"I read an article where you said it was awkward cos you were more famous than us": watch The Offspring's Dexter Holland interview the actor from the Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) video

The Offspring in 1999
(Image credit: Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

The Offspring had a huge hit with 1998’s Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), due in no small part to the heavy rotation that its video got on MTV. In the promo clip, we witness the “White Guy” as he bumbles his way through his Pretty Fly existence, driving round town in his lowrider car, trying to look cool in front of everyone but failing, interrupting a break-dance so he can show off his terrible moves and more. The part was played so well by 19-year-old actor Guy Cohen that the band took Cohen on tour with them just so he could come on and dance during the song.

Six years after that, Offspring frontman Dexter Holland sat down for a catch-up with Cohen in New York to find out what the actor had been up to in the intervening years. “I’ve done a couple of commercials, I’ve got a national one running right now, it’s a PSA to graduate high school, I play a drop out,” says Cohen, sounding very much like he might have been typecast by his Pretty Fly… turn. “It’s hard, there’s a lot of competition out there and there’s a lot of goofy-looking skinny white guys,” joked the actor.

The affable Holland expands on the theme. “We picked you cos you’re ghetto, you grew up in the ghettos of Seal Beach,” laughs the singer, referring to Cohen’s Californian home. “I was just a kid… got a C in my first acting class, didn’t think I was the most awesome actor or anything like that and 12 auditions later, I’m on national television,” replies Cohen.

Holland tells the actor he was immediately drawn to his performance when he sat down to watch the audition tapes. “I saw you and you were so out there and raw, in a good way, I was like, ‘That’s the guy’,” he says as footage rolls of Cohen’s audition, his “White Guy” schtick already down.

After that, the affable Holland stirs things up by telling Cohen that he read something less-than-complimentary the actor had said about the band. “You did the dance during Pretty Fly… so you were onstage for a minute and a half every night… I read an article where you said it was awkward cos you were more famous than us...” “Out of context!” retorts the actor, who goes on to inform Holland he’s currently doing improv work in New York and hopes to graduate to movies by the next time they meet.

Cohen’s IMDB credits since then suggest he never quite hit those heights, with only a few listed appearances but it’s tough when you’ve nailed an iconic role with your first go. Revisit the Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) video below, and then read this piece with Holland on how the song came about.

Watch the full interview between Dexter Holland and Guy Cohen below:

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.