When Danny Huston heard the word “Chicago,” the actor smiled and said, “I love Chicago, and I remember one evening in Chicago when I was speaking to my father [Oscar-winning director John Huston] on the phone.”
Huston, who stars as the evil German Gen. Erich Ludendorff in the new “Wonder Woman” film (opening Friday), flashed back to a long-ago chat with his dad, who died in 1987.
The younger Huston grinned broadly and noted, “As we spoke, my father told me, ‘You know, Danny, the wind howls in Chicago.’
“The funny thing, I was in a room on a very high floor in a hotel in the city. I put the phone up to the window, and next thing I knew, the wind went ‘Whooo, whooo, whoo!’
“So indeed the wind was howling — in the aptly named Windy City! My father was most amused by that.”
As for his role as Ludendorff in “Wonder Woman,” Huston pointed out, “He’s a character who actually existed in real life. He was a general in the First World War who later aligned himself after the war with Hitler. He lost his son in World War I.
“In looking at photos of him, I noticed he had lips that turned down,” said Huston, actually mimicking that look himself. “He had a facial expression that kind of reminded me of an abused child all grown up. … So there was a lot that I could draw from — both from studying photos, and learning about his personal and professional history.”
As actor, Danny Huston has worked in nearly 70 film and TV projects — ranging from small indie movies to such large-scale things like “Wonder Woman,” the “X-Men” films and the “John Adams” TV mini-series.
Yet, Huston said, “the approach for me is pretty much the same. You’re always working to build a character and to tell a good story. However, in a film like ‘Wonder Woman,’ it becomes all about the size, the scale of the project — the playground we’re working in, so to speak. That’s immense.
“For example, there’s one scene where there’s this potion that I take, and I don’t really know what the special effects department is going to do with that — to show the reaction the potion had on me.
“You’re always kind of like putty in their hands in those situations. So, you wait with great anticipation to see the final result of all that. In this case, happily, I was thrilled.”