The ’90s and early aughts gave us a surfeit of now-classic stoner comedies like Half Baked, Friday, Pineapple Express, Dude, Where’s My Car?, and Dazed and Confused. The genre has cooled off a bit in recent years—perhaps as marijuana has become less taboo—but the satisfaction of lighting up and watching people on a screen attempt to navigate the world while high will never not be funny. Enter: Machine Gun Kelly and Mod Sun, who co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in Good Mourning, a new stoner comedy for the TikTok generation.
“If you’re lucky, you get one of those classic stoner comedies every five years. That was the journey we set out on,” Mod Sun told The Daily Beast about their raucous and ridiculous film, which is in theaters and on demand May 20.
MGK plays London Clash, a fictional TV star who spirals on the day of a huge audition when he wakes up to a presumed breakup text from his famous actress girlfriend (played by Becky G) that reads, “Good mourning. I wish I didn’t have to do this through text.” A bunch of drug-fueled hijinks follow, including but not limited to: a house fire, getting stitches from a stalker, replacing human ashes with marijuana ashes, a party at YG’s house, getting arrested, and cameos from the likes of Danny Trejo, Amber Rose, and Tommy Lee.
Below, Mod Sun breaks down some of the wildest and weirdest moments from the movie, teases another twist ending, and explains how Megan Fox inspired it all.
The movie was inspired by a real text that Megan Fox once sent MGK.
Shortly after MGK and Fox started dating in 2020, she flew to a remote location in Europe to shoot a movie. With limited cell service, she sent her new beau a text “that he interpreted as a breakup text,” according to Mod.
“He started spiraling and he hit me up and he’s like, ‘Yo, I just need to keep my mind off this, I don’t know what’s going on, I can’t tell if we’re breaking up or we’re done. Let’s write a movie about it,’” Mod recalls. “And me, I was just being a really good friend, so I was like, ‘Yeah dude, whatever to keep your mind off this.’”
For the next month, the two spent “every day, from sun up to sun down” writing the script, and eventually committed to making it, despite their hectic schedules.
“As soon as it started revealing itself that we were going to be able to do this, we were both in the thick of being very busy,” Mod explains. “The world was about to start opening up again, and we were both about to go on tour and work these new albums of ours, and I think we just had a moment where we were thinking about our future selves and being like, dude, if we say no to this or say let’s do it next year, it may never happen and our future selves would be so mad at us.”
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Could Machine Gun Kelly actually play Batman?
In the movie, London has to decide between pursuing love or landing a life-changing role in the next Batman movie—and according to his unfailingly supportive BFF Mod, the rapper-turned-rockstar actually could give Robert Pattinson a run for his money.
“Ask me this two years ago and I’d be like, hell no, what are you talking about? But honestly, what surprised me most in this film was the well-rounded actor that Kells actually is,” Mod says. “And I think that’s what it takes to play an iconic role, is someone that can be well-versed and cover the emotional spectrum.”
And while MGK certainly won’t be competing for an Oscar anytime soon with Good Mourning (a Razzie maybe?), Mod’s right in that he does have some pretty stellar screen presence and comedic timing.
“People don’t know that Machine Gun Kelly! They only know this serious person. He’s one of the goofiest people I’ve ever met and it’s so great to have the world be able to see that.”
Megan Fox doesn’t play MGK’s girlfriend in the movie because they wanted to make her “one of the boys.”
Considering MGK and Fox’s real-life romance—you know, the one involving blood-drinking and tongue-touching and thorny rings—you’d assume they would play each other’s love interests on screen as well. In Good Mourning, however, Latin pop star Becky G plays London’s girlfriend, Apple, while Fox plays London’s super-chill, pink-haired, weed-loving roommate, Olive (they’re fans of food names, apparently).
“There’s so much of the movie that is real life, that we wanted to take it away from seeing it through that lens. We wanted to show Megan in a role that you don’t typically see Megan Fox play,” Mod says about the decision to cast Fox as Olive. “I mean, you get to know Megan and she’s actually very goofy and very funny. But you have to get to know her to see that.
“So, me being able to have that view of her, it was just like, we want to show Megan in that light and have her be part of the boys,” he continues. “Because that’s how I picture her—they had just started dating at the beginning of the pandemic, and she became part of the gang and was always around. That’s how I saw her, as one of the boys.”
Unsurprisingly, Pete Davidson improvised everything.
“I’m not even kidding you when I say every single one,” Mod says when asked how many of Davidson’s jokes were improvised. He plays Berry (yes, with an “e”), a hotel valet who desperately wants to be part of London’s posse. Unsurprisingly, the SNL comedian steals pretty much every scene he’s in.
“That is the beauty of working with true comedians,” Mod says. “Look, I’m very new to this world of acting and directing and set life and all that. I think that what I’ve seen, just from being around it, is that people come to set with the script memorized and trying to make the script real life. And then there’s this side of comedians that are like, look man, we know what you’re really going to want in the edit, and what you’re going to want is a different take every single time. Watching Pete give a different take every time, he would say something totally different. And the same with Whitney Cummings. It was brilliant to watch.”
MGK and Mod Sun have some serious power of manifestation.
Mod sincerely believes he and MGK were ahead of the curve while writing some of Good Mourning’s craziest bits.
“Him trying to get the role of Batman…there wasn’t a new Batman at the time. We didn’t even know that there was a new Batman being made,” he explains. “And the whole ‘Fake Drake’ thing, there was no fake Drake person going viral when we made Fake Drake in this movie. It’s really crazy how much it manifested.”
One thing from the movie that unfortunately has not happened yet? The invention of the “flower shower,” which London introduces in one of the first scenes as “the coolest thing that money could buy,” and which is essentially a shower that fills up not with steam, but with—you guessed it—smoke.
“We totally hatched that in our heads,” Mod says. “That was like, our stoner dream item for sure.”
Avril Lavigne, Mod Sun’s IRL fiancée, caught the acting bug after her cameo.
Early on in Good Mourning, Mod’s perennially high sidekick character insists to his buddies that Avril Lavigne wrote “Sk8er Boi” about him. It’s a throwaway bit, but one that circles back around when, toward the end of the movie, Lavigne herself spots Mod in a hotel hallway, furiously makes out with him, and flirtily tells him, “You know I wrote ‘Sk8er Boi’ about you.” And in another example of the power of manifestation, Mod says he wrote the bit before he started dating Lavigne.
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
“It’s at two totally different ends of the movie, and you almost forget about that joke. And then when it connects, it just hits so hard. That was one of the most fun parts, and it’s so funny because we actually wrote that whole bit before myself and Avril started dating, so it’s just so crazy how it worked out,” he explains, adding that if Lavigne has her way, we’ll be seeing a lot more of her on screen. “She truly is a great actress, and she got the bug for it while on set. She’s like, yo, I want to do more of this.”
The Dennis Rodman cameo happened super last-minute.
Good Mourning has no shortage of crazy cameos—there’s Danny Trejo playing a caveman method actor, Trippie Redd throwing water balloons, and Amber Rose selling weed—but the most outrageous one might be Dennis Rodman. In the movie, London confronts Rodman at an airport after assuming the former NBA great is dating Apple—which doesn’t end well after Rodman’s security guard responds by punching London square in the face.
“All the way up until the day before the shoot, it was just ‘pro athlete.’ That’s what it said on the call sheet, that’s what it said in the script. Everyone else, we basically wrote the cameo for the person. But we didn’t know who to have for ‘pro athlete,’” Mod explains, adding that he left the decision for who to cast in the role to MGK, the bigger sports nut of the two.
“He kept swinging and missing trying to get people locked in. So literally the day before, the production company and everyone are freaking out, and he’s like, ‘Don’t worry man, just trust me, I’ve got this under control.’ And then he’d turn to me and he’d be like, ‘Dude, I have no fucking idea what we’re going to do.’”
The day before the airport scene was supposed to be shot, Mod had a lightbulb moment. “I was like, bro, I only know one athlete and it’s Dennis Rodman,” Mod continues. “I have a Dennis Rodman tattoo, OK? Because Dennis Rodman is one of the truest weirdo people we’ve ever had, and I am a fan of the weird; the rare human beings who have been on this planet. Dennis Rodman is a one of one, a rare one. We ended up getting on the phone with him. I swear he was at a pool party and couldn’t hear us at all, but he said, ‘All right, I’ll be there tomorrow.’”
There’s another (probably way more confusing) ending out there.
Consider this a spoiler alert if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of Good Mourning. Things come to a complete, trippy circle in the final moments, when Apple and London accidentally crash their cars into each other as they’re on their way to meet up and make up. They wake up in the same hospital room, where Apple says to her bandaged-up boyfriend, “Good mourning.”
“There is a whole other cut that one day may come out that has this insane twist that no one was understanding. Originally, we wanted it to be this giant moving picture that was like, we were shooting a TV episode the entire time we were watching this movie,” Mod explains. “We fought so hard for it, but it did not land. And we learned before shooting this, from other directors, that the movie reveals itself to you as you’re making it. So we kind of left it open to interpretation in the final edit.
“But we set it up to a point where it was like, you know the movie being called Good Mourning, essentially it’s saying ‘good sadness,’ you know?” he continues. “And there’s a duality to everything, that even in the moments of sadness and despair and you think the world is ending and everything is going wrong, that there is a reason for it. That’s kind of the ending that it landed at.”
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