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Danny DeVito Admitted He Didn’t Really Save Michael Douglas From a Venomous Snake

Photo Credit: Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images

Danny DeVito has admitted the truth about the time he supposedly rescued fellow actor and friend Michael Douglas from a venomous snake. The veteran actor, known for his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Twins, Batman Returns, Matilda and the television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, first reported the potentially deadly encounter in 2018.

It supposedly happened on the set of Romancing the Stone

Appearing on The Talk, DeVito told a heroic story about saving long-time friend Douglas while they were on the set of the 1984 action-adventure film, Romancing the Stone.

“We were in Mexico in this really rugged kind of place,” DeVito reported. “There was this guy who had a truck with a cage on it and inside the pickup truck, in the bed of the truck, were snakes.”

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Jack T. Colton and Joan Wilder in 'Romancing the Stone'
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner filming a scene in Mexico for 1984’s Romancing the Stone. (Photo Credit: diannecan / Twentieth Century Fox / MovieStillsDB)

Fatal Attraction star Douglas showed no fear, according to DeVito. “But Michael, he’s being the hot shot, Mikey D. And the [guy’s] got a snake on his arm and all the kids are coming around,” he said. “And Michael grabs the snake. I’m going, ‘Michael, don’t touch the snake! That’s a snake, man. That snake could bite you, man.’”

Douglas allegedly brushed off his pal’s warnings, saying, “Oh no, no Danny, it’s no big deal.” The snake then bit him on the hand.

“And I always heard the best thing to do is suck the poison out, right away, so I did,” DeVito claimed at the time. “I grabbed his hand and I’m spitting all over the place, and I say, ‘Boy, it’s a good thing this didn’t bite you on [another body part] man — you would be a dead man.’”

Michael Douglas kissing the top of Danny DeVito's head
Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito arrive at a red carpet event on April 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

A lie detector test revealed the truth

Fast forward to 2022 and it turns out there might have been a little truth-stretching involved in this valiant-sounding tale. The real story came out after DeVito’s daughter, actress Lucy DeVito, asked him about it while he was hooked up to a lie detector test. The interview was filmed by Vanity Fair.

“I actually made that story up,” he confessed after being called out by the test administrator. “Okay, so I was lying!”

Danny DeVito as the Penguin in 'Batman Returns' + Colin Farrell as the Penguin in 'The Batman'
Two portrayals of Oswald Cobblepot, AKA Batman villain, the Penguin. Danny DeVito (L) in 1992’s Batman Returns and Colin Farrell (R) in 2022’s The Batman. (Photo Credit: 1. Warner Bros. / Polygram Pictures / MovieStillsDB 2. jeffw616 / Warner Bros. / DC Films / 6th & Idaho / Dylan Clark Productions / MovieStillsDB)

Another person who might be interested to hear about the lie detector test is Colin Farrell. Both actors have played infamous Batman villain, the Penguin – DeVito in the 1992 Tim Burton film Batman Returns and Farrell in 2022’s The Batman. When shown a picture of Farrell in his Penguin costume, DeVito replied, “Who, Colin? I love Colin. He’s a terrific guy. My Penguin was better.”

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The lie detector test determined he was telling the truth this time.

Sara Horton

Sara Horton is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News