That Time Kanye West Asked Danny McBride To Play Him In A Movie

Danny McBride in Eastbound & Down

There is a recent trend of music movies and particularly biopics about famous musicians and it seems like every other week we hear about a new film that will tackle the life of some famous artist. At the current rate, eventually everyone who’s ever topped the charts will get their own movie, including Yeezy himself, Kanye West. But who could possibly play him? Well, Kanye West apparently asked Danny McBride to play him in a movie, as the actor recalled:

Kanye asked me to play him in a movie of his life. That was a pretty stunning phone call to get. I don’t know why he wanted me to do it. Maybe that sense of ego I’m able to portray? I have no clue.

Kanye West is a rapper, a songwriter, a record producer, an entrepreneur and a fashion designer and now we may be able to add casting director to his list of skills and occupations because he hit on a positively inspired choice of who could play him in a movie. Yes, apparently Kanye West once actually called actor Danny McBride, asking him to play him in a movie about the acclaimed musician’s life.

If that sounds rather strange and out of left field to you, like a skit on Saturday Night Live, you’re not alone. As Danny McBride told The Guardian, he was stunned to receive such a phone call from Kanye West for all the obvious reasons. It sounds like it was a truly surreal experience and Danny McBride still doesn’t seem to know for sure why Kanye wanted him to play him, but he has some ideas.

Danny McBride guessed that perhaps it is his ability to portray a certain sense of ego that Kanye West picked up on and felt was necessary for a film about his life. If so, that’s a pretty keen observation from Kanye. There is a Greek aphorism that says “know thyself” and while an abundance self-awareness is not the first thing most people would ascribe to Kanye West, he might have a better read on his ego than it appears.

Danny McBride has had a successful career frequently playing arrogant, egotistical characters with a level of often misplaced, self-confidence that borders on narcissism. Kenny Powers on Eastbound & Down and Neal Gamby on Vice Principals are great examples of this. Danny McBride could pull of the personality. The parallels don’t stop there either.

Kanye West has recently been holding his own church services and Danny McBride’s most recent role was on HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones, where he plays a member of a world-famous televangelist family.

Danny McBride may not have Kanye’s musical talent and he’s obviously not an African American, which is part of Kanye’s life experience, but I don’t know if it would count as whitewashing if the subject of the film picked the actor who would play him. For whatever reason, Kanye West obviously saw something in Danny McBride that made him reach out to the actor about playing him and I’ve got to say, I want to see it.

If Kanye West was making a biopic about himself, I wouldn’t expect a straightforward stuffy affair and casting Danny McBride would obviously make for a more fantastical film. Maybe it would be something like I’m Not There where different actors, male and female, played Bob Dylan. So will this actually happen?

For the moment it doesn’t seem like it, but Danny McBride did reveal that Kanye West actually traveled to meet him to discuss it. Danny McBride said:

That was a pretty incredible day. Maybe someday we’ll make the film. Who knows?

Consider my ticket bought.

Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this year and for the latest in weird movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.