Three Great Things: Devon Sawa

The actor, who's currently starring in the comedy horror Black Friday, on his deep love of Stephen King, parenthood and coffee.

Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. To mark the current release in theaters and on demand of Black Friday, the comedy horror starring Bruce Campbell, Devon Sawa, Ivana Baquero and Michael Jai White, Sawa shares some of the things that he loves most in the world. — N.D

Stephen King Books
I really love Stephen King, who I found late in life. About four years ago, I was in Bulgaria shooting a movie in the mountains. I was going to go hiking on my own and I wanted something to listen to, so I got Pet Cemetery on audiobook. That started my love for Stephen King, and it’s been going strong ever since as I’ve continued to go through his back catalogue. I’ve built a lot of friendships over Stephen King on the internet, everybody from Mike Flanagan to the people at The Kingcast, which I’ve been on a couple of times.

I have a Stephen King bookshelf with about 25 books on it. Whenever I’m in a city, I try to go to a used bookstore to buy a hardcover Stephen King book, and I write in it what city it’s from, whether it’s Winnipeg, Vancouver or Mansfield, Ohio. I bought 11/22/63 in Paris, and read that while I was there. I’m now at the point where I won’t watch King adaptations until I’ve read the book.

I’m such a fan of Kubrick’s The Shining, so to then read the book and figure out that – in its own different way – it’s even better than the movie, was so cool. I became friends with Mike Flanagan after he made Doctor Sleep. The scene where Ewan McGregor is up in the attic with the chalkboard was so close to what I’d imagined in my head while I was reading the book, I knew Mike and I were in the same ballpark as King fans.

There are only three people in the world that I would be starstruck if I ever met, and King is one of them. Michael Jordan and Stan Lee are the other two. I did a show called Nikita and Stan Lee did a cameo on it. Like a fanboy, I walked up, got my Spider-Man #26 autographed and was happier than a clam!

Being a Father
I knew being a father would be great, but I love it even more than I thought I would. I love the two little characters I have living with me – my two new roommates really give me life! There are ups and downs to parenting – the craziness and the complaining and the fact that I never get to sleep! – but at the end of the day, it’s really amazing and all totally worth it.

A while ago, my wife and I decided that instead of buying material things, we’d spend money on showing our kids the world. And, before the pandemic, we were doing that. We’ve been all over Europe, and to the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. It’s been a real adventure and it’s been so amazing to travel and show my kids these places. A lot of people don’t understand it, as they think they’re too young to remember any of this. But it’s building something, and taking them to all these different places is showing them that, though there are different cultures and different people, we’re all the same. When he was four, my son was in a playground in Ho Chi Minh City with two Vietnamese kids who were the same age. He didn’t speak Vietnamese and they didn’t speak English, but they played for hours, because they knew the universal language of playing as a young child. It was incredible to watch.

As soon as things get a bit easier and my wife feels a little safer, we’ll start traveling again. We want to go to Greece to explore, and maybe also to Africa. I just want to bounce around and take the kids where we can, because I didn’t go anywhere as a kid. Now that I have the opportunity to do that, I’m trying to show my own kids the world.

I didn’t start drinking coffee until my mid-thirties. (I was a latecomer to coffee, just like I was to Stephen King.) But I love waking up in the morning and having my first cup. I love the romance of having an espresso in a little ceramic cup. I love a good Starbucks or a good Dunkin’ Donuts, but I also love sitting down in a little Italian cafe somewhere and having an espresso.

We just bought a new coffee machine, one of these fancy ones you can operate from your smartphone. At the same time, I don’t mind a Black & Decker pot of coffee. I’m all over the place when it comes to coffee. I appreciate a really good cup, but I don’t mind a gas station coffee either. I will straight up drink something that’s been on the burner for eight hours and I’ll just say, “Yeah, I’m shaky now and it’s great!”

I probably drink too much coffee, as I don’t stop until about four o’clock in the afternoon. When I was shooting Chucky, the crew would bring me my own carafe of coffee to my trailer. I thought it was because they noticed I was drinking so much coffee, but it turned out it was because of COVID and they didn’t want me to go to the craft services table all the time and potentially get sick. But I thought it was because they knew I have a problem with coffee!

Devon Sawa is currently starring in the comedy horror Black Friday, opposite Bruce Campbell, Devon Ivana Baquero and Michael Jai White. He made his film debut in Little Giants in 1994, played the title role as a human boy in Casper the following year and further made his name in the films Wild America, Idle Hands and Final Destination. In 2000, Sawa played the title character of the Eminem music video “Stan.” Among his many other TV and film credits, Sawa portrayed the role of Owen Elliott on The CW action drama series Nikita and starred in the thriller The Fanatic, directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, where he played Hunter Dunbar, an actor who is stalked by John Travolta’s Moose.