Actor-writer Danny McBride is best known for his starring role in this year’s no-budget slapstick comedy The Foot Fist Way (and the confusing-to-many promo he did for the film with Will Ferrell on Conan O’Brien). Sara Cardace talked to the bearish funnyman, currently pratfalling his way out of obscurity with turns in two action comedies, Pineapple Express and Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder.
Between these two films, this would be the summer of you getting tied up and beaten to a pulp onscreen.
And that’s kind of where I want to keep things. Right there.
On the set of Pineapple Express, you got injured by a bong, which is fitting.
In that same scene, Seth [Rogen] fractured his hand when he jumped on my back and crashed through a coffee table. And James Franco split his head open running into a tree. So no one went unscathed.
Are people coming up to you and doing the thug-life thing from the trailer?
It’s just so weird what catches on. I’m just like, “Really, that? Okay, all right. Thug life.”
How would you even describe that character?
When I was working on him with [Pineapple director David Gordon Green], his initial direction was, “This is where we’re starting: Your character is gonna have his armpits shaved.” I was like, “Why does he have his armpits shaved?” He said, “That’s what you have to figure out.” And I was like, “You son of a bitch.” When David puts any of his buddies in his films, he tries to make their lives miserable. He wanted to see me get hurt and stuff. I’m a good friend, so I let him do it.
In Tropic Thunder, you play the special-effects coordinator, which is kind of an adolescent boy’s wet dream. Are you into that stuff in real life?
I’m intimidated by guns. I think they’re scary. And I usually hide when the fireworks go off on the Fourth of July.
I noticed they gave you your own poster in the promo series—“Stiller, Downey, Black, McBride!”
It’s retarded. I can’t believe it when I see it. I feel like my parents called and made them do that.
The two films have different senses of humor …
I think they’re similar, to tell you the truth. They’re both raw and can be filthy at times, but at the core, they’re about relationships and people accepting each other, which I think is funny. To have this raw, vulgar material, but at the core, it’s just a buddy story.
It’s the summer of the bro movie.
We’re just giving each other high-fives all the time. That’s the new genre, high-five movies. That was one of the things that I thought was so awesome about Tropic Thunder. There’s no love story that the studio made them put in. It’s literally a bunch of dudes running around in the woods blowing shit up and cussing.