Nick Frost on The World’s End , Fake Beer, and Fight Scenes

The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy ends, fittingly enough, with The World’s End, a sci-fi action comedy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan. And while fans of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are sad to see the trilogy come to a close, at least with The World’s End the final chapter has been worth waiting for.

Sitting down to chat about the movie, Nick

Frost talked about this final film of the trilogy, pub crawls, and living in the past.

Nick Frost The World’s End Interview

Nick, it seems like the relationship between the characters you and Simon play has been different in each film. You were more of the outrageous one in Shaun of the Dead, the more innocent one in Hot Fuzz, and in this you’re more the responsible one while he’s being the wild character. Has it been conscious to change up the dynamic in relationships?

Nick Frost: “Look, they are all different characters, and I think Simon and I both feel really importantly that it’s not the same in each film. I think people will get bored with that, and I think that that would be a real shame if they say, ‘Here they go again doing the same shtick.’ And I think it’s we’re both actors, and I think to have the chance to act and to be different characters is a treat – and it should be like that.”

Have you been on a pub crawl, and what is your most memorable experience on one?

Nick Frost: “Well,

yeah, I have been. I’ve been on a couple. I like to sit down and have the pub come to me. I don’t see the point of walking between pubs. I think you’re either drinking or doing cardio, so it’s why would you do both? We had a pub crawl on my stag night, which was about five years ago. I remember the first five pubs, and then a friend of mine, Andrew, turned up with a giant glass Eiffel Tower full of absinthe and that was that, really. That’s all I remembered.

Me and Edgar Wright and Simon [Pegg] tried to do this pub crawl about eight years ago. Edgar had written this script called Crawl which was the basis of this. But it turned out that, in fact, what it was was the script was the first three minutes of this. And so me and Edgar went down to try and do some work on that original script, and we did nothing. We did no work at all. We hired like this really beautiful, soft-top Mercedes, and we just drove around for a week, listening to John Spencer, like we owned the place. It was terrible. We did no work at all.

And Simon turned up and Edgar said, ‘Let’s try and do the pub crawl. Let’s try and do it.’ And Edgar, I’m sure if you ask him he will tell you that he is the worst drinker in the world, so if you go on a pub crawl with Edgar, you … We got to pub three and we had to carry him home. [Laughing] And you look at your watch and you think, ‘It’s 10 to 8:00. What are we going to do now for the rest of the night?’ It’s really annoying. Yeah, and that was it, really. There are a few big pub crawls. I mean, I think a lot of places in Britain have a thing where there are small towns with 12 or 15 pubs and you have to try and have a quick drink in each of them. That’s my pub-crawl history.”

What was easier and what was more difficult about making this film, as compared to making Shaun 10 years ago?

Nick Frost: “What was easier? I think the fact that we’re all best mates so we have a shorthand. There was no point where it felt like we were gearing up to make a film. We were just ready. It felt like in the production of it we finished Hot Fuzz on Friday and we started The World’s End on a Monday. We just picked up straightaway where we left off, so I guess that was easiest.

Hard? We could always have more money and more time in these films, as I’m sure everyone in my position could say that. But just to try and shoot what we wanted and had to shoot in 12 weeks for the budget we had is such a challenge. I think sometimes when you have too much money and too much time, that’s when you start creating problems for yourself. Just because you have more money doesn’t mean you make a better film. I think it’s good to challenge yourself in terms of that. And then also just the physical nature of this film and the fact that we spent weeks for 11 hours a day, day after day after day, just fighting. I kind of had that thing in the back of my mind because I came straight off a dance film where I danced for three months. I trained for seven months to be a dancer, and then danced for three months. Then I had a week and then did this, so I think that helped my fighting ability, in terms of these fights had to be beautiful and balletic. But there’s a terrible fear that you’re going to get injured and they would have to put the film on hold. I think that’s fine if you’re the lead in a giant $200 million dollar picture where they can put the movie on hold for three months and you get fixed and then you’re back, but we haven’t got that luxury. If you’re injured, we have a problem. So just that thing of … and we did get hurt. Simon broke his hand.

We were constantly niggled and tweaked and having to have sports massages every day. It felt like you were being patched up and just thrown back into battle, which is a nice thing too.”

You go darker in this film than you normally are allowed to, but you also have said this was the most fun for you in terms of making a film. Do you think the two are related? That maybe because it was darker that it was more fun to make?

Nick Frost: “Yeah, of course they’re related. I always say it’s like putting the fun back into funeral. I’ve often had the most fun ever being at funerals because it’s that fine line that if you don’t laugh, you’re going to cry – and that’s often where the most honest comedy comes from. This is going to sound like I’m the biggest dick in the world, but in terms of the comedy, it’s kind of the easiest thing we do because me and Simon have always made each other laugh and have been idiots at school and have been the funny ones. So the chance to play out of type and to act is a treat. I just made this thing with Bob Weide, who did Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Olivia Colman who’s won two BAFTAs plays my wife in it, and it’s such a treat to work with her and to work with actors and to put in a performance and to challenge yourself. We have Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan in this film, but there was a bunch of times when we were acting, not acting, where you just think, ‘This is f**king amazing.’ You feel it. You can feel it happening. And it’s such a rare thing that with comedy it’s like you’re joking and we’re laughing, but when you’re acting, you can actually feel something in the room. It’s quite rare. It’s beautiful.”

What’s that dance movie you did?

Nick Frost: “It’s called Cuban Fury. I made it with Rashida Jones and Chris O’Dowd, and it comes out in the UK in January.”

Do you guys know a guy like Gary King that you based the character on?

Nick Frost: “Yeah. Yeah, I think everyone knows someone like Gary King. I think we’ve said it a few times, but if you don’t know a Gary King, you’re probably Gary King. I’m, let’s say fortunate or unfortunate, but I’m the person who goes forward. I don’t know anyone from school. I don’t know anyone from when I was a young man. Simon is my oldest friend. I am not one that looks back, but I do know some people who that is their thing. They start off a conversation with, ‘Hey, do you remember when we did …?’ That lasts for so long before you run out of things to talk about. The good thing about me and Simon and Edgar is we’re never at that moment, even if it’s in someone’s kitchen where we’re, ‘How you been? How’s Mom?’ We never ask that. It’s just straight in and I hate all that weird small talk and trying to remember points of shared reference from when you were 20. I don’t see the point of it.”

What did the fake pints taste like?

Nick Frost: “Well, it was water with burnt sugar to give it that beautiful lager effect, and then we had a guy who his only job was to make foam. [Laughing] He had like a jug and one of those aerators that you make home cappuccino with, and he’d come around before we had a take and he’d spin off some foam. Yeah, but it was delicious. It was just water. But we tried with fake beer, and if you drink enough of those pints you have a weird placebo effect; you kind of feel a bit drunk. And then if you want to try apple juice and stuff like that, we were having problems with the fact that it was just pints of sugar potentially. But the shots I do were Sambuca.”