Here in Philly, we love Danny DeVito for his role as amoral bar owner Frank Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But our admiration has nothing on the actor’s home town, Asbury Park.
The Asbury Park City Council on Saturday honored DeVito, who was born in Neptune Township and raised in Asbury, with a “Danny DeVito Day,” the Asbury Park Press reports. The holiday will be held in the city on Nov. 17 — DeVito’s birthday.
DeVito, 73, was in town over the weekend for the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, which featured an entire evening dedicated to the actor’s career, complete with a Q&A session. DeVito spoke with the Inquirer ahead of his return home, saying that he was excited to see his “peeps” in Jersey and “sneak in a caramel apple” on the boardwalk.
“Danny has never forgotten where he came from,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday, the Asbury Park Press reports. “His longevity has allowed him to reach that rare pinnacle where people from different generations have a Danny DeVito moment.”
DeVito, meanwhile, discussed arts education at the APMFF, which benefits local New Jersey arts education organizations.
“Let’s exhibit to our children that’s the way to get out,” DeVito said. “Put it on paper, whatever it is. Sculpt it out of clay, go make a sand castle. It’s in the eye of the beholder. It does free us.”
Aside from It’s Always Sunny, DeVito is known for his role in the classic TV show Taxi, as well as roles in films including Twins, Batman Returns, and Matilda. Prior to his career as an actor, DeVito worked cutting grass in Asbury Park, and later as a hairstylist after his sister sent him to cosmetology school, as he told the Inquirer earlier this month. From there, DeVito moved to New York and started acting.
“It’s step by step, as an actor. It’s always that way,” DeVito told the Inquirer. “It’s a lot of disappointments. It’s a lot of people saying no. Sometimes, I’d get into a play where it wasn’t the lead, but it was encouraging. You need that little bump every once in a while.”