• Thu. Feb 2nd, 2023

‘The Righteous Gemstones’: Holy Roller Comedy Not A ‘Takedown Of Religion’, Danny McBride Says – TCA

Jul 24, 2019

Danny McBride previous co-created HBO series Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals focused on protagonists “who believed they were owed something in life,” said the comedy-meister, but his new show The Righteous Gemstones about an opulent megachurch family is about those “who get everything they want” and the damage that can be done.

“The goal isn’t to be takedown of anything,” said McBride at TCA today  “when Hollywood takes on religion, they make the mistake of lampooning one beliefs.”

“For us, it’s about lampooning hypocrites, people who present themselves in one way, and act differently in another. I don’t think that’s something that’s relevant to the world of religion and televangelism, but the world we live in: People who present themselves one way on social media and present themselves in another way,” added McBride.

His hope is that Gemstones will go longer than Vice Principals’ two seasons and Eastbound & Down‘s four on HBO.

McBride said that the series isn’t based on one particular minister or televangelist dynasty, rather they’re “amalgamation” much like his character Kenny Powers was a composite of disgraced athletes and celebrities.

McBride said that in the first pass of the script, the series followed a minister who has an affair and is trying to salvage his ministry against the Gemstones who were going to be the bad guys. “Within three days of writing, it was the Gemstones who became more interesting,” said McBride who is not only the star Jesse Gemstone, but the series EP and director as well. He re-teams with his Foot Fist Way pal Jody Hill (who is EP and director here) and All the Real Girls directing bud David Gordon Green, both of whom worked on Vice Principals and Eastbound & Down. 

Some of today’s panelists which included Hill, Green, McBride, John Goodman, Cassidy Freeman, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine were asked to comment about their religion. McBride told the TCA corps that he grew up in a Baptist household. His aunt is even a minister and he wanted to create a series that she’d find humor in as well. “Ultimately, it’s not about taking a swipe at her or what she believes in,” said McBride, “but a show about a successful family who lost their path along the way.”

Devine told the press he grew up Catholic, and while growing up, he was “jealous of my friends who went to mega-churches. They had rock climbing walls and got to play video games. All we had was a hard bench.”

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