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For more on Alien: Covenant and Danny McBride, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, or available here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott’s return to the franchise that made him famous, invades theaters this weekend. Buckle up.

It’s, naturally, a scary movie full of dramatic moments. So you’d be forgiven if you were initially puzzled by a major Covenant player being Danny McBride, who is generally known for his comedic work in shows such as Eastbound & Down and Vice Principles. In fact, even the actor was surprised when he first got the call that Ridley Scott wanted to meet with him. “I said, ‘Are you sure he has the right guy? He wants me?'” McBride says with a laugh. “My agent was pretty mum about what the movie was and I went in to talk to him which was a thrill. We sit down, he’s talking about Kubrick, it was awesome and exactly the conversation I’d want to have with a master of film like that. But then all of a sudden he pulls his chair over and brings out this book with all these illustrations and conceptual artwork for a spaceship and xenomorphs, and all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh f—. He’s talking to me about Alien.”

But there might be a simple explanation for Scott taking note of McBride — and of another Alien: Covenant cast mate, James Franco. “Ridley is a fan of Pineapple Express,” says McBride. “Seth Rogen told me that after the movie came out, that he had heard through the grapevine that Ridley was a fan. I always thought it was really funny.”

Emerald City - Season 1
Credit: Fox; Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Equally amusing to McBride was showing up to the sci-fi set and seeing Pineapple Express costar James Franco. “Here I am on this film where I’m still trying to figure out, do I belong here? and I’m finally getting my sea legs and getting confident about what I’m doing and then here’s James Franco showing up,” McBride laughs.

Alien: Covenant arrives in theaters Friday.

Alien: Covenant
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