Aaron Paul Was Supposed To Be A Surprise Addition To The Weird Al Movie, But Explains Why He Had To Bow Out At The Last Second

Aaron Paul in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
(Image credit: Funny Or Die)

One of the more exciting developments in the film world right now is director Eric Appel’s upcoming Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Set to star Daniel Radcliffe as the titular legendary parody artist, the feature is based on a Funny or Die sketch starring Aaron Paul from 2010 – which is a sendup of overly dramatized musical biopics, and remains as funny today as it was twelve years ago.

Given Paul’s involvement with the original project, it probably won’t surprise anybody to learn that he was approached to do a cameo in the upcoming movie – but unfortunately those plans fell apart because the Breaking Bad/Westworld star tested positive for COVID-19 the day he was supposed to report on set.

Speaking with Aaron Paul this morning in promotion of his new movie, Dual (arriving in limited theatrical release this weekend), I concluded the interview by asking for his thoughts about the feature version of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and he effusively explained his personal excitement for the project. He mentioned that he first had the chance to read the script years ago when Eric Appel and “Weird” Al Yankovic were toying with the idea of making the movie, and he anticipates seeing Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role (a part Radcliffe won for a perfectly nerdy reason):

It's so great. I loved doing that. I love Al [Yankovic], I love Eric Appel, who wrote the skit for Funny Or Die and directed it. And he wrote the film with Al, and he's directing the feature as well. I read that script years ago and it was just so over the top beautiful. It was just when they were kind of poking around seeing if they could get this thing made, and I was really excited to see it finally kind of come together, and obviously Daniel [Radcliffe] is amazing. And so I think he's absolutely going to crush it.

At this point, Aaron Paul segued into his story about the cameo that was not to be. He told me that Al Yankovic invited him to the set of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story so that he could make an appearance in the film that would serve as a nod to the original Funny or Die video. That idea sadly fell apart, however, when he took a precautionary COVID-19 test and was shocked to get a positive result. Said Paul,

Funny story: Al asked me to do a little cameo in it, and I went to do it, and as I was waiting for my COVID test, they look up at me, and they're like, 'You have COVID.' I'm like, 'What?' They're like, 'Yeah. You tested positive for COVID.' I go, 'Oh, no!' So I couldn't do it, and then I was just out for like 10 solid days. I have never felt more sick in my life. And so we couldn't do the cameo, which I just absolutely was crushed about.

I think that probably a lot of people can sympathize with Aaron Paul here, as it would have been amazing to see him pop up in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. His performance in the Funny or Die sketch is fantastic and hilarious – the high point certainly being the moment when he drunkenly berates a crowd, declaring, “You’re all a bunch of slaves!” You can revisit the magic watching the video below:

Aaron Paul may not be in the feature length adaptation, but he is anticipating it as much as anyone, and already has high expectations for it. Lauding the brilliant talent that is “Weird” Al Yankovic, he continued,

I know it's gonna be a beautiful film. I mean, I love Al. He's really just one of the kindest people I've ever met in my life, and I'm always in his cheering section. So I'm excited for people to see what they're doing over there.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which is being made as an exclusive for The Roku Channel, doesn’t have a release date yet, but Aaron Paul fans everywhere should get excited for Dual. Directed by Riley Stearns, and co-starring Karen Gillan, Beulah Koale, and Theo James, the dark comedy got a positive reception premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and will be arriving on the big screen tomorrow, April 15 (find local listings on Fandango). The film will then be going digital on May 20, and will be available on demand and streaming on AMC+.

To learn more about all of the features set to hit theaters and streaming in what remains of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.