Jon Lovitz's Career Fears
Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz says Rat Race (opening Friday) isn't merely the title of his newest movie it's a metaphor for his career! "Well honestly, it's not like I have all these offers," he shrugs. "Like most actors, except for the top guys, it just goes up and down. You finish a job and then say, 'What's next?' Most of the time, you have to wait.
"Hopefully, this movie does well and I'll get more offers," Lovitz says. "This is my first [major role in a] studio picture in four years." (In case you can't recall, his last lead was in the utterly forgettable flop, High School High.) "So I was really excited to get this part," he confesses, "and I took it a lot more seriously than I have a lot of times... I just said, 'I gotta really score in this because I'm getting another chance after four years.'"
Fortunately, the funnyman racks up the yuks in Rat Race, a farce inspired by It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that sends a zany group of Las Vegas tourists on a quest for a $2 million jackpot. Lovitz and Kathy Najimy play a Jewish couple who get mixed up with a gang of neo-Nazis. One hilarious scene finds his unwitting character addressing a crowd of World War II veterans dressed as Adolph Hitler!
"I always wanted to play Hitler," Lovitz chuckles, "because the guy was the worst human being who ever lived, but he was also just a clown. Charlie Chaplin
did him in The Great Dictator
. It's good to satirize people who are horrible jerks. It's just always funny." Modestly, he adds: "But [Race
's writers] set the whole scene up. I can't take credit for it."