The next questioner asked if perhaps the issue of ruining takes might have arisen during Jemaine Clement's hilarious straight faced bits. She wondered if the wacky but extremely self-serious character was inspired by anyone in real life.
"It is hard, Jemaine cracks me up. He got these guys laughing a little bit too," said Roach. "We based the character a little bit on Matthew Barney [of the epic-length, famously disturbing "Cremaster" art film cycle] and a little bit on Peter Beard and a little bit the guy from Ashes and Snow [Gregory Colbert]. We mostly wanted to have a character who is so convinced not only that he was an artist in the most important sense of the word, but he was the best thing that ever happened to art and, really, the worldâ€¦ And also that he had to be convincing as a rival for Paul's character's girlfriend. Despite Jemaine's character and vibe that he portrays on the 'Conchords,' I always thought that he was kind of hunky."
What did the actors think about working with Clement? Had they ever bumped into him previously?
"I'd never met him before," said Carell. "He's fantastic. He's a really good improviser in the sense that you never feel him going for a joke. You never get a sense that he's waiting for his turn to say something or do something funny. He's really just a part of the scene and always ends up making it better. He's also a really fine actor. He committed to that character so completely. There was a sense of calmness about him and a sense of inner dignity to the character in the face of its absurdity which I just loved. He was a hard person to work with and not ruin takes because he's so, so good."
Rudd chimed in. "It's funny in that it seems like it's a character that's broad in that his look is very defined. His style and vocation is such a specific thing, but he's so good with subtlety. There were many, many moments when he would just kind of say something that wasn't a joke but would just really make me laugh," Rudd said. As an example, he referred to a line in the film when, for reasons too complicated or too silly to explain, his character is alleged to have gonorrhea and his utterly straightforward response, "I don't have gonorrhea," struck Rudd as funny on the set. (It is in the movie, as well.). "He's weirdly soft-spoken about it. He's good in everything."
Despite Jemaine's character and vibe that he portrays on the 'Conchords,' I always thought that he was kind of hunky."
The Place Betwixt Man and Beast
We love a challenge. Particularly when it involves our favorite pastime: Creating human-animal hybrids. In the new film, â€œDinner for Schmucks,â€ Jemaine Clement plays a Mathew Barney-esque artist name Kieran Vollard. Itâ€™s no secret that weâ€™re big-time Jemaine fansâ€”so when director Jay Roach asked us to help create the artwork to represent Jemaine/Kieranâ€™s warped artistic vision, we jumped at the chance.
Our good friend Jeremy Dimmock (of Polyester in Toronto) joined us for the project and, well, thatâ€™s when things got interesting. Two photo shoots, a little animal taxidermy, a frozen octopus, and a whole lotta Photoshop yielded the final pieces and we even got to hang out on the set the day that Kieranâ€™s gallery show was shot for the film.
Watch the video HERE
Want more? â€œDinner for Schmucksâ€ opens today and you can catch the complete title sequence, Kieranâ€™s artwork and lots of other really funny stuff at a megaplex near you. For nowâ€¦ check out Jemaineâ€™s righteous/riotous interview (including artwork!) with Jimmy Fallon
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