Jabba’s Movies: Ron’s Gone Wrong

He’s the face of the most awkward, and hilarious content on the internet, and now Zach Galifianakis is skewering technology in a heart-warming animated comedy about a boy and his malfunctioning robot.

In Ron’s Gone Wrong, Zach voices the title character, a rejected robot gifted to teenager Barney, voiced by Shazam! star Jack Dylan Grazer.

Watch Jabba’s interview with Zach and Jack in the video above

“Initially I didn’t really understand the social and economic importance (of the film) – I just loved it because the character had some funny lines,” Jack said.

“But then as the years went on, as I participated more and more, you know, actually for like the first two years of doing this movie, I had no idea what it was about.

“I just knew that it was a kid and a robot and some complications, but then I peeled back the layers of the onion and I realized that there are so many more aspects to this picture, that there’s more than meets the eye.”

Jack’s character Barney Pudowski is a lovable but awkward 7th grader having a hard time making friends.

Ron’s Gone Wrong
Ron’s Gone Wrong Credit: 20th Century Animation

He is missing the one thing that ensures popularity with his classmates – a B*Bot – a walking, talking, digitally connected device that promises to be ‘your best friend out of the box’.

On the first day of school, Barney, who lives with his well-intentioned but distracted dad Graham (voiced by Ed Helms), his eccentric Bulgarian grandmother, Donka (Olivia Colman), and their crazed goat, learns quickly that without a B*bot, he is doomed to social Siberia.

For Galifianakis, creator of the infamous internet ‘chat show’ Between Two Ferns, the theme of fitting in at that age struck a chord.

“There were moments when I fit in and then there were more moments when I certainly didn’t fit in,” Zach said.

Zach Galifianakis arrives at the world premiere of ‘Ron's Gone Wrong’ in Los Angeles.
Zach Galifianakis arrives at the world premiere of ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ in Los Angeles. Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

“I used to eat at the lunchroom by myself on purpose, but I did it as a joke and I would act like people were there and I would act like I was talking to people that weren’t there just to mess with the other students.

“I was an outsider a lot of times, most of the time, but then I felt, you know, sometimes I felt more of an insider I guess, but more of an outsider for sure.”

Between Two Ferns

Between Two Ferns, a fake talk show hosted by Zach since 2008, has come a long way from humble beginnings as a simple sketch on the website Funny or Die.

Featuring huge names like Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and any other Hollywood celebrity brave enough to face Zach’s excruciatingly awkward, inappropriate and generally offensive questions, the show even featured former U.S. President Barack Obama, before being adapted into a feature film for Netflix in 2019.

US President Barack Obama with Zach Galifianakis on ‘Between Two Ferns’.
US President Barack Obama with Zach Galifianakis on ‘Between Two Ferns’. Credit: Funny Or Die/AP

Zach says the show wasn’t born from his own experience of participating in awkward film junkets to promote film projects, “because when I came out with Between Two Ferns, I was not doing any junkets, and (the show) to me was more of a reaction to the worship of celebrity culture.”

“I just didn’t see these people being interviewed in any meaningful way. I just saw them being interviewed in one way, all these actor types, like ‘what kind of pranks did you guys do on set?’ and it just drives me crazy.

“I always say, who needs Ambien (a medication used for treatment of sleeping problems) when you have an actor talking about their next project.”

His latest project is definitely no snooze, striking a perfect balance between heart and humour that is sure to delight generations to come.

Ron’s Gone Wrong is in cinemas now.

For more on the best films to catch on the big screen, don’t miss Jabba’s Movies, streaming now on 7plus.

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