Danny McBride Says Season 2 of 'The Righteous Gemstones' Is "Bigger, Nastier, and Crazier"

He talks cast additions and a lost Christmas special in a new interview

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Oct 1, 2021

Just over two years removed from the second season renewal of The Righteous Gemstones, Danny McBride has offered a first look at the forthcoming batch of episodes in a new interview.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, McBride shared that the cast and crew were three days into shooting the comedy's second season before the COVID-19 pandemic upended production schedules around the globe.

"Once COVID came I was just benched and sitting on my ass in my house for several months, so it was impossible to not open those scripts back up again," he explained. "And then the moment I did I basically rewrote the entire season. So you have not had Gemstones, but I've had more than enough fucking Gemstones. [Laughs]."

Those rewrites lead the second season of The Righteous Gemstones to pick up "an unspecified amount of time later" following the events of the first season, and McBride says the religious family are "in a pretty awesome place" to begin.

"I feel like the Gemstones have more to do with a massive corporation than they actually have to do with most Christians, and so like many corporations, COVID was very kind to the Gemstones," he explained. "They were able to deliver to the world a streaming service that allowed people to stay at home and watch Gemstone broadcasts. So while everyone around them suffered, they're in a better position than they've ever been in before."

In fact, some of those between-season events were due to explored in a Gemstones Christmas special. McBride revealed, "When we realized that [season 2] was going to be sidelined for last year, we thought that maybe we'd be able to come back and pull off an hour episode. HBO okayed that, and I sat down and wrote this 120-page script about what happened with Jesse and Gideon in Haiti, and then all of our [COVID] numbers started going through the roof in South Carolina right when we were going to shoot that, so we never did it. So I know what happened in Haiti but the rest of the world will never know!"

McBride also discussed the roles of new cast members Eric Andre, Jason Schwartzman and Eric Roberts in greater detail. As previously reported, Andre will play Texas megachurch pastor Lyle Lissons, while Schwartzman will play an investigative journalist named Thaniel. Roberts, meanwhile, will play Junior, an old friend of patriarch Eli Gemstone (Goodman).

Of Andre's character, McBride shared that "Jesse and him become quick friends because both of them are wanting to take the reins from their old man and lead the church, thinking they have better ideas than the other generation does."

Of Schwartzman's character Thaniel, McBride revealed that "At the start of the season we find out that there's another megachurch family that goes down in smoke due to some illicit behavior that is exposed by Jason's character. It turns out he has a vendetta against hypocritical evangelical preachers, so he's coming after some people in this field and trying to expose the truth about their backgrounds. And the Gemstones end up finding themselves in his crosshairs."

Junior is then described by McBride as "a face from the past who ends up mixing with the present, to a little controversy."

"This thing has been such a treat to write, and it probably kept me sane during quarantine. It was cool to be able to go and really blow this world up and make it bigger, nastier, and crazier," McBride concludes of the second season.

Read McBride's complete interview here.

The second season of The Righteous Gemstones — which also stars John Goodman, Edi Patterson. Adam Devine, Walton Goggins, Cassidy Freeman, Tony Cavalero, Tim Baltz and Greg Alan Williams — has yet to receive a premiere date.

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