Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Danny DeVito

Smooth Operator

Danny DeVito is the first to admit he isn't your typical romantic lead. "When I hear that term, I think of Robert Redford or Cary Grant," he says. Even in Living Out Loud, in which he plays an elevator operator making moves on Holly Hunter—in other words, the romantic lead—he'd prefer another term: "I'm the guy in the film."

Whatever you call it, DeVito, 53, doesn't have time to savor such unfamiliar status. His production company, Jersey Films (which produced Out Loud), is busy producing Man on the Moon, the story of Andy Kaufman, DeVito's Taxi costar (played by Jim Carrey). DeVito also appears as Kaufman's manager, George Shapiro. Meanwhile, DeVito's wife, Cheers vet Rhea Perlman, is starring in the play The Last Night of Ballyhoo in L.A. When they're not working, the couple spend time with their kids, Lucy, 15, Gracie, 13, and Jake, 11. "They love movies," DeVito says, "which makes me very happy."

But they may be mortified by one loud Living Out Loud scene, in which their father belts out a tune in a nightclub. "I'm an Italian, and every Italian should be able to sing," he says. "I just imagined I was in a big shower."

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