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‘Ice Age’ is a very cool acting gig for Denis Leary

Dennis King Published: June 29, 2012

NEW YORK – If Denis Leary has his way, the Ice Age will go on forever.

Diego, Denis Leary
Diego, Denis Leary

The Boston actor, writer and stand-up comic has two big roles coming up in films this summer – as stern cop Captain Stacy in “The Amazing Spider-Man” and as the voice of surly saber-tooth tiger Diego in “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”

And while this tough-talking son of Irish immigrants allows that he enjoys playing cops and firemen on screen, he said he really gets a kick out of voice acting for animated films.

His role as the slightly sinister Diego marks the fourth “Ice Age” feature he’s appeared in (plus three shorts and a video game drawn from the franchise). “Continental Drift” hits theaters on July 13.

During a recent press day for “The Amazing Spider-Man” (opening July 3), the often profane Leary took time to also talk about his “Ice Age” gig, in which Diego and his pals Manny and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

“Listen, man, these voice acting jobs are the greatest,” Leary said. “Chris Rock said something about what a great gigs these are during an Oscar telecast. For one thing, you can look like crap. I don’t like to dress up. I wear the same clothes everyday. I mean, you’re lucky I’m wearing pants. I changed my shirt for this (press conference).

“I basically wear the same stuff everyday,” the comic said. “I mean, when you can walk into a room and talk to an electric stick and pretend to be some, freaking tiger or something. And they give you tons of  money for it. That’s the greatest job in show business.

“That’s an insane job. I love it, I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “I’m truly hoping – I want to do ‘Ice Age’ until we do the Civil War, and then the Johnson administration and Obama gets elected. I mean ‘Ice Age 13’ where we catch up to the current times and move into the future. They’re unbelievable, man. They’re great.”

- Dennis King

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