Clark Duke says ‘Arkansas’ “scratched that itch” of telling a story told about his Dixie Mafia-like grandfather

(LOS ANGELES) — While some production studios have pulled back on releasing their new movies due to COVID-19, Clark Duke is going full steam ahead with his. His new movie Arkansas is out today.

Duke, who based the movie on a book of the same name, tells ABC Audio why he felt a connection with the material. “It’s about like the small time crime boss in the south,” he explains. “My grandfather was a Dixie Mafia character in real life. And I’d always want to write something about him in that world.”

You might know Duke from The Office or Hot Tub Time Machine, but Arkansas is poised to catapult him into a new tier of stardom based on the talent who signed up for the project.

The film stars Liam Hemsworth, John Malkovich and Vince Vaughn — a pretty impressive cast for his first film.

As for the characters they play, Duke says Vaughn’s closely resembles his Dixie Mafia grandfather. “The character Frog played by Vince Vaughn in the movie kind of thematically like scratched that itch that I had to write something about my grandfather,” he revealed.

As for the rest of the cast, he assured ABC Audio that making a film containing such star power didn’t intimidate him.  Well, except maybe one guy.

“Malkovich,” admits the 34-year-old. “I was a little star struck, to be honest.”  Clark also added that Malkovich exudes a “very intimidating presence” when you first meet him, but “he’s like secretly the funniest guy in the room” and “the nicest guy.”

Besides an cast of A-listers, The Office alum adds that this is the perfect movie to add to one’s quarantine watchlist because, “you haven’t really seen in gangster movie set in the South.”

He also jokes “I would consider a personal favor.”

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