Stars just blowing smoke on 'Highness'

Beginning Friday, Danny McBride and James Franco co-star in another pot-friendly comedy, "Your Highness" -- three years after their pot classic "Pineapple Express."

I caught up with McBride at club Tao this weekend, where he partied with Jamie Foxx, and he assured me the casts of both films steered clear of real buds.

"We don't smoke a lot of weed on set -- not because we're scared to -- it just makes it so, so hard to shoot!" he says.

"If we smoked, we would probably get an hour or two of work done."

"Your Highness" has the funniest unrated film trailer in years. McBride and Franco portray brothers on a quest to save a kingdom. It co-stars Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel and Justin Theroux.

"We shot this in Belfast in Northern Ireland," McBride says. "It's not a bad place to be with Natalie Portman and James Franco. She was kind enough to show her ass in this movie."

He said he's going to make "every movie I can" with Franco -- who while acting these past five years has studied English, writing, film and poetry at UCLA, Columbia, NYU, Brooklyn College, Yale and Rhode Island School of Design.

"He's a man with a ton of passions. It's not a weird act or anything," McBride says. "I don't know when the dude sleeps. He's a workhorse."

Cruel critics joked Franco looked stoned while hosting the Oscars. But McBride says Franco is "pretty straight edge."

"You know, honestly, Franco doesn't drink. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't use drugs," McBride says.

"When we were shooting 'Your Highness' in Belfast, he was enrolled in school in New York. There was a teacher he had who said, 'If you're not in class Tuesday morning, you would get kicked out of the class.'

"So every Monday night, as soon as we finished shooting, he would get on a plane, fly to New York, go straight to class, fly back to the set and go back to work."

I asked if the action-adventure comedy could live up to the trailer.

"The movie is even (expletive) crazier. It's an hour and 40 minutes of just that. Prepare yourself!" he says. "It's a very filthy, dirty movie."

On camera, McBride is in demand as much as Franco. This summer, he shoots season two of the HBO hit "Eastbound & Down."

In August, he co-stars in "30 Minutes or Less" with Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari, helmed by "Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer.

In May, he voices the villain in "Kung Fu Panda 2."

"I'm a wolf. A big bad wolf," he says. "Not bad, huh?"

With that, McBride went off to enjoy his night at Tao, where he met Britney Spears, hung with Foxx, rapped on the microphone with hilarious "Eastbound"/"Pineapple Express" co-star Craig Robinson, and pitched the crowd:

"Gonna keep this short 'cause I'm drunk. Go see 'Your Highness.' "


Eric Benet took friends to topless Bare pool at Mirage on Sunday. ... Model Irina Shayk saw "O" Sunday with her mom and manager, snacking on popcorn and Diet Coke. ... Joan Collins vacationed at The Venetian this weekend, glamming a fedora and Chanel purse, riding the gondola with a girlfriend and shopping at Barneys. ... Tamra Barney from "Real Housewives of Orange County" will take younger boyfriend Eddie Judge to Tacos & Tequila on Wednesday for the Cougars and Cuervo party, featuring the earnestly named "Cougarita." Sightings are all cliches today.

Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at He blogs at