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Steven Spielberg praises Kiwi star

Legendary director Steven Spielberg has praised Kiwi actor Jemaine Clement, who stars in new film The BFG
Steven Spielberg, Jemaine Clement, The BFG

Ain’t nothin’ like a bit of mutual appreciation from the world’s greatest movie giant, as Jemaine Clement recently discovered.

The Kiwi comedian/actor/writer/director has received breathless compliments from his new biggest fan, legendary director Stephen Spiel berg – who cast him as evil giant Fleshlumpeater in his upcoming movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, The BFG.

“Jemaine can do anything. He can do absolutely anything and he’s the sweetest, most retiring guy,” said the movie-meister at the May 14 world premiere of The BFG in Cannes.

“People who know him in real life are not going to believe that Fleshlumpeater is Jemaine because he’s not that way.”

Jemaine and Steven with stars Mark Rylance and newcomer Ruby Barnhill at the Cannes photocall for The BFG. Photo: Getty

The compliment goes both ways for long-time Spielberg fan Jemaine, 42, who recalls:

“I watched E.T. on my ninth or tenth birthday and it was quite a transporting movie. Indiana Jones I remember being really excited about, and I saw the first screening of Jurassic Park on the day it came out when I was a uni student in Wellington,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

Working with Spielberg, tells the Flight of the Conchords star, didn’t disappoint. “I think it just backed up what I thought – he’s very imaginative, hardworking and thoughtful. He has a great understanding of people.”

He added that the collaboration was, quite literally, the stuff of fantasy.

“I have had so many imaginary conversations with Steven Spielberg where I have pretended in front of my friends I am being called by him – ‘Sorry it’s Spielberg’. But to actually work with him…” he recently confessed.

“Maybe they will think they were real, those conversations. Even though the phone was just a bottle or something.”

Watch the trailer for The BFG below

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