Ed Norton, Danny Devito and Robin Williams during US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Movies - TV
Danny DeVito Originally Wanted Edward Norton For Robin Williams' Death To Smoochy Role
Danny DeVito’s 2002 black comedy, “Death To Smoochy,” starred Robin Williams as the wonderfully enraged Rainbow Randolph and Edward Norton as his nemesis Sheldon Mopes aka Smoochy The Rhino. However, in a 2019 video interview with PeopleTV, Norton revealed that he was initially asked to play Randolph.
Norton met with DeVito in Montreal when the two were working on different films there, and DeVito shared the “Smoochy” script. “[DeVito] wanted me to look at the Robin Williams part,” said Norton. “But I read it, and when we got together for drinks, I said 'I think Smoochy.' And he said [a very good Danny DeVito voice] 'No. NO! Yes. YES!'"
By Norton's impersonation, DeVito seemingly had a catharsis in that moment, realizing that Norton would be wonderful in the role. Norton also added that DeVito still thinks of him as Smoochy, and even though the movie was not well received at the time of its release, Norton still enjoyed working on “Death To Smoochy,” and has fond memories of it.