Evan Rachel Wood Was Told To Play Madonna On Cocaine In Weird Al Movie

Evan Rachel Wood says she was instructed to play Madonna “on a lot of cocaine” by director Eric Appel in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. The film is a wildly exaggerated retelling of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s life story and stars Daniel Radcliffe as the master of musical parody. Upon its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Friday, both Wood and Radcliffe were met with praise for their “off-the-rails” interpretations of the two musicians.


Weird: The Al Yankovic Story began as a fake trailer that parodied well-known music biopics like Walk the Line and Bohemian Rhapsody. The trailer featured Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Weird Al before Appel decided to expand it into a feature film, teaming with Weird Al himself to write a full-length screenplay. While the titular role eventually went to Radcliffe for the film version, the screenplay kept the same zany, offbeat spirit that made the original parody trailer a success. Later, when Wood was cast as Madonna, she spent “weeks” binging interviews and music videos to prepare for filming.

Related: Everything We Know About Daniel Radcliffe's Weird Al Movie

Following the film’s premiere, Wood says that her version of Madonna is well in line with the “truly insane” nature of the rest of the film. Wood’s Madonna is “sociopathic,” and, just like everything else in the film, a totally twisted version of her real-life counterpart. Before filming one scene, Wood says Appel even directed her to be Madonna “on a lot of cocaine.” Read what she had to say to Entertainment Weekly below:

“Eric directed me in one scene to be Madonna on a lot of cocaine. She's very conniving and completely just using Weird Al, and everything she does is a pathological lie to get ahead in her career. So it was basically taking the genius that is Madonna and turning her into a sociopath that ends up running a drug cartel.”

Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al Yankovic with Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna

By default, a movie about the King of Parody needs to be as ridiculous as possible. Weird Al built and sustained a career around being entirely unserious, and it sounds like this biopic tries to honor that in every way that it can. Turning Madonna into a hyper-narcissistic drug lord feels just whacky enough for a movie looking to build a world through the eyes of the man behind “Like A Surgeon.”

That approach seems to have effectively done its job. Since its premiere, the biopic has been called witty, fun, hilarious, inventive – and yes, weird. At one time or another, all of these words have been used to describe Weird Al himself. A “traditional” biopic wouldn’t work as well for such a character, and Appel’s original parody trailer proved that he knew this. It’s likely why Yankovic co-signed Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and why Wood and Radcliffe seem to have had just as much fun making the film as early audiences had watching it.

Source: Entertainment Weekly