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The Hot Seat: Danny McBride

He's bringing the heat.

Illustration: Rob Kelly

Ever since impressing Will Ferrell with his stirring performance in the underground hit film The Foot Fist Way, actor Danny McBride, 32, has been Hollywood's fool du jour. And, thanks to sidekick roles in Pineapple Express,Tropic Thunder and this summer's Land of the Lost, McBride now seems primed to take the next step toward comic greatness—as a broken-down redneck pitcher in his upcoming HBO series, East Bound and Down. It's the story of a crude, deluded has-been ballplayer named Kenny Powers, whose fall from grace is as spectacular as his mullet.

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Time Out New York: What's the line your character is so fond of again?
Danny McBride: Oh, it's a very complicated line. It goes, "You're fuckin' out!"

Honestly, it was our kind of jab at these stupid catchphrases that America will just latch on to. And that just seemed like the dumbest, most uncreative thing a dude could say that would catch on.

So do you think the Yankees will be contacting you after one of the Steinbrenners sees the show?
I hope so. I'm throwing it, like, 42 miles per hour right now, so that could be really useful for them.

Did you have to do a bunch of steroids to really sell it on camera?
I did. I did a lot of steroids, although I had to use an ass double in this. David Green, one of the directors, wanted me to inject myself, and I was like, "Fuck that." He's like, "It's not a big deal, it's just saline." I said no way, so we got a PA to inject himself with saline, like, six times. It was pretty awesome.

That's what happens now that you're a big star. The old Danny McBride would've done his own ass stunts.
[Laughs] I would've done it in a heartbeat. I would've just injected myself with real steroids.

How does it feel to have Will Ferrell as an adoptive father?
It's pretty awesome. He's been a very good role model and he's taught me a lot of very important life lessons.

Such as?
Like how to look good naked, he's taught me a lot of stuff about that. How to trim your ball hair. He's really good at that, too.

You worked with both Downey and Nolte in Tropic Thunder. Which is the greater actor?
Wow. That's a tough one. God, you got to give it up to Nolte, if only because he has more time on Downey. But I haven't seen Nolte play a black man before, so that could be the true test.

Do you party with either one?
I partied with Nolte quite a bit. Me and him were on the same schedule and were locked on Hawaii for almost three months. So there were definitely some late-night chill sessions with Mr. Nolte.

Downey, though, got to play Iron Man. What superhero role are you gunning for?
Iron Man is pretty good. Does Optimus Prime count as a superhero?

Yeah, close enough. Do women throw themselves at you now?
I wish. No one knows who I am. I still can't get a free shot in a bar to save my life.

Land of the Lost will serve to get you free shots, for sure.
Yeah, we finished filming that earlier this year. It's going to be a beast of a movie.

Pretty ambitious to remake a show of that caliber.We did have to run away from tennis balls on sticks as dinosaurs, so we had to stretch our imaginations a bit.

So it's not just you and Ferrell running around screaming as dinosaurs chase you?
I didn't say that.

Just promise me you'll never lose the facial hair.
Yeah, it always has to be there in some form. That's actually the key to my acting. It's just changing facial hair.

Like Samson?
Yeah, you get rid of it and things go fucking AWOL.

East Bound and Down debuts Sun 15 on HBO.

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