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Weird Al and Daniel Radcliffe Discuss Production of ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

The new film was the culmination of a comedy brainstorm.

Last week saw the release of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story on The Roku Channel, a parody biopic telling an exaggerated version of the life of beloved musician and parody artist, Weird Al Yankovic. The film, which stars Daniel Radcliffe in the titular role, has been well-received for hitting all of the major beats of a typical biopic while keeping its tongue firmly planted in-cheek the whole way through.

In an interview with Polygon, Yankovic and Radcliffe, along with the film’s director, Eric Appel, discussed the film’s production, and what goes into such a comedy-centric project.

“I think in the case of this movie, to make this comedy funny, [we had] to make it dramatic: Lean into the drama, let the comedy come from the absurdity of something strange being played completely straight,” Appel said.

“I can’t define what makes comedy funny. But in this particular case, like Eric said, the comedy is still coming from surprise, but it’s rooted in doing something very grounded and real, and having it take certain directions that you wouldn’t expect,” Yankovic agreed.

The interview focused particularly on one scene of the movie, in which numerous famous actors were brought in to impersonate 80s-era celebrities in a Boogie Nights-styled pool party.

“I went through my address book and made a list of all my friends who I thought might be up for it, and I just sent out some emails,” Yankovic said. “Thankfully, we were shooting in LA — originally, the plan was to shoot in Atlanta, because of the tax breaks, I think. Thankfully, Roku upped the budget just enough so that we could actually shoot in LA, which meant a lot of my friends who maybe had a free hour that afternoon could drive into the Valley and be part of this crazy pool scene.”

“In terms of those references — I found out on this press tour that the pool-party scene is from Boogie Nights,” Radcliffe added. “So there’ve definitely been some references I fully did not get until right now.”

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