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Miley Cyrus’ 'phallic room' of sex toys made her a perfect fit for 'Drive-Away Dolls'

Spoiler alert! This story contains plot details about “Drive-Away Dolls” (now in theaters).

Last year, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” became the first Oscar best-picture winner to feature an epic battle over butt plugs.

Now, “Drive-Away Dolls” is breaking new ground with a crime caper centered around dildos. In the offbeat comedy, lesbians Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Jamie (Margaret Qualley) embark on a road trip down South. Along the way, they're pursued by gangsters searching for a top-secret case of sex toys molded from the genitalia of blackmailed politicians and tycoons. The raunchy road-trip movie is directed by Oscar winner Ethan Coen ("No Country for Old Men"), who co-wrote the film with wife Tricia Cooke, who is queer.

The star-studded film features Beanie Feldstein and Colman Domingo, along with a trio of A-list scene-stealers. Coen and Cooke tell us how the cameos came about:

How a golf caddie was cast as a young Matt Damon

For Ethan Coen, it was a no-brainer casting Matt Damon as a desperate, dildo-hunting senator: "Wouldn't that occur to everybody?"
For Ethan Coen, it was a no-brainer casting Matt Damon as a desperate, dildo-hunting senator: "Wouldn't that occur to everybody?"

Damon has a small but integral role as Senator Gary Channel, a Florida conservative whose career could be ruined after a custom dildo of his penis falls into the wrong hands. Damon starred in the Coen brothers’ “True Grit,” but it was his performance in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” that convinced Cooke he should be Channel.

“He plays such a good kind of imbecile in that,” Cooke says. “We thought, ‘That’s perfect. He’d probably relish playing a dopey Republican senator.’”

Matt Damon at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany earlier this month.
Matt Damon at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany earlier this month.

A younger Channel appears in a psychedelic flashback with Tiffany (Miley Cyrus), a hippie who makes plaster casts of her lovers’ junk and turns them into dildos. Coen was adamantly against using de-aging technology, so producer Robert Graf sought out someone who resembled a young Damon. He eventually found Jordan Zatawski, a first-time actor.

“Bob was out golfing and the caddie said: ‘You know, a lot of people have told me I look like Matt Damon. If you need someone who looks like him, let me know,’” Cooke says. “And Bob was like, ‘Well, actually, we do.’”

Adds Coen: “Because of the lava lamps and lighting (in that scene), he’s just a great Matt Damon. He looks just like him!”

Miley Cyrus brought a real-life passion for sex toys to 'Drive-Away Dolls'

"Flowers" singer Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month.
"Flowers" singer Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The two-time Grammy winner makes a brief cameo in two trippy sequences of the film: dancing as Tiffany in flower-child attire before climbing on top of a hunky, awestruck Channel. Because of her Happy Hippie Foundation supporting young LGBTQ+ people, the filmmakers thought Cyrus might be interested in doing a queer movie.

“We sent her the script cold and she just saw herself having fun in it,” Coen says. “And then when we met her, she said, ‘You asked me to do this because you know I’m into Cynthia Plaster Caster, right?’ The real Cynthia Plaster Caster was an American artist who cast rock stars’ (penises).”

Playing a dildo aficionado was an oddly perfect fit for Cyrus, who has mentioned in interviews her unique home décor. “Apparently, she has a whole room in her house devoted to penises,” Cooke says. “She has a phallic room in her house. We didn’t know that at the time.”

“She was like, ‘You didn’t see it profiled in Town & Country?’” Coen recalls.

Pedro Pascal loved his gruesome cameo as a dildo collector

"He enjoyed making faces for his decapitated head," Tricia Cooke says of Pedro Pascal.
"He enjoyed making faces for his decapitated head," Tricia Cooke says of Pedro Pascal.

Pascal appears in the film’s opening scene as Santos, a dildo collector who's brutally murdered with a corkscrew and pen by mobsters. Later in the film, Jamie and Marian discover that their rental car not only has Santos’ prized briefcase of dildos but his decapitated head.

The filmmakers pitched Pascal on the cameo and “he was totally into it,” Coen says. “He’s only there briefly, but his head made it into lots of scenes after he left us. I sent him a picture of (actor) Dirk Bogarde: perfectly groomed, except for the little lock of hair bouncing on his forehead. I told Pedro he was (playing) the suave guy, and he said, ‘OK, I understand.’“

Pascal’s disembodied dome is employed to frequently comic effect. (At one point, it’s flung across a street.) The “Last of Us” actor was already off shooting another film when his prop noggin was created, meaning “he had to have his head cast remotely,” Coen recalls. “He Zoomed in and auditioned faces that this guy might have made when he was having his head cut off.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Drive-Away Dolls' movie: Matt Damon, Miley Cyrus, Pedro Pascal cameo