[Interview] David Dastmalchian Talks ‘Late Night with the Devil’ and Halloween

Late Night with the Devil is the must-see Halloween horror movie of the year, currently terrifying audiences in theaters, and we are thrilled to welcome David Dastmalchian to talk about playing “Mr. Midnight”, the host of Night Owls, Jack Delroy in the acclaimed film, and what Halloween itself (and HDN!) means to him.

Written and directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes, the film is set in 1977 and stars Dastmalchian (Batman: The Long Halloween, Oppenheimer, Dune, The Boogeyman) as a nationally syndicated late night talk show host Jack Delroy, who, under pressure from execs after the recent passing of is wife, is about to put on one hell of a Halloween episode. The name of the show is Night Owls, and guests on this Halloween special include a psychic, a hypnotist who is also a supernatural skeptic, and a parapsychologist (played by Laura Gordon) with her ward, Lilly (played by Ingrid Torelli), who she alleges is possessed by an evil entity, as viewers witness the chaos behind the scenes of the live production.

In our video conversation earlier this week, Dastmalchian said that the Halloween setting was always part of the story from its earliest inception, though the film was shot in the Cairnes brothers’ native Australia, where the holiday is not celebrated as big as it is in America.

David said, “I think that Colin and Cameron, who wrote and conceived of the idea, and they also co-directed it, they had this vision that doing it on Halloween Night not only was going to give us a ton of fun ways to put cool props on the set and build a spooky atmosphere. And how fun was it back in the day when the studio audience used to show up all in costume. Or you think about Let’s Make a Deal or shows like that, we wanted it to feel like that. But also the notion that it’s a Halloween Special. Those were always the best episodes of anything that we ever watched growing up. 

“So this is the Halloween Special, and if you’re a guy who’s trying to exploit people’s fears and vulnerabilities for the sake of trying to make some really captivating television, what better night of the year than All Hallows’ Eve?”

David also surprised us with some especially nice comments about Halloween Daily News.

“There’s nothing better than Halloween every day,” he said, “so you’re doing the lord’s work, my friend. Halloween daily. Every day we need a dose of Halloween. It’s like, for me, every day I need a little yoga, I need a little mental health exercise, I need some exercise, I need to create something, and I always need a daily dose of Halloween. So thank God there’s Halloween Daily News.”

We also discussed more about Dastmalchian’s favorite memories from set and developing the complex central character of Jack Delroy, plus going through Hell to find Chicago style pizza for the entire Australian cast and crew, and more.

You can watch our full exclusive interview with David Dastmalchian below.

Late Night With The Devil is in select theaters now and will be available to stream on Shudder starting on April 19. You can also own it on Digital here.

[Related: Watch our interview with Laura Gordon on Late Night with the Devil here.]

[Related: Watch our interview with Ingrid Torelli on Late Night with the Devil here.]

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.