Hamish Blake reveals movie plans
December 9, 2010 - 1:15PM
Bret 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 fling
Updated: 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.'
‘‘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.’
"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.’’
"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."
Great H wrote:God I hope not. (You jest right?) It's about as far away from Auckland as it is physically possible to get while still actually staying in the country! It has it's own charms, I suppose... *cough*kipples wrote:It is just around the corner from Auckland isn't it?
So your Bro's trip is definitely on? Which means YOUR trip is definitely on? Enquiring minds want to know!
mohumbhai mania wrote:I am now beyond excited for this movie. Thank you Sherry, thank you VIcky, thank you Bret and Hamish! And thank you Duncan Sarkies!
Hamish takes a Kiwi flight with Bret
* Neala Johnson Movie reporter
* From: Herald Sun
* December 10, 2010 12:00AM
GOODBYE Hamish and Andy, hello Hamish and Bret.
Melbourne funnyman Hamish Blake has a new partner in comedic crime - Bret McKenzie of New Zealand musical duo Flight of the Conchords.
The pair will star together in the film Two Little Boys, which will begin shooting on NZ's South Island next month.
"We're both cheating on our comedy partners, but it makes it oddly comfortable that we're both cheating," Blake told the Herald Sun yesterday.
"Andy hasn't spoken to me, he has locked himself in his room and is not eating. No, in all seriousness, Andy's fine, we have an open comedy relationship."
It will be Blake's first leading role in a film. He previously appeared, briefly, as a hotel concierge in Peter Helliar's comedy I Love You Too.
Two Little Boys is a comedy about lifelong mates who fall out.
"It's a funny story about two guys who are not the sharpest and they end up in a bit of a bad situation," Blake explained.
s"Originally, my character was a New Zealander but I said, 'Look there's no way I'm going to pull off a New Zealand accent for this whole film, it's gonna be embarrassing' so it's been slightly rewritten as an Aussie who moved to NZ as a youngster.
"I've also been trying to make my character a hobbit, and the director keeps asking me not to."
While Blake and Andy Lee are still keeping their plans for 2011 under wraps, Blake is using a short break in their schedule to follow his long-held acting dream.
"When I was in kindergarten I played the lead role of Brumby Jack in the end-of-year musical, and that's when I got bitten by the acting bug. My wooden horse work probably wasn't as good as Hugh Jackman's in Australia, but still, something changed within me on that day.
"It has been something I've been keen to pursue, and because it's a little over-the-summer side-project while Andy and I are working on other things, it fits in perfectly."
Blake was last week knighted (with a plastic sword) by U2's Bono on stage at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl during a live broadcast of his radio show with Lee. But he believes Two Little Boys could be an even bigger career milestone.
"This will be hopefully what Charlotte's Web was for Dakota Fanning. That's how big I'm aiming."
Distributor Hopscotch expects Two Little Boys to be ready for a late 2011 release.
Conchords star flies south for new film
Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie - fresh from writing songs for The Muppet Movie – has landed one of his biggest film roles, in a comedy to be shot in Southland next month.
The Wellington actor and musician will star in Two Little Boys alongside Australian comedian Hamish Blake, best known for the TV series Hamish and Andy.
The film, set in Invercargill and the Catlins, will be directed by Robert Sarkies, who has co-written the script with brother Duncan Sarkies, based on the Duncan Sarkies novel of the same name.
It is the first time the Wellington-based brothers have worked on a film together since their breakout hit Scarfies in 1999.
McKenzie told The Dominion Post he had been offered parts in American movies, but had turned them down because he did not think their scripts up to scratch. But the Sarkies' screenplay impressed. "I've read a lot of scripts and this is by miles the best script I've read so it's really exciting."
In Two Little Boys, McKenzie plays Nige and Blake is Deano, his recently estranged best mate. Their long-term friendship is put under pressure by "an unfortunate accident" involving a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian football star.
McKenzie said that though it was a comedy, it had a more dramatic edge than his previous roles.
"The film is far more extreme. It does things we would never do in Conchords. "Nige accidentally runs over a Scandinavian backpacker and it's about him and his friend Deano trying to get rid of the body." The film was set in the early 1990s. "It's pre-internet, pre-cellphones. New Zealand was isolated at that time in a way that it isn't any more ... I imagine Invercargill [then] was another step towards nowhere."
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt will play the city's mayor.
McKenzie has spent the past few months in Los Angeles as music supervisor for The Muppet Movie, due for release next year. He has contributed several songs.
"It was really unexpected. We were in the studio recording Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. It was a very surreal experience."
McKenzie said he and Jemaine Clement also wanted live Flight of the Conchords shows in New Zealand next year, but it would depend on schedules. Clement has been working on Men in Black III.
Boy star and director Taika Waititi, who starred in Scarfies and directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords, is to direct the pilot for an American remake of British sitcom The Inbetweeners. The British series was co-written by Iain Morris, who also wrote some Flight of the Conchords episodes.
Venus wrote:In Two Little Boys, McKenzie plays Nige and Blake is Deano, his recently estranged best mate. Their long-term friendship is put under pressure by "an unfortunate accident" involving a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian football star.
That's funny - we have the same running joke about all the kiwis that move to Australia!nonchalant obsession wrote:In Iowa there is a running joke that if our southern most counties were to seceed to Missouri it would increase the average IQ of both states.
Bret McKenzie to star in new Sarkies film
New Zealand comedian Bret McKenzie has found his next big project, playing one of the lead roles in new film Two Little Boys. McKenzie, one half of New Zealand’s “almost award-winning fourth-most-popular folk duo” Flight of the Conchords, will star alongside Australian TV and radio personality Hamish Blake.
In the movie, McKenzie will play Nige, the best mate of Blake’s character Deano. Deano has been recently divorced, and the strain this has placed on the friendship is causing it to collapse – though an incident involving a meat pie, ginger cat and the death of a Scandanvian football star doesn't help things.
Based on the novel of the same name written by Duncan Sarkies, it will be directed by Robert Sarkies and produced by Vicky Pope and Tim White. Filming will begin in Southland in January next year, thanks to support from the NZ Film Production Fund Trust, NZ On Air and other organisations.
"The Sarkies brothers have written a brilliant script and I'm really excited to be involved. There's only so much time you can spend in New York before you wake up and think 'Take me to Invercargill'. I can't wait to get down there and make a New Zealand film about New Zealanders, and an Australian,” says McKenzie.
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