Get All Access for $5/mo

'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 Dan Bova Edited by Jessica Thomas

Austin Hargrave

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.

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'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

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

Top Secrets to Starting a 6-Figure Etsy Side Hustle That Earns Passive Income, According to 3 People Who Did It

Etsy remains a popular ecommerce platfrom for sellers — and can be incredibly lucrative for those who know how to use it.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"

Business News

SoftBank CEO Says AI 10x Smarter Than Humans Could Be Here in a Matter of Years

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son spoke to shareholders during the company's general meeting on Friday.


3 Steps to Overcoming Organizational Fear of Change

It's a leader's job to ensure everyone in the company can own their expertise without fear — even when left to their own devices.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.