Thanks to his new movie “Deliver Us from Evil,” “Community” star Joel McHale gets to show off a side of him that many have yet to see. He’s a cop with an attitude and a love of knives. Sure, there’s still humor in the role, but its brand new territory for McHale.
Of course, being mostly known as a funny guy on TV makes it difficult to get a major role in a horror-action movie. Luckily, McHale has an ace up his sleeve in the form of director Scott Derrickson, also known as his best friend.
The two have been close for years and Derrickson wrote the role with him in mind. McHale tells Zap2it, “He said, ‘I wrote this part as if you decided to go into law enforcement instead of entertainment.'” It still took some work, though. “I had to audition for it because the producers didn’t know who I was,” he adds.
For Derrickson, casting McHale as a violent cop with a dark sense of humor made sense. “I’ve known him for so many years and there is a violence inside him,” he says. “There’s a volatility to him, he’s a little sociopathic. I mean that as a compliment and he would take it as one.”
Speaking to that violence and volatility, McHale gets to do a bit of knife fighting in the movie, which eh worked really hard to perfect to the point of looking as legitimate as possible. It wasn’t necessarily learning something from scratch for McHale though, as he happens to like knives quite a bit.
“I’m a big fan of knives and have a large collection at home. They’re all over my house,” he reveals. “I have a lot of switch blades, Bloody Marys, daggers, short swords, samurai swords, bullwhips, batons, asps.”
Now, Yahoo just needs to work a knife fight into the next season of “Community” to keep McHale’s skills sharp for his next turn in an action movie. Which, if the world is lucky, will be in Derrickson’s next project, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”
“Deliver Us from Evil” is in theaters Wednesday, July 2.