Christopher "Chris" Diamantopoulos is a Greek-Canadian actor and comedian.
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I'm in the upcoming Amazon pilot Good Girls Revolt and you may have seen me in Silicon Valley, About a Boy, Episodes, Arrested Development, The Office, Up All Night, 24, Hannibal, or heard me as Mickey Mouse. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0224565/?ref_=nv_sr_1.
I love to cook and eat clean, do high intensity strength training, am interested in modern architecture and home design, and I'm kind of nuts when it comes to well made suits and tailoring.
Speak fluent Greek, fan of all things 007, love old movie musicals, wish it was still 1985.
Edit: Have to run to a meeting, but have had a great time talking to everyone. I'll be back on later, so keep asking. I'll try to get to all of you.
I loved your character in Silicon Valley and hated him at the same time. Please tell me how I am supposed to feel about Russ?
What are you kidding!!!!????Russ is the worst human on earth...WE LOVE THAT GUY.
This guy fucks
This guy flies.
what weird voicing notes did you get back from directors regarding mickey mouse (e.g. less helium, more squeak)?
"More Walt", "less testosterone", "Mickey-drunk", "imagine getting smashed in the face with a frying pan"
I was thinking about you the other day, when I re-recognized you in Arrested Development. I pieced together what I knew you from and hit your imdb and you really have an extraordinary career. So many great performances and projects, while still comfortably flying under the radar. Is that a comfortable place to be, or do you have a hankering to be on the marquee more often?
What a great question. If I had been asked this 10 years ago I would have said that all I wanted was to be a marquee name as soon as humanly possible. Looking back (and forward) now, i realize how much I've learned on all of the sets without the pressure of millions of eyes watching... Like anyone who takes pride in their work, I look forward to greater opportunities to grow. Perhaps one day I will be a marquee name. In the meantime, I will keep working my ass off.
How do the doors on your car open? Like this? Or like this?
Doors? Sorry dude. Car doors are so 2015. How do the doors of a chopper open? That's the real question.
Holy shit Russ Hanneman was Moe Howard.
Who knows how to reassemble a blown mind?
Call Mickey Mouse, he has the tools to help
Ive read that Mark Cuban was an influence on the Russ Hanneman character. How much did you look at him for material? Also, how do you feel about Mark selling the 3 commas shirt on his website?
I know Mark and a few other guys were the inspiration for Russ. The say the best comedy does from reality. I think the only thing I really borrowed from Mark is his arms folded/smile to the camera pose that he does in the opening credits of shark tank. I practiced in the mirror for hours. As for him selling the shirt? He must be going after another comma.
Hey Chris ! Just wanted to say I put off watching the Stooges movie because to me, they're just one of the few sacred things you don't re-do, but I decided to about a month ago and absolutely loved it, especially you as Moe it was EXCELLENT!! You always hear about Moe never missing a mark/actually hurting anyone... My question is how long did you prep for all of those stunts, especially the no look ones, and how many times did you Actually hurt, if any, Sean or Will? Thanks a ton, Big Fan!
It moves me to meet a fellow Stooge fan, and thanks for your support. I've been practicing Moe's antics/choreography my whole life. The technical answer is that we had one week of rehearsals prior to shooting to go over the physical stuff. Sean, Will, and I would also gather a few hours before production at the beginning of each day and we would iron our the details of who was getting hit, when, and where. I may have slapped Sean's nose rather than his cheek a few times, and it's possible I bonked Will on the head hard enough for him to see stars, and I did sprain my fingers poking Larry's sandwich board... It was all part of the job, and I loved every second of it.
Russ is a malaka.
The greatest MALAKA that ever lived!
As a die hard fan I was prepared to hate the latest Stooges movie but you guys killed it. I was ready to pout and curse but found myself laughing through most of it.
Moses Harry Horwitz would be proud.
You just made my day.
What are your four Mouseketools that you can't live without?
Ha! My Wife, my kids, reruns of Seinfeld, Lime flavored Tostitos
Went on a Greek cruise with my grandparents about 20 years ago. Malaka was the only Greek word I learned. 20 years later, finally pays off as I can easily appreciate your comment, sweet.
Only word you need to know in Greek.
I assume you mean Shark Tank, but now I really want Shark Talk to exist.
Oh, you see what you did there
Who was your favorite person to work with on Silicon Valley, and is there anyone you regret not getting a scene with?
All the guys are brilliant, but Thomas is so great to play off of. He was such a pro and treat. I wish I got to work with Matt Ross, I think he's exceptional.
How do you know when a guy fucks ?
When he's got that "I'm a guy who FUCKS" kinda face. Jarred has it. He knows what I'm talking about.....
How did you get involved with both Arrested Development and Silicon Valley? (you're hilarious in both)
Have you ever met Robin Williams before/after portraying him?
What voice(s) did you do for the Celebrity Deathmatch video game?
Have you played Goldeneye 64, and how stoked are you for Spectre?
I was offered the role of Marky Bark, and had no idea what to expect until I got to set. Mitch was amazing to work with/for. I loved that show and all the folks on it. Had a blast with Portia.
Silicon, I really fought for. I auditioned a few times and even played russ as different versions (Mathew McConaughey) and I was thrilled to get the role.
I honestly don't remember which charter I played in death match...shoot, i'm getting old...does anyone know?
CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR SPECTER
Heh, I felt the same about his character in Episodes. Such a great, manic bad guy.
Castor? Yeah, he was a piece of work.
Which of your acting jobs has been your favorite and how often do you get asked to do the Mickey voice?
I've been lucky to have played so many fun characters. I love doing Mickey, such an honor. It was exhilarating to play the late great robin williams (may he r.i.p)
Hi Chris! Loved your performance in Silicon Valley! Do you know if you'll be coming back for Season 3?
Thanks for the kind words. Still unclear as to if Russ will make it back next season, but I for one would love him to just somehow kibosh things for the boys again.
You've taken on a vast variety of roles, which one was hands down your favorite?
Thanks for the question, I got into acting because I always loved the idea of shape shifting and changing my state. I've been so damn lucky to play so many charters and work with amazing talents. I loved playing Moe because I was such a fan, playing the late great Robin Williams (may he rip) was a dream too. Mickey Mouse is an honor and a blast to play. I don't think I have a favorite because I'v truly enjoyed them all so much. I'd like to think the best is yet come.
Hi, Chris. Any info on how Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming along?
No I do not.
Did you learn it from The Wire?
I learned it form my father, Malaka.
Me too! He was such a hilarious antagonist. Thanks for the reply.
I worked in a Greek cafe back home and that word would always be thrown around. Never thought I'd see it on reddit
Because you're a malaka.
How were you able to get out of Toronto/Canada so quickly in your career? You don't have any Road to Avonleas or Due Souths in your early days, let alone some of the bad stuff made here.
I left town when I was 16 and worked extensively in the theater. I did a bunch of bus and truck tours and eventually landed on Broadway, so I never had the chance to work in film and tv there. I find myself now in the early stages of my producing career looking to develop material in my native Canada.
On Silicon Valley you're working with great writers but also actors who are great improvisers. What would you say was the proportion of scripted scenes to improvised scenes that you were in?
And we're any of your more memorable lines (like "this guys fucks" or "doors that do this") improvised?
Please, feel free to toot your own horn.
Great question: We played very close to script because the writing is so damn good. I don't remember which or any or my lines were improvised. In the last scene, when my tequila bottle has all but destroyed their business, all I was supposed to say was "You were my guys". I thought it would be funny if we did one take in which I cited each of them by their new moniker, i.e., "that guy", "Bin Laden", "he fucks". That take made the cut.
How many times did people advise you to change your last name to something 'less ethnic'? Anyone actually use those words?
Great fucking question. Yes, those words were used, many many times. And I'd be lying if I said I hadnt considered it. As recently as 3 years ago, I had the pleasure of working with the Legendary Kurt Russell on THE ART OF THE STEAL. He and I really hit it off and he flat out suggested that I change my name to Chris D ( before stooges premiered). He just thought it was too long and hard (thats what she said) and that it would likely limit my marketability. I don't doubt that he had a great point. I gave it SERIOUS consideration but ultimately, the change felt false. Look, people already call me Chris D so no biggie. I like to think that even if you can't pronounce it, it's memorable. The correct pronunciation btw is:
Hey, Chris! I'll be quick. Who was the funniest person on the set of Arrested Development? (bonus points for self election)
In the Silicon Valley episode, 'The Lady', Russ leaves his son Aspen with Richard and Erlich, but we never get to see what happened. I feel like that was some comedy gold that maybe got cut for time. Was there a missing scene in the script? Can you tell us about it?
Good question. No that was actually the end of the scene but your right, those two babysitting is a hilarious concept.
As the voice of Mickey Mouse, what do you make of Walt Disney's original characterization?
For me, Walt remains the ideal Mickey. And while other Mickey's have been wonderful, I'm a purist, so Walt was my model for how I characterized my Mickey. Thanks for the question.
How long did you have to be inside that horse in Hannibal? Also, what was it made out of?
That wasn't the easiest shoot. Winter North of Toronto Canada, I was barefoot, slathered in gel and fake blood that kept freezing so they had to keep pouring water on me. The horse was foam and silicon and I was in and out for about 4 hours.
What's your favorite episode of Silicon Valley?
Season finale Dick Joke algorithm.
What's the funniest thing that happened off-camera on Silicon Valley? Is Zach Woods as big of a pushover in real life as he is on screen?
We laughed a lot during the hibachi scene, almost to the point where we couldn't shoot. And Zach is one of the brightest kindest people I've ever met. Tall Ass Mothafucka too
So, the Model X has doors that go kinda like this but only in the back. Are these doors good enough for those in the three comma club?
Russ is totally on board with any and all backdoor action.
So what ended up happening to your Office characters? Seems like he abruptly disappeared, after he and Pam had a tiff, huh?
He's buried under Dunder Mifflin. It's yet unsolved, but Jim has to live with himself...
What was it like working with Kiefer Sutherland?
Our characters rarely overlapped oncreen, so I really only saw Kiefer at the craft services trailer. Always super nice, and a total badass.
Haha Killer!! The Stooges, to me, are the same to comedy as Black Sabbath is to Heavy Metal - Just the most unsurpassable, original, best at what they did group of guys ever.... Thanks a ton I didn't know it til now but after seeing EVERYTHING you've done I'm a bigger fan than I thought Keep up the GREAT work and Take Care!! - Jason
Thanks jason. Best wishes.
Hey Chris, loved your Moe; you nailed it. Would love to know what the status on the next 3 stooges is, is there a release window?
We're all so excited by the idea of another movie. I can tell you that the script is being written as we speak. Fingers crossed for a 2017 release, but you never know with these things. Thanks for the support.
Hi Chris. Were you born with an innate sense of who does and doesn't fuck, or is that a skill that you have worked to hone over time?
Good question, and thanks. Well, knowing who fucks and who doesn't do all the fucking is both inborn and cultivated. Through years of observation, and self reflection, I've developed a patent pending system that I will actually be selling with Anthony Robbins.
Can you tell if I fuck, Chris?
Hmmmm....you do not.
Wait.... No...Actually you DO!
My meter was off, there was a leaf blower going off next door.
Does Russ listen to anything other than Butterfly? I like to think he doesn't.
On the rare occasion that he loses a comma, Russ curls up into the fetal position and listens to Mariah Carrey Butterfly
Follow up, how hard is it to be both Russ and Mickey
What do you like to do in your free time?
I'm a dad, so I just love to play with the kids. I love to cook, swim, I like to hike, and I actually enjoy shopping for clothes. I know, it's nuts.
Are any past actors you admire that influenced your acting career?
Paul Newman, Danny Kaye, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Robin Williams, Sean Connery, I could go on and on...
Love your character! Do you film here in the Bay Area? How did you meet your lovely wife?
Most of the show is shot in LA with some exteriors shot on location. Becki and I met 10 years ago in NYC underground at times square during rush hour. We walked past each other and our eyes met. I knew I had to talk to her, and in full on creep mode I approached her and told her I thought I was lost. She didn't buy it, so I invited to come see my show ( I was performing on Broadway in the FULL MONTY). She came to the show the next evening and we've been together ever since. All this despite her having seen me naked before our first date. Strong woman.
Donny Osmond: good dude?
Great dude. I understudied him when I was 20 years old in Joseph in Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He's a talent and a great prankster.
First question, do you, as that guy, fuck? Second, do your cars doors open like this \=/?
Yes. No. or wait, is it, no. yes? I always get those two confused.
What came first, the acting or the voicing? Did you ever get a gig because of the other?
It's all connected. I think my voice has helped me get work. Finding a different voice for each role is fun and good start to breaking down who the guy is and how he's different from me.
And was Mads actually playing with the little sheep or was it scripted?
Mads was the man. I believe he improved that.
THAT shit was NOT easy!!!! No joke, they had to have a mirror on set so I could accomplish that. i have small teeth
Where do you find your moe-tivation?
Oh a funny man...
Thanks for answering my question Chris! I look forward to the many more roles you take on in the future!
Thanks so much.
Hey Chris! I think you have great comedic timing man, and I just wanted to ask if you have any interesting stories from when you filmed for Arrested Development?
I remember the desert shoot days just being surreal. They were the first days of the season and they were the first things I shot so figuring out who Marky was going to be was challenging. Mitch (Hurwitz) was a delight and so damn smart and funny that it was a feat to keep up with him as he changed his mind and moved from one thing to the next. I'll say this, the ostrich, wigged me out.
Screw character Chris, no one remembers that crap. The important detail is, what was your go to gun?
Wait, what? Gun?
All three guys played the stooges perfectly, in my opinion. I too would love to know what the status is.
Is it still being touted as an action-comedy? I'd personally prefer sticking to slapstick, but if y'all can make an action-comedy work, then by all means do it.
Weren't the stooges the original action-comedy stars?
Worst and best Bond villains?
Best: Scaramanga, Le Chiffre, Kananga
Worst: Largo, Stromberg, Greene
Hi Chris! What did you think of Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit in the MoMA, if you've ever seen it?
Ever designed your own unique building?
Thanks for being a Stooge, my father introduced me to them at a young age, and slapstick is my favorite type of comedy., you really rocked the house!
First off thanks for the kind words. I have not seen the moma exhibit but I am a fan Lloyd Wright's work, big time. I helped to design my home with my dear friend and gifted Architect Noah Riley. A dream come true.
My question has already been asked so... Is there a better burger than the Detroit Eatery? And do you ever come back for Taste of The Danforth? How do you feel about Trudeau and his fabulous hair?
Fabulous hair is the one trait we should all look for in our leaders. I love the danforth but have not been back for a taste in some time. My favorite burger is the one I make at home: grassfed beef and bacon blended together and seasoned. On a pretzel bun. perfection.
What projects are you working on in Toronto?
I just finished watching Silicon Valley season 2. Currently reading "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" as I run through the Bond series.
Aren't the books great? You just made me want to re-read them. No upcoming projects in T.O as of yet, but I love shooting in Toronto.
What TV shows do you enjoy besides the ones you have appeared on ?
I am obsessed with HOUSE OF CARDS and GAME OF THRONES. My favorite comedy is Seinfeld.
Why does Disney keep MM voice guy Bret Iwan and yourself doing media at once? Is there too much work to go around?
Bret is such a terrific Mickey. It's nice for me that Disney wanted something in a different vain as well. I'm just happy to be invited to the party.
Do you fuck?
Amazing job as Russ he was a trip of emotions what was the hardest part about playing him?
Thanks for that. I knew I wanted him to be larger than life but I also wanted him to be real, so, I'd say the toughest part was allowing him to be broad but keeping him grounded. Also, I have to say, it was particularly hard shunning T.J (Erlich). It KILLED me to do it.
Thats a unique name you have, did kids ever give you funny nicknames or tease you in school?
I grew up in predominately Greek neighborhood so Diamantopoulos was like Smith. Come to think of it, we made fun Steve Smith a lot.
Playing highly recognized people like Robin Williams or Moe Howard could have been a disaster for you. Even doing a killer job on your part, it was very possible they could have been ridiculed. (Lifetime's behind the scenes movies, Mommie Dearest) Was that a fear for you? Were you relieved that you dodged those bullets as much as you were happy you were so appreciated in the roles?
Good points. Playing a recognizable figure is dicey at best. But I became an actor partly because I'm a student of history. The study of nuance and voice and posture is appealing to me. Having a model to conform to is actually liberating. The challenge is what drives me. Certainly earlier in my career, just procuring work was the goal, so I didn't have the luxury of fearing the outcome of my performance . And even now, I find that the work I most desire is also the most challenging to land. I tend to ask myself if I can add value to a project. If the answer is yes I move forward. I also ask myself who might do better justice with a role. And if I can't picture someone else, then I throw my hat in the ring. My wife challenged me to audition for both Robin Williams and Moe. I just didn't imagine that I'd EVER be cast as either. She posed the question to me: "if not you, then who?" With the gauntlet thrown, I put everything I had into it. Moe took 6 months and 14 auditions (all in costume and character). And for Williams I walked the streets of nyc and rode the subway in character for 3 weeks to build the character. A gratifying/terrifying experience. And to be fair, I didn't sleep much the week before either movie premiered. With Mork, it aired opposite the NCAA finals so I think the viewership was less than 80k. Stooges was a much bigger platform but we all ( the Farrelley Bros, Sean, Will and I) knew we had put EVERYTHING into it so I relaxed a bit. At the end of the day, you can't please everyone. I aim to do the best work I can and to learn more on each gig so that each time out the gate is better and better.
How would you feel if Disney pulled a Piggy on you, had Mickey leave Minnie, and find a new girlfriend?
Do you ever talk in the Mickey voice for fun, while running errands or something?
I'm LITERALLY doing just that as I type out my responses.
How long can you do Mickey's voice before losing your own? Or are your vocals well-trained by now.
Also, how long have you been the voice for Mickey the Mouse?
Really good question. I worked in the theater and on Broadway for over 15 years before I ever got into voice over or tv and film. I didn't do much private study but the little I did and the experience of 8 shows a week for over a decade taught me how to use my voice and what to do and what not to do. it's still a challenge to keep it all healthy mind you, but Mickey (thankfully) is second nature now. I've been Mickey for 4 seasons so far. A real dream come true.
Some of the supporting characters in Silicon Valley were loosely based on real people. Was Russ loosely based on a real person?
I think he's based on Mark Cuban....
Favorite movie you've ever acted in?
I loved making Stooges. We laughed for 15 weeks straight.
His judgement of who fucks may not be the most reliable.
HOW DARE YOU SIR!?
Would you like to voice Mickey Mouse in an animated feature?
I would absolutely love to.
Hey Chris! How have you approached Mickey's voice differently between projects? I ask because the delivery, energy, and tone of Mickey in "Clubhouse" is wildly different from the newer animated shorts..
Well, Bret Iwan voices club house and I voice the shorts. For the shorts, I really tried to go back to Walt's version of Mickey. I use that as my guide.