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Bret McKenzie - The beautiful owl that used to be a belly dancer

  I'm not sure how with 40 minutes of tape we ended up with so little. I think we're all too easily distracted. That we were squatting between cars in the street at 2:00 am must have had something to do with it, too.

So – I apologize if it's a bit messy; we're not professionals like Larry P, who did the previous interview with Bret (and who I hear had a freak accident involving super glue, 3 pounds Edinburgh Haggis and a rabid hedgehog).
The 'interview' *snicker* was conducted by me; Roheryn played editor. Photo credits go to Belethdelothiel. And of course a great big thanks to Bret. Thanks, Figgy!

  inDUHvidual: The part of Figwit – obviously the most desired part in the movie, besides maybe Frodo and Gandalf. How did you get the part? Tell us about the audition.

Bret: I did a generic elf audition...I think I was one of the first people to do it. They didn't really know what they were doing. It's not like Peter Jackson auditions you – it's casting agents. And they had a bit of paper saying "Elves" but they didn't really know what they were looking for. Peter Jackson wasn't there saying, "Well, we need this sort of thing." So they were like, "Ok, now move gracefully," and you had to mime a fight scene. You had a sword and you're moving very gracefully and beautifully and it went on for ages because they were like, "Hmm, I'm not sure if that's ok."

inDUH: What did you say at the Council?

Bret: I said a lot of things.

inDUH: "When's lunch?"

Bret: No no no. I'm sure I said things like, "The Dwarves shouldn't take it!" I was quite offended by Gimli. Just his attitude! He's a fool. The dwarves are fools! But "Pluck off, pluck you" – things like that. "Plucking idiots!"

inDUH: Any interesting stories from the set?

Bret: What was cool was I was sitting there and I was quite nervous, and Ian McKellen – he could obviously see that I was real nervous, so he gave this wink...

inDUH [interrupting]: Aahh, so he wanted you. [Ed. note – are we the only ones who noticed that Ian's current boyfriend looks suspiciously like Bret? Coincidence? We think not.]

Bret: I wouldn't say that – but that was fun. What else? Talking to Viggo because I was sitting next to him so I talked to him quite a bit. He was really cool, really nice and we had this whole thing worked out. He was like, "Ok, you stand up and I'll pull you back down" and you go, "No no no! I'm standing up!" They didn't use it. It was good; it was really nice! He's such a pro. Oh and sitting around the café – at lunch time the elves would eat together and the dwarves would eat together. The extras would sit according to [their] race.

inDUH: What did your wear underneath your robes?

Bret: I think we were wearing just underwear.

inDUH: Aha! Boxers or briefs? [Ed. note – this is obviously the highlight of the interview.]

Bret: Just boxers. You know boxers that are sort of fitting, not loose. Hmm, very nice...[Ed. note – we agree, Bret, we agree.]

inDUH: Orlando Bloom says that in his portrayal of Legolas he was thinking of a cat. What inspired you?

Bret: An owl! A beautiful owl. An owl that used to be a belly dancer. Something like that.

Beleth: Are you in parts 2 or 3 of the trilogy?

Bret: Maybe. Probably not but maybe.

inDUH: So it's true that they wanted to call you for part 2 but you weren't in town?

Bret: I was in Auckland doing Conchords.

Beleth and inDUH [in unison]: Awwww.

Bret: I thought they were going to call me back but time must have run out. They didn't say, "Now or never." They said, "We'll call you back." And then the times must have changed. It doesn't matter though…when The Two Towers comes out you guys will find another elf.

Beleth and inDUH: NAAAAAAAAHhhhhh!

Bret: We'll see! We'll see, guys. We'll see.

Beleth: What about the rumor that you're Elendil's heir?

inDUH: Yeah, what is happening there? Elendil is your father (actor Peter McKenzie played Elendil in the movie) but you're an elf? Are you a half breed or – what is happening there?

Bret: Is it me or Viggo?

inDUH: Yeah, we're confused.

Bret: Ideally Aragorn and Figwit would share, eh? That's why I was sitting next to Viggo. What wasn't in the film was a scene with me talking to Aragorn about who should take the ring. And I said to Aragorn, "Look, what I'll do is I'll stay here, you go, and if things get into trouble you contact me, and I'll come and help and we'll see what happens!"

inDUH: Is it true that your friends call you Figwit?

Bret: Yes. I got a message on my phone the other night from a friend going, "Hey Figgy! Figgy, what's happening?! Give me a call!"

inDUH: They call you that all the time?

Bret: Not all the time. When they joke, when they're hassling me.

inDUH: Oh, so they tease you a lot?

Bret: They tease me, yes.

inDUH: What do they say?

Bret: Figgy and Figwit, and Fuckwit and...

inDUH [interrupting]: Oh, we have some bad names. What was it? Fidget?

Bret [laughs]: Fidget?

inDUH: Well, we didn't make it up or anything. There a lot of names out there. Figgy, Figboy, Prince of Pout, The Silent One...

Bret [laughs]: Prince of Pout? I haven't heard that one!

inDUH: It's a new one, actually.

Bret: Who came up with "Figwit"? [to inDUH] Did you come up with "Figwit"?

inDUH: Yeah.

Bret: Isn't it crazy?

InDUH: It is! I mean I came up with the name in five seconds and now it's in USA Today. That's insane.

Bret: Yeah!

inDUH: So what's your favorite from all the names?

Bret: Probably Figwit or Figgy. Figgy is quite cute, quite friendly, eh? People say Figgy if they're friends, do you know what I mean? I think this is going to be around for the rest of my life! I think I'm going to be called Figwit, especially by my friends.

inDUH: And that's bad?

Bret: I don't know – I find it quite funny!

inDUH: How did you hear about Figwit?

Bret: I was at a party. I don't remember the date, but it was after it was on TheOneRing.net. A friend came to me and said, [Bret acts really excited] "oh my god! You gotta go check out this site!" Later that night we got home and got a computer and I was like, "Wow! Will you look at this!" Especially the gallery. The gallery is hilarious! I love the gallery. I just couldn't believe it! It was so funny.

inDUH: What's your favorite part of the site?

Bret: I think the karaoke section? I find it pretty funny. I love the little tunes. Karaoke and – I love that pencil drawing.

inDUH: Have you seen any of the other Figwit sites?

Bret: I saw one that was like a diary of Figwit? It was like, Figwit talking about how he's arguing with Legolas. I read a bit of that, it's cool! And the one that's like a club?

inDUH: Is it weird to meet fans?

Bret: Like you guys?

inDUH: Well – yeah.

Bret [laughs]: Well, you guys – I've gotten to know you now so it's not weird. But people for the first time…that's a bit strange. People who want to take a photo of me? It was like, "Oook!" It was quite funny.

inDUH: But it's not weird?

Bret: It's unusual but because it happened a few times I've gotten a little more used to it. It's still pretty strange – like people wanting to take a photo with you, just because you're, Figwit or something. That's quite strange! But it's ok. It's really not a big deal.

inDUH: People refer to Figwit as a character now, not just an extra. What do you think about that?

Bret: It's funny because there's all the other extras… I know some of the extras and they're – well, not jealous, but they're surprised. That's just part of it, isn't it? I'm amazed at how long its life has been! I thought it would have petered out ages ago.

inDUH: Actually, we did too.

Bret: I can't believe it actually keeps bubbling along. Not really bubbling – just keeps on leaping and bounding, eh?

inDUH: How will you look back on all of this?

Bret: Fondly. It's hilarious! It's the most ridiculous time of my life!

inDUH: That's it! Thanks so much for doing this...

[Bret takes the recorder]: Yo check check! That's the eeeennnddd check check!

  This is a small part of the conversation that we caught on tape. It doesn't have a lot to do with the interview, but it's far too amusing not to share!

inDUHvidual: What did you think about us before you met us? And be honest!

Bret: I thought...

Bret [pause]: I didn't think...

Bret: I really didn't know what to think, right? But I heard the stories about how you're going to be here, right? I thought...

inDUH [interrupting]: "Oh my god! They're coming after me!" [Ed. note: We're still pretty sure this is what he really thought.]

Bret [hesitation]: But I...

Bret: Ummm...

[awkward moment]

Bret: I don't know; I thought...

Bret [slightly flustered]: I didn't really...

Bret: I don't know! I just didn't know what to think you'll be like. But you're not…I guess you're not as crazy as I thought you might be.

inDUH: Crazy weird or crazy ha ha?

Bret: Uhhhhh, both…you're not fanatical, do you know what I mean? You're not like…"Whaaaaa there he is!!" But it's not like that at all! And it was like...

Bret: Ummm…

Bret: You're not…

[15 minute intermission]

Bret: I really didn't know what it's going to be like. It was totally...I had no idea. Honestly!

Beleth: Were you a bit worried about the whole thing? That we might be...

Bret [interrupting]: Crazy?

inDUH: Yes – Taika said he was worried...

Bret: Ah, I wasn't really...

[this is a test of the emergency broadcast system]

Bret: I don't think I was worried. I was quite interested. It's so unusual!