‘Late Night With The Devil’: David Dastmalchian On His Horror Hit, ‘The Dark Knight,’ ‘Oppenheimer,’ & More [The Discourse Podcast]

In this week’s episode of The Discourse, host Mike DeAngelo stays up late to discuss the film “Late Night with the Devil” with producer and star David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “The Suicide Squad.” The film follows a fledgling late-night host (Dastmalchian) who decides to invite some spooky guests on his struggling 70’s late-night show to boost ratings—unleashing evil in front of the whole world. The Colin and Cameron Cairnes-directed horror movie also stars Ian Bliss, Laura Gordon, Ingrid Torelli, and more. 

READ MORE: ‘Late Night With The Devil’ Trailer: David Dastmalchian Stars In IFC’s New TV-Broadcast-Gone-Wrong Horror

During the interview, Dastmalchian talked about the unusual source that gave him the role of Jack Delroy, host of the fictional 1970s Late-Night show Night Owls, in “Late Night with the Devil.”

“[Writer/directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes] had read an article that I wrote for “Fangoria” magazine,” Dastmalchian shared. “And that was the reason that they said that they wanted to cast me because I wrote an article after my mother passed away about the importance of horror in our lives for those of us kids who needed that help going into and out of the scary spaces. And we started talking, man, we got on a zoom. They were in Australia, I’m in L .A. and talking about John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper and all the shit that we love. It was so awesome.”

“Late Night with the Devil” is already a hit with critics and fans. The film has been creating buzz with audiences since 2023’s “South by Southwest” festival and still holds a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes—something Dastmalchian does not take for granted.

“It is such a great feeling to be a part of something that, when you’re putting it together, you go, ‘This feels like we’re making something really special here.’ But then you get the confirmation, like being at South by Southwest last year and sitting in that theater and hearing all of the gasps and the collective cheers and the screams, the laughter, my heart just was so filled with joy and gratitude,” he explained. “Now, here we are a year later, after being birthed in South by Southwest. We’re about to come out in all these theaters around the country, and people are so positively responding to it. It’s hard to describe. I have so much gratitude.”

“I’m so thankful to every single person that, like, is so freaking geeked out over our trailers and our art and people that are chomping at the bit to go see this thing,” he continued. “But it’s a tiny thing. The money movie was made for its peanuts. And now, we have an amazing team behind us. We’re working with IFC and Shudder, but you’re competing against studios with the budgets to put their freaking image up over Times Square and blast it out. What do they do these days? I guess air skywriters are just skywriting all over the place. And we’re out sidewalk chalking, trying to figure out how to get our word out.”

READ MORE: ‘Knox Goes Away’: Michael Keaton & James Marsden On Their Crime Drama, Batman, ‘Sonic 3,’ & ‘Beetlejuice’ [The Discourse Podcast]

Dastmalchian also had a small role in Christopher Nolan’s Best Picture winner, “Oppenheimer.” During the interview, David was still riding high on the feelings from Oscar night. 

” All of us Oppen-homies were together [on Oscar night],” Dastmalchian said. “Universal had a little party in Hollywood. And we were all gathered, eating and watching as our team kept taking home the wins. I know I’m a small, tiny, tiny part of this massive, giant film, but I can’t help but just beam with pride and gratitude over the fact that I get to be a part of it.”

Dastmalchian also reflected on his first time on a film set as one of The Joker’s more deranged henchmen in another Christopher Nolan film, the much beloved Batman epic, “The Dark Knight.”

“I honestly didn’t even know what I was doing,” Dastmalchian admitted. “I had auditioned for one of the bank robbers at the beginning of the film. And then here I was, playing this very complicated, cool role. But they were so secretive about everything. I hadn’t really been told yet what I was doing. I guess Chris, whatever he saw me do in that first audition, he thought, oh, this guy could play this other character. So they cast me. It’s really pivotal moment because this is the beginning of Harvey [Dent] ’s turn, if you will. 

Dastmalchian continued to reminisce about being in such close quarters with the late Heath Ledger while he was giving the performance that’s still considered today one of, if not the best, villain performances in comic book film history.

“The first thing we shot was the scene during the parade sequence downtown in Chicago. And I meet Heath [Ledger] in hair and makeup and he’s playing really cool music,” Dastmalchian said fondly. “He turned me on to some music that I still love to this day, actually. And I made a joke. I can’t believe I was this ballsy. But I shook his hand because I was a big fan of his; he was such a phenomenal actor. But I told him my truth, which I said, ‘I love this character so much. And I’ve been collecting comics my whole life. And when I heard you got this role, I thought it was a terrible idea.’ And he goes, ‘You’re telling me!’ He goes, ‘Me too!’ And I said, ‘How’s it going?’ And he said, ‘I’m having the most amazing time. I mean, the time of my life!’ and he was, and seeing him in that character and seeing what he was manifesting, I walked away from that, and I said, ‘I’ve just been in the presence of greatness.’ I’ve just stood next to, and I’ve been in a scene with one of the greatest actors of all time. That performance checks every box you can possibly imagine. And I’m so lucky that I got to be in legion with him and be near him.”

“Late Night with the Devil” is in theaters on March 22nd and will be streaming on Shudder on April 19th. You can listen to the full interview below: