IT’S the casting choice that baffled the world: stoner comedy favourite Danny McBride playing the son of iconic Australian character Mick “Crocodile” Dundee.
YouTube trailers for Dundee: The Son Of A Legend Returns Home had viewers laughing and scratching their heads in equal measure: What was McBride doing playing the American son of Paul Hogan’s classic larrikin alongside Aussie A-listers Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe?
We now know the trailer was all part of a cheeky ad campaign from Tourism Australia to encourage Americans to come Down Under after it aired during the Super Bowl.
And McBride has opened up about why he took on the unlikely role.
“It was awesome. What a crazy, out-the-box approach to tourism,” he said.
“I always try to choose things that I think will be fun to do, whether it’s a commercial or a TV show or a writing project.
“It just seemed like it would be a fun time.”
When asked about the sneaky way the campaign tried to trick viewers into thinking the movie was real, McBride couldn’t help but break into a cackle.
“It seemed like it would be fun to just mess with people and to put something like that out there and let people kind of wonder what the hell this is and why somebody would make this,” he said.
And while the cat’s out of the bag about the true motive of the stunt, the trailer has viewers wishing that it was the real thing after all. The NT News has even launched a petition to encourage Hogan to follow through on the campaign’s promise and make a new Crocodile Dundee movie in the Top End.
So, would McBride be willing to take on the role for real?
“I don’t know if [I’d do] Dundee, I’m not sure, but honestly, I’d never worked with Chris Hemsworth before and I had a blast with him. We had a really good time together so, I don’t know. Maybe something will come out of it, we’ll see,” he said.
Regardless, McBride is very comfortable with his role as an accidental tourism ambassador for Australia.
“I love Australia, not just because you’re here and not just because I’m in their commercial,” he told news.com.au in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
“I’ve been there a bunch of times and we shot [Alien prequel] Covenant down there and so I lived there for a few months.
“I’ve just always dug it and it’s so far away from here that every time I’ve gone I’ve spent a long period of time when I’ve been there and so I was completely flattered that they would want me to have anything to do with attracting people to their country and I hope that it works.”