, Danny DeVito will have him beat in the commitment department.