Danny McBride

On Blackjack, Groupies and Goonies

UD - Danny McBride What Tony Soprano was to mobsters, what Ace Ventura was to pet detectives, Kenny Powers is to washed-up baseball players: a folk hero with a crazy head of hair. (Most recently seen in cornrows.) Eastbound & Down returns for season two Sunday night, so we sat down with the man behind Powers—Danny McBride, who you might also know from Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express—to discuss the important stuff. Like The Goonies.
UD: Let’s cut to the chase: when did you realize you could pull off cornrows?
DM: [laughing] It was the day we got them put in. I was down in Puerto Rico when we shot it, and the locals kind of dug it.
UD: Did things get weird in PR?
DM: We were staying in a casino, and we would usually turn it on real quick after we’d get off from work, and pass out at a blackjack table somewhere.
UD: Staying in a casino sounds dangerous.
DM: I came out ahead. I tore up the blackjack table. I left there happy. But there were a lot of per diems that were lost there.
UD: Is there a mantra you whisper or a classic rock song you play to get into character?
DM: I wish. I get a 12-pack of Schlitz, and I’m right in the sweet spot.
UD: Nice. So what’s a typical night out with Danny McBride—do a lot of people want to buy you shots?
DM: It happens. I’m not someone who wants to be rude, [so] if someone brings over several shots that they’ve purchased, I think it would be insulting to not do that with them.
UD: Do you get a lot of crazies approaching you?
DM: You have guys that roll up like, “Hey, f**k you,” and then push a shot in front of you. And it’s like, “I guess this dude likes me? I don’t know what’s going on.” [laughing]
UD: What’s your cocktail of choice? And what would Kenny Powers’s be?
DM: I don’t mind starting the day off similar to the Dude, with a White Russian—it’s like a little bowl of cereal with alcohol. Kenny Powers just likes straight-up booze. Mixing things is a little f**king p***y, that’s what he would think.
UD: You have some interesting fans.
DM: Yeah, Marilyn Manson came to the premiere, so I got to party with him a little bit. It’s surreal. There’s Don Johnson there too, and you’re like, “This is nuts.”
UD: What’s a night out with Danny McBride, Marilyn Manson and Don Johnson?
DM: There was tequila, there was a donkey wandering around, everything you’d expect on a night like that.
UD: So now it’s a weekly thing, like a poker game for you guys?
DM: Yeah. We deal in limbs, Manson’s always betting with fingers.
UD: Sure, sure. So before you were famous, was there one weird job you had?
DM: My first job was in an amusement park in Virginia, Kings Dominion. I worked there, and that job was terrible. I hated it. I used to, on my way to work, pray that I would get into a car accident. Not one where I’d be hurt, just one where I could get out of working for the day.
UD: There might be a movie in there somewhere.
DM: Maybe.
UD: Your characters swear almost poetically. Did you swear a lot as a kid?
DM: I did. I had some weird fascination with it. I think it was just seeing R-rated films. [Like] in the beginning of Goonies, when the Fratellis are in that high-speed chase, and Chunk’s looking out the window and smashes his milkshake against it, and it goes all over his face, and he says “Aw, s**t!” I literally love that. I watched that over and over again, I thought it was f**king hilarious.


Danny McBride
Eastbound & Down

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