Wiz Khalifa & Danny McBride: Burn After Reading (Cover Story)

Wiz Khalifa & Danny McBride: Burn After Reading (Cover Story)Interview By Peter Rubin; Photography By F. Scott Schafer; Styling By Kelly McCabe
Both of you have built either a character or an image based on indulgence, whether it’s weed, or other vices. Do people make assumptions of who the real Danny is as a person? Or the real Cameron Thomaz as a person?

W: Damn, You know my name! That’s cool. Nah, I’m really just high all the time, so like... yeah. What about you?

D: I get offered a lot of shots, a lot of joints. It’s a good thing. When you roll into a town and you don’t have money to buy alcohol, you know that you can always go to a high school or a college campus and somebody’s down to hook you up. [Laughs.]

W: Yeah, they really do want to hook you up for free.

D: That’s the benefit of celebrity. That’s really what it’s all about.

W: Being a celebrity that people know what you like, that shit’s cool. People throw joints at me all the time.

D: I get a lot of chicken wings thrown at me.

In anger?

D: No, they just know I like chicken.

I get offered a lot of shots. It's a good thing. When you don't have money for alcohol, somebody's down to hook you up. -Danny

Let’s talk about Your Highness. People assumed it’d just be a stoner movie, but you guys took ’80s fantasy movies—Clash of the Titans, Labyrinth—and made a ridiculous comedy out of ‘em.

D: As a kid, this was the shit that I always gravitated towards: Conan, Beastmaster. It’s the stuff that got me into movies in the first place, and so there’s definitely a deep love for the genre. There are things that don’t age well [too], but there was room to find humor without just blasting the genre.

The way you guys work and the way Judd Apatow and his crew work, improvising and ad-libbing has changed the way comedy movies get made. Has it changed the writing process for you guys to the point where you might just leave dialogue a little looser and figure the real jewels are going to come on set?

D: Oh, we definitely do. David [Gordon Green] and Jody [Hill]—these guys I frequently collaborate with—in the writing process, we pay the most attention to the structures and the characters, and all that stuff adds up. If you can be confident that the story adds up to something at the end of the day, then I think it gives you the confidence to really be able to push the dialogue with improv. It’s not like you’re trying to compensate for shit in the improv—you’re just trying to expand upon what’s there.

Wiz, what are your movie tastes like?

W: [Laughs.] What do movies taste like?

[Laughs.] Nah, what are your movie tastes like?

W: Spicy.

D: Garlic, yeah. Tandoori chicken.

W: Room temperature. What type of movies do I like? Funny movies, of course, because I like to smoke, and when you smoke, things become less serious and you find the funny in things. So, even movies that aren’t funny, they end up turning into comedies to me.

So what makes a good stoner movie?

D: You gotta start with the basics. You probably need marijuana.

W: Probably would start there. Just to get it started.

In the creation of the movie or as a plot point?

D: Either/or. At some point there needs to be marijuana. 

W: Whether it’s a reference or it’s actually shown, you just have to know it's marijuana. I like movies where people smoke joints. Gotta have joints and doobs. I don’t smoke blunts.

D: Somebody always needs to cough at least once—

W: I was just about to say that.

D: Like the kind that [makes retching noise] almost turns into vomit.

W: That’s what I was about to say! It’d be tight if somebody just puked off weed one time.

D: That does happen.

W: I make it happen a lot. Chicks pass out; guys barf. Coughing, spitting, the whole thing.
Tags: wiz-khalifa, danny-mcbride, cover-stories
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