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DaveHoward Written by DaveHoward
Apr. 12, 2007 | 7:57 PM

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Interview with HOT FUZZ’s Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

You two have been working together for a long time. How does that impact your work?

Nick: It?s an enduring friendship and it makes working fun. I was very impressed with him on Hot Fuzz and how far his acting had come. When I met Nick he was a waiter,  not like a waiter trying to be an actor like everyone here (Los Angeles). He just wanted to serve food. I said ?Why don?t you come and be an actor with me you fool.? and he said unenthusiastically, ?All right.? Now he?s stealing the show.

There are a lot of Jerry Bruckheimer influences in HOT FUZZ, have you heard from him?

Shane Black has seen it. We haven?t heard from Bruckheimer or Bay, the big ?B?s. Fan is strange word. We were amazed at how hard it was to pull off. We only had an eight of the budget of BAD BOYS 2. You can make eight HOT FUZZ?s for one BAD BOYS 2. Eight HOT FUZZ?s is almost a long as BAD BOYS 2, You know the kind of gumption that it takes to pull off an action film isn?t so easy.

Nick, I know you did something very method for SHAUN OF THE DEAD. You shaved your pubes to make sure it itched.  Anything like that for HOT FUZZ?

Nick: Actually, I joined the Dutch Police force for four years.  The uniform fit. Not really, I watched BAD BOYS 2.

Simon: To me the shaving the pubes thing was just an excuse to actually do that. You can pawn it off on some kind of method. Really, he just wanted to shave his scrotum.

In the movie there are a lot of references to BAD BOYS 2. Why BAD BOYS 2 and not one?

Nick:  Is there a ?one?? 
Simon: Because it is an odd thing.  BAD BOYS 2, I think they knew that it wasn?t an entirely requested sequel. It was the most impudent, excessive movie ever. As a result, it exists solely without the need for it?s predecessor. BAD BOYS 2 forget Bad Boys.

Will there be a HOT FUZZ 2?
Nick: It would be silly.

Simon: It would easier to do than a sequel to SHAUN OF DEAD. IT would just be Danny and Angel getting into another adventure. It?s more of a origin story about how they became THE HOT FUZZ. But once you have them ?just being? HOT FUZZ, It t would be less funny. It would just be two hours of the half hour of this movie.

What was behind the title of the film?

Nick: We just wanted to appeal to the two word titles of the 80?s and 90?s LETHAL WEAPON, POINT BREAK, EXECUTIVE DESICISON. Both of those titles are seemed to be generated from two hats filled with nouns and adjectives. Also, with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, because it was a pun on a specific English sentence, it got changed a lot. SO I thought let?s start of with something that means nothing, so they won?t change it. I think they probably will. In Spain, SHAUN was known as ZOMBIE PARTY.

You and Edgar (Wright, Director) collaborate on the script. How involved is Nick?

We have a rehearsal four weeks before shooting. Nick is the first person that sees the script. We have a week of improvising and rehearsing. If anything comes during the line readings and when Nick brings something into it, it?s put into the script. When we?re on the set, we?re actually quite anal about the ways things are said. Sometimes it?s quite necessary for things to say in this particular way.

What is the next thing you are writing with Ed?

Simon: We next thing we might do together is a little side project. We talk about it on plans briefly and we land.  It?s a little thing. It?s not going to be the third ?thing? from Edgar and me, it?ll be something extra. Edgar probably won?t work on it as a director, with probably be a script editor. But Edgar and I have an idea for the third one in the SHAUN/HOTT FUZZ blood and ice cream tradition. We got the idea for it when we landed in Sydney. But we?re not going to say anything about until it?s ?born.? The last time we spoke of ?HOT FUZZ? before we had even started writing it and it became a ?thing? where people wanted to know where it was. We learned a lesson there.

Can you give an update on what you are working on now?

Nick: I am working on a show ?Hyperdrive? that comes out in May. When Simon and Edgar go off and write, I go off and make British television. I taste the forbidden fruit. And then we are writing our film and hopefully we shoot that in the autumn. That?s gonna take up our whole year.

Simon: In the interim I am doing Robert Weide?s work, HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE directed by Bob Wiley who did CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. It?s me and Kirsten Dunst for the moment, but I don?t know who else has been cast.

You work with a lot of heavy weight supporting actors in this film. What experiences can you share?

Simon: It was brilliant. They were just such marvelous people. I wish we had a bit of gossip for you, but they were great. They?re at the top of their game.  They were the whole package. They?re on-time, they?re nice, know their lines, no egos.

Nick: The set was full of stories. The set on HOT FUZZ was one long anecdote. We are acting along people who had worked with Olivier and Samuel Beckett, it was fantastic to sit with them in-between shots and just listen to them talk to each other. When we were rehearsing, before each rehearsal date we had a half hour of anecdote time. We would get Edward Woodward talk about The Equalizer

Simon: It was his way of getting into things. Every morning he would just sit and tell us a story. He?s 76 now, he?s getting on.. he?s absolutely amazing.  Jim Broadbent came to us after SHAUN OF THE DEAD and asked if we would consider working with him in one of his feature project.

Nick and Simon: uh, no.

Simon:  So we immediately wrote Frank Butterman for Jim.

Nick (sarcastically): Yeah take your Oscar with you and.. (thumbs as if to say ?Hit the Road?

Simon(sarcastically): Doesn?t mean a lot here.

Are British audiences as big into ?the joke? as Americans are?

Nick: It?s a whole genre. It has fettered into British culture since the 50?s.In all there incarnations and in the 70?s the FRENCH CONNECTION, SERPICO. It?s all evolved into the British conscience. We?re very hungry for American culture in the U.K. I think it?s not like seeing ourselves on the screen. We get bored of it.  Seeing exotic locations and people who have guns is sooo exciting. Cops who driver Ferraris.

You spoof Point Break and Bad Boys 2?were there other movies you were interested in but couldn?t get the rights?

Nick: We don?t use the ?S? word, by the way.
Simon: We don?t say spoof. Ultimately, the film is what is taking on. With Shaun of the Dead we wanted to MAKE a Zombie. At no point did we want to MAKE FUN of a Zombie film. There are more parodist elements of HOT FUZZ, where we are drawing attention to grander clich?s that are always employed. The never-ending magazine of bullets,  how we can fire at each other and not hit anything, someone saying ?I?ll give you information in FIVE MINUTES?.which means they have five minutes to live. Basically, it?s about handling that genre comedicaly rather than making fun of it. There is no derision in HOT FUZZ. We don?t feel superior to the source material at all. In a way, the film is saying, ?It?s Okay to be Dumb? as long as you temper it with some intelligence. It?s okay to watch Fireworks.  You don?t have to watch Ibsen 24 hours a day.
Nick: We were going to mention Lethal Weapon, but I don?t think Mel Gibson has a sense of humor.

We?re meting with Edgar later, what could I ask him to keep him off pace?
Simon: Ask him about ?the little boy?
Nick: Ask him about Cake Flushing.
Simon: The Texas Sewers have been jammed with cake.
Nick: Seriously, if you ever get a chance to flush a cake? do it. You put it in the toilet and you flush it.

Piece by Piece?
Nick: If it?s a small cake, you can do it all at once. American toilets suck cake like no one?s business. I got such a massive cake in Atlanta that I had to cut it into pieces with a shoehorn.
Simon: We video taped it.

Will it be on the DVD?
Nick: I hope so. In New York we are going to flush a wedding cake. Also an apple pie, but I would leave it in the toilet all day to steep. Then flush it later. 


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