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‘What We Do in the Shadows’ TV Show: Jemaine, Taika Cameos “Highly Likely”

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ TV Show: Jemaine, Taika Cameos “Highly Likely”
04 Nov
5:04

Jemaine Clement might not be “classically handsome” like his Flight of the Conchords counterpart Bret McKenzie — at least according to their superfan Mel on the short-lived HBO series — but that hasn’t held him back in the slightest.

The New Zealander musician, actor, and writer went on to star in the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows with director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), and currently serves as showrunner on a TV adaptation with a new cast of vampires set to premiere on FX next year. He also scored a recurring role on another FX show, Legion, played a singing fart on Rick and Morty, and co-stars in the screwball comedy An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn with Aubrey Plaza and Craig Robinson.

In a recent phone interview, Inverse spoke to Clement about all of that and more. We also couldn’t resist asking about his Flight of the Conchords origins, including the first song the Kiwi musical comedy duo ever wrote (make your best guess now because you’re definitely wrong.)

Related: Watch the trailer for ‘Berverly Luff Linn,’ starring Jemaine Clement, Aubrey Plaza, and Craig Robinson.

Sorry, but I have to ask, will we ever get a new season of Flight of the Conchords?

No, we did just do a special that’s on HBO. I don’t think we’ll do the show again.

What was the first Flight of the Conchords song you and Bret ever wrote together?

It was “Foux Du Fafa,” our French song. We never really were able to play it, but in the special, we actually managed to do it the whole way through, probably for the first time even though we wrote it about 20 years ago.

What’s so hard about playing that song? Is it too funny to get through?

I do always laugh during that song. The part where Brett plays the woman and she’s mad at me, that always makes me laugh. But playing that latin rhythm and speaking at the same time is what’s really difficult. Singing and playing is easier than speaking and playing.

What was it like playing the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in 2007?

That’s going back. Oh boy, so long ago. I do remember that we had a fairly modest acoustic setup for that and we were playing next door to Ween, which is a band I love by the way. But they were blasting really loud. It was really difficult to do. But you know, in a way I was flattered to be drowned out by them.

And then at the end, The Flaming Lips started and you could hear them play the intro to “Do You Realize?” and only the very polite people stayed to watch us to the end because you couldn’t even hear us, and we just said, “Well, if you wanna see The Flaming Lips you can go.”

Did you ever get to meet David Bowie?

No, but that’s ok. I think sometimes that’s for the best. One time we were backstage at a Leonard Cohen concert and we thought we might get to meet him and I remember being quite nervous, but then he never came out and I had quite a sense of relief. Meeting heroes like that, you worry about what you’re gonna say and do. I don’t mind that we didn’t.

You’re one of the head writers and showrunners for the What We Do in the Shadows TV show. Will you character from the movie make a cameo?

I’m keeping that close to my chest — that’s code for highly likely. Yeah, we showed the pilot at Comic Con a few weeks ago. Someone asked, will your characters show up in the show, and I said It would have to be something very important to bring them away from New Zealand. Some people took that as no, even though I thought it was very obvious. As I say, highly likely.

what we do in the shadows tv showwhat we do in the shadows tv show
A screenshot from FX’s ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ spin-off series.

What’s different about the show compared to the movie?

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