Jumanji Star Rhys Darby’s Profile on Rise in US
In the Jumanji sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, there’s also a cadre of non-playable characters the untested heroes must contend with, one of which is played by New Zealander Rhys Darby.
Darby, 43, plays Nigel Billingsley, a guide of sorts who tells them what the game is all about. Nigel is brought to life by the stand-up comedian and comedy actor Darby, who is best known in the United States as the irate band manager Murray Hewitt in HBO’s Flight of the Conchords.
With supporting roles in films like What We Do in the Shadows and Yes Man, as well as a fantastic turn in the recent The X-Files revival, Darby’s profile is on the rise stateside.
The first Jumanji with Robin Williams is considered a classic in the United States. News and culture site UPROXX asks Darby if Williams was someone he looked to at the beginning of his own career.
“Oh yeah, definitely. He was a really explosive talent on stage, and that kind of performance-based comedy is definitely the type of thing I do,” Darby says. “I do very physical comedy – characters, faces, weird movements, sound effects, and things like that. He did all of that too, and he did it amazingly.”
In Darby’s live stage shows, like Mystic Time Bird, he explains that everything is prepared in advance.
“It was developed over the last year or so, and this year I’ve toured extensively throughout New Zealand, Australia, and some parts of Canada. I did one show in Los Angeles and another two in London. I still haven’t filmed it yet, so I’m going to do some more touring before then. I’m just waiting to see what I’m doing next year, but it’s great to have a show that I can tour with for as long as I like.”
Original article by Andrew Husband, UPROXX, December 21, 2017.