When the first image of Danny McBride in Alien: Covenant popped up online last month, we speculated he was likely playing the pilot because, well he appears to be chatting with Sir Ridley Scott on the bridge of a ship. As it turns out, that bit of speculation—based on literally zero evidence outside of looking at the picture—was spot-on, as McBride revealed in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Though most of the interview centers around his upcoming HBO series Vice Principals, McBride did spill some details on his Alien: Covenant role saying, "I’m the pilot of the spaceship Covenant, which is a colonization ship, searching for a planet where we might start life anew. I run the ship." I suppose I could buy him as the pilot of a ship, but certainly not as a captain. He seems like more of the smart ass type rather than the Idris Elba hardass type from Prometheus.
McBride also talked about shooting the film and how much it's differed from his expectations...
No, I didn't know if it would be all green screen, but most of the stuff is practical effects: when you're running from an alien it's really a dude in an alien suit coming after you! The sets are incredible and you're in them: We go through some inclement weather at one point on the spaceship and this whole gigantic set is on a gimbal, shaking up and down. You don't have to use your imagination.
Lastly, he hyped up his nearly 80-year old director, who appears to be every bit as cantankerous as you'd expect an old Irishman to be...
He's got so much energy, and he shoots everything with four cameras. We move through stuff fast. When I got here some people said, "Oh man, he does two takes, three takes, tops," but I love it. It creates this attitude on set of, like, "You better fucking come with it because you've got two shots — you better bring it."
I find it hard to believe he did more than one take of anything in Exodus: Gods and Kings. Man that movie was a pile of shit.