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Movie, TV projects fall in line for local native page 2
City resident Danny McBride is riding amazing streak of success in Hollywood

 Danny McBride, grew up in Spotsylvania and now splits his time between Los Angeles and Fredericksburg. McBride, a Courtland High School graduate, works as an actor and writer and recently produced a pilot for HBO.
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Date published: 1/24/2008

By Rob Hedelt

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For McBride, it led to a succession of movie roles where he often played characters a bit quirky, rough or simply hilarious.

It started with "Hot Rod," in which he joined SNL's Andy Samberg, Bill Hader and others playing a group of slacker pals.

McBride, who hadn't done all that much acting since his role in "Foot Fist," felt comfortable playing one of the guys in "Hot Rod."

"It's what I was used to do in our own circle from college days," he said. "And just working with Sissy Spacek and Ian McShane was a learning experience."

He said being in a big time film, where plane tickets, hotel rooms and the like were paid for, was nice.

"In our own productions, I'd end up sleeping on the floor of a friend in Asheville, N.C.," he said.

Things picked up after that film and the continued distribution of "Foot Fist," by CAA to Hollywood heavyweights.

McBride soon found himself in the Farrelly brother's "The Heartbreak Kid" opposite Ben Stiller; in "Knocked Up" director Judd Apatow's "Drillbit Taylor" opposite Owen Wilson; in Stiller's "Tropic Thunder" with Cruise, Black, Robert Downey Jr. and others; and in Apatow's "Pineapple Express," with Seth Rogan and Rosie Perez.

Along the way, he's joined forces with Ferrell's production company, which is releasing "Foot Fist" nationally later this year and was a big reason "East Bound and Down" got bids from just about every network.

"We got interest from ABC, NBC and CBS, but we couldn't really see doing 24 episodes," said McBride of the series signed for a seven-episode arc on HBO, now in limbo because of the writer's strike.

"We shot the pilot in Wilmington and were able to keep control of all facets of it," he said. "We'll do the rest there as well, shooting them like we'd do an entire film."

McBride said he returns to Fredericksburg when he's not working in L.A. or on a movie set, appreciating the feel of a normal sort of place.

He'll leave with fiancee Gia Ruiz soon to begin shooting a "Land of the Lost" remake with Will Ferrell.

The actor cited by one movie magazine as an up-and-comer to watch in 2008 has nothing to say but kind words about the actors and directors he's worked with.

That includes Ferrell, who he says is as nice and as genuine as he is funny on screen.

Sometimes, he's had to get over being starstruck with some of the people he's worked with.

"The day I met Ben Stiller, it was hard not to think about what my friends would say seeing me on screen with someone who was an inspiration to me," said McBride. "But he came over and said how much he liked 'Foot Fist.' From then on, he was like an old friend."

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415
Email: rhedelt@freelancestar.com


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