Emmah Ngomane

Renowned South African film and television director Gray Hofmeyr describes Leon Schuster's upcoming movie Bad Buddies as the 'funniest we have ever done' and with the Walt Disney Company having acquired the distribution rights, this new movie is bound to be another blockbuster hit for Schuster.

Mama Jack or Mr Bones, as he’s fondly known by his fans, took a break from his busy schedule to chat with the Super Saturday Citizen about the difficulties of making people laugh.

In an interview three years ago before Mr Bones 2 came out, you talked about achieving the ultimate dream as a South African filmmaker, which was to make it internationally. How do you feel about the partnership with Walt Disney?

I am thrilled by the idea! It’s definitely a dream come true. But I’m also carefully optimistic because this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an international success.

I believe Disney will give the movie more support with their massive marketing machine and unlike working with a local producer, Disney will make sure it gets exposed worldwide.
Tells us more about the title of the movie..

Initially we wanted to go with Boetie and the Beast but Disney was not happy. They said it would be confused with Beauty and the Beast. So we settled on Bad Buddies, which might still change as the movie progresses. It’s about two men, one black, one white who are supposed to be buddies but instead they are constantly bickering, plotting against one another.

The movie will not be for your local fans only, who are both loyal and accustomed to your style of comedy.

Are you nervous about introducing your material to a new market?

The story line is simple, straightforward and concentrates on visual gags – that has always been my strong point.

It took three years to complete the script for Bad Buddies, how has been the process?

This was the hardest script I’ve ever written! I have never spent so much time working on a script, usually it takes me six months, at the most.

I took a lot of strain and it was hard work.

Making people laugh is the most difficult thing in the world.

Having written all kinds of scripts over the years, what story does Mr Schuster still long to tell?

A lekker romantic comedy about a bachelor.

I am a bachelor myself and can say a lot on the subject.

I’ve always said you must write about something you know about ... I just need to find a woman who’ll be willing to act as the romantic interest, which I think