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'Ice Age' is a very cool acting gig for Denis Leary

Dennis King column: Actor Denis Leary says he loves doing voice work for the “Ice Age” movies.
BY DENNIS KING For The Oklahoman Published: July 10, 2012

— If Denis Leary has his way, the Ice Age will go on forever.

The Boston actor, writer and stand-up comic has two big roles in films this summer — as stern cop Capt. 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 Friday.

During a recent press day for “The Amazing Spider-Man” (which opened 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 great gigs these are during an Oscar telecast. For one thing, ... 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 (news conference).

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