• Image about Ray Wise
This is a terrific devil you play. He sings, dances, and looks good in a suit. John Milton would be so proud. [Laughs] I think that’s true. This devil is a cross between a really good used-car salesman and a game-show host, but with a lot more style and charm. There’s a little Cary Grant thrown in there too.

You’ve mentioned before that you are a Method actor, that when you’re working, you “like to think the character’s thoughts.” Tell me about going Method as Satan. Playing the devil from a Method actor’s point of view is very empowering. You feel like you’re capable, really, of doing anything and that there are no limitations to your power. It’s strange when I walk on the set and everybody gives me a sideways glance. I catch people staring sometimes. They know I’m just an actor playing a character, but there’s something about that character that freaks people out a little bit.

In your high school yearbook, you boasted that you would one day become a professional actor. I knew by the time I was 12 years old that this was what I needed to be doing. It was an overwhelming desire. I did all the school plays, the public-address announcements, all the school assemblies. Everything I did as a kid pointed in the direction I eventually went. And the wording there is important: I said “professional actor,” not movie star or celebrity or that kind of thing. I wanted to be a pro, a guy who worked steadily and with all his skills. That’s exactly what I’ve done. For 40 years, I’ve never really been without an acting job.

Some of your recent or soon-to-be-released films have titles like Infestation and Pandemic. You seem to be a harbinger of doom. I haven’t done anything about the global financial collapse yet. [Laughs] I guess I gravitate toward these projects -- the horrific, the dangerous, the science fiction. I enjoy watching these movies. It’s my cup of tea. What can I say?

Is there anything for which you would sell your soul to the devil, as the parents of Reaper’s main character have done? Maybe for a friendship with this one little bald guy -- he’s naked, covered in gold, and stands on a marble platform. I wouldn’t mind visiting with Oscar for a while. [Laughs] But I think I’d probably sell my soul for a few moments with people I’ve loved who are no longer here. That would be worth it to me.