The Showtime comedy “Dice” is a bit of an odd nut, satirizing the persona of Andrew Dice Clay while also maybe celebrating it. However you interpret it, the concept of identity is central to the series, which makes Episode 2, “Ego,” intriguing.
Arguably the standout installment of the first season, “Ego” stars Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody as “Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody,” who wants to study Dice’s hyper-masculinity to prepare for a play he’s working on. By the end of the episode, Brody has completely transformed into Dice, which is not something you’d ever think you ever wanted to see… except that it’s actually pretty compelling.
And it’s due largely to Brody’s commitment to the role. He does, in fact, fully transform himself for the episode, something he was happy to do. Via phone, Brody told Indiewire that when he was approached to play “a version of himself portraying a version of [Clay],” taking the part was a “no-brainer.”
Brody, who was raised in New York, has been a Dice fan since he was a kid, listening to the stand-up’s comedy on cassette tape over and over. Did he already have a Dice impression in his back pocket, as a result? “I’m sure I did, but it wasn’t as specific as my current one.”
What appealed to Brody was the very fact that you wouldn’t normally expect the Oscar winner to appear in a comedy like this — despite the fact that he loves comedy. “I don’t get to play as often as I like,” he said.
Plus, the specific challenge of the part was intriguing: “I liked the idea of poking fun at the perception of what method acting is like, and what a serious actor like myself goes into building a character.”
While the episode was scripted — very specifically scripted to feature Brody, including jokes about past roles like “The Pianist” — there was room for improv on set. “[Dice and I] would play endlessly until one of us broke or they called cut. We considered making a sequel to the episode because there was so much stuff.”
Who broke more? “We were about 50/50,” he said. “He would push things really far and I would push things really far until it’s not much further we’d really go.”
Brody described the reaction to the episode as “an outpouring of appreciation.” Though, he added, “what’s so surprising to me is people are amazed that I have a sense of humor.”
“Dice” airs Sundays on Showtime, and the full first season is available on Showtime Anytime.