As worthy and hilarious as his many acting and comedic pursuits undeniably are, there shall always be a Flight of the Conchords-shaped elephant in whatever room Rhys Darby finds himself in.
Not that the actor -- best known as hapless manager Murray in the cult comedy -- is the least bit fazed.
"It's what people know me for best, and that's cool," he reasons. "When strangers meet me they want to think they're talking to Murray. I did hope he'd be successful so to get a reaction is fun, and it's a great role to start out with."
Currently jetting between his home in London and New York, where the long-awaited second seasons of FOTC has just been filmed, he adds: "I guess the reason the show became popular is because they're typical fish out of water, headed up by a hopeless manager who has a heart of gold but no clue about anything."
True to form, Rhys admits that even just filming Flight of the Conchords' infamous 'band meetings' leaves himself, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement in helpless fits of laughter.
"We've been friends a long time and we improvise for one of the three or four takes we do," he smiles.
"Half the time we have to talk to empty chairs because the others will be laughing too hard at what's on the monitors."
Fans will get to see a different side to the actor with the imminent release of Imagine That!, a live DVD featuring his stand-up work. In it, Rhys talks about his life growing up in New Zealand, joining the army, learning to dance and his passion for robots and jet-pack impersonations.
"It's a narrative from childhood onwards, a mixture of fact and the fantastical," he explains. "Obviously the story of me sleeping with a mermaid is the real part!"
Speaking about his comedic origins in Christchurch, he reveals: "I was laughed at a lot as a kid, sometimes it was on purpose and sometimes it wasn't. We broke out in university to start a comedy scene in our city, mainly for the beer.
"In New Zealand it's harder to get a crowd going, but in Britain and Ireland the audiences are more boisterous and know what they want," he continues.
"If you don't give it to them onstage they have a moan."
Say what you will about Rhys' claims of sleeping with mermaids, but material based on working as a soldier comes from real-life experience.
"I'd love to have been a jet pilot but was terrible at maths and physics," he recalls. "So it was like, 'well, what do I need to be good at for the army then?' I had an ability to hold a weapon and duck for cover. I was also really good at marching; in fact I was great at the act of being a soldier, but if push came to shove, it might have been different."
With the second series of FOTC in the can, Rhys has been making tentative steps into Hollywood, starring opposite Jim Carrey in the forthcoming flick Yes Man. Happily, Rhys gets to out-funny Carrey in every scene.
"All my scenes are with him and the fun thing is that he's the straight guy in this one," he enthuses. "He knew I hadn't much experience but he kept saying 'this film will be great for you'."
Once Yes Man has been completed, it appears the possibilities for Rhys Darby are endless: "I've done comedy for 10 years so I'd love to play an adventurer or explorer like Sir Edmund Hillary, or be a commander in a war epic." Well, he's already got ducking for cover sorted. . .
Imagine That! is in shops now