Two months ago, Jeremy Konner, a cocreator of the show “Drunk History,” got a call from Funny or Die’s editor-in-chief, Owen Burke.
Johnny Depp was attached to play Donald Trump for Funny or Die and wanted Konner to direct it. There was a catch, though: The whole 65-page script would be shot in just four days.
“Obviously, I had no choice,” Konner told Business Insider of how the Donald Trump biopic parody that debuted Wednesday came about.
Titled “Funny or Die Presents: Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” the 50-minute spoof written by the Onion’s Joe Randazzo, which has the distinct look of a VHS recording, follows the presidential hopeful’s time as a New York City real-estate tycoon during the 1980s. It is filled with loads of cameos (Patton Oswalt, Ron Howard, Alf, and even the kid from the Oscar-nominated “Room”) and ’80s references, not to mention Depp playing Trump as an egomaniac who disrespects women and minorities every chance he gets.
The movie went live on the Funny or Die website Wednesday morning and has hundreds of thousands of views already as of this writing.
According to Konner, Depp and Funny or Die joined forces through a typical Hollywood meeting between two power players. The creator of the humor-video site, Adam McKay (also director of “The Big Short”), and Depp had a meeting months ago to talk over projects, when the “Art of the Deal” idea was pitched to Depp, who agreed to do it.
The actor’s dedication elevated what Konner thought would be a spoof on the level of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.
“He didn’t just show up with an incredible Donald Trump voice – he came with his team of hair and makeup people who put him though hours of prosthetics every day,” Konner said.
According to Konner, Depp was in the makeup chair for two to four hours every day to become Donald Trump.
“We were not expecting that,” Konner acknowledges. “He brought the Tim Burton level.”
Though Depp and the comedians added a lot of improvisation, parts of Trump’s very real best-selling memoir/advice book “The Art of the Deal,” which the Republican presidential front-runner frequently touts on the campaign trail, made it into the spoof.
The scene in which Rob Huebel, playing the owner of the swanky Le Club, asks Trump to promise him to never sleep with the wives of other club members is really in the book.
But for Konner, the biggest worry wasn’t staying true to the book, but whether Trump would fade away from the presidential race by the time the video went online.
“Boy, was I nightmarishly wrong about that,” he said. “I mean, some of our hardest jokes look tame from what the real Trump has said or does or tweeted the last few months.”
Is he curious what Trump thinks of his comedic spin on “The Art of the Deal”?
“I am, but my gut tells me this will not be very shocking to him,” Konner said. “I can’t see this affecting him.”
Watch the movie here, and see the trailer below: