‘Bronco’ directors get their star

Jared and Jerusha Hess don’t want to be stereotyped.

They acknowledge the fact that their first movie, “Napoleon Dynamite,” has given Hollywood studios a good idea of what to expect from them: offbeat comedies about misfits. And though their latest film — “Gentlemen Broncos,” which they co-wrote — comes from a similar perspective, there’s a reason for that.

“We both moved around a lot as kids, and we both came from huge families,” says Jared, 30. “We’ve always identified with the outsider, the kind of person who’s never comfortable in their environment and finds it difficult to adapt.”

In “Broncos,” Benjamin (Michael Angarano of “The Forbidden Kingdom”), homeschooled by his mother, is an endearing loner whose passion for writing leads him on a wild journey as his story first gets ripped off by the legendary fantasy novelist, Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords”) and then is adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town’s most prolific filmmaker.

Neither Jared nor Jerusha, 29, were familiar with Clement prior to his starring role in “Conchords,” but they both became fans after watching the comedy series, which is about two New Zealanders attempting to succeed as folk rockers in New York.

But Jared wasn’t sure he’d have time for “Broncos.”

“We were such big fans of the show, but a lot of the time you have to rule out TV people because they’re so busy with filming,” Jared says. “But we sent him the script and he was incredibly enthusiastic. ‘I’ll do it, man, whatever you want, man.’ He bent over backwards to accommodate us.”

When writing the movie, Jared and Jerusha didn’t have Clement in mind for the role. But watching “Conchords” convinced them that he was right for the part.

“It’s nice to have a voice for a character,” Jerusha says. “Whenever we write, I envision an actor to inhabit that person. We weren’t familiar with Jemaine prior to ‘Flight of the Conchords,’ but as soon as we saw him, we knew he was right for Chevalier. And it turned out perfectly.”

artsentertainmentGentlemen BroncosJared HessOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Riders should expect big changes when Muni rail returns in August

Reconfigured routes will mean fewer, longer trains through tunnel

New audio of couple calling police on SF man bolsters racial bias claims, supe says

Pacific Heights incident spurred CAREN Act to outlaw discriminatory reports to police

SFUSD students may start the school year at home

Staff report recommends starting with distance learning in the fall, transitioning to hybrid model

Universities fight new immigration restrictions on international students in court

Local colleges are scrambling to keep international students in the country as… Continue reading

SF library plans to reopen with pickup and drop-off services

Since March, all 28 library locations in San Francisco have been closed… Continue reading

Most Read