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Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view/ Britt Mann Pho­to­graph/ Ja­son Dor­day

Laura Daniel, 27, and Joseph Moore, 28, are ac­tors/writ­ers on Three’s Jono & Ben, 7 Days, and Funny Girls. Off set, the Auck­land cou­ple is Two Hearts, an “overly am­bi­tious” pop mu­sic com­edy duo tak­ing New Zealand stages by storm since 2017.

LAURA/ We met a few years ago when we drunk­enly hooked up one night. I was like, “Oh my God, who is this guy?” It was a big mis­take. First im­pres­sion wasn’t amaz­ing; sec­ond or third im­pres­sion was slightly bet­ter. Af­ter­wards we started work­ing to­gether. We be­came very good friends. Through Jono & Ben we started col­lab­o­rat­ing more and more. We both dis­cov­ered we liked mak­ing com­edy songs to­gether. We started per­form­ing to­gether on stage. We formed Two Hearts, and it’s gone from there.

He’s en­er­getic and quite bub­bly. He’s very smart, and he’ll al­ways go the ex­tra mile for a gag. I used to come and help out on his solo com­edy shows do­ing lit­tle voiceover pieces for him. His whole solo act, I’d watch it think­ing, “S... this is a good show”. In our show we do to­gether, he’s very good at rap­ping. And he’s very good at tech­ni­cal gags, with in­stru­ments. You’d as­so­ciate a fog horn noise with Joseph Moore, I think. He has a cheeky, self-aware stage pres­ence, which is very en­dear­ing to watch.

He’s quite switched on in terms of how to pro­duce pop bangers. I don’t have the same kind of tech­ni­cal skill set of mak­ing the beats but I’ll sit there in the room and be like, “Can you make it go boop-boop-bop-bop-boop?” I think my favourite song we do is Alan Rick­man. We’ve got a song about when you love some­one so much that it makes you for­get that your favourite ac­tor – Alan Rick­man – passed away.

An­other one I re­ally like is Slutty Ghost, which is about a slutty ghost. His mum came and watched our first show and gave us s... She was like, “I hated Slutty Ghost”. At Joseph’s dad’s 60th birth­day party, she had a few drinks and she was in the lounge in front of ev­ery­one be­ing like, “Per­form Slutty Ghost! Do it!” So we did. We got a round of ap­plause.

I think we’re very, very sim­i­lar, so that can be a bit weird some­times. Some­thing we’ve got­ten pretty good at sort­ing things out on the spot. Rather than let­ting it brew... Joseph will be like, “Why don’t you like this?” I’ll go on a rant for a few min­utes and then we’ll sort it out and move on. With cre­ative dif­fer­ences, we’re quite blunt with each other, which can seem harsh for like, 20 min­utes. But be­cause we’ve known each other for so long, it’s quite easy be­cause we both know what the end goal is. JOSEPH/ We hooked up when we first met, and it didn’t work out. It was at the af­ter party of a play she was in or some­thing. That was about five years ago. We talk about that a lot in our show and have man­aged to mine much com­edy out of it... We were in the same cir­cles do­ing com­edy and drama and stuff. We learned to be­come funny to­gether.

I saw a lot of my­self in her – she had this big on-stage con­fi­dence that was quite self-aware and self­dep­re­cat­ing at the same time. She prob­a­bly ex­uded a lot more con­fi­dence than I did. She has this kind of, strut, about her both on stage and off.

We started do­ing SNORT – the im­prov group – to­gether. From there, Laura joined us at Jono & Ben, where I’d been work­ing since 2012. She joined us about 2014, 2015. We started work­ing to­gether heaps when she wanted to do mu­si­cal stuff. I al­ways wanted to make mu­si­cal com­edy, but I can’t sing. It was a handy col­lab­o­ra­tion in that re­gard.

We’ve started see­ing each other now - ro­man­ti­cally, as well as pro­fes­sion­ally. I think be­cause we spent so much time to­gether mak­ing the first Two Hearts show, that we re­alised we’d got it all wrong five years ago when it didn’t work out, and it was time to give it an­other go. It’s been much bet­ter, this time around.

We don’t live to­gether but all our time is pretty much to­gether, so we’re al­ways talk­ing about ideas and al­ways be­ing cre­ative. We’re kind of never “off”, which is maybe good.

She doesn’t like be­ing sur­prised with any sort of food gift. She has to choose it her­self. I once bought her fish ‘n’ chips. She’d said she wanted them but I or­dered the wrong thing. Sur­prise Uber Eats, as well. Not ap­pre­ci­ated.

I used to be like, real pre­ten­tious. I’ve given it up as I get older and have less time to care about any­thing. I spent my for­ma­tive years be­ing a real snob. I think there’s a hint of that in me still. When we talk about mu­sic I still wanna chuck on the old mid-2000s sad rock. I think Laura’s been a pop lover from go to whoa.

At my dad’s 60th, at my par­ents’ house in Welling­ton, it was the end of the night and there were about six peo­ple left. My mum de­manded that me and Laura do Slutty Ghost. My mum said she didn’t like the song be­cause it was too filthy but af­ter a few drinks she de­cided it was time to hear it. We did a per­for­mance in the lounge to some half-asleep baby boomers. We can do any gig now we’ve done that.

Two Hearts star in Com­edy Cen­tral’s An­other Frickin’ Fes­ti­val Show­case, on in Auck­land, Queen­stown and Welling­ton next month. See com­e­dy­cen­tral.co.nz.

“We re­alised we’d got it all wrong five years ago when it didn’t work out, and it was time to give it an­other go.”

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