Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

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Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Venus » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:31 am

Jemaine Clement Interview: A Star on The Rise
By Krystal Clark

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This weekend, audiences will have an opportunity to see Jemaine Clement like they’ve never seen him before, as an asshole writer. He stars in the new Jared Hess comedy Gentlemen Broncos, in which he takes on the voice, the hair, and the high waist jeans of Dr. Ronald Chevalier. The good doctor is a washed up sci-fi/fantasy author who steals a hapless teenager’s work and tries to push it off as his own. With a role like that how could he not be interested?

In our one on one interview with Clement not only did we discuss his work in Broncos, but his hit comedy series Flight of the Conchords, his character in the upcoming animated feature Despicable Me, and the one person in Hollywood he considers his comedic idol.

Check out our interview…


Jemaine Clement is a talented comedy writer, so in order for him to be interested in doing a film, it’s all about the script. For Gentlemen Broncos, he explained that the script was different, but in a good way…

I liked the script I thought it was really funny, and it stood out as being different from a lot of other scripts I’ve read. Different doesn’t necessarily mean better, but it’s really encouraging that there are alternatives to the usual story. And I was also a big fan of his two previous movies.


There are a lot of funny scenes in Broncos, but I had to know which was his favorite to film. Without giving too much away, it turns out he enjoyed shooting a certain confrontation scene that involved him being assaulted with a fluffy object.

It seems ridiculous, but I really liked the way it turned out. It’s when he’s knocking me over with this tiny pillow, which seems like a physical impossibility, but it’s actually funny.


He also spoke about the “Rocky Mountain Couture” that his character wore in the film, where snug jeans, turtle necks, and vests were the norm. He stated, “In Jared’s mind the pants can never really be high enough.”

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After an experience of that nature, Clement took on a drastically different role in the upcoming animated feature Despicable Me. The film centers on an evil super-villain who tries to steal the Moon, but his plans are interrupted by three orphan girls who see him as a prospective father figure. According to the basic description from the movie, Clement voices a character named Tim, a fact the actor seemed a bit unsure about.

[Laughs] Tim? I don’t know where Tim comes from, maybe it is called Tim. That must be on IMDB. It’s actually more than one character, he’s a clone, so they all kind of have the same voice. There are many characters that are all exactly the same, and I do an alien accent in an undefinable language.


The super-villain in Despicable Me is voiced by Steve Carell, and even though they hadn’t met during filming, Clement did run into the actor and several of his other co-stars on the awards circuit.

Yeah, I’ve met quite a few of them, just through different things. I met Steve Carell at the Emmy’s, he came up and congratulated us about the show nominations, which I would never do [laughs]. Kristen Wiig’s in it, she was on our show, and she’s really funny. I’m a big fan of hers.


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The show he’s referring to is the hit HBO comedy Flight of the Conchords. It received a boatload of Emmy nods for their past season, earning a spot in most of the major categories including Lead Actor in a Comedy for Clement.

I think one of the most insane jobs in comedy is probably writing. I think that’s the one we were the most proud of that we were nominated for last year. It was particularly flattering, because it was four 30 Rock’s and us, and we managed to get in there. I was very proud of that.


With all the accolades and the growing attention, it makes you wonder, who makes Jemaine laugh? Who’s his comedic inspiration as not only an actor but a writer?

I really admire Larry David. I think he’s one of my favorite writers. He breaks a lot of the normal rules of comedy in what a circumstance should be like. A lot of writers like his show [comedy writers], even though in a way it’s a formula, it’s always cleverly done. He’s probably my sitcom writing hero. Another show I really loved was The Garry Shandling Show, and I like a lot of British comedy.


After speaking with Jemaine you learn pretty quickly that there’s more behind those glasses than you think. He’s a talented actor, writer, and musician who’s well on his way to becoming something bigger than any of us can imagine. Maybe one day he’ll find himself working side by side with his idol, or finally winning an Emmy for his comedic writing. Either way, with a hit show under his belt, and a star-making performance in Gentlemen Broncos, who knows what the future holds.

You can see Jemaine in Gentlemen Broncos, when it opens in theaters everywhere October 30th.


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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby funny schipperke » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:41 am

Wow... Jemaine has been viry viry busy lately with all this movie promotion! It must get tiring answering a lot of the same questions over and over, but he's always so polite and gracious and gives very thoughtful answers.
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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby LauraK » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:44 am

Jemaine wrote:I liked the script I thought it was really funny, and it stood out as being different from a lot of other scripts I’ve read. Different doesn’t necessarily mean better, but it’s really encouraging that there are alternatives to the usual story. And I was also a big fan of his two previous movies.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement....but I love that he never looks for the formulaic roles, but rather ones that are quirkier and very interesting.

Jemaine wrote:[Laughs] Tim? I don’t know where Tim comes from, maybe it is called Tim. That must be on IMDB. It’s actually more than one character, he’s a clone, so they all kind of have the same voice. There are many characters that are all exactly the same, and I do an alien accent in an undefinable language.

I so can't wait to hear these aliens speak, lol.

Krystal wrote:After speaking with Jemaine you learn pretty quickly that there’s more behind those glasses than you think. He’s a talented actor, writer, and musician who’s well on his way to becoming something bigger than any of us can imagine.

Not too big..... :worry:
I think it just may happen despite his desire that it doesn't.....he has that "something..." he's really magnetic in character and in person.

Another great interview- Thanks, Venus!! :D

A Bloody Great Day for Fans, lol!
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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Venus » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:57 am

Yeah Jemaine has been busy with all the promotion! I agree, Laura, it is very cool that he chooses quirky roles for himself. Very interesting to hear about his character(s) in 'Despicable Me', can't wait to hear and see them :D
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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Peaches » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:05 am

I think he'll still stay 'under the radar', it's not like it's a film with Ben Stiller or anything.

And he's even less well known over here, which is good (for my obsession anyway...) :D
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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Jinnerz » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:40 pm

awe I really like the end of that interview; very hopeful and positive. i like the 'more behind the glasses' comment.
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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Jinnerz » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:43 pm

wow as I was posting that last one the local lunch news show in Vancouver just commented on a Gentlemen Broncos trailer, and the entertainment guy said "oh and it has Jemaine Clement from FotC in it - funny guy."
hehe love it. and two days ago the breakfast version of the show played Robots as they went to commercial. makes me so happy.
Oh, We'd just grab a sandwich and put it in our mouths. That's the only way to have sandwiches.
Oh Jenny, tell me do you still walk? Do you still get into sandwiches in a big way?

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Re: Jemaine Clement: A Star On The Rise

Postby Faith » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:47 pm

LauraK wrote:
Jemaine wrote:[Laughs] Tim? I don’t know where Tim comes from, maybe it is called Tim. That must be on IMDB. It’s actually more than one character, he’s a clone, so they all kind of have the same voice. There are many characters that are all exactly the same, and I do an alien accent in an undefinable language.

I so can't wait to hear these aliens speak, lol.




Me too. I really want to hear what this alien accent sounds like.


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