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Improve Your Taste With... Danny McBride
The star of Eastbound & Down on Stephen King, Mexican garage rock, and the videogame that makes him feel guilty.
By Peter Smith
Danny McBride is the star of HBO's Eastbound & Down, which concludes its second season this Sunday. Enjoy this peek at how the most entertaining man on TV entertains himself.
Observe and Report
This is just because it's a total plug for my buddy but, Observe and Report is a film that didn't get a lot of love at the box office. I think it's a classic. People should check that out. You gotta get in there and watch that thing. It's awesome. It just has balls, and a lot of movies don't have balls these days. It's nice when you see one come with a big old hairy sack full of them. That movie goes for the jugular. It's a wild, wild film for a comedy. It takes some risks, to say the least.
We're inspired by a lot of ‘70s cinema. We dig that stuff a lot. Eastbound just seems like a weird marriage between over-the-top comedy and that darker stuff, but that's what we're drawn to. Bad News Bears is one of my favorite films of all time; it still holds up. Five Easy Pieces, which the ending of Eastbound's first season is kind of a shout-out to. Raging Bull, Annie Hall. But MASH and Nashville are the two that I find myself going back to the most. I didn't see Nashville until film school, but weirdly, I saw MASH when I was too young to get it — but I dug it. It has a great tone.
Mexican garage rock
I'm a big fan of Dead Weather — Jack White is my favorite out there. And I like the new Beach House CD a lot. But we go through a lot of music in the editing room, and when we started writing Eastbound, the second season, we were listening to all these crazy compilations of Mexican garage rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s and it's all these covers of all these American and British pop songs. A lot of amazing stuff in there.
Locked Up Abroad
Besides Eastbound and Down, because I do just come home and watch that all the time, I'm a big fan of National Geographic HD and Discovery HD. That's the stuff I always watch all the time. I'm a big fan of Locked Up Abroad. I don't know if you've ever seen that before. Oh, it's insane. It's on National Geographic HD, and it's all these retellings of these people who try to smuggle drugs across the border or go on vacation and try to bring hash home, and then they get busted and locked up in some crazy third-world country prison. That show just scares the shit out of me. I love watching it. It freaks me out. It's just Midnight Express for an hour, over and over.
The Dark Tower
I've been trying to smoke through all those old Stephen King books, the Dark Tower series. I want to read those before they get turned into movies. Gotta put my own imprint on it. I started reading them in high school and then never finished them, so I recently dove back in trying to get through them all. I'm on the fifth book now. I'm making progress.
Red Dead Redemption
Videogames, let's see. I know a little bit about that. I've been rocking Red Dead Redemption. The new Halo. Crackdown 2. That's where I spend a lot of my downtime. I'm a big fan of those God of War games, those are pretty amazing. There was a Playstation game last year, Infamous—I loved playing that. You just roll around town, blowing people up with electricity, and you can either be a good guy or a bad guy. To each his own. I dig it. I want to play as a bad guy, but I start to feel guilty when I start mowing down innocent people. I always end up becoming the good guy. I've got to just commit to the bad guy. I played Red Dead Redemption and I'm sitting there out in the open prairie. This guy came charging at me and I wasted him. I blew him away. And I literally felt guilt for killing this innocent dude I wasn't supposed to kill. I shut the game off, cause I was like, "Goddamn, I can't believe I just murdered that guy." That game is pretty amazing. I've had a lot of nights where I've woken up at four in the morning and I'm just lying on the ground with an Xbox controller on my chest, passed out in front of the game like, "What happened?"I gotta pound all these games out before I get married and the power goes off.