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Danny McBride

Actor Danny McBride right at home in the north

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Danny McBride

Though his “royal” stoner comedy 'Your Highness' has been a box office low-life – it’s down to number 10 in the U.S. chart after only two weeks, taking in $16 million but costing $50 million to produce – it’s probably understandable that the film’s co-star, co-writer and co-producer Danny McBride would rant and rave to The Irish Times about how “unfairly” his project has been treated by American critics.

McBride was in Dublin recently to drum up publicity for the film, which was shot a couple of years back in Belfast and also stars Oscar nominee James Franco, and new Best Actress Oscar winner Natalie Portman.  Critics here were not kind in their assessment of the film, in which McBride and Franco play brother princes in pursuit of a kidnapped fiancée, with McBride playing the ultimate fool.

“You pick up a review in America and they got nothing to say about the movie. They’re writing about all this other s***. They’re reviewing numbers. They’re reviewing career paths. They’re reviewing James Franco at the Oscars. Celebrity is a massive industry in America, and it creeps in to everything,” McBride told the Times.

“These critics mostly live in Los Angeles, the least humorous place in the world. It’s hard to make those jaded motherf***ers laugh.”

Umm . . . maybe the movie just isn’t funny?  We haven’t seen it so we can’t say, but McBride is proud of the finished product, and happier still that he got to spend six months filming in Northern Ireland, as his Irish roots are in Co. Tyrone.

“I became a local, totally. It was awesome. I’ve been on so many locations, and Belfast is by far the best stop in the world,” McBride, 34, gushed.

“The people are f***ing great. The crew is awesome. The countryside is beautiful. We were able to do all this Lord of the Rings s*** without needing millions . . . That stuff is there. And it feels like a place where people want to party.”

Meanwhile, a Northern Irish film student told the Sun newspaper in Britain that she was paid £250, or roughly $400, to act as a body double for Portman in a scene where she jumped into a Belfast lake bare-bottomed.

Caroline Davis said, “I’m a film studies student so I jumped at the chance to be on set.”

The scene required Portman’s bikini clad, butt-baring character to jump into a freezing lake, but apparently that was a leap too far for Portman. 

This ordinarily wouldn’t be such a big deal, but lately the pregnant Academy Award winner has been getting lots of guff for not doing all of her own dance scenes in 'The Black Swan,' the film that earned her the golden statue.

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