James Van Der Beek to star as Diplo in new Viceland series, ‘What Would Diplo Do?’
Diplo’s knack for expanding his brand across different forms of media is as strong as his proclivity for exploring diverse genres. From TV commercials to his immensely active social media presence, the dance music magnate leaves no cultural stone unturned. Now, it seems that Diplo has set his sights on a new frontier – syndicated television.
Viceland has ordered six pilot episodes of What Would Diplo Do?, a scripted, comedic take on the prolific producer’s outlandish lifestyle starring James Van Der Beek in the titular role. The series was inspired by last year’s Mad Decent promo film A Day in the Life. When the network surprised the team with a pitch for the series, all parties were quick to jump on board.
In addition to assuming the starring role, Van Der Beek will serve as a showrunner and executive producer alongside Diplo, Kevin Ksatsu, and director Brandon Dermer. Though the show will be fully scripted, there will be room for improv within the creative team.
Both Van Der Beek and Diplo are known for their self-deprecating meta-humor and the show will likely feature much of the same.
“I’ve enjoyed deconstructing my own image quite a bit over the years, but to have the chance to do it with a global megastar like Diplo who’s letting us to do something fun and ridiculous that few people have the balls to allow is crazy,” says Van Der Beek. “The show doesn’t take itself too serious, but it’s not cynical.”
What Would Diplo Do? will also feature input and oversight from Viceland co-president, Oscar winning filmmaker, and Kanye video director Spike Jonze. Jonze said the following regarding the program’s origins:
“When James was in the office a few weeks ago, he told me the story lines he had sketched out, they were, of course, funny; one even got me emotional which made it that much more funny. This idea has gotten inside James which makes me really excited to see what he makes and happy to have it on our channel.”
Network execs have described the show as “hilarious” and “weird,” adding that Van Der Beek’s interpretation of Diplo is like “a modern cipher into which we can read the whole of human existence…or not.”
View the video that started it all below.