Chris Diamantopoulos builds a hot career, on screen and off
NEW YORK (AP) — When you see Chris Diamantopoulos on screen, you may get a sense of déjà vu. The actor regularly pops up in movies and TV shows as a variety of characters, and he’s fine if you find yourself trying to place where you’ve seen him before.
“I want people guessing,” said the actor recently over Zoom from his home in Los Angeles. “It’s one of the reasons I’m not on social media. I’d rather people when they see me go, ‘Oh, wait, that’s that guy.’ As opposed to, ‘Oh yeah, I knew this was coming because I saw him in his dressing room in the costume,’ and he sent a video of how he did the voice.’”
Diamantopoulos, 46, who began his career on stage and starred on Broadway in “Les Misérables,” “The Full Monty” and “Waitress,” is on a streak of playing villains. He’s in “ True Story, ” the new Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes series on Netflix, and the streamer’s blockbuster film “ Red Notice ” starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds.
If perhaps his voice sounds familiar, Diamantopoulos is the fifth person in history to voice Mickey Mouse for Disney and has acted in more than 40 episodes of Fox’s “American Dad.”
His voice acting career is so robust, he built a professional studio at his home when his family relocated from New York to Los Angeles during the pandemic.
“I spent a good six months making it. Every time I bought new equipment or soundproofed, I thought, ‘Gosh, is this going to be worth it?’ And then, series after series after series came up and I was just fortunate enough to be able to do these records. It’s not a home studio, it’s a proper studio that happens to be in my home, which is really wonderful.”
Another bonus for keeping his voice work close is because of the proximity to his three kids with wife, actor Becki Newton.
“It’s been fun to be able to make the kids breakfast and say, ‘Guys, I’m going to run down to a quick thing and I’ll come right back.’”
Or, if you’re still trying to place him, there’s “The Office,” where he played Brian the audio guy, who worked on the documentary crew filming the employees of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office. In the final season he was a confidante to Jenna Fischer’s Pam, as John Krasinski’s character, Jim, was away starting a new career. His character was meant to amplify the problems in the characters’ relationship.
Diamantopoulos recalls it being an interesting experience because Fischer and Kraskinski were appropriately deeply invested in the Jim and Pam storyline and didn’t want to upset the fans.
“We filmed a bunch that didn’t end up in the show, much to my chagrin, of course,” said Diamantopoulos. “But I think ultimately what they landed on was the right way to go. I felt like I was invited to someone’s home and I wanted to make sure that I took my shoes off at the door because they had white carpet and I was really concerned that I left things as I found them. They were all very gracious about it, of course, but they cared deeply, as they should. I was moved to see how deeply they cared.”
Up next, he voices a character in the Disney+ film “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” And he’s got a role in the Amazon series “Daisy Jones and the Six” starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin and will appear in season two of “Made for Love” for HBO Max.
One of Diamantopoulos’ close friends is Bryan Cranston, who hired him to play twins in 2018′s “The Dangerous Book for Boys.”
“He’s been such an affirming presence in my life and such a reminder of what my job is as an actor,” he says. “If I’m kvetching about something about having to audition for this, that or whatever it is, he’s like, ‘That’s your job. Your job is to do the best that you can do with the material that you’re given. Your job isn’t what you’re getting paid or where you’re staying. That’s someone else’s job.’ I love him for that.”