OFF THE CHARTS

THE LONELY IS­LAND ARE BACK. COOL BEANS

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

T’S BEEN NINE years since Andy Sam­berg, Jorma Tac­cone and Akiva Schaf­fer — aka com­edy col­lec­tive The Lonely Is­land — made their first film, the supremely silly cult gem Hot Rod. Since then, they’ve been based on TV, in Satur­day Night Live’s hi­lar­i­ous Dig­i­tal Shorts and Sam­berg’s sit­com, Brook­lyn Nine-nine.

That will change with this sum­mer’s Pop­star: Never Stop Never Stop­ping, a mock-doc­u­men­tary that aims to send up the world of pop-rap, as Sam­berg’s teen idol, Con­ner4real, des­per­ately clings to his 15 min­utes of fame. “What we’re edg­ing to­wards,” says Sam­berg, decked out on set at the LA Fo­rum in a pure white, Eminem-wannabe track­suit, “are the ‘real’ mo­ments you get in these films: when Katy Perry’s re­la­tion­ship goes south, or when One Di­rec­tion sit round a camp­fire dis­cussing whether they’ll still be friends in the fu­ture. It’s to­tally staged, but you’re charmed by it.”

The com­edy troupe is far from new to mu­sic par­o­dies, so this topic isn’t a huge sur­prise. “We’d been talk­ing for years about do­ing a con­cert­style movie,” says Sam­berg. “Then Akiva had a meet­ing with Judd Apa­tow, and Judd pitched ex­actly this idea to him.”

Em­pire watches as Sam­berg per­forms a spot-on Euro­dance pas­tiche called Ibiza, com­plete with iden­tikit back­ing track, cheesy moves and been there/done that scratch­ing. “We all love pop mu­sic,” says Tac­cone, “and hope that shines through.” “Then again,” adds Schaf­fer, “we are still tak­ing the piss.” Never in doubt. SI­MON BRAUND

POP­STAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOP­PING IS

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