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Rhys Darby Interview

Rhys Darby talks about his inspirations, karaoke and duck-love with us in the lead up to the release of his new film Love Birds, out February 24 2011.

VNZ: What was Sally Hawkins like to work with?

Rhys: Sally is one of the loveliest people I've met. Sweet, endearing and funny. I've never seen anyone so excited to experience the wonder of New Zealand flora and fauna. She was a joy to work with too. In between takes we would often marvel at the nearby flora and fauna.

VNZ: We also noticed you and the duck had great chemistry. How hard is it to work with animals in Love Birds?

Rhys: Honestly I thought it was going to be a lot harder. The ducks we used in the film were very well trained and seemed to have gentle souls. I really did have a connection with the main duck. I'm pretty sure by week two of filming he realised we were 'making a movie'. I hope he comes to the premiere.

VNZ: If you weren't an actor what would you do for a living?

Rhys: I would be an oceanographer. One of the last remaining 'exploring' careers. Imagine me mapping out the still to be discovered areas of the ocean floor in a mini submarine. I might find Atlantis!

VNZ: Tell us something that will surprise us about you.

Rhys: Most people know I used to be a soldier. But I haven't told many people that I'm actually quite a good boxer. When I was in the army my PT instructor told me I had very fast punches and quick reflexes. I thought about becoming a boxer for a while. My boxing name was going to be Rhys Lightening.

VNZ: What's your signature karaoke song?

Rhys: White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. In the middle of the song I freestyle by reenacting a scene from the movie 'Platoon'.

VNZ: Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

Rhys: According to my wife I don't get influenced by anyone. Maybe my wife is my influence but I can tell you that I have always been inspired by the comedy of Monty Python, Peter Sellers, Jim Carrey and Rowan Atkinson.

VNZ: What are your favourite haunts in Auckland?

Rhys: I don't really go out much. I have two kids so I'm pretty exhausted by the time I get them to bed. We do often go to Lone Star with the kids on a Friday night. Or if we want to treat ourselves, Pane & Vino in Ponsonby.

VNZ: What projects are you working on at the moment?

Rhys: A lot of top secret stuff at the moment. I can tell you that it is stuff that will be set or based in New Zealand but for the international market and it does involve flora and fauna.

VNZ: Who is the most famous person in your phone book? (If they're good looking - can I have their number?)

Rhys: Who has a phone book these days? In my phone I have Jemaine, Bret and Taika... have you heard of them?

VNZ: What celebrity would you most like to work with - living or not?

Rhys: Peter Sellers.

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Content updated: 24/02/2019 09:59

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