The National’s Matt Berninger to star in a new TV series
Aaron Dessner and Matt Berninger of American indie rock titans The National dropped by our studios this morning, answering a string of questions from the Double J audience. You can listen to the full chat here.
Towards the end of the interview, Zan Rowe asked about a rumoured new TV show that is reportedly on the cards for Berninger, being developed with the help of Aussie director Trent O’Donnell.
I play myself and my brother plays my brother, but then the rest of it's all cast... It's something we've been cooking for a while.Matt Berninger — Double J, 2018
O’Donnell has worked on a string of acclaimed local productions like The Moodys, The Letdown and The Chaser’s War On Everything, as well as big overseas shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grace & Frankie, The Good Place and New Girl, to name but a few.
But this next new project – a half hour comedy based on the life of Matt Berninger – sounds particularly fascinating.
“My brother [actor and director Tom Berninger] and my wife [writer Carin Besser] and I have been creating it, and then we teamed up with Trent and his wife,” Berninger explained.
“He's the type of 'rush forward without any fear' sort of person we need, because we'd never done anything in television before. He's pulling us through the woods on this one.”
Tom Berninger is best known for his 2013 documentary on The National, Mistaken For Strangers, and Matt says that this new show will have certain similarities.
“It's something we've been cooking for a while,” he said. “My brother made this documentary [Mistaken For Strangers] and it has a lot of the same tone. But this is more scripted than that and it's not a film Tom's making, Tom is just a subject of it. It's not a fake documentary.”
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While he wasn’t ready to divulge too much information, Berninger did let us in on a few key facts about how it will play out.
“I play myself and my brother plays my brother - Tom can't play anyone else - but then the rest of it's all cast,” he said.
“I'm in a band. Aaron [Dessner] helped cast the band with all the guys who were working on the Grateful Dead project together, it's a bunch of guys from different bands who we've known and been friends with for a long time. Aaron is in it as a producer, not as himself.”
“I don't have a speaking part,” Dessner chimed in. “Well, I might…”
While this is undoubtedly hugely exciting news for fans of the band, there’s going to be a pretty immense wait before we see the show for ourselves.
“It won't see the light of day this year,” Berninger said. “So, that's how far along it is.”
We’ll be keeping our eye on this one.
The National play the following Australian dates:
Wednesday 21 February - Sydney Opera House Forecourt - SOLD OUT
Thursday 22 February - Sydney Opera House Forecourt
Tuesday 27 February - Brisbane Riverstage
Thursday 1 March - Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne
Tune into Mornings with Zan Rowe Monday to Friday from 9am AEDT, or catch up on the past week of shows right here.