Yes! The Matt Berry Podcast
Speaker 1: 00:00 Connie, you press the button, the, a donut, Beth Armando. Can you hear me? Yeah, obviously, if you press the button, this is Beth Huck. Amando what do you want? Well, I want to interview Steven toast. I mean, dr. Lucien Sanchez. No, wait. That's Todd rivers. Oh, and Douglas rent home. And of course Laszlo Craven's worth, but wait, all of those people have been brought to life by the phenomenally talented Matt Barry. So I want to talk to him. Thank you very much. That's right. Actor, writer and composer. Matt Barry will be my guest today, but fair warning. This podcast contains Matt Berry, which means it contains strong language and adult humor. So you've been warned. Speaker 2: 00:55 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:55 welcome back to another episode of listener supported KPBS cinema junkie podcast. I'm Beth Huck. Mondo. Yeah. I know who you are. And that is actor Matt barrier. Steven toast in the channel for comedy toast of London, which won the BAFTA award for best male performance in a comedy program. But people might be more familiar with them as the Staten Island vampire Laszlo in the FX networks show what we do in the shadows. After all that nonsense on Staten Island, I cut loose to Pennsylvania because it sounded like Transylvania meal. No, that sounds cool. And Berry is cool. I first became aware of him in the wacky and brilliant Garth Moran gaze dark place and absurd spoof of general hospital style, soap opera. Only this one involves a lot of action violence and yes, even song Speaker 3: 01:46 put some sounds on was a bad atmosphere. Speaker 1: 01:52 Why wouldn't she be mine? Speaker 3: 01:55 I wish I was more attractive. Like Douglas still one can only dream Speaker 2: 02:04 Mmm. To two. What are you? Right? Must have been insane because the temperature traveling way too fast. [inaudible] what's too hot to laugh. Speaker 1: 02:35 And did I mention Barry is also a singer, musician and composer. He created the opening theme for the 2006 comic mini series box in which he played a hang man. Speaker 4: 02:59 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 03:12 American audiences. Might've first become aware of him for his role in the it crowd. As the buffoonish boss, who's always on the make Douglas ran home. Hey, why don't you Speaker 4: 03:24 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 03:24 come on. We both knew it was on the cards. As soon as I realized you are a woman, someone would walk in. I left strict instructions not to be disturbed in case we had sex, but I digress. Speaker 1: 03:36 The main reason for speaking to Barry now is that what we do in the shadows wraps its second bloody amazing season on June 10th, the show was a spinoff of the mockumentary feature of the same name created by Jemaine Clement and Taika YTT in 2014, the film focused on a group of Wellington vampire roommates, coping with everything from pesky local werewolves to how to dress when you have no reflection to who does the dishes for the TV show, the setting was moved to New York and a new set of characters were created with Barry playing Laszlo. Craven's worth. I need to take one quick break and then I'll be back with my interview with the multitalented Matt Berry. Speaker 6: 04:19 So Matt, you are heading into the season finale for what we do in the shadows. How does it feel to be entering the a end of the second season? Speaker 7: 04:31 I suppose it's worth remembering it has an ad in the UK. So it doesn't feel like anything because I haven't seen any of it and I can't watch it go out. So I have no idea to answer your question truthfully. Yeah. I mean, as long as everybody, you know, has enjoyed it over where you are, then I've done my job. Speaker 6: 04:56 So how did you initially get involved with the series Speaker 7: 04:59 I got involved, I was doing a film about three or four years ago with, uh, Jermaine and halfway through that film, he just lent over and said, well, thinking about doing a TV version of that vampire film that I did, I was like, all right. And uh, and he said, uh, would you want to do it? So I said, yeah, I mean, would it mean working with you? And he goes, yeah. So said, well, yeah, that's it. That's how I got, you know, that's how I got involved. It's no amazing showbiz story or anything. Other than that, I mean, he just asked me, you know, while we were doing something else, you know, and I obviously said yes, cause that had been the first time that I'd worked with them. I'd always, you know, I'd always want it to work with him, but, um, we were together on that film. So, you know, the chance of kind of, you know, sort of working together again and he initiated it, you know, of course I'd say yes. Speaker 6: 06:00 So since you got involved, so early on that show, how much involvement did you have in creating Laszlo and who he is and what kind of a person he is? Speaker 7: 06:10 There wasn't much conversation had. I mean, anything I can kind of remember is I said to Jermaine before we'd filmed anything, you know, before we did the pilot, you know, how do you want this fellow to sounds? And he said, I want him to sound like you. And I said, well, you know, if he's Eastern Europe, you know, everyone else is doing that, you know, then I can do that. And he was dead against that. He said, no, no, no, no, no, no. I want him to sound like you sound. So that was it. That was the only conversation that we really, you know, that we really had. And then I just, you know, sort of turned up on the first day of the pilot and went for it. Speaker 6: 06:46 Now the show has a very kind of free feel to it because of that mockumentary style. But how tightly scripted is it and how much interplay is there in terms of like you guys improvising or changing things as, as you're shooting, Speaker 7: 07:02 it's very loose. It say basic starting point and then we, and then we kind of shoot from there. So no one is particularly pretty precious about the script, unless there's a line that is going to be kind of relevant for a visual joke or something, a couple of scenes sort of later on, you know, then you have to make sure that you get that right. But other than that, it's very, very loose. I mean, there's a lot of sort of British records is the, I always think, you know, they get to come out and I just kind of put them in, you know, just to sort of test the waters as it were sometimes, you know, that they're left in from what I would imagine to the confusion of most, you know, most people, but yeah, no, it's a very good atmosphere because you know, you are kind of left to, uh, sort of try things out, you know, and see what works and what doesn't work. Speaker 6: 07:52 If you didn't have a lot of, uh, background on Laszlo when this series started, what kind of a backstory did you create for them? Speaker 7: 07:59 He's unwittingly become sort of part of this scene part of this way of way of life, I guess. So. And he was just like a normal, a normal pompous idiot who just so you know, just so happened. So have a, a vampire fly outside his window. She materialized, you know, into a that's sort of beautiful young woman and that was it. Then he was a, you know, then he was a vampire, but he's no different than he was the day before he was a vampire. So, you know, he's still the same conceited idiot that he, you know, that he, you know, that he always, Speaker 5: 08:39 I infiltrated the township posing is your average American Yankee doodle dandy. And I took over lucky bruise bar and grill the previous owner. He mysteriously disappeared because I killed him drinks on the house. I've not looked back. I now Speaker 8: 08:56 go by the name of Daytona, Jackie Denton. And I'll tell you something, Jackie did turn his life. It ain't so bad, not bad at all. Speaker 6: 09:07 Do you find any kind of through line between some of the other characters you've created and, and Laszlo now? Speaker 7: 09:13 I guess, I mean the, the most fun is, you know, when you play somebody who has no sense of humor and has no sense of themselves in that way and doesn't really care, you know, what other people think? I mean, I didn't intend for him to be like that, but it's the way, you know, that it was kind of written. So I just went with that, you know, if he'd have been some kind of quiet, right. Sort of henpecked character I'd have done that, you know, with just as much enthusiasm, you know, but the way that he was written was he sounded like he was quite sort of keen on the sound of his own voice. So I had to go with that. Speaker 6: 09:51 Well, and you do have this great voice and some of your inflections just make a very simple plain line so much funny. I mean, just the way you say New York city. Speaker 7: 10:01 Well, that's just to keep you concentrating otherwise, you know, you might drift off and think about selling sunset or one of those other shows that are wrong. I don't know why I mentioned that one. I've just seen a picture for it. Maybe, you know, I've got to, you know, I've got to keep you in one place and that's just one way of doing, I can't have you turning over halfway through and watching, selling sunset. I won't be doing my job if that happened. Speaker 6: 10:32 I don't see how anyone could turn away from what we do in the shadows. That show is giving me such joy in quarantine. I can just, now when you do the scenes where they're the like, sit down interview parts of the show, how are those to shoot? And are you just completely kind of improvising to questions that are being thrown at you? Yeah, Speaker 7: 10:51 they are completely improvised. I would say. I mean, if they're plot driven, then you go on and make sure, you know, you sort of mentioned the two or three words that, you know, that are kind of relevant, but other than that, you can say any old nonsense. Cause they can just cut it down. You know, we get quite a lot of time to do those, which is good, you know, gives us the, you know, it gives us the time to say anything and we really do say anything on those, the most horrendous things sometimes. And thank God they're not included, but in order to say those horrendous things, you get to something else. So sometimes it's worth it. If that makes any sense. Speaker 6: 11:32 Yes. And what is it like shooting on the set? Because it seems like as characters, you guys have this ensemble, I mean, you guys are living together for centuries. Uh, what kind of a, uh, feel is there on the set and have you guys kind of developed this sense of Speaker 7: 11:49 the comradery on the set? We all love the set. I mean, the set is the best set the line worked on. I mean, I've worked in a lot of sitcoms where the, you know, where the sets of sort of pony, they're just normally a bunch of flats with office furniture. But, um, this is fantastic because everywhere you look a three 60 affairs. So I mean, you can go back to your, so your trailer, I just sort of rest in between scenes. Now I don't do that as a rule because the set is far more comfortable. So I'll go and pick a room that isn't being used for filming. I'm not going to sleep there for an hour or two because it's much more comfortable. It does freak you out when you wake up because you wake up and think what the hell, you know, it's okay. It's a bit of a shock because there'll be a portrait of you. That's a skeleton or something, you know, horrendous, but, um, that's far more comfortable than any of the trailers. Speaker 6: 12:53 One of the things that I really appreciate about the show is the particular kind of humor there is because it constantly surprises you because you think you kind of have the characters figured out to a certain degree. And then like in the ghost episode, suddenly here are these vampires who don't believe in ghosts. And that was such a nice kind of turn. Right. And I'm just wondering, like what kind of things is Jemaine Clement drawing on in terms of coming up with these storylines? Speaker 7: 13:22 No, but I think, I mean, like we sorta touched upon that in the first series too. It's just, you know, it's just that same, which is always really interesting. Can be quite funny where you have a figure or, you know, a certain kind of creature be it, you know, vampire or like zombie, but then you think, you know, what scares them, they're very famous, you know, sort of scaring everything else, but then, you know, what would scare them and the most stupid and, um, you know, sort of trivial, almost childish thing that scares them. It's always going to be quite interesting. You know, it could be funny. Now I am led to believe that your presence here indicates some kind of unfinished business on this terrestrial plane in detail. Sorry about that. I'll chat. Anything I can help with? Well, actually, yes, I believe you. Speaker 7: 14:12 Can you remember the night you officially died? I presume I remember it. Well, my loving Archer came in through the window, took my life. That's making me the vampire. You see, before you, now that I'm having someone like that, I might say you are too kind. Now you remember the precise moment Niger took our life. I was on the verge of a sexual climax, but here's the thing I was on the verge of fulfillment yet. I couldn't quite finish. Ah, I see. You want to finish your final human orgasm? Yes. I've tried to finish myself off with these hands, but there goes hand. They don't have the necessary stimulus. However it tating. Yeah. Whereas meet hands. I'm convinced would give me the traction for full sexual release. Speaker 2: 15:00 [inaudible] Speaker 6: 15:01 and I do have to ask you about the episode you did with Mark Hamill. Cause you got kind of featured in that one and that was a great piece. What was that one like to shoot? Speaker 7: 15:08 It was a lot of fun, Stephanie Robinson, right. That and she's great. And, and it was, it was just weird because that was a scene where we were fighting each other with pool cues. I mean, that's have to hold the pull keys in front of us. Like, and I just thought, you know, here I am, I'm stood in front of Luke Skywalker holding. Oh yeah. It's just, you know, it's there aren't that many moments, you know, take you out of what you're doing, where you think, how will the hell have I ended up here doing this? I mean, I think that quite low, how the hell have I ended up here? Why the hell have they hired me? That is something I often say to myself, but you can't, you know, you won't know that I've just said back to this in my head obviously, but, um, yeah, I mean, like that was one of those rare occasions where I just sort of caught myself and thought this is insane. You know, I'm here with Mark Hamill, um, where fighting with sticks. It was great. You know, I mean, I was very lucky, so it will be featured in an episode and you know, even more likely to be featured in an episode with Mark Hamill. Speaker 6: 16:21 And what do you think it is about the show? That's really striking a chord with people because people really love the show. Speaker 7: 16:29 I have no idea. And again, it's worth remembering that in the UK, it doesn't really have any kind of, um, it doesn't really have any kind of presence. So I don't know that it's doing well over there because ever since it's been on, I've been over here. So yeah, it hasn't made any difference to me. So personally, because I haven't seen any kind of reaction to the show, uh, I don't really look at social media and pay much attention to anything like that. So, you know, I haven't, I haven't really noticed to be honest. Speaker 6: 17:02 Well, you mentioned how did you get here from where you were? And I want to remind people that some of the other shows you've worked on. Cause the, I think the first show I saw you in with Garth Moran gaze dark place Speaker 7: 17:15 looks like they sign a fresh kale. In fact, I download loca. Kyla only probably came down, got lost, went mad, ate his hands and died right here. Come on. There's nothing we can do for him. Now keep clothes. These used really alone. Speaker 6: 17:36 That show was brilliant, but it was, I want you to, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about kind of the way that show kind of played with TV tropes and had so much fun with even something as simple, just like ambiance, cutting from scene to scene Speaker 7: 17:52 the aim. There was to do something where if Brits had tried to make an American action, okay. You know, using sort of British actors and the British sensibilities, you know, and the British way of doing things yet, try to make it look like, you know, it was yeah. Or something. And that's what you got. You got something that was, that you thought you had a handle on yet. You didn't and it was terrible. Speaker 9: 18:20 Yeah. Hey, sweet Jack. I'm going to do that. I've been cornered by some cavalry. I think I can track them whisk actino and a spatular. Yeah. I'll take the whisk out fast and hold them off. As long as I can. I'm here. I'm down. Yeah. Got me in the leg. There'll be after you next. Bye. Speaker 7: 18:42 You couldn't take your eyes off it. I mean, I remember my cousin, but she's going back years. He was really young when that first went out and I remember he phoned me and said, look, I saw that thing that you did last night, man. That's terrible. What the hell was that? And I had to sort of explain that, that it was kind of meant to be bad. I hadn't foolishly joined a terrible show. The point was, you know, it was supposed to look half-assed and the rest of it. And I just love the fact that he took pity on me and thought, you know, I made a huge mistake by being in the show. Speaker 6: 19:22 And you describe it as an action, an action show, but it's set, it's like general hospital as an action. Speaker 7: 19:28 Yeah. So it's that. So it's doctors who pull guns on one another, which I always thought was a great idea. You know, the fact that, you know, you're a doctor, you know, you're working in a hospital, but something intense happens over there. So you pull your gun. I'd never seen that before and was fully in favor of something as stupid as that. Speaker 6: 19:50 And of course I love every time you cut to the exterior of the hospital, it's like a kind of a cardboard Speaker 7: 19:56 [inaudible]. Speaker 6: 19:59 Anyway, that show, uh, gave me a lot of joy and the attention to detail in terms of like capturing this particular style was wonderful. Speaker 7: 20:09 Well, it's funny. You should mention it because when we filmed the second Sarah is of what we do in the shadows. We're in Canada when we filmed that. And the first week, if shooting in one of the cinemas, okay. Toronto was doing a gospel Haringey so the marathon night where they'd show every episode, you know, then, and it's just pure coincidence. I was there for the first week of filming. So Stephanie Robinson who wrote, you know, who writes the show, she also found out and was like, you've got to go down. You've got to in, you know, sort of say hello. And to be honest, I was a bit, I wasn't keen. It's like, I never think, you know, you should turn up to something that you're not being asked to. I firmly believe that. But she said, no, you know, it would be great if you did, you know, you should definitely go. So she dragged me, we went in there and this massive cinema was packed. [inaudible] people dressed in the costumes, you know, that we, you know, that we wore 20 years ago, whenever it was that we made that. Yeah. Then I went on stage, you know, and sort of, I digress, but it was a, yeah, it was, it was serendipitous. Speaker 6: 21:28 Now you've also written shows. And I think one of your first ones was snuffbox that you start in and also wrote Speaker 4: 21:40 [inaudible] all these men love me. So sick and sad. If you bullshit, you've run out of gas in your cup. I gave you a home food. This is hot. You betray me, sit there and read my diary. Speaker 6: 22:08 Talk a little bit about that show because in a certain sense, like the style of comedy in that is radically different from what we do in the shadows. There's kind of a, it's almost like you break off into sketches and you even got to compose on that one too. Speaker 7: 22:21 Well, they know I've composed on what we do in the shadows. I don't know whether that episode has gone out yet. Yeah. I mean, it was, it was, it was an experiment, you know, and I, you know, and I was very lucky to be able to do what I did. I mean, whether I do that again now, probably not, but yeah. You know, it was a lot younger and you've got to sort of try these things out and I wasn't pulled off the air. I was convinced that I would be, I was thinking there's no, one's going to want to see this. But, uh, you know, they went, you know, they went with it. They didn't give us a second series, which I wasn't at all surprised by, but it was good, you know? Cause it, it was, I learned how so television works. When you write your own thing, that's going to be made on TV. You have to then become, you know, sort of savvy and all sorts of things, the technical side of things. And it was, it was a good, it was a good lesson for me, for, you know, for when I did toast. Yeah. So, you know, I'm very sort of thankful of the, of the tendency that I have with that show. Speaker 6: 23:23 Well, in toast of London, you also get to have a lot of fun with vocal work. Yeah. Cause you play someone who's con it seems to be constantly in a sound booth. Speaker 7: 23:34 Yeah. He's a voiceover. Yeah. Speaker 5: 23:36 I have a scope down Pat, our scope, Steven. This is Clem Fandango. What? The work experience, boy. Yeah. Can you hear me? Yeah. I can hear you. Clem Fandango. Where's that other prick, Danny. He's deejaying at a music festival this weekend. Yeah. Just to be clear. So these will be heard on every submarine in the Royal Navy. Yeah. They're just automating and digitizing everything. You know, the commander presses a button and the recording of your voice will be heard of me. I'm not interested in all that. Can we just crack on Speaker 5: 24:06 five of our nuclear weapons? Steven? That was good. But do you think you could give it another, try this time saying less alarming, way less alarming. I've just given the order to farther nuclear weapons. I've just haven't leached Armageddon. Yes. But the feeling here is that you could do it in a way, which is a little less dramatic. It's just a little bit over the top at the moment. Have fun with it. Five and Neil Cuellar weapons. That was a little bit too far. The other way a bit too. I'm jolly. Yeah. When you just try a few more times five, a new Cuellar weapons file, new Cuellar weapons, fire, the new killer weapons, fire, the new killer weapons fire of our Newt killer weapon. Yeah. Speaker 6: 24:57 So as you're, uh, heading into the end of this season of what we do in the shadows, what have you liked most about playing Lazlo Speaker 7: 25:06 with Natasha that's that's my, you know, one of my main highlights. That's great. Cause we got almost identical sense of humors. So that really helps Speaker 10: 25:18 my Laszlo has always been quite musical. It's true. I can play anything. I don't give a monkeys, whether it's a threeway plunk box, Antwan sax is metallic clarinet or the chin grinders, wind piano. But I'll tell you this. My luck changed the night I met nausea, four sheet is an exquisite. Let us just get the order on us. Send me down. See, Speaker 6: 25:40 I love this one. Michelle, do we do it? Speaker 5: 25:42 What ever happened to sweet dicey? Speaker 10: 25:47 Oops, oops guys. Once you couldn't find that Speaker 7: 25:51 it's just made so much easier for me being in such an amazing set, everybody kind of concentrating as, as hard as they can. Cause that really brings out everyone to, you know, it sort of feeds off each other and do what you need to do. Yeah. It's just a good environment. I mean, you know, it's a good environment for me personally. I can't speak for anyone else. I mean, you know, I don't know how they find, you know, but it's, it's good for me. It's inspiring. And if something, you know, if there's that amount of the attention to detail, that's gone into everything that you know, that you look at around you, then you have to match that. I think you have to be as good as all this. So it does, you know, it kind of makes you raise your game, which is always, always worth doing. Speaker 6: 26:35 And the show has been renewed for another season. Do you have any kind of hopes for where might go or something that he might get to do? Speaker 7: 26:46 No. I mean, that's none of my business. It's not my show. I mean, if they, you know, it's up to them to do whatever they want to do with it, you know, or that, you know, or that character, it wouldn't be, it wouldn't be, you know, for me to say what should happen to him, you know, what he could do or whatever, you know, I'm just there to do the job, you know, I'm sort of happy to help. Speaker 6: 27:09 And you said you got to do some composing for the show. Speaker 7: 27:13 Yeah, that was one. I think it went out last night or the night before, whatever night it goes out over there. The story being that all these now famous songs, I reckon I composed like hundreds of years ago. Speaker 5: 27:25 Hi. What do you want? That sounded great. Have you ever thought of maybe performing live kind of a 300 years of great music? No one has even heard most of these songs, which is our snitches poster on college Boulevard. Wannabe, if you want, I can put out some feelers, well, if you can sort out a concert, we might turn up, I'll see what I can do daddy rock on. Speaker 7: 27:47 So I had to write a load of songs we performed in this club. I dunno how much of them ended up in the final thing. But, um, I wrote, you know, I like the short songs for this episode and there's this music room, this extra room in the house that we see that we see for the first time. And there was some piano things that I had to write for that. So, um, but it's difficult to say, I don't know whether any of that was, you know, kind of less in or edited out. Speaker 6: 28:20 So when you see the final show, it's kind of a surprise for you as to what actually ends up in there. Well, yeah, I mean, it's difficult for me to Speaker 7: 28:27 see because I don't have effects or anything, you know, I don't have those streaming things, you know, it's mostly, you know, I mean, but the thing is, it doesn't really matter what I think, you know what I mean? If, if everybody else liked it, you know, you know, and the people that wrote it and kind of made it and who in charge, if they're all happy, you know, then I'm happy. I don't really need to, you know, it doesn't matter what I think. Speaker 6: 28:51 And the fact that you've composed on some of these shows, you actually have a band and have put out records to correct or out, we don't do records anymore. I'm old. I'm sorry. We'll know Speaker 7: 29:02 we do do records. Yeah. I've just sent something off now too, to be vinyl. Yeah. I mean, I was doing that before doing this stuff. So whenever, you know, I'm asked to come and talk about it, it's not, you know, it was just, you know, it was something that I've always done and yeah, I happened to kind of drift into this. Yeah. I mean, it's it, you know, it just seems perfectly natural. It's this? That was, you know, that I didn't expect if that makes any sense. Speaker 6: 29:29 So how did you get into this? Speaker 7: 29:32 I just drifted out. I was, I was, um, I was playing some songs before a comedy act in London and I'd done it for a couple of weeks and they kind of realized that straight songs, you know, before what sort of comedy thing, probably wasn't such a great idea might be worse, you know, making some of these songs sort of funny or just doing something with them, you know, that was kind of different. So I did that and that's what led to me being by Matt and Richard. And then I got into, then I did gas, dark place, and then that led to the it crowd, which then led to like to toast. It's just luck, sheer luck. Speaker 6: 30:19 Well luckiest man, but you have the talent to make it all work. So were you originally interested in a music career then? Speaker 7: 30:29 I would have been happy just to work in the arts. That was, that was, you know, that was my goal, whether that was painting. Oh, [inaudible] making music eyes where those would have been fine by me. I mean, I love music, I suppose, you know, is my main, it's my main passion. And this is what I think about. I would have just been happy just to have worked in the arts, you know, and not normal, you know, like a job that I wasn't interested in, I suppose. Speaker 6: 30:57 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for taking some time to talk to me and I am looking so forward to the season finale, although I'll be sad for the show to go away for awhile. Well, thank you very much, indeed. Speaker 7: 31:09 Nice to talk to me. Speaker 6: 31:11 And can I ask you during the podcast, is it okay to play any clips from your music at all? Um, Speaker 7: 31:18 please do go ahead. The title track of Matt Berry's night terrors album that came out in 2017, I've been thrilled to speak with actor writer and composer, Matt Berry, and deeply regret that I did not ask him to say, yes, I can hear you about FACA Mondo in that glorious voice of his, but you can catch him in the season finale of what we do in the shadows on June 10th, all the clips I used here in the podcast or courtesy of the FX networks, you can find various music on his website, the Matt berry.co.uk, or on Spotify Speaker 11: 32:29 since birth. It was Speaker 7: 32:30 kind enough to let me play some of his music. Here's a cut that boasts my favorite title from the manger to the mortuary from his witch, Hazel album. Hope this inspires you to Speaker 12: 32:40 seek out more of his music and more of his shows. So till our next film fix I'm Beth haka, Mondo your residence, cinema Speaker 2: 33:23 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].
FX Networks' "What We Do in the Shadows" has its season 2 finale on June 10, so I talk with actor Matt Berry about the show and about his career doing iconic British sitcoms ("Garth Marenghi's Darkplace," "Snuff Box," "The IT Crowd," "Toast of London") and as a musician/composer.
Actor, writer, singer, musician and composer Berry joins Cinema Junkie so that means it contains strong language and adult humor. You’ve been warned.
I first became aware of Berry years ago when my Welsh friend sent me a region encoded disc of the British sitcom "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace." What a slice of comic gold. The wacky spoof "rediscovers" author Garth Marenghi's 1980s television show set in a Romford hospital, which is situated over the gates of Hell. Imagine "General Hospital" as a British supernatural action show and that just hints at the joys it contains. It cleverly and meticulously spoofs the bad acting, poor production values and even the bad sound editing of American soap operas.
In 2015, Berry won the BAFTA award for best male performance in a comedy program for playing puffed up actor Steven Toast in "Toast of London." But people might be more familiar with him as the buffoonish boss in "The IT Crowd" or more recently as the Staten Island vampire Laszlo in the FX Networks show "What We Do in the Shadows."
"What We Do in the Shadows" wraps its second bloody amazing season on Wednesday, but no spoilers in this interview. Berry, who doesn't even get to see the finished shows in England, didn't know who the special guest stars were to even accidentally reveal something. The show is a spin-off of the mockumentary feature of the same name created by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi in 2014. The film focused on a group of Wellington vampire roommates coping with everything from pesky local werewolves to how to dress when you have no reflection, to who does the dishes. For the TV show, the setting was moved to New York and a new set of characters was created with Berry playing Laszlo Cravensworth.
"Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" on Channel 4.
"Snuff Box" on Amazon Prime.
"Toast of London" on Netflix.
"The IT Crowd" on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and iTunes.
"Year of the Rabbit" on IFC.