Hamish Blake reveals movie plansKarl Quinn
December 9, 2010 - 1:15PMBret McKenzie and Hamish Blake. Photo: Amelia Handscomb
The Hamish and Andy ‘‘what will they do next?’’ question has finally been answered — for one half of the popular duo at least.
Hamish Blake is set to star in a New Zealand feature film, Two Little Boys, which is due to start filming across the Tasman in January.
His co-star will be Bret McKenzie, better known to comedy fans as ‘‘Britt’’, one half of another famous comedy duo currently in hiatus, Flight of the Conchords.
‘‘It’s actually been in the pipeline for about a year, but all the pieces have only fallen into place in the past week,’’ Blake said this morning. Noting the difficulty of raising ‘‘the hundreds of dollars’’ it costs to make a film in Australia or New Zealand, Blake said his fee would be ‘‘a sturdy pair of boots, however much they cost’’.
Blake said he was excited to be working with McKenzie as he is a great admirer of Flight of the Conchords. He nominated the Hiphopapotamus sketch and the episode in which the New Zealand consulate tries to lure Barack Obama to visit ‘‘New Zealand Town’’ among his favourite moments in the two seasons of the Kiwi duo’s cult series for American cable channel HBO.
The pair will work together on Two Little Boys, which is billed as ‘‘an irreverent comedy’’.
According to publicity material, the film follows Nige (McKenzie) and Deano (Blake) on their ‘‘riotous misadventures as they struggle with their imploding long-term friendship, which has been put under pressure by an unfortunate incident involving a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian soccer star’’.
To be filmed in the picturesque Southland region of the south island, the film will be directed by Robert Sarkies, and is based on a novel by his brother Duncan. The two wrote the adaptation together.
Thrilled as he is to be taking on his first lead role in a film, Blake admits it raises certain delicate issues with regard to both his comedy partner, Andy Lee, and McKenzie’s, Jemaine Clement.
‘‘It’s a tough one. I don’t feel comfortable about cheating on Andy but now it’s out there,’’ Blake said. ‘‘We’ve always had an open comedic relationship, but it was for one-night stands only, no exchange of phone numbers. I’ve heard them (Lee and Clement) whispering on the phone, plotting to do their own movie to release on the same day to sink ours.’’
Asked if he was having any acting training in preparation for the role, Blake said: ‘‘Nothing formal but life’s a stage, therefore every waking moment is a rehearsal.’’
After a pause, he added: ‘‘This is exactly the sort of quote that will come back to bite me if all the reviews are, ‘Blake was terrible, didn’t seem to know what he was doing; he seemed to think that just by walking around he was preparing for the role’.’’
Making this film is only possible because Blake and Lee have just ended their five-day-a-week commitment to radio. They had always planned to take a break until February to mull over ideas for what comes next, before returning to the airwaves one day a week.
Blake insists there are still no definite plans, but TV remains ‘‘the most obvious candidate because there aren’t that many forms of media out there. We could write pamphlets and drop them off but that seems like a very time-consuming exercise.’’
Dropping back to just one day a week on radio will be ‘‘a painful adjustment because we love it so much’’, he said, but it was important to create some space to develop the next stage of their career.
‘‘You actually have to work quite hard to keep everything off your plate so that, if and when you do find the project you love simply because it makes you laugh and you’d love to do it, then you have a bit of a clear road ahead,’’ he said.
Hamish Blake's summer film flingUpdated: 13:52, Thursday December 9, 2010
Funnyman Hamish Blake is hoping his comedy partner-in-crime will forgive him his summer fling with Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie.
Blake and McKenzie announced on Thursday they will co-star in a film adaptation of Duncan Sarkies' novel Two Little Boys, with the six-week shoot to begin filming in New Zealand in January.
But Blake says he has no doubt his radio and TV co-host Andy Lee will pardon his betrayal.
'Andy, very lovingly, has given me permission and made me a packed lunch,' Blake told AAP on Thursday.
'Andy and I are very, very lucky in the fact we have a deeply loving comedic relationship, but it is also open at times.
'He has granted me leave to go and play with Bret. And I'm sure (Flight of the Conchords' co-star Jemaine Clement) has also granted Bret leave.'
Two Little Boys is a comedy about two recently estranged best mates, and an unfortunate incident involving 'a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian soccer star'.
It will be directed by the author's brother, Robert Sarkies.
The film's announcement will come as a surprise to many.
After Blake and Lee wrapped up their nightly drive-time show last week, it was widely believed the first announcement they would make would be about their joint plans for 2011.
But Blake said his involvement with Two Little Boys will not have any impact on his and Lee's plans - it just fitted perfectly into his summer holidays.
'Obviously, my main focus for next year is and always has been with Ando and what we'll put together - whether it's TV or something else,' Blake said, adding there was still no news of what those plans would be.
'But this just fell perfectly over the Christmas holidays.'
The radio duo won't be separated for much of the time - Lee will join Blake on set in New Zealand because the pair still have a Friday night drive-time show to perform.
'Andy and Jemaine will probably just start a band or something behind our backs called We Hate Bret And Hamish and do even better than the film,' Blake joked.
Blake said that if his decision to work with McKenzie is a surprise to some, the fact he will be making his first starring foray into film in New Zealand will be even more shocking.
'It's a real kick in the arse, isn't it? Not only have I defected to a different comedy team, I've defected countries,' he laughed.
'I knew (once we finished the daily radio show) Hollywood would come calling in the form of the New Zealand Film and Television Commission.'
Two Little Boys appealed to Blake because of the perfect timing, but especially because of team he will get to work with.
'A, it's a really funny story and, B, I get to play with someone who I was a massive fan of before I met him and even a bigger fan of him now that I do know Bret,' he said.
'It just so happens that one of my favourite Conchords episodes was written by Duncan as well. That's a pretty good comedy pedigree - you got me.'