Your Highness star Danny McBride visited students at North Carolina State University with the director, David Gordon Green, and offered sage advice on horse riding, among other topics. You can watch the video above to hear that soothing North Carolina accent, and then catch the rest of the interview with Break‘s own Kara Luiz down below.
Danny, did you initially want to play Thaddeus?
Danny McBride: I was really more interested in getting the movie made. At the time that we sold this, I wasn’t sure anyone would let me be in this movie. As we wrote it and turned in more drafts, my value was raised slightly and I was considered to the film. So then I attached myself and added a lot of kissing scenes with Natalie Portman.
Since we’re at a college. What was college life like for you guys?
David Gordon Green: It was fun. I lived down the hall from Danny at an arts college. It was a good group of people everybody was a little crazy and worked hard. It was a good time to experiment and fall on your ass in front of your friends and try something new.
DM: David was a year ahead of me. My first year of college David was one of my next-door neighbors. David, you remember when I lit the whole entire hall on fire? Put hairspray down the hall and it was like the tire tracks from Back to the Future.
David, did you immediately know which actors you wanted to cast when you read “Your Highness”?
DGG: We had a pretty good idea. Danny and I talked about working with James again because we had such a good time doin Pineapple Express. We’d been getting to know Natalie so we thought it’d be fun to work with her and we’d filmed with Zooey before. Justin was an actor we admired and the cast became an eclectic group of people we knew or knew of.
Are you guys going to auction off Natalie Portman’s thong from the movie?
DM: That’s a good idea. If David didn’t already have it above his mantel in his home.
DGG: I’m wearing it right now.
DM: There’s a hidden dick that no one that’s seen the movie has saw or commented on. In the scene with the five-headed serpent, there are two huge wicker snakes and the snakes have penises.
DGG: Lot of subtleties. Numerous cinematic subtleties.
Do you have a favorite reveal or joke from the movie?
DM: I like when Natalie is revealed for the first time – cool little moment – and when the trophy is revealed of what in taken from the labyrinth.
DGG: I like all the sweet and romantic stuff. This movie plays on an elegant, ethical level of romance, magic and fairytale. It stirs my sassafras.
Was the accent a lot of work?
DM: The voice was the trickiest thing to learn. It’s a weird fantasy accent. When you’re improvising on a show lik Eastbound and Down you can say whatever comes to your head. We lost a lot of good improvs because the dialect was lost.
DGG: It would switch from Ye Olde English to straight up Virginia.
DM: Ye Olde Virginia.
Thoughts on the Special Effects
DGG: This movie is a lot like kids playing in their backyard only we got real swords, real special effects and real creatures. I sat down with guys like Guillermo Del Toro and said here’s what I’m trying to do, what would you advise? I want this movie to look as technically magnificent as it can. It’s a comedy and we’re all having fun but I want it to be badass. No one’s doing that with effects AND being funny.
Did you make this movie for college kids?
DM: We made this movie for the demented 13 year-old versions of ourselves. We grew up loving these kinds of films. We made this with the hope that there are versions of ourselves who would enjoy the same experience.
Danny, are there any wacky stories of fans that have come up to you thinking you’re Kenny Powers?
DM: I’m such a shut in. I don’t get out much. There are kids who come up who want to give you cocaine or shots of tequila because they think that’s what you’re into. I’d say about half of the time I turn that away (jokingly).