David Faustino as Dagur the Deranged – Exclusive Interview
David Faustino came back to play the role of Dagur the Deranged, Chief of the Beserker Tribe, in the newest season of the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise. And we have an exclusive interview to share with you, conducted by ToonBarn Head Writer, Marc Morrell.
Dragons: Race to the Edge premieres on Netflix this Friday, June 26th. Hiccup and Toothless lead the Dragon Riders as they soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye — an ancient artifact filled with secrets that will lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered dragons. But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragon hunters, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dragon Eye.
When you go to Netflix on June 26th, you will be able to watch the first 13 episodes of a 26 episode season for Dragons: Race to the Edge. No information has been released about when the other 13 episodes will be available to watch. One thing you should know is the timeline of the story, compared to the other seasons and the 2 movies. Dragons: Race to the Edge occurs 3 years after DreamWorks: Dragons, and 1.5 years before How to Train Your Dragon 2. So, if you saw the movie sequel, some characters may still be around, that didn’t survive the end of the movie. You know who I am talking about. No spoilers here!
We were able to screen the first five episodes of the new season, and we have to say that this season promises to have the most action, the most comedy, and the most adventure of any season so far. You can really see Hiccup starting to really grow into the leadership role he will someday be destined to take. And you can see his thirst to map out places he’s been and explore new places where more dragons may live.
And when we talk about action, adventure, and comedy, you can’t have those without Dagur the Deranged, a recurring character that causes turmoil for the Dragon Riders, especially Hiccup. Dagur’s obsession for victimizing Hiccup and taking his precious Night Fury, Toothless, has only grown as he has lifted weights and added tattoos to his body while he has been in prison. He thinks about nothing else.
David Faustino has been the voice of Dagur since the character was introduced in Dragons: Riders of Berk. Before that, he was Mako on The Legend of Korra, Helia on Winx Club, and lent his voice to shows like The Batman, American Dad, Robot Chicken, and many more. Of course, he grew up before our eyes as Bud Bundy in 257 episodes of Married with Children on FOX. Now, here is our exclusive interview with David Faustino:
Marc: Hi David – How you doing?
David: Pretty good, how are you, man?
Marc: Great… Great, Great, Great! I wanted to congratulate you on Ava Marie. (David’s unborn daughter)
David: Ooooh, thank you! Thank you very much. I appreciate that. (Laughs)
Marc: What is her due date?
David: Eh, end of November.
Marc: End of November? That’s cool.
David: Mid-November, I should say.
Marc: I have a November 11th birthday, so, that’ll be pretty cool, she might be a Scorpio.
David: Yeah, my brother is a Scorpio as well. (Michael Faustino – 11/16)
David: We’re excited – Thank you!
Marc: Everybody’s happy and healthy?
David: Everybody’s happy and healthy.
Marc: Cool. Well, you are also involved with Old Scratch Radio Hour on DashRadio.com on Sundays at 8:00 PM ET, right?
David: That is correct. It’s a hip-hop themed show that we do on Dash Radio, which is a sorta giant base where you have 60 stations of every kind of music that you could imagine. And we are on one of their hip-hop outlets called SKEE 24/7. And, that’s S-K-E-E by the way. Not with an I.
David: And, that’s for DJ SKEE, and it’s a show that I enjoy doing. It’s just something I do for a hobby. Where I have all my actor, director, rapper, and writer friends come out, hang out, and you know, get to shoot the sh*t for an hour and play some music, and hang out.
Marc: That’s like your hobby or your second career?
David: A little bit of both.
David: Kinda more of a hobby I would say, but kinda turning into a career somehow. (Laughing)
Marc: Yeah, so you’ve been pretty successful with it?
David: Yeah, it’s been great!! I mean, we’ve gained a pretty great audience across the world so far, so we are getting bigger and bigger guests to come on and it’s about having more exciting, different, eclectic guests. I just had Doug Ellin, the writer, creator and director of the Entourage series and the film. He was on last week. Yeah, we have some rap, we just change it up. We have from directors to rappers to clothing designers. So, it’s just a lot of fun. Sunday night hang out!
Marc: And you also had a cameo in “Entourage: The Movie”, right?
David: I did.
Marc: How was that?
David: It was a lot of fun man. I was just really grateful that they called me to be a part of the film. They were loyal to me. They put me in the show a few times. Then they had me back for the movie. They are really nice people, great people. Doug’s a really great guy, and Mark Wahlberg, who’s just always been kind and great to me. He came up to me at the premiere and told me how much he loved the scene. It was just a great experience.
Marc: Cool. Very Cool. Alright. So for Dagur the Deranged…
Marc: How’s DreamWorks treating ya?
David: (Laughing) I don’t talk to very many people from DreamWorks.
David: Well, I mean, they send me a check, which is nice, but I talk mainly to the writer, producers and creators of the Dragons of Berk show.
Marc: So, is that Art Brown and Doug Sloane?
David: Correct. Correct.
Marc: Yeah, they said you were hilarious in this.
David: Oh dude, Art’s the best, man! Art, I work with most because he’s more hands-on in the booth where we record.
David: He directs me a lot of the time. And he’s just great, he’s a great director. I don’t think that he’s directing the episode, per se, but he does some of the one-on-one talking with the actors and he does a great job at it.
Marc: Okay. Alright. so has it been any different for you this year going to Netflix then compared to the previous ones?
David: For me, it doesn’t change anything. I’m more apt to watch it on Netflix than I would be to even watch it on Cartoon Network. So the gig is the same, the location is the same. And I go in to do the same job I would do, and I get to see it on Netflix.
Marc: Okay, so have you seen any of these episodes yet?
David: Which episodes?
Marc: Well, we got a chance to see the first five episodes from the press screeners. And I was wondering if you got to see any of those episodes?
David: No, no I haven’t seen any of those.
Marc: Okay, so some of the stuff that we saw right of the bat was when you were introduced, you know, almost right away.
David: Aw, yeah. Okay.
Marc: So they wanted to catch up to what was happening with Dagur for the past three years. Obviously, he’s been in prison. Lifting weights.
David: Right, right, right.
Marc: So this happens one and a half years before the second movie, right?
David: I think that’s about the timeline.
Marc: Yeah, like the prequel to the sequel?
David: Exactly. It’s between one and two.
Marc: Being that Dagur’s the Chief of the Beserker tribe, and he’s violent and extremely unstable, pretty much certifiably insane, what dark place in your existence do you pull from when you become Dagur?
David: Ah, well, you know, sadly, on some level, you know everyone would like to relate. I don’t know about everyone, but I can on some level, so it’s an opportunity to put that into something and obviously, he’s written tragically but very hilariously, so you get to go in and just put that into the character and yet laugh at yourself a little bit at the same time. And, it’s a lot of fun.
Marc: (Laughing) So there wasn’t any people that you ever met in your life or anything that you were able to pull this from?
David: Oh no, that’s all me.
Marc: That’s all you? (Laughing)
David: Yeah, yeah (Laughing).
Marc: So Dagur and Hiccup have this relationship where he thought there was a chance that he and Hiccup could go dragon hunting together, and hiccup sorta lied to him about doing that and then he found out that hiccup was in cahoots with a night fury and friends with him and everything. Dagur thought, “We could have been brothers, but you know you kinda went against me and you’re sorta my enemy now.” But he still continues to call him brother and that gets on Hiccup’s nerves, doesn’t it?
David: Ha ha, yeah, I guess it could. You know he calls several people brother it seems like, but I didn’t even really pick up on that, but I guess that you could be very right.
Marc: So, I was just wondering if that was ever gonna be something that just pushes Hiccup to the edge, where he says, “Look, I told you once, I told you a hundred times, I’m not your brother!! Cut it out!!!” And then, he just goes after him.
David: This could be in the future, but we’ll see.
Marc: Okay… (giggling). Alright, you have had the chance to work with many voice directors over the years, right?
Marc: And one of the ones that we’ve interviewed in the past, and she’s just one of the favorite people we’ve known in the business, is Andrea Romano.
David: Oh, the best!!! The very best!!
Marc: Isn’t she?! I just want to know what your take is on Andrea.
David: Andrea is just a great person, first off, and second, a great director. She’s just fun to work with. She couldn’t be more professional and she’s lightning fast and if you are not prepared working on an Andrea Romano directed project, you’re in big trouble, because you know, she moves quick and I don’t think a lot of people are prepared for that, sometimes, when they go to work with her, and she expects you to be ready. So, I’ve had to learn that a couple of times when I wasn’t that prepared as I wanted and I was like okay, well you really have to be ready to go in and work with her, ’cause she’s quick. And then you know, when we’re not working, I’ve been out with her socially a few times and to a couple parties at her place and she’s just so much fun to hang out and party with.
Marc: Yeah, we’ve seen her at NYCC, the Paley Center, SDCC, and all these places that we go to, everybody just has amazing things to say about her – she’s the nicest, sweetest person in the world. But I can see if she’s got eight projects going on at the same time, how she could want to move things along pretty quickly.
David: Absolutely! While she is the nicest person in the world, she’s tough too. Which is what makes her great, I think.
Marc: You remember the documentary that came out, “I Know that Voice”?
David: Oh yeah, exactly.
Marc: She was on that as well, but there were other voice directors there as well. You’ve gotten the chance to work with people like Ginny McSwain. Who did you say was the current voice director that you work with for Dragons?
David: Well, they bring in, you know, various directors, so I think I’ve worked with two or three over there, however, Art Brown, I don’t know if he takes directing credit, but he works with some of the actors a lot. He’ll work with me when I’m there and give me different ideas on how I may want to play a scene, and usually people are wrong and yeah, he’s almost always right. So, it makes it fun to go in and work with him because he’s great in other ways of seeing the scene that you might not have seen that way.
Marc: Coming into this season the producers had said that they would raise the comedy level on this season. Have you been able to see that with the work that you’ve been doing?
David: Oh yeah!! Oh yeah!! Very Funny!! Now, are you talking about the ones that you have seen or what you haven’t seen yet?
Marc: Well I’ve definitely seen some of the comedy. I don’t know why, but TJ Miller seems to get most of the good one-liners. But you do too…
David: I’m sure he does. He’s a funny guy – yeah.
Marc: Yeah, but I mean everybody’s gotten funnier. I mean, Fishlegs, Astrid, you know all of them. Just the fact that they’ve been able to go to a different place away from Berk, it enables them to loosen up a little bit because the dad’s not around, the elders aren’t around. You know, all that kind of stuff, and they can loosen up a little bit.
David: Yeah!! It’s just awesome that they have this group of actors still involved in doing it and I’m honored to be part of the cast.
Marc: Do you get to work with them or do you have do it by yourself?
David: By ourselves, because everyone’s crazy schedules.
David: Yeah, we either see each other in passing, one of us will be coming in while the other is finishing, or at a screening, or a party or something.
Marc: So you don’t get to play off of each other?
David: No, not too much.
Marc: That’s a shame.
David: Yeah, but it still works.
Marc: But do you like it better if you get to have the other actors in there with you?
David: That’d be fun, but not always possible.
Marc: Right! Things have gotten a lot crazier these days for actors and schedules and everything, to be able to get together.
David: Yeah, it can be difficult. I mean, on every cartoon that I’ve been on, the idea is to try to make that happen as much as possible. But you know, rarely do you get everybody.
Marc: I want to wish you luck with the new season and everything. We’re getting to see the first 13 episodes of a 26 episode season right off the bat on June 26th, right?
David: Yes! That’s exciting!
Marc: And with the format that Netflix has, people are probably going to binge watch these right away.
David: Well, I would!
Marc: Do you know if the second 13 episodes still need to be recorded? Or are they already in the can?
David: You know what, because I’m not in every episode, I’m not sure exactly how many are now finished at this point.
David: Actually, I can email Art, and check in with him, but I don’t think they are all in the can.
Marc: Well that’s great, and it was wonderful to get a chance to catch up with you and to see how things are going, so thank you for joining us on ToonBarn!
David: Thanks, my man. Thanks for having me and I appreciate you checking out my work.