Catching Up With... Jemaine Clement

Movies Features Jemaine Clement
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Catching Up With... Jemaine Clement

Anybody who's been exposed to  Jemaine Clement, also known as the Hiphopopotamus half of  Flight of the Conchords ,  knows that the New Zealand native has turned awkwardness into an art form on screen and MP3 alike. In his new film,  Gentlemen Broncos , Clement joins forces with Napolean Dynamite and Nacho Libre director Jared Hess to form a perfect storm of self-conscious absurdity, playing an egotistical sci-fi author who flaunts a vestigial Blue Tooth and hi-jacks adolescent fiction about yeast-empowered space rangers. So what's next for one of folk comedy's international figureheads? Clement offered Paste a few lucrative hints about the future of Conchords, his Rock Band debut and his follow-up to Eagle vs Shark with director Taika Waititi.

Paste : How did you become a part of Gentlemen Broncos?  Clement: I was in New Zealand, and it was in-between the first and second seasons of Flight of the Conchords. Occasionally, I get sent scripts and this one stood out to me as getting my sense of humor. So what happens in the process is, you read these things and if you like it, you can put yourself on tape--make a video of yourself and send away with it or you can meet with the director and have a conversation about it. I’ve had some of those things go very badly where I thought, I’m not right for this part, I think it should be an older guy. And I’ve had conversations with the director where I’ve been like, look, I’m not good. You should get Omar Sharif or someone like that. But Jared called me, and it was a low-budget film that was shot in a much shorter time span. So, the shooting would only take two weeks and I had that time off.