After several acting roles in the last few years, rocker Machine Gun Kelly — also known by his real name, Colson Baker — has gone fully Hollywood, co-writing, co-directing and starring in new stoner comedy Good Mourning.
The idea for the film, which he created alongside friend and musician Mod Sun, “came from a gnarly spiral,” Machine Gun Kelly told The Hollywood Reporter at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere on Thursday. He was in the early stages of dating now-fiancée Megan Fox, who co-stars in the film, when he misinterpreted a text from her right before she was headed overseas to work on a project and would not have cell service for three weeks.
He freaked out to friends, thinking their relationship was over, and as a distraction he and Mod Sun wrote the situation into a movie — cue Good Mourning, in which Machine Gun Kelly plays a movie star whose world is turned upside down by a breakup text, and he must choose between pursuing love and landing a life-changing role in a major motion picture. And with a cast that also that includes Pete Davidson, Whitney Cummings, Dove Cameron, Zach Villa and Becky G, drug use is also a key part of the story.
Inspired by classic stoner comedies Half Baked, Grandma’s Boy and Pineapple Express, “we wanted to make one because it felt like a void for the next generation, there weren’t any being made,” Machine Gun Kelly said. “Outside of the fact that it’s inspired from a real place, we’re also super-stoners so we felt appropriate to step in as writers and directors and represent for the weed community.” Confirmed Mod Sun, “We wanted to invent something that can live on in the stoner archives.”
That also meant, of course, there was plenty of marijuana on set.
“This wasn’t like a bag, this was a full palette of weed and every utensil and accoutrement you would need to smoke it,” Machine Gun Kelly said.
At one point, the team was smoking so much that they set off the fire alarm in the house they were shooting in, triggering sprinklers that soaked the camera equipment. Mod Sun added there was so much weed that “people got in trouble, the production almost got shut down multiple times because of that. They were very like, ‘We’re not smoking no fake weed on here.’” That attitude also carried over to the premiere, with Machine Gun Kelly lighting up a joint while posing on the red carpet.
The film’s family-and-friends atmosphere led to Machine Gun Kelly directing Fox (“I love any time she can show off how funny she is”) and best friend Davidson, whose character was originally written as just a few lines but became a central figure “because he’s so fucking funny, we couldn’t not keep everything that he was saying,” the star remembered.
Machine Gun Kelly and Davidson have collaborated on a number of past projects, including MGK’s most recent album and 2019 film Big Time Adolescence, and they work so well together that he teased, “Maybe we should thank Ben Affleck and Matt Damon because they set the bar and we were like, ‘Hmm, maybe we should do that.’”
And despite the star-studded cast, including a number of cameos (all of whom the duo personally called and pitched) like Danny Trejo and Dennis Rodman, there was one actor who remained elusive to the two musicians’ plans: Brad Pitt.
“Cols was very sure and certain that we were going to get Brad Pitt to play a small cameo in this — I don’t think any of us believed it,” said Mod Sun, while MGK is still holding out hope. “I still think he’s in there somewhere,” he joked. “Maybe he’s in the background, just have to zoom in on every shot and see if Brad Pitt’s there.”
Good Mourning will be in theaters and on demand May 20.