Danny McBride OF ‘THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES’ ON HBO
What made you decide to take on televangelists in “The Righteous Gemstones”?
You know, I moved to Charleston (S.C.) about two years ago and I’d lived in Los Angeles for 20 years and I grew up in a pretty religious household. My family’s still religious, my aunt’s a minister and it was such a big part of our life growing up. And I think I went off to college, moved to Los Angeles and just the church didn’t fit into my life anymore. And I think when I moved to Charleston, it was seeing how many churches were around, seeing these mega-churches, it just seemed interesting. It seemed like a world that was worthy of exploring and I threw a bunch of ideas at the wall and this was the one that I kind of just kept coming back to, the idea of a family in this industry was appealing to me.
The opening scene in the wave pool was hilarious. Where did you film that?
It was a park in North Charleston and obviously the rest of China is visual effects and everything . ... We did it all in one night. And you know, we had to do it at night because it was written to be daytime and about a week before we were supposed to shoot, the park was like, “There’s no way that you guys can shoot this in the daytime with all this film equipment and all this stuff. We’ve got kids on waterslides, there’s just too much liability.” So we lost the location like a week away from shooting it and we were like, “What do we do? Do we change this to be like in a river somewhere?” Then the idea came like, “You know what? What if we just did it with our clothes at nighttime and we just make it like it was a 24-hour baptism?”