I’m curious to see what the long-term arc of Danny McBride’s career looks like.
Right now, I still feel like Hollywood’s trying to figure him out, and vice versa. He’s had his shot in a few films, and he’s played a lot of supporting parts, and overall, I think we’ve seen some of what he’s capable of, but not anywhere near all of it.
McBride’s a better actor than he seems to be given credit for, and I guess part of that is that the comedy persona he’s created seems larger than life in some ways, full of swagger, and I think people honestly believe that’s who he really is. If he was really just Kenny Powers, and there was no difference between the two of them, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to work with him twice. The real McBride strikes me as a smart guy who knows what his own comfort zone is, and he’s been able so far to craft comedy material that fits him easily.
What’s going to be interesting is what sort of work we see when comedy takes a back seat and he starts to push himself in dramas. I suspect he’s a guy like Bill Murray, someone who is capable of greatness as long as the material is there. Thankfully, the people that McBride has already worked with and who he works with frequently are people who I think are going to be able to generate that material for him. Jody Hill and David Gordon Green are both guys I can imagine are going to make a wide range of material in the future, and they both love McBride. I’m curious to see what James Franco makes of the William Faulkner novel “As I Lay Dying,” and we’ve seen him in a small role in “Up In The Air” that didn’t feel like a joke at all.
I think it’s incredibly difficult to make people laugh, and making a persona as big as his somehow human even when he’s being a total jackass is something not many people could manage. What I find most interesting about him is how carefully observed the details of his performances are. He’s the real deal, and it’s exciting to know that we haven’t seen even half of what he’s capable of doing.
“This Is The End” opens June 12, 2013.