Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

'Red Notice' Star Chris Diamantopoulos Is Scary Good at Playing the Villain

The man of a million voices discusses acting, risk-taking and convincing people (and yourself!) that you are the right person for the job.

By

You don't realize how good some actors truly are until you talk to them. Case in point: Chris Diamantopoulos. His terrifying portrayal of an absolutely cold-blooded psychopathic gangster in True Story on Netflix had me wondering if I'd make it through our interview alive. But luckily, the truth is that the real Chris is an absolutely hilarious and thoughtful guy who has gobs of inspiring things to say on the topics of striving for your dreams, taking risks, and genuinely appreciating victories along the road. I left our conversation not fearing for my life, but fearing that I don't take enough chances.

Austin Hargrave

Chris recently played another psychotic, albeit somewhat less menacing villain, in the Netflix mega-movie Red Notice, and fans have seen him portray hilariously maniac geniuses on Silicon Valley and Episodes. Most recently, you can hear him as the not-at-all-murderous voice of Greg’s dad in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated film on Disney+. (The man is as busy as he is talented.)

Related: Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov's Tips for Staying a Few Steps Ahead

Here's a little snippet of Chris discussing that thing that all of us — no matter what field we're in — have to do at some point in our professional lives: convince other people that we're the right person for the job.

"People in every aspect of life want to show what they are capable of, and my job, by definition, is to do that every day. I can't support my family unless I can convince somebody that I can do the very thing that they believe there's no way that I am capable of doing. It can be frustrating at times; it can feel like an uphill battle, but it is also exhilarating and...it's my job! My job is to audition," he explains, likening the process to a job interview. "The first step is that I need to convince myself that I am the guy for this, and once I do that, I have that power to go forth." When presented with the opportunity to audition to be the voice of Mickey Mouse, he balked at first, then found inspiration in an old interview with Walt Disney he stumbled upon. "I watched it, and his normal speaking voice sounded a lot like mine, deep and gravelly. And they asked him if he could still do the voice of the mouse, and he snapped right into it and gave a 'Whoa boy I sure can!' And I watched what he did with his body and his hands, and I realized that if you're going to do it, you have to be it! And that's how I approach everything. If I can be it for myself, then I can convince other people I can be it as well."

Hope you enjoy our conversation and thanks as always for listening!

Dan Bova

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Dan Bova is the editorial director of digital content at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his humor writing at Planet Bova.