One minute, he’s the biggest star on TV. The next, he’s a woolly mammoth named Manfred. On March 31, Ray Romano — he of Everybody Loves Raymond fame and fortune — voices a grumpy extinct animal in Ice Age: The Meltdown. First, let’s see how he warms to a block of Stupid Questions.
Talk about the curious decision to make another Ice Age so quickly. Aren’t there supposed to be hundreds of thousands of years between ice ages?
You know, money will speed up any ice age. The first Ice Age made money, so the second Ice Age comes when we say it comes.
Now talk about the decision not to make another Welcome to Mooseport.
My kids fell in love with a dog that I had on Mooseport. So we brought his sibling home and named him Moose. Now for the next 15 years, I have a reminder of the movie that didn’t do well for me. It’s kind of like Dustin Hoffman having a dog named Ishtar.
Pretend that you’d made a 10th season of Raymond instead of gracefully bowing out. What are some of the bad episodes that you would’ve regretted?
I always wanted to do a dream sequence. Because as a married man, I’d never cheat on my wife. But as an actor, I get to kiss another woman without any guilt. But I only got to kiss one woman, Patty Heaton, my wife on the show. Unless there’s a dream sequence! That’s a loophole within the loophole!
Anyone you wanna name-check for the dream sequence?
That wrestler lady that was dancin’ with the stars. Throw her in there. Who else? Marion Ross?
You appeared on Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait: Doris Roberts. I can’t wait for the DVD — will you give me the intimate outtakes now?
Oh, just the back rubs, the sponge baths, and the occasional one-nighters to Vegas. But in a motherly way…nothing hypnotherapy can’t block out.
At age 29, you were still living in the basement of your parents’ home. Is this correct?
Who’s got a problem?
I’m not going to make fun of you. I just want to know: Anything good down there?
The water heater’s down there. It was hard to impress a date. I would show her around, and say, ”Yeah…that’s the hot water heater. Anybody wants to take a shower in this house, they gotta go through me.” Otherwise…not much.
Did Jamie Foxx accurately capture you in Ray?
He saw the soul inside me. He used to live behind me, by the way. The sounds coming out of his house were much different than the sounds coming out of mine. Every other night, I could hear a DJ from a party he was having. And at my house, there was an ambulance siren and some kid chasing another kid with poop. We were just a fence apart, but miles and miles away.
Now that you’re no longer on TV, I think you need a celebrity feud to keep you busy.
Let me think this one over…. Whose ass can I kick? I’m already past the men, I’m on to the women. [Thinking aloud] I’m afraid of her, I’m afraid of her…. How about — do you watch Letterman? You know those crazy segments when he has the woman come out with all the Hula Hoops around her? Yeah, I’ll take her down.
Because I don’t really know who she is, and she probably won’t read this.