Interview with KIDDING puppeteer DAN GARZA, who plays ENNUI LE TRISTE. He talks Jim Carrey, Michel Gondry & Splash and Bubbles.
Comedy-Drama series Kidding follows Jeff Pickes (Jim Carrey), an American icon as children’s TV star Mr Pickles. Though when his family hits a crisis, he finds no puppet can help him cope. It is due to broadcast on Sky Atlantic in November.
Garza says this is a visually delightful story, “Jeff is a beloved children’s show host, who comes face to face with his own imploding family life. Our production is filled with delicious imagery spanning unbridled joy to heart-breaking pathos. Every contribution is palpably believable.”
“Connection is the true heart of the show, you really care about Jeff and his life on and off camera. It’s hard not to love Jim Carrey and those who orbit his world and story. You’ll be crying from joy and out of empathy.”
“The cast and crew are led by our fantastic show creator, Dave Holstein. Everyone associated with this project brought their best to the table.”
The California puppeteer and cartoonist plays Ennui Le Triste, a French baguette! “He’s a sad and bored baguette, with a brie tongue, cheese feet and breadstick legs. He lives in Pickle Barrel Falls, with his very diverse friends.”
“Vexed with problems like learning to whistle or understanding the concept of imagination, Ennui is gently lifted up by his friends and Mr Pickles himself! I’m really joyful and a large guy, so playing him filled me with a strange sense of projecting a smaller and more sad version of me!”
Executive Producer of the show, Michel Gondry recently said that he wanted puppets to shine a clear dichotomy between the world of children’s show and Jeff’s real life. Dan agrees, “Mr Pickles’ Puppet Time (the show within Kidding) is such an idyllic television sanctuary created for children.”
“The difference in style, colour and whimsical tone all change, while Jeff tries his best to stay true to who he is. It was astonishing to see Jim working to straddle those vastly different worlds, whilst keeping Jeff grounded in his own truly honest reality. It has been awe inspiring.”
Garza says he made some special friends during the filming of Kidding, “This was my first time working with Dave, Michel and Jim – it will be one of those life moments I will talk about forever.”
“Have you ever laughed out of pure joy and tear up a little? That’s how everyday working on Kidding felt. It was a true privilege.”
Meanwhile he has recently been involved in 2 other puppet shows. “I’m on a kids show called Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles, where I have had the opportunity to play 11 characters. The technology behind the show allows us to explore puppetry in an exciting new way.. digitally!”
“The reaction to Splash and Bubbles has been warm and favourable. So we are hoping to get together and make more fun episodes to teach children about the oceans, the diverse fish that live in them and getting along with each other!”
“I was fortunate enough to also puppeteer with a bunch of our friends on Brian Henson’s The Happytime Murders earlier this year. Although we’ve had mixed reviews, it was a beautiful collaboration and we had so much fun making it.”
Telly Binge spoke to Dan Garza in October 2018. Visit his official website for updates.
Kidding begins on Sky Atlantic in November.