Fans of “Community” and “The Soup” might be surprised when they see the Joel McHale that’s appearing in the supernatural thriller Deliver Us from Evil when it debuts this week in theaters everywhere…
Light of the usual trademark levity McHale has perfected, his character, Butler, is a physically intimidating cop with a penchant for daggers.
Standing in the pouring rain after a scene where McHale was chasing someone (or something) through the weathered streets of the South Bronx, Joel’s sense of humor suddenly came roaring back, even though the surprisingly tall comedian still towered over us as we started the interview in between takes.
Joel McHale: Hello, nerds.
Dread Central: What led you to take your first role in a horror film?
JM: It’s my fourth.
JM: Nah, I can’t remember. What made me want to take it? Because it’s an incredible script with people like Chris Coy. The script is fantastic, and I get cast in films that are mostly comedies and this opportunity came up, and I jumped at the chance. And to work with Scott Derrickson.
DC: Scott said you guys are really old friends and he actually wrote the part for you in your voice, so what new aspects of you that we haven’t seen will we see in this character?
JM: You haven’t seen my penis yet. That’s featured prominently. You will see the more violent side of me that I only really unleash on an attacking bear, so yeah, it’s definitely not a comedic role but I do tell jokes. But hopefully you’ll see, it’s not like I was hiding anything. I’m just glad, I know Scott he wrote with me in mind, and I’m still surprised I got it. And you will see my obsession with knives on camera. As evidenced by me running after Chris as a cop [in the scene we just watched being filmed.]
DC: Can you tell us more about that scene we just watched?
JM: We’re offered a night job and we motivate each other by switching knives.
DC: So why do they have you guys doing this instead of stunt guys?
JM: They looked for stunt guys that looked like us from the back and they couldn’t find anyone. Look, it’s a Jerry Bruckheimer production, SONY funded, so I think we only have like 30 million. So … you have to cut some corners.
DC: How many ride-alongs did you do to prepare?
JM: I didn’t do any. I just talked to Sarchie. And my cop is very unorthodox so … I’ve done it before and I only got 3 days notice with this movie. But talking to Sarchie and the other cops, that helped immensely. Every time I look at Sarchie and I go, ‘Did that look like I was a cop?’ and he goes ‘Yeah! You look like a cop!’
DC: Why are you wearing a Boston hat in the Bronx?
JM: Because my character not only prefers knives to guns, police batons or Tasers, he just wears stuff to piss off other cops. I’m not joking; there’s a whole scene about the hat.
Deliver Us From Evil is in theatres NOW!
Joel McHale, Sean Harris, Edgar Ramirez, and Olivia Munn star alongside Eric Bana. The film is a paranormal thriller produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Scott Derrickson directs a script he and Paul Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) wrote.
Look for Deliver Us from Evil in theaters now.
New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Based upon the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.
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