Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Interview
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Interview
Obviously, there's a lot of CGI -

Simon Pegg: No, there was none. [Laughter]

How did you find interacting with the CGI character, coming from a background where there's a lot of ensemble playing?

Simon Pegg: That's what we wanted to make sure we retained. When we set off to make this and we set ourselves this challenge, we had to figure out how to do it. For a start we had to adapt our writing style a little bit because we wouldn't be allowed to make a film that was – I don't like the word niche - but a Shaun of the Dead, for this amount of money. We had to make it more appealing so that Universal would be confident that they would get their money back. And also, how would we adapt our comedic style to a character that isn't going to be there on the day? So we had to wing it and what we did was we worked with Seth [Rogen] in LA intensively before we started shooting – we shot the movie on video, with Seth in it, in motion-capture. We went to set, we shot it with Joe Lo Truglio, who plays Agent O'Reilly, as our sounding board, so we had a funny actor who could carry the movie comedically, even though nothing he did in the film would ever be seen, as far as his Paul was concerned.

Nick Frost: He got to keep his knee-pads though.

Simon Pegg: He kept his knee-pads. And we wanted it to be very conversational, to be like he was there, like we were riffing with him, like you had that Apatow feel where people are almost making it up as they go along, but it's a CG character. You know, the problem with Jar-Jar was never really that he was animated - even though that was in its infancy and there are holes in it - it's still an achievement to put a CG character in a film. The fact that he was overshadowed by his dreadfulness says something about how dreadful he was.

Nick Frost: And lack of eye-line continuity. We tried really hard to avoid that.

Simon Pegg: Yeah, that was hard. But it was all about characterisation and getting that right, so after we'd shot the movie we went back to Seth, played him all of Joe's stuff so he could listen to the little tics that Joe picked up, play with that a little bit and then integrate himself, as Paul, into the movie so it felt more like he was there. And I'm so thrilled with what Seth did. And Seth is a very recognisable voice – part of the reason we hired him is because he sounds like an old man, even though he's a young guy. But he listened to a lot of Neil Young, speaking, before he did it. And when I watched the film, you buy that he's there, you buy that he's with you and that was what we wanted to do.
That's what the sequel would be called – Pauls...
Nick Frost: And we were always saying as well that we could write the best script in the world but if Paul was rubbish in any way then it's done, you're done.

Simon Pegg: You pop out of it. Like a stray bollock.

Nick Frost: What? Yeah. The stray bollock thing threw me.

Would you like Paul to come back? Or if you were to do another one, would you rather go to him next time?

Simon Pegg: Like Crocodile Dundee 2, when it all swaps round?

Nick Frost: The cost of one Paul means that if we went to his planet, he would be the only person on it.

Simon Pegg: [Laughs] Yeah. We'd have to be given a lot of money for the next one.

Nick Frost: I think, you know, we have talked about a Pauls, potentially.

Simon Pegg: That's what the sequel would be called – Pauls.

Nick Frost: With a Z on the end, maybe, like Antz. But it would have to be a great story and we're not just going to do it because it's expected of us.

Simon Pegg: This is the first film we've done that I think warrants a sequel. We often get asked about a Shaun of the Dead sequel but only because people want to go back and see those characters again. That story ends. And Hot Fuzz is all about them becoming those characters. The minute you start acting like Hot Fuzz it's less interesting. You see Danny and Angel being like supercops, it's not as funny, whereas Paul I feel there is an opportunity to bring him back and we have had ideas. It's just a question, like Nick said, of if we can write something that's worthy of it
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Content updated: 17/02/2020 22:40

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