The National's Matt Berninger to produce and star in TV show based on himself

Matt Berninger, frontman of Ohio-based alternative rock group The National is working on a new TV series about his own life in rock and roll.

Berninger and his bandmate Aaron Dessner recently featured in an interview with Australia's Double J radio show when Berninger divulged details of the forthcoming project.

Berninger said he has created the series himself based on his experiences in the music industry. He’s creating the series with his actor/director brother Tom, writer Carin Besser (Berninger’s wife). They recently teamed up with Australian director Trent O’Donnell, known for shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place, as well as O’Donnell’s wife.

The frontman said the tentatively untitled series will take inspiration from Tom’s 2013 documentary about The National, Mistaken for Strangers, but is adapted to the format of a half-hour comedy show.

“We’re hoping it’s a comedy,” said the singer during the interview with Double J radio’s Zan Rowe. “It’s something we’ve been cooking for a while.”

“My brother made this documentary and it has a lot of the same tone. But this is more scripted than that and it’s not a film Tom’s making, Tom is just a subject of it. It’s not a fake documentary,” Berninger added.

The Berninger brothers intend to star as themselves, with Matt surrounded by a fictionalized band. Fellow bandmate Aaron Dessner helped cast the band, using real life musicians who worked with the Dessner brothers on the 2016 Grateful Dead tribute compilation, Day of the Dead. Fans will remember that album for its string of A-list guest performers which included The War on Drugs, Cortney Barnett, Wilco, Mumford & Sons, The Flaming Lips and more, which might be a hint that practically anybody could cameo on the upcoming show.

Fellow bandmate Aaron Dessner helped cast the fictional band for the show, using real life musicians who worked with the Dessner brothers on the 2016 Grateful Dead tribute compilation, "Day of the Dead". (Image Source: YouTube)

Dessner will also have a role, playing a producer, or at least that’s what it seemed like. “I don’t have a speaking part,” Dessner teased. “Well, I might,” he quickly added!

The project is yet to go into production and Berninger confirmed that it will definitely not be out in 2018. “It won’t see the light of day this year,” said Berninger. “So, that’s how far along it is.”

You can check out the whole interview, as well as a quick AMA session where the band answers fan questions here.

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Suraj Prabhu


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