Danny McBride gives his most frightening performance to date in Arizona. Director Jonathan Watson, who’s worked with McBride since season 2 of Eastbound and Down, uses McBride’s charisma and comedic powers to make a blonde-haired, golf-playing baddie all the more menacing. There’s something unsettling about McBride’s comedic sensibilities in a villain like Sonny, who never loses his scary sense of humor throughout the Rosemarie DeWitt-led Arizona.
McBride read Luke Del Tredici‘s (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) script years ago and thought it was “a wild ride,” so he sent the script to Watson, helping to launching the well-seasoned first assistant director’s feature directorial debut. The first-time filmmaker shows a great grasp of tone with his thriller by nicely balancing the horror and laughs.
McBride recently spoke with us about playing his most villainous and insecure character yet, his work with costumer designer Sarah Trost, his time with Sir Ridley Scott, and the importance and power of sometimes pushing boundaries in comedy.
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Danny McBride breaks bad with Arizona, a new dark comedy that finds the actor murdering his way through the dry desert heat. McBride plays a disgruntled home owner who kidnaps a real estate agent, played by Rosemarie DeWitt. Things go from bad to worse very quickly, while McBride quips his way through the bloodshed. Watch the Arizona trailer below.
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Jonathan Watson, the longtime assistant director on films as varied as Bad Boys and The Truman Show, makes his directorial debut with Arizona, a thriller set in the midst of the late 2000s economic housing crisis that stars Rosemarie DeWitt as a single mom realtor on the run from a deranged homeowner played by Danny McBride. While DeWitt is the ostensible lead, Arizona is more of a showcase for McBride’s particular set of comedic skills, and as the hunt intensifies, it takes us on a tour through a section of America that was left decimated by the hubris of Wall Street. Read More »
Actor turned filmmaker Ben Affleck is in talks to direct Arizona for Miramax. The fact-based drama is about the 1976 car bomb death of Don Bolles, a reporter who was investigating the Mob’s infiltration of the Arizona state government. The incident sparked an investigation called The Arizona Project, headed up by the Investigative Reporters and Editors, a group Bolles co-founded.
Variety reports that Miramax has been unsuccessful in striking a deal with the IRE, which means the resulting film would have to be “fact-based account” rather than the subjective story of the people involved (read: more stale).
As much as I want to see Ben Affleck direct again, this story doesn’t sound nearly as interesting as The Town, the big screen adaptation of Chuck Hogan novel The Prince of Thieves which was announced in September. I think that project more appeals to me because it’s another Boston based film, and Affleck clearly knows the area. I really loved what he accomplished with Gone Baby Gone. The Town is a story about a career thief who falls in love with the manager of a bank he robbed. I’m not sure the status of that project, but I’m hoping it hasn’t yet fallen into development heck. Read more about The Town here.