Danny Masterson On 'Alter Egos,' Being A Super Hero, His '70s Show' Friends
Danny Masterson, star of That 70s Show and Men at Work, is taking on a new film role in the super hero comedy Alter Egos, in which he plays Jimmy, a man who can turn invisible, but for only 2.3 seconds. Masterson acknowledged that Invisibility sure has its perks, but if he could have a more feasible skill, he'd go the way of Rosetta Stone. “If I could have one, and it isn’t obviously flying or seeing through people, but one that was real, it would be to be able to speak every language, that would be a cool alter ego,” Masterson told Uinterview exclusively. “Let’s call him 'El Speak-O.'”
Masterson spent much of his childhood in Garden City, Long Island. At age 4 he became a child model, and shortly thereafter began appearing in television commercials and even Broadway musicals. At age 16, Masterson moved to Hollywood, where the acting work came pouring in. He made small appearances in films such as Beethoven’s 2nd and Face/Off, as well as television appearances on Roseanne, NYPD Blue and Cybill. He later received widespread fame when he was cast as Steven Hyde the popular sitcom That '70s Show. Currently Masterson can be seen on the TBS comedy Men at Work in which Masterson plays the lead character Milo Foster.
Over the years, Masterson has also fostered a burgeoning DJ-ing career under the moniker DJ Mom Jeans (an inside joke with his That '70s Show castmates Mila Kunis and Laura Prepon, who had to wear high-waisted jeans in the show). This humorous side seems to be a constant in Masterson’s work, as his time on Alter Egos was as much a friendly gathering as it was a working experience.
“My wife, Bijou [Philips], and [director] Jordan [Galland] have been best friends since they were in their early teenage years. And so Bijou was in his first film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead, and we became friends over the last seven or eight years and he said, 'Hey, you know, do you want to come play the asshole in my movie?' And I said, 'Well it depends who’s in it.' And he said, 'Kris Lemche and Joey Kern,' who are two of my really close friends, so I said, 'Yeah.'"
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My wife, Bijou [Philips], and [director] Jordan [Galland] have been best friends since they were in their early teenage years. And so Bijou was in his first film, 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead,' and we became friends over the last seven or eight years and he said, “Hey, you know, do you want to come play the asshole in my movie?” And I said, “Well it depends who’s in it.” And he said, “Kris Lemche and Joey Kern,” who are two of my really close friends, so I said, “Yeah.”
I met him a couple of times years and years ago. The soundtrack’s really cool.
The dancers' belts are not super fun to wear. I only had to be in mine for about four hours, but those two [Kris Lemche and Joey Kern] having to be in those outfits for a month was just insane. Jordan has a place in Hampton Bays, N.Y., and this is kind of the local motel that is in that town. He basically took over the entire place for a few weeks in the fall, and we just used that as the set. So it was fun, you know, I was there for a couple days and it was a fun little ending.
If I could have one, and it isn’t obviously flying or seeing through people, but one that was real, it would be to be able to speak every language, that would be a cool alter ego. Let’s call him “El Speak-O.”
I was a semi-comic book fan. I had the first 50 issues of all The Punisher magazines and I would collect all of The Punisher and Spiderman and the different Marvel books. I was basically just down with The Punisher.
I’ve been DJ-ing as DJ Mom Jeans for a really long time. I started playing in ’97. I’m basically an indie-electro DJ, but when playing parties, you know if I’m in Vegas, I’ll play a ton of hip-hop. I just basically will play anything but Top 40 or straight house music. I’ve done some remixes for some bands like The Virgins, Tokyo Police Club and Albert Hammond Jr. I just did one for Broken Social Scene. But mostly I am just a fun party DJ, play crazy random shit that makes people dance. I play probably 40-50 times a year, I would say. It’s a lot of fun.
We just finished season two of Men at Work. We wrapped that, it comes out in April of next year. I start shooting a movie called Killing Winston Jones with Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Glover down in Savannah, Ga. So that will be a lot of fun.
I play Ethan Jones who’s Dreyfuss’s son, and it’s kind of a Grumpy Old Men. These two old guys who used to be the gym teachers. Richard’s about to kill himself and Danny’s about to die from just being old and fat and they both want the new memorial gym named after them. And so I’m the one who’s trying to keep my father alive and get both of their names on the gym.
I think the first season was really about him trying to figure out how the dating world worked. And so now he’s sort of head first in the game: some girlfriends for a couple episode arcs and some really amazingly bad dates and some good ones.
We are all still very close and still have Geisha House and the Big Williams bars in L.A. We had Dolce for a long time and sold that to Sweet Chao. And so right now in L.A. the only one that’s going on is Geisha House, which is doing great.