Jemaine Clement talks Spielberg's BFG at Cannes

Jemaine Clement at a photo call for the film The BFG at the 69th Cannes Film Festival (AP)
Jemaine Clement at a photo call for the film The BFG at the 69th Cannes Film Festival (AP)

New Zealand comedian Jemaine Clement has walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere of the Steven Spielberg movie in which he stars, The BFG.

Clement plays evil giant Fleshlumpeater opposite English actor Mark Rylance's "Big Friendly Giant" of the title in the adaptation of the Roald Dahl book.

Director Steven Spielberg, second right and his wife Kate Capshaw, right pose for photographers with from left, actors, Rebecca Hall, Ruby Barnhill, Jemaine Clement (AP)
Director Steven Spielberg, second right and his wife Kate Capshaw, right pose for photographers with from left, actors, Rebecca Hall, Ruby Barnhill, Jemaine Clement (AP)

He told a festival press conference he was excited to be in a movie of a book he loved since it was read to him at primary school, and that working with the famed director had once been a running gag between him and his friends.

"I was very excited when the book came out in 1982 ... Our school teacher read it to us and so many years later being excited about it again.

"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' - and to actually work with him.

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

Clement, Rylance and the other actors playing giants were filmed using motion capture technology involving Weta Digital to depict the creatures.

"All the other bad giants were sent to movement coaching together and we would have weights around our ankles to make us move much heavier than we are and that took quite a while to get right."

The film had had mixed to positive reviews from Cannes reviewers, many noting its similarities to Spielberg's early children's classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

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