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High infidelity
High infidelity

Jemaine Clement could be forgiven for thinking there's a third person threatening to come between him and his Flight of the Conchords co-star Bret McKenzie.

McKenzie is set to appear alongside Hamish Blake - better known as one half of Hamish and Andy (Lee) - in the dark comedy Two Little Boys and admits that the pair bonded over mullets and sea lions, leaving his Kiwi sidekick somewhat disturbed.

"Jemaine was pretty furious when he found out I was hanging out with Hamish," McKenzie says with a laugh over the phone from his home in Los Angeles, his Kiwi accent instantly recognisable.

"He calls Hamish 'the other guy'. I'm hoping he and Andy will get together for a sequel."

Relationship infidelity is, in fact, at the heart of New Zealand director Robert Sarkies' "twisted bromance" Two Little Boys.

As the title suggests, the film centres on two men, Deano (Blake) and Nige (McKenzie), who refuse to grow up. They've been pals for 15 years but the dynamics of their friendship change when Nige's new Maori mate Gav (Maaka Pohatu) arrives on the scene.

When Nige accidentally runs over a Norwegian backpacker in the middle of the night, Deano thinks it's the perfect opportunity to prove his undying commitment to his friend by helping him dispose of the body. But his plans go awry when Nige realises Deano is making the situation worse.

McKenzie says, despite the success of their respective television shows, both he and Blake were a little daunted at the prospect of starring in their first lead roles in a movie.

However, McKenzie thought nothing of getting out of his comfort zone after reading the script by Sarkies and his brother, Robert, who has written an episode of Conchords.

"They asked if I wanted to be involved and I read the script and really, really loved it," the 36-year-old says. "It was so unusual. So much darker than any bromance I had come across."

Indeed, the film does venture into some dark territory - including a particularly gruesome scene in which Deano cuts up the body - but, as you'd expect from a pair of award-winning comedians, there are plenty of laughs along the way.

Making it hard to keep a straight face off-screen was the fact the pair had to grow mullets for their parts.

"I was surprised by how easy it was to convert my hair into a mullet," McKenzie laughs. "It was just a slight trim at the sides. And because we're filming at the very bottom of New Zealand it's not an uncommon style, even today, so we fitted in quite nicely."

Two Little Boys took Wellington-born McKenzie to some far-flung areas of his homeland - it was shot in Invercargill and the Catlins on the South Island - and it also brought him a little closer to some of the native wildlife.

"There's this one scene with a real sea lion," he explains. "We rehearsed with a log and then we snuck down to the beach where there were real sea lions and quietly set up the cameras. It was like a couple of bogans making a nature documentary."

McKenzie, who is married and has two children with New Zealand publicist Hannah Clarke, will return to New Zealand next month for the world premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.

The Kiwi has a cameo as an elf in Peter Jackson's much-anticipated adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's novel, a role he was offered after appearing in the first and third Lord of the Rings movies.

"There was no mullet for my Hobbit role," he laughs. "The mullet was taken off and the ears put on. But the elves are supposed to be eternal so there was a lot more make-up this time to make it look like they hadn't aged 10 years."

McKenzie describes filming alongside Hugo Weaving and Sir Ian McKellen as surreal but a lot of fun - "Yeah, having lunch with Gandalf was pretty cool," he says with a chuckle - but moreover he's delighted that the spotlight will be back on New Zealand.

"Peter Jackson has made it famous. When I tell people I am from New Zealand it's the first thing they associate with the place. That and Once Were Warriors."

However, it's not just Jackson who has helped put the Land of the Long White Cloud on the map.

Not content with the success of Flight of the Conchords, which has a worldwide cult following, earlier this year McKenzie picked up an Academy Award for best original song for Man or Muppet from Disney's 2011 musical film The Muppets - something he still can't quite get his head around.

"Yes, it was unbelievable," says McKenzie, who is busily penning new tunes for the next Muppets film, expected to arrive in cinemas next Christmas. "It feels like it was a long time ago but it was only February. It certainly opened up several doors in Hollywood and (is) a very handy thing to have."

Not that he has the Oscar statuette with him in LA, rather it's safely tucked away in Wellington. He does, however, have a replica of sorts sitting on top of a piano.

"I have a toy one here," McKenzie says. "You get them in the souvenir shops. It says Best Lover."