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Evan Rachel Wood Is the Year's Best Movie Supervillain in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Evan Rachel Wood Is the Year's Best Movie Supervillain in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

evan rachel wood
Funny or Die/The Roku Channel

She’s unhinged, she’s a supervillain, she’s award-worthy, she’s Madonna.

Forget Marvel and DC -- the year's best supervillain is the queen of pop in a biopic of polka singer Weird Al Yankovic.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is the rare, rare movie that is worth sitting through commercials for. It's the best comedy of the year, and one of the best in recent memory. And a large part of that is the brilliant comedic performances of its two leads, Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al and Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna.

Wood is normally known for dramatic roles, but in this unhinged comedy, she perfectly embodies this hilariously over-the-top villainous version of Madonna.

Wood has been a Madonna fan since she was little.

"There's footage of me as a very small child dancing around to "Material Girl" in a tutu and bunny ears and magic wand, so I feel like I've been preparing for this for some time," she says. Then, her mom showed her the "Like a Surgeon" video to give her her first introduction to Weird Al, so this all feels like beautiful kismet.

She's of course dressed like the icon before, but Weird gave her an all-new opportunity to revel in being Madonna, including wearing a lot of real vintage clothing from the era.

"I never wanted to take the clothes off at the end of the day," she says. "The first fitting that we had, we literally were skipping into work because we just knew we were about to have so much fun trying on these clothes and listening to The Immaculate Collection all day, and it never got old. It really never got old wearing the outfits or being called Madonna all day."

Even though she's intimidated by the idea of playing Madonna in a more traditional biopic (although we think she'd kill it), Wood thought Weird was the perfect way to scratch that itch. While the gestures and trademarks of Madonna are there, Wood was able to craft a perfectly ambitious and coldhearted antagonist to drag Al down in the movie.

The chemistry between Wood's Madonna and Radcliffe's Yankovic is off the charts. You could fry an egg on the heat that comes off from them.

"Daniel was so amazing to work with," Wood says. "Anytime you're put together with another child star or somebody that grew up in the industry, there is an unspoken sort of understanding that you have of one another and a professionalism because you've grown up on sets. So we were both just quick learners, dove in head first, and laughed a lot through it."

While Bond villains have their cats and pirate captains have their parrots, Madonna in this film has her bubblegum. Wood is constantly loudly chewing big wads of bubblebum and blowing bubbles. She emotes with her gum, she flirts with her gum, and she emphasizes with her gum.

"It's funny, we had to sacrifice the iconic Madonna gap in the teeth for the gum," she says. "I wanted to wear false teeth to really sell it, and we went over a bunch of different ways that we could do this, and it was like, 'you're not going to be able to chew gum if we use false teeth or blacken your teeth or do anything like that,' so the gum won. It was a character in itself."

The gum became its own character so much that she ended up improvising scenes with it, including when she pops a bubble on Al's face as a sexy, flirty move.

"I think I was just directed to just be all over Daniel in every way in that scene, so I had to think of new and creative ways to just mess with him while he was speaking to Dr. Demento," she laughs.

Wood doesn't often get to do fully comedic roles like this, so she fully leaned into the character.

"It was a blast. It's not often I get asked to do a comedy, so even just being able to sit there and do a scene with Rain Wilson was such a treat for me and such a departure from having to scream or cry or be dragged through the mud normally at work, so I loved it," she reveals.

"I was just taking it all in and having a good time, and we just kept saying on set," she says. "If you're not having a good time doing this movie, what are you doing here? Clearly, this is about having fun and paying homage to this awesome artist that we all know and love, so it was a great time."

While it was all about having fun, both Radcliffe and Wood (and the rest of the cast) never gave less than 110 percent in each scene. I would say that Wood deserves an Oscar for her role, except that this movie is actually eligible for Emmys instead. So Emmy voters, if you're reading this, please give Evan Rachel Wood the award she was born to win!

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is streaming on The Roku Channel.

RELATED | Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Is the Perfect Film For Outsiders

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.