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In This Is The End, the apocalyptic comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride tackles his most challenging role to date: playing himself. And the star and co-creator of Eastbound & Down joked to Spinoff Online at WonderCon Anaheim that it was “very difficult” to get into character.
“I had to rise to the occasion and do what I have to do, memorize some lines. It’s tough,” he said. In terms of whether this version of Danny McBride is the same as how he is in real life, he said, “Only the people closest to me would know the answer to that question. I don’t know. I’m lost at this point. I kind of got a little too deep on this film, and I’ve come out and I don’t even know who I am right now. It’s like a heightened version, I think, of what the perception is of us.”
This Is The End has an impressive cast, including everyone from McBride, James Franco, Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Michael Cera to Emma Watson, Rihanna, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling and Kevin Hart. McBride said that assembling the cast was a group effort.
“[It was] a lot of friends and a lot of people we were just fans of, and everyone was just putting out phone calls and trying to get people to come to New Orleans,” he said. “That was the beauty of shooting in New Orleans because a lot of people are dying to come down there.”
The film follows six friends — Franco, Hill, Rogen, Baruchel, McBride and Robinson, all playing versions of themselves – as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of a series of catastrophic events that devastate Los Angeles, and McBride promised it’s not for the faint of heart. “It’s pretty bloody,” he teased. “You kind of have to be there to fully appreciate it. I don’t want to ruin anything for your experience.”
It turns out that McBride hadn’t seen Rogen’s short Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse before he agreed to make the feature. Rogen had told McBride about the idea originally, and then he was quick to sign on once the movie was picked up by Sony Pictures.
“They had told me about this idea a while ago and it was one of those things that sounded like it was going to be pretty funny but you just kind of hope that someone would give them the opportunity to make it,” he said. “When they said it was happening, I was amped to be a part of it.”
In July, McBride and Eastbound & Down co-creator Jody Hill confirmed that a fourth season of the show is in the works. Fans had thought Season 3 would be the end of the HBO series, and McBride told Spinoff, “So did we.”
“Here we are back again,” he said. “We really love doing that show, and HBO really wants to do one more season. Jody and I kind of looked at each other to make sure we have a story angle for it and we had something we sort of thought was rich, something that would be fun. Yeah, we signed up for one more season, so it’s just been a bonus round for Kenny Powers.”
In terms of what the new season is about, McBride teased, “It kind of explores the idea of what happens to a knight in shining armor after he rides off into the sunset. Is that sunset everything it’s cracked up to be?”
McBride has kept busy over the past year. “I did a movie last fall with Greg Mottola and Larry David [called Clear History]. Then I did this serious film that Franco directed, As I Lay Dying. Those things should be out soon, too,” he said.
In terms of whether he’d want to go back into television once he’s done with Eastbound & Down, he said, “I would love to. We have a project that we’d like to get going that kind of is a follow-up to Eastbound. It would be nice to maybe do that. Different characters, different world.”
This Is The End opens June 12.