Birth Name: Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement
Place of Birth: Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand
Date of Birth: January 10, 1974
*French, Irish, German, English (father)
Jemaine Clement is a New Zealand comedian, actor, singer, songwriter, musician, writer, and director. He is one half of the comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, alongside Bret McKenzie.
Jemaine was raised by his mother and grandmother. His father became an alcoholic while working in the freezing works, and left the family in fear of causing anyone harm. Jemaine is married to theatre actress and playwright Miranda Manasiadis, with whom he has a son.
Jemaine’s mother is Maori. Jemaine’s father, Robert Clement, is Australian (which Jemaine mentioned in an interview), and a self-taught stained-glass artist. In 2015, an article on the New Zealand news webside Stuff.co.nz stated that Jemaine has “French, Irish, German and Australian heritage” on his father’s side. Jemaine has also said himself that he is descended from a woman, an aristocrat who was the cousin of Louis the XIV, who moved to Ireland from France during the French revolution, where she married an Irish man.
About pursuing an acting career as a Maori, Jemaine has said:
I was only 21 when they started it [a TV sketch show called Skitz] and remember, because I was part-Māori, having to play things like the street kids and glue sniffers. And going, that’s not my experience at all. I’ve never sniffed glue. I find the whole idea of drugs horrible. I would always insist on having a hood because I was so ashamed to be taking down my race like that.
On his mother’s side, one of Jemaine’s great-great-grandfathers was Iraia Te Whaiti, a Maori tribal leader, farmer, and historian, who started his own printing press and school. Iraia was born in Wairarapa, New Zealand.
Source: Article about Jemaine’s father – http://www.nzherald.co.nz
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