Joel McHale on His First Emmy Nom and His Recent 'The Soup' F-Bomb (Q&A)
With as much work as Community star Joel McHale has been getting lately, he could presumably use a drink. So perhaps it's fitting that McHale is starring in a series of digital shorts promoting Purity Vodka, a Swedish brand. The campaign's first video premiered Monday online, which involves McHale managing to acquire a ridiculously expensive truck by trading a few bottles of the said spirit.
McHale sat down with The Hollywood Reporter over Purity cocktails to discuss his many recent projects, including exorcism thriller Deliver Us From Evil. He told THR how it felt to land his first Emmy nomination this week, what happened after he recently dropped an f-bomb on a live broadcast of The Soup and why he enjoys flipping the bird at his family.
It seemed like you had a lot of fun filming the first Purity Vodka video.
It was a lot of fun, and when these things happen — well, thankfully they pay me — I would only do something like this if they allowed me and my friends [including Community executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo and The Soup writer-producers Brad Stevens and Boyd Vico] to kind of help with the creative. As you can see, we're having a good time. I give the finger to my family as I'm leaving [in the video]. You can't ask for anything better than that.
And also it helps that the product doesn't suck. If it were something really crappy, I don't know what I would do. Remember when there was that rip-off of Sony called Pony Electronics? You'd always see them in airports. If I was the spokesman for Pony or whatever it was, I'd be like, 'I don't know.' Not the [Pony] shoes — the electronics.
Your movie Deliver Us From Evil opened this month in theaters. This movie is a different direction for you than audiences are used to.
I was very happy about that. I mean, I'm working with [Eric] Bana. A lot of people have been asking, "So is [doing fight scenes] hard for you?" Are you kidding? It was like being able to go to an amusement park each night. You get to be in a really cool movie. We beat Transformers. [Pause.] No! That's a lie — we didn't. But hopefully, the movie will have legs. In the exit interviews, everyone's very positive.
What are your thoughts on the Emmy nominations?
The Soup got nominated [for best short-format live-action entertainment program]. We did a parody of True Detective. This was my first nomination, so I'm thrilled. And Jim Rash knocked it out of the park playing Woody Harrelson, so I was thrilled. It just shows you how successful [Matthew] McConaughey has been the last couple years — even when you parody him, you get nominated. He's nominated, and the parody of him is nominated, so I'm sure they'll be having us present together. I heard that Game of Thrones has 7,700 nominations. Everything in every shot was basically nominated — trees were nominated, chain mail was nominated, horses were nominated.
What was it like filming [the recent The Soup video "Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine"] with Tony Hale?
He improvised a lot of those lines. When he was like, "A lot of these people I'm pretty sure are trying to bring this country down," it was really funny. And yesterday, I said "f—" on the air during The Soup during the live broadcast. They beeped it, and I realized I had to wait five seconds before any sound would work. It was about Kim Kardashian that I blew the joke, so I just said, "Where's your baby?" and moved on to the next joke.