Jemaine Clement: “Wellington Paranormal” supposed to be scarier


LOS ANGELES, July 11 (UPI) РJemaine Cl̩ment said that his What we do in the shadows spin off, Wellington Paranormal, was designed to be creepier than the vampire comedy that came before it. He said an episode on exotic plants dictated that Wellington Paranormal become dumber.

“The plants looked so stupid when they moved, you just couldn’t make them scary,” Clement, 47, said on a Zoom panel. “We looked into that and made it dumber.”

Premiere on Sunday, Wellington Paranormal stars Mike Minogue and Karen O’Leary as Officers Minogue and O’Leary, the characters they played in the 2014 film, What we do in the shadows. The film, a mock vampire documentary, also spawned a series of FX comedies with the same title.

In Wellington Paranormal, O’Leary, and Minogue investigate a wider range of paranormal threats than vampires. The officers have comical encounters with a possessed girl, aliens, and clowns in different episodes.

“I noticed that I could show my child the alien one and not the possession one,” Clement said. “So we came back and tried to change the possession one to [make it lighter]. “

Clément has a 12-year-old son, Sophocles, who was 8 when Wellington Paranormal first premiered in New Zealand in 2018.

The CW is broadcasting the show for the first time in the United States, following the success of the What we do in the shadows TV series, premiered in 2019.

the Shadows the series airs on FX, where it may be closer to the rated film R. Clement, who created the film and both series with Taika Waititi, said New Zealanders told him that Wellington Paranormal was viewed by the family in their home.

“It’s a pretty good thing for families to watch, where I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the other show for every family,” Clement said. “[Shadows] can be a little awkward at times, but this one is pretty safe. “

O’Leary came to the show through her work as a kindergarten teacher. She made her acting debut in the 2014 film.

“One of the parents at my job was the casting director,” O’Leary said. “So she made me talk to a casting agent and it turned out it was an audition.”

O’Leary said she would play a cop for her kindergarten class and warn them to ride too fast on a bike. Clement said his casting director for the film saw O’Leary teach.

“Our casting agent, who was a parent in that kindergarten, had seen Karen do that and found it really funny,” Clement said. “[The casting director] said: ‘I think I know who will be perfect for this. She’s never played before. ‘”

Minogue worked in the film and television industry as a runner, making deliveries. He said he also became an actor by reference and booked his first role in 2009.

“Someone at my job asked me if I wanted to audition for a movie, which I didn’t want to do,” Minogue said. “I’ve never been interested in playing before.”

Human policemen do Wellington Paranormal different from Shadows, says Clement. He said the nature of the characters fighting monsters lends itself to different types of comedy.

“These are different perspectives,” said Clément. “One is the point of view of the monsters, and this is the point of view of the people who pursue the monsters.”

The officers’ perspective, O’Leary and Minogue said, is that they care about protecting people. In contrast, the vampires of What we do in the shadows look for humans for food. Vampires also hire humans to be their “familiars,” whom they abuse without killing.

“She’s totally determined to be the best cop she can be,” O’Leary said of her television counterpart. “She’s really passionate and excited to try and help people.”

Minogue said her character is also in love with her partner, although she doesn’t reciprocate.

“That’s pretty much his driving force, that he spends time with O’Leary every day,” Minogue said. “Police would come second.”

The bust of the monsters O’Leary and Minogue has fascinated Clement ever since he saw Christopher Lee films when he was 4 or 5 years old, the creator said. Clement said he was building a universe of comic monsters.

“I’m the only one who knows the rules for both shows,” said Clément. “These are just a collection of movie rules I saw when I was 8 years old.”

Wellington Paranormal premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on The CW.