Working with Danny DeVito and his family on Little demon was “wonderful,” said Darcy Fowler, Seth Kirschner and Kieran Valla, the show’s creators Newsweek.
The FXX animated series sees DeVito portray Satan while his real life daughter Lucy stars as Chrissy (Satan’s daughter), and his son Jake serves as an executive producer on the show. Even DeVito’s wife, Rhea Perlman, is a guest star for the show’s first season.
Little demon centers on 13-year-old Chrissy, who discovers her real father after gaining his own powers as the child of Satan, aka the Antichrist. But even if Satan wants her to join the family business, her mother Laura (Aubrey Plaza) will protect her at all costs.
For Fowler, Kirschner and Valla, the DeVitos were such a big part of making the show that they felt like family by the time production wrapped — a “crazy, crazy family,” Valla joked.
Little demon Creators Join the DeVito Family and the Show’s Guest Stars
Fowler, Kirschner and Valla created the show because they wanted to make a “Rosemary’s baby subversion” and write a story in which a woman had a cursed uterus. Then it evolved into the show as it is today, with a focus on a mother (Laura) giving birth to the Antichrist (Chrissy ) and then shifting to her teenage years when she discovers her powers.
Valla said: “At first when we imagined it, the girl started even younger, she was five years old, and then we kept going. [and] college, is the ideal age because it is the thematically richest field to explore.
“And then we kind of clocked into the heart of the show from there, which was the mother-daughter relationship, and then this custody battle triangle that sort of exists [between Laura, Chrissy and Satan].”
“We’re all big horror nerds,” Fowler added. “So we knew we wanted to do a show based on horror and also comedic. And just to pick up on what Kieran said, 13 is a horrible time. With the mother-daughter relationship, too, you know, in As a 13-year-old girl and her mother, there’s so much horror just about that.”
Kirschner explained that he and his fellow creators had always thought of Plaza to play Laura because they had worked with the Parks and recreation star in the past, as they had also done with Lucy DeVito.
“We have known [Aubrey] for many, many years, and then that moment like, ‘Oh, obviously involving Lucy in this would be such a smart idea,’ and she made so much sense to voice Chrissy,” Kirschner said.
“Once they started getting involved, luckily Danny was all for it because he loved the idea of being able to play the devil, and he works with his daughter and it’s such a relationship. unbelievable.
“They’re really, really wonderful together, and recording them together was a dream. I mean, they really have this perfect father-daughter dynamic. I hope that resonates on the show as well.
“But the whole DeVito group, they’re such nice, wonderful, smart people who immediately latched onto the idea and then helped us develop the show and then finally got [Little Demon executive producer] Dan Harmon involved. They [were] just such a gift along the way.”
He continued: “Jake has really been incredibly helpful as a producer and has this great outside view and perspective.
“I mean they all have such a great outlook on the show, but Jake really pushed that so hard. He’s been such a big force in that. I guess now it’s like a weird family that we we all formed. So maybe we’re part of the DeVito family, I don’t know.”
“They make us feel that, they really do,” added Valla. And of DeVito, he said: “[Danny’s] brilliant, it’s amazing. He’s also the nicest person, he’s just a great person and he’s been just wonderful to work with.
“It’s been a crazy dream. It’s been crazy working with Danny DeVito. He’s exceptional, we always pinch each other. He’s just the nicest guy.”
Pushing the boundaries with animation
Little demon isn’t afraid to push the envelope by featuring violence, nudity and also candid depictions of Chrissy having her first period.
About that, Valla said, “I think, for us, whenever we’re going to do something, we’re just about to do the show that we want to do, and don’t really shy away from what we want to do and what is the best way we can create what we want to create.
“And I think animated space, what we’ve found is that maybe it allows us to push more boundaries and show more and do more than we could in space. But yeah, that was never really a thought for us as we went through it, I guess because we just wrote the show that we feel like, ‘Okay , this is the best version of this show.’
“But looking back, I think working in the animated space definitely enabled that in terms of what we were able to do and put on TV.”
Reflecting on a scene in which Laura strips naked to travel to Satan’s realm, Fowler added, “We didn’t plan to say, ‘We have this strong woman character and we’re going to make sure she strips in a scene.
“I remember us and Dan Harmon all thinking together, this character has to enter the metaphysical realm, how? Just check the rules of how you enter the metaphysical realm, and there’s no way to bring clothes with you.
“It was like, ‘Oh, I guess she’ll have to get naked’ and it was really cool. She’s got a billion awesome tattoos, they all mean something specific. So we were excited about that. too.”
One thing the trio was keen to do was make sure Laura was a character who could hold her own not only as a demon slayer but also as a single parent.
Fowler shared, “I think something that we don’t often see, certainly not animated, is a mother of sorts grappling with the role of motherhood and what it’s meant to be, and also just exploring a woman who has a lot of darkness in her.
“I think we were also really excited to explore a woman as badass as John Wick. Like Sarah Connor, who can kill like John killed three men with any form of pencil.
“So we were really excited to have molded her into this very complex, strong, funny woman and to watch a woman who has been on the run for 13 years and who, for the first time, really has to settle in the suburbs with her daughter. , and navigating this world that she is so alien to. We have so many seasons that we can tap into of her character.
Valla added: “One thing we really want to do is not shy away from exploring the messiness of it all, the messiness of this mother-daughter relationship. Laura has so many strengths and she’s a deeply flawed character. J I feel like a lot of times with female characters, I feel like they don’t have that opportunity in the same way that male characters do, to really enjoy doing these explorations of their flaws.
“What we love about her is that she’s such a strong and loving mum despite all her flaws and it’s kind of that daily battle within herself to be the best mum she can be all the while. navigating the madness of the world around him.”
Kirschner explained that Plaza added a lot to her character and was “really helpful” to the trio during the show’s creative process.
“Aubrey was really, really helpful in pushing this character, this type of character, and she also wanted so much to lean into the blue steel of her character.
“She’s so smart and so funny, she’s got such a great perspective on the show and the character and also just in general, but we pulled stuff from her, like herself, because we just want to find those interesting nuances. of someone who would be like an Aubrey character in this world that we’ve created, so she’s been a tremendous help.”
On the show’s “incredible” guest stars
In addition to its stellar main cast, Little demon has some very famous faces lending their voices to the show.
“You’ll see some amazing stars, like Sam Richardson, Dave Bautista, Shangela, Lamorne Morris, and if you stick around long enough you might hear Mel Brooks,” Kirschner teased.
DeVito made sure he was on hand to help with several of the episodes featuring guest stars, with Fowler naming the Sam Richardson episode as the most interesting recording session for the cast and crew.
“The Sam Richardson one was so funny because none of us, including Sam Richardson, knew Danny was coming. And so we were recording with him, and suddenly, out of nowhere, Danny’s face pops up on Zoom.
“He’s like, ‘Hey Sam,’ and Sam Richardson was like, ‘Oh, hey Danny.’ You never when Danny will surprise [you].”
Valla added: “Another really fun combination is that we had Eugene Cordero and Danny together, which was really fun to watch that dynamic.
“They have a plot together in a [later] episode which was great, and then we also had Aubrey and Lennon Parham [who voices Laura’s neighbor Darlene], and they did improvisation together at UCB. So to see them being able to work together again in this format was great.”
Little demon airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX and airs the following day on Hulu.