Dungeons & Dragons Movie Enlists Aunty Donna Boys To Play Dead

Dungeons & Dragons Movie Enlists Aunty Donna Boys To Play Dead

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is making its way to Aussie audiences at the end of this month, and said audiences will be receiving a little piece of home when they go to watch it. That’s right, the boys from Aunty Donna are in the Dungeons & Dragons movie. As corpses.

For those unaware, Aunty Donna is an Australian surrealist comedy group comprised of Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly, and Zachary Ruane. They’ve been goofin’ around since 2011, doing gags in comedy festivals and live shows, before moving into the web series world with short series’ such as 1999, Trendy, and Glennridge Secondary College. 

There’s also The Rove Tapes, which are a series of sketches that were supposed to be on Saturday Night Rove until two episodes aired and Channel Ten decided to take the series out the back and put it down, Old Yeller style. What the?!

However, Aunty Donna is probably most well-known nowadays for their 2020 Netflix series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun, which saw the boys working side-by-side with Ed Helms. The series was a success worldwide, featuring the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic, Antony Starr, Kristen Schaal, and more. Everybody laughed, tee hee ha ha, and it was a great time for all.

And now the three hooligans are gracing the big screen in Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, taking on the deep and complex roles of Toke Horgath (Broden), Sven Salafin (Zach), and Unnamed Solder (Mark). Knowing that I am an Australian person, Paramount gave me six minutes in a Zoom Room with the boys to talk about their performances.

How much of yourselves were put into the characters of Toke Horgath, Sven Salafin, and Unnamed Soldier?

Zach: I think I gave a little too much, if I’m being honest. You know, I give a lot when I do a role and I lived as my character for three months, I believe.

Mark: You sacrificed a lot.

Zach: And you know, it was hard. I think I remember finishing the film. You know, we did a half day of recording in Port Melbourne, that was the entirety of the job.

Mark: And there was a movie that you watched that you based a lot of this off, wasn’t there? A lot of your research off?

Zach: No?

Mark: No, there wasn’t? Really?

Zach: What is that in reference to?

Mark: I just thought I remember you told me about a movie specifically that you watched.

Zach: No, I try to avoid watching movies.

Zach: Or doing anything too movie-like, because I think it can throw my performance off.

Mark: Really!

Zach: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah, fair enough. Yeah,

Zach: I did do what they did in Flatliners.

Mark: Oh! Right! Did you?

Zach: So I did flatlining to get into the role of the bodies because they’re dead.

But not all the way, only a little bit dead.

Zach: And that’s flatlining. So I got together with a group of sexy med students, and we flatlined for the thrill of it. But then we realized that actually, flatlining opens a portal to a sort of dangerous spiritual realm, and we had to stop doing the flatlining.

Broden: When they said, “Do you want to be in this film?” I went, “Let me just quickly go to NIDA.” And so I went and auditioned for NIDA. I did two contrasting monologues, one classical and one contemporary. They said I was too old and bad at acting. I said, “Well, joke’s on you. I’m in… I’m in this movie.” And they said, “Wow.”

Mark: And that is a true story, believe it or not.

Zach: That’s true.

Mark: That is a true story.

I might choose to believe it, or not!

Broden: Well, that’s the magic of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s all about improvisation and fun characters and letting it go where it goes.

Well, speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, you know, because that is the name of the movie. What kind of experience have you guys had with the game Dungeons & Dragons, if at all?

Zach: I love it. I play it regularly, and that’s why I loved the movie when we watched it because there are lots of little references so I was really happy. I don’t want to give away, like some of them are a little bit secret, but for me as a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons, I was really picking up on all those little references. But you’re not as big of a fan, are you Mark?

Mark: No, no, I don’t really know ‘Dungeons‘ or ‘Dragons‘. I know some ‘and‘s.

Zach: Did you enjoy the film though?

Mark: I actually loved the film even though I didn’t get the references you were getting. For me, it was a fun romp regardless of whether you knew the references or not. A big fun adventure-action romp. I had such a great time.

Zach: What about you, Broden?

Broden: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve only played Dungeons & Dragons on podcasts, because at school, I loved American football, Greco-Roman wrestling, and things like that. Things where I could use my brawn instead of my brain. And then when I became a comedian, all of a sudden D&D was everywhere. And I was like, these nerds are on to something and I became a nerd.

Mark: Broden, you’re a barbarian in real life. When you played Dungeons and Dragons, do you like to take a different character?

Broden: Yes, I like to play a small, oafish kind of character, as opposed to a big strong one, for sure.

I also asked the boys what they’ve been playing recently, as I have started to do with all my interviews, but you will only be able to find out if you listen to Episode 5 of The Kotaku Australia Podcast, which is out on Friday at 12:00 p.m. AEDT (How nefarious of me to withhold this information! Gadzooks!).

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves releases in cinemas on March 30th.

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