Bodied Trailer

Personally, since The Simpsons is my favorite thing, I’m a little disappointed they just don’t want to hear the Indian community on this. I don’t think it would hurt the show to, after 30 years, change one character. But I’ve talked to those show runners about it and they won’t go there with me.

At a certain point, where’s the line drawn? Everybody could come in and say something. I don’t know, I tend to feel, my critics don’t intermesh with pop culture. I’ve always been there at the forefront of it and side by side, just interjecting a crazy music video every once in a while and just being part of the conversation. What I see is something radically different than what most people see. Over the course of my 30 years of being in pop culture, I’ve seen how it actually has opened up. There is a vast mixing going on, even though it’s trying to bifurcate into its own thing. I think in the world of pop culture, if you want to change something, make something better and it will naturally change. Instead of complaining about the specific thing, if you want Apu out of The Simpsons, make a Simpsons that’s better than The Simpsons with no Apu in there and all of a sudden The Simpsons creators will go, “Well, f***, this isn’t working. They’re beating us in ratings. How should we change to compete with them?” Or The Simpsons gets cancelled.

I agree with make something better instead of complaining. So is the name Adam chooses at the end of the movie Bodied, the title of the movie?

No. He keeps talking about his rap name. The reality is, the next line is, “My name is Slim Shady.” The joke is that everyone keeps comparing him to Eminem through the whole thing but he’s not Eminem. The reason why is because Eminem comes from legitimately low culture, trailer trash, literally hung out with the 8 Mile crowd. Adam comes from high culture, from privilege, had an incredible education. He’s Fred Topel going into battle rapping. What ends up happening is through the course of the film, he loses all his friends, loses his cash, he’s sleeping on a bench at the end of the movie. At that point he can call himself Slim Shady, just like you’re going to do one day, Fred. You will become Slim Shady.

So there is an answer. His name is not the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

Well, we don’t know the name but we know the intent.

How long did it take to script the raps?

It was pretty fast actually because Alex Larsen is a fricking genius. Originally I was going to write this movie with him, but I beated out the story. Once he started writing, I was like I can’t write better than this guy. The guy’s a better writer than me so I just let him write the whole f***ing movie. He was fast. Now, some of them were written by him. Other parts like Dizaster wrote his own lines. A lot of battle rappers wrote their own stuff but anything with the main characters who don’t rap for real, those are Alex’s lines.

Since Bodied will be on YouTube, did you have to do a different sound mix so all the rap dialogue will be clear at home, on a computer or a tablet?

Well, we spent a year working on the sound, so whether it’s in a theater or whether it’s at home, it’s been mixed to perfection. It really has. I spent a year on the mix.

You signed with YouTube before Cobra Kai. Did you see that they were going to be legit?

No. It was a gamble.

Now you’re in a good position.

Well, now YouTube subscription is turning hot, right? When I did it it was just because they were going to promise me a theatrical release. Not a big one, but not like what happened on Detention where it’s a day and date thing. You release the online along with [theatrical] which doesn’t work at all because everybody just stays at home. In this particular case, they decided to release it separately and do a legitimate theatrical release with a little bit of marketing budget. It’s an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Is Happy a fun sandbox to play in?

Happy was hilarious. Happy was really fun. Brian Taylor, you know, director of Crank, reached out to me and said he wanted me to do this television episode. I said, “Well, I’ll do it if you make it f***ing nuts.” And he did. Spoiler, I get to kill a bunch of f***ing Nazis. I’m telling you, I am so proud of the way I killed Nazis in this thing, it’s grotesque. I just did my rough cut of it. I don’t know if it’s going to get past all the TV censors but it’s gross. I’ve never gotten to play with Nazis before. I see Spielberg do it and he gets to beat them up and shoot them, so I wanted my chance. I got my chance. It was so fun.

Is it the season premiere?

No, it’s the fourth episode. I’ll tell you, the crew hated me. As much as people say TV shoots really fast, it actually shoots really slow. These guys are running a marathon. I’m used to sprinting. I go in there and I have 60 shots a day. They want to do 20 shots but I’m still going to get my 60 shots. I am the most unpopular guy in TV, I’ll tell you that much.

When do you start on another movie?

I’m always thinking about it, but I can’t afford it. Once every seven years because that’s how long it takes me to pay off the previous one and maybe get another one. I wish there was some amazing studio that would say, “Hey Joseph, we see your vision. It’s unsafe but let’s give you some cash to do it with.” It just doesn’t happen.

If Bodied blows up YouTube, is there a certain amount of views that would help? Or how could they determine if it adds more subscriptions to their Premium?

That’s the problem. It’s really hard to figure out what their metrics are. I don’t know what those metrics are. If it does well in the theater, which let’s be honest, who knows? It’s not getting a super wide release. I don’t know what the metrics are on that either. I’ll just keep fantasizing and dreaming about my next project, right?

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