The National’s Matt Berninger Working On Comedy Series With Australian Director Trent O’Donnell

The National frontman Matt Berninger has revealed he’s developing a comedy television series with Australian director Trent O’Donnell, who’s known for his work on shows like No Activity, The Chaser’s War On Everything, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place and New Girl.

Speaking with Double J today ahead of The National’s 2018 Australian tour, Berninger said the half-hour show has been in development “for a while”, but “won’t see the light of day this year”.

“My brother, my wife and I have been creating it and then we just kind of teamed up with Trent and his wife,” he said.

“He’s just the type of ‘just rush forward without any fear’ sort of person we need, because we’ve never really done anything in television before, my wife, my brother and I. So he’s pulling us through the woods on this thing.”

Berninger said the show, which is still without an official title, has “a lot of the same tone” of Mistaken For Strangers, the 2013 documentary about The National which was directed by Berninger’s brother Tom.

“It’s more scripted than that is, and it’s not a film Tom’s making, Tom’s just a subject of it. It’s not a fake documentary,” he said.

“I play myself and my brother plays my brother — Tom plays Tom; Tom can’t play anybody else — but then the rest of it’s all cast.”

Berninger said he’s in a band in the show, which will also feature members of bands who appeared on The National’s Grateful Dead tribute album Day Of The Dead Dead, which featured the likes of Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Courtney Barnett.

“I’m in a band and actually Aaron helped cast the band, with all the guys that were working on the Grateful Dead project together, and so it was a bunch of guys from different bands that we’ve known and been friends with for a long time, who play the band,” he said.

“Aaron’s kinda in it as a producer, sort of as himself, but not really.”

The National are currently touring Australia in support of their latest album Sleep Well Beast.

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