Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Seinfeld gets to bee himself

AS one of the most recognisable comedians in the world, Jerry Seinfeld isn't one to put his name to just any project.

That is why he's done very little acting since his hit television show, Seinfeld, wrapped nearly a decade ago.

For DreamWorks' Bee Movie, he wanted total control and wears several different caps - he's the writer, producer and lead voice actor.

"You can go wrong anywhere - it's not difficult. Showbusiness is always risky and there is always a chance of failure,'' Seinfeld told Insider.

"I knew people would like to see me take a nice big belly flop, so I thought I better focus.

"It is just human nature, unfortunately. When you have had success, the next thing people want to see is you fail and watch you deal with that. It just makes for more entertaining viewing of the celebrity.

"But I understand it ... I have a little bit of that myself.''

Seinfeld will fly into Sydney tomorrow for the Australian premiere of the animated feature film, which tells the story of young bee Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld).

Benson has graduated from school and is set to enter the honey-making working class when he ventures out of the hive, falls for a girl (Renee Zellweger) and discovers people are stealing honey for their own consumption.

Barry sues the human race and wins a court order returning the sweet stuff to the bees.

Life should be good but, without pollination, the world's flowers, fruits and vegetables begin dying, so Barry must figure out how to undo his legal damage.

Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Sting, Oprah Winfrey and Megan Mullally also lent their voices to characters in the film.

While top heavy with big names, Seinfeld said the A-list actors weren't necessarily vital to the success of the film.

"The only reason I got these people is that they are the best at what they do,'' he said.

"They also happen to be celebrities but it is kind of one thing: they have horsepower.

"There is some talent in the movie that is completely unknown, but you are not going to find someone better than ReneeZellweger that nobody has ever heard of."

Steven Spielberg was also behind the film. Seinfeld was dining with the star movie director and mentioned he had a funny idea: a film about bees titled Bee Movie - a pun on old, low-grade B-movies.

Spielberg called his friend Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of the DreamWorks Animation movie studio, and faster than one can say "punchline'' a movie deal was born.

"The ability to let your imagination run wild just felt like a fresh new sandbox to play in, and I got very intrigued with that,'' Seinfeld explained.