Nothing about the new biopic Strange works normally. Which is entirely by design. After all, legendary Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe steps into the lead role as Weird Al Yankovic, famous pop song satirist, for a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary of the musician biopic that started as a short film on Funny or Die but is now expanded into a feature-length punchline. We know it Evan Rachel Wood plays Madonna in the film, and which Weird will dig into some of the best parodies Weird Al ever wrote. But how did the film secure the famous faces that appear throughout the film? Fans have Weird Al Yankovic’s rolodex to thank for that one.
The legendary songwriter has been promoting Strange, which will be on the Roku Channel later this year. And during a conversation at New York Comic-Con (covered by EW) about a particular pool scene featuring a variety of actors portraying famous celebrities from the 1980s, Yankovic himself made it clear that he asked to fill this scene with as many recognizable names and faces as possible. Weird Al said:
That’s how things work in show business. It’s about who you know as much as it is about what you know. And over the years, working on songs like “Eat It” or “Like a Surgeon,” you know Weird Al Yankovic has crossed paths with some of the most famous people on this planet. He probably also stays really close to them. Or, as Weird director Eric Appel added to the conversation about recruiting famous faces:
We have no idea how many people made it to the finals Strangebut the trailer for the film looks completely off track and like a really fun time at the cinema. We raved about the movie after seeing it at the Toronto International Film Festival, and other critics seemed to repeat our feelings. Maybe it’s because Daniel Radcliffe is half-naked throughout the comedy? Or maybe Weird just hits the sweet spot between fact and farce, where some of the biggest laughs can be found.
Find out for sure when Strange hits the Roku Channel on November 4th.