Simon: He was fine. It was difficult because we had to
sit on him for about 2 minutes before we
Simon: Not "we" the bird handler would have to sit on
him with her hands over his eyes, to stop him from running away. And
she'd sort of gradually lift them off and back away and
Nick: And then he'd run away.
Simon: And then he'd run away, but we'd have to sort
of use those moments of him acclimatizing to, sort of...you know...
Nick: Never really was quite good at it, though, that
scene where we were going to hit him with the batons.
Simon: He was a bastard. But you can't kill them, they
belong to The Queen.
Nick: They're royal birds.
Simon: All swans are property of The Queen, so killing
one is an offense.
Nick: Only The Queen can eat a swan. It's treason to
eat a swan.
Simon: And she can only eat it, how is it?
Nick: And it's a shame because swans, their necks are
perfect for...you put them in a baguette, it's the perfect size.
Simon: It's very crusty.
Nick: It's almost as if their neck was made for a
Simon: A neck sandwich.
Nick: You have to hollow out the soft bread and
Simon: You have to cook it for a long time like
Simon Pegg, star and co-writer of the film plays
Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz
As a co-writer, how
many action films did you have to watch to prepare for this movie?
Simon: Well I'll tell you. We watched 138 films in
preparation, but they weren't all action films. They were a lot of
different permutations of the cop genre, but also films about small
communities and stuff. We watched as much Agatha Christie as we did
John Woo. We watched less films like Local Hero, Dead and
Buried, and Wicker Man...Wicker Man was the first film we
watched, because it was the last British film made that had a
uniformed officer as the lead, which we were kind of interested in
doing...so yeah, it was 138. And we just wanted to...most of them we
had seen before, not all of them, when we started delving in to the
Chuck Norris/Stephen Segal oeuvre, we were in uncharted territory,
trust me, it was murky and intimidating. We just wanted to be
familiar with the language of those kind of films so we could write
hackneyed dialogue without thinking about it.
What was the process for coming up with the idea
for this film?
Simon: It sort of came about when we were doing press
for Shaun of the Dead. Edgar was the one who kind of
spearheaded it. He was the cop movie fan. It was his intention to
literally outgun Shaun of the Dead, so it would be bigger in
every way. And take it up a step, take the filmmaking up a step. Also
one of the things that seemed to appeal about Shaun of the Dead was
the relationship between myself and Nick onscreen so we figured,
well, let's do a buddy movie.
(Edgar Wright enters the room)
Nick: Oh (laughs) late again...
Simon: (to Edgar) I was just explaining where the idea
came from, for Hot Fuzz.
Edgar: Have you explained it, or did you want to
Simon: I was speaking for you in some respects.
Edgar: What did you say, then?
Simon: The usual.
Simon: So, yeah, that was kind of it. It was a desire
to....there were several prongs to it, not the least of which was the
buddy issue, doing something as well that we would want to make in
the UK that we don't have in the UK. It's not the kind of film we
have there, it's not in our culture. The cop isn't culturally the
sort of figure at is here, so we thought we would sort of drag it
kicking and screaming into the UK.
Director and co-writer of Hot Fuzz, as well as snazzy
t-shirt owner, Edgar Wright
I don't know if you remember, but last year I was
at a comic con, and after I said something you accused me of
masturbating to a Lego Batman...
Edgar: (laughs loudly) It's kind of coming to me now.
I can't remember what the setup of it was, though.
I said that that (unintelligible) I started
worshipping Buffy and you said that.
Edgar: I'm sorry, did that traumatize you? How did we
get on to Lego Batman?
Nick was talking about touching Lego Batman's cock.
Simon: Of course....I'm lost.
retroCRUSH: This interview is going all new places
Edgar: I apologize
Nick: He's been interrupted like 40 times now.
That's OK. Well asked Nick about La Triviata
back then and now that we have Simon here I wanted to ask, what's
going on with the TV show that's been rumored for such a long time?
Simon: It's not gonna happen. We wrote it was
commissioned and green lit by Channel 4 and stuff and it got to a
point where we wanted to cast these people and they weren't sure...
Nick: They wanted to cast people
Simon: They wanted to cast people we weren't sure
about so, kind of an (arguing?) on both sides and by the time...it
never really got resolved...so that was that really. We had written
quite a lot of it, sadly, but I guess the thing about writing comedy
is that you can just wholesale take the jokes out of one thing and
put them into something else. We're just going to harvest them like
lungs. Or kidneys. It was kind of weird in a way because I
think we probably would have resolved those issues and moved forward
with it, but the dynamic changed because of how Shaun of the Dead
did and we decided we'd like to take our careers and... What happened
was, recently a tabloid journalist made up a story that he had seen
me at a premiere that I wasn't at and that La Triviata was about to
happen, and that's why everyone suddenly keeps asking us about it
again. I mean it had gone away, we hadn't mentioned it for years,
Edgar: What a thing to make up.
Simon: I know, you might as well say that I had slept
with Elvis Presley or something.
Edgar: (to the writers) Write that down...write that
Simon: That instead of sitcom that we nearly did...
Edgar: He did make you drink milk and eat cookies,
though, didn't he?
Nick: And Jesus Juice.
Edgar: That's somebody else.
Simon: That's another troubled pop star.
Hot Fuzz co-star and swan sandwich aficionado, Nick
Was there any particular scene that you loved that
just did not make it into the final cut of the movie?
Nick: The lovemaking.
Simon: The hard fucking. Sorry...
Edgar: You occasionally have jokes that you really
like that just don't make it. There was a joke about the office being
out in the street, and you sort of saw Nicholas' office furniture all
out on the street and it was like a joke that worked really well in
the script but when we came to shoot it with the location it just
didn't work right. So some things the execution fails you in the end.
It hasn't done, what you've written, justice really. But there's no
big action scenes missing. There's lots of stuff, there's about 20
minutes of deleted scenes, lots of interesting things. A whole third
sub-plot with The Hoodies... and there was a fight where Angel fought
the hooded teenagers which didn't make it.
Simon: There was a little burst of it.
Edgar: Right, but it wasn't enough.
Simon: It was great to shoot.
Edgar: It was fun to shoot, but it was not long
Anything more with the Living Statue guy?
Edgar: No...all of his scenes are in.
So basically you guys kept in the beating up old
people, and took out the beating of children.
Edgar: That's for the next film.
Simon: Yeah, there will be a massive youth beating in
the next film.
I work on a DVD site, so what do we have to look
forward to here in the next 6 months of so?
Edgar: There's lots of stuff we've done with the DVD.
We're hoping that the UK and the US version will be similar. There's
all sorts of annoying things with different bit rates and stuff. The
differences between PAL and NTSC which is a bit of a bummer. Like I
know Shaun of the Dead only had 2 commentaries in this country
and we had 4 in the UK, so there's loads of stuff to be done, 4 full
length commentaries, there's one (commentary) with me and Simon, one
with Simon and Nick and the rest of the police service, the Sanford
villagers, and we also did one with real police officers fro the area
doing a commentary, which is pretty hilarious. We asked them to kind
of like rip it to shreds on an accuracy front, which they truly did.
But quite a lot of it was based on real anecdotes, we did a lot of
real research. So it's kind of cool because they do this commentary
and it's like 50/50 where it kind of hits home, and touches a nerve,
which is cool. But it's really daring of them to do that.
Edgar: But what else is on there...you see the other
side of Danny's flip book. You have all of our various substitutions
for the TV version.
Nick: The love story between Simon and I.
Edgar: Yep. All of Simon's takes where he starts
pulling faces after being so serious.
Simon: We've done three plot holes like we did on the
Shaun of the Dead DVD. How they managed to kill Tim Messenger,
how everyone survived the explosion, and how Danny...
Simon: Right how Danny stabbed angel, and how he knew
how to do that.
Edgar: Lots and lots of making of stuff.
Simon: The blogs...
Edgar: The blogs that were on the internet. They're
all on there.
Nick: And a HILARIOUS blooper reel.
Edgar: (laughs) Oodles of good stuff.
Simon: We're kind of aware that you have to make DVDs
worth buying because in the UK they're very expensive over there. I
mean, you have to make them worth the money that you pay for them.
And we've always been very conscious about putting as much extras on
the DVD as we can. It goes back to when we did our TV show Spaced,
it was something we always took a long time over so...hopefully
Hot Fuzz will be the same.
Speaking of Spaced and DVD and the US...any
plans with that? I keep hearing rumors that there's a possibility
that Spaced will be coming out on our shores.
Edgar: We have pushed so many times to try and get it
released over here, and lots of distributors have shown interest in
it...there's various music licensing issues. We have been approached
by 4 or 5 distributors who would like to do it but it's just a matter
if we can get these tracks cleared, or they pay the money to clear
the tracks. You know, we've asked about that so many times on this
tour that the first thing I'm going to do when we
get back is ask, 'What the fuck is going on with the Spaced DVD?'
because I don't know (laughs).
Simon: Then we can give a definitive answer.
Edgar: We'd love it to be released over here.
retroCRUSH: What's the secret to creating
incredibly violent scenes that still end up being hilarious to watch?
Edgar: More blood! And red blood! (laughs) The gore
the merrier! The more blood there is the funnier it gets. I think
that's it. The more red it is the more cartoon it is, in a way. In a
film like Kill Bill Volume One, one of the reasons that got
away with an R rating was that the blood was really really really
red. Same with Shaun of the Dead as well. It's kind of just a
way of sort of showing violence, but making it slightly cartoon to
make it kind of palatable and funny. And you know, the idea of the
deaths in this film and the various injuries is so outlandish...sort
of Agatha Christie by way of Tony Scott, or Paul Verhooven in fact,
that was really what we were going for. Certainly the murder in the
church, the more gorier we made it the funnier it got.
retroCRUSH: Yeah, that was incredible.
Simon: Also a lot to do with it is the motive as well,
the force behind it is more light hearted than just nastiness. It
helps. A film like Wolf Creek or something where it's actually
quite harrowing it's harder to watch. But if it's kind of light
hearted head smashing, it's fine.
Romantic sub-plot...the expectation was that we
were going to have a female character show up and then it just shifts
to the two male characters, and how you felt about doing that.
Whether it was in there, or did you excise it.
Edgar: Yeah well...there was in the first draft of the
script a girlfriend for Nicholas Angel who we excised after the first
draft because a) it was too long, and b) we just felt that we should
concentrate more on the Nicholas and Danny relationship, and we ended
up giving a lot of her lines to Nick. Which just seemed funnier and
fresher. And because a lot of the buddy comedies kind of skirt around
that sort of...they are like male romantic comedies, really. Sort of
very homo-erotic, so the idea of grasping that with both hands...
Simon: It is a two-hander
Edgar: That's the thing, you know, sort of like cop
and buddy movies have exactly the same beats as romantic comedies.
And that's the whole set up with the ex-girlfriend, the whole point
of the ex-girlfriend scene is she's saying 'you have to find someone
you care about more than your job', and that's Danny, it doesn't turn
out to be another lady. And not necessarily in a homosexual way it's
a platonic romantic comedy, essentially.
Simon: And we all know who played her, right?
(Edgar says Cate Blanchette while coughing at the same
Edgar: We have time for one each
quickly (for those who are left)
I have a two parter actually.
Simon: Your two parter means this guy can't ask
What can you tell us about Them, and who's going to be
involved, because I talked to Mike White and he's very interested in
trying to get Jack Black involved.
Edgar: Well that's been something we've kind of had on
the back burner.
Simon: If he's going to bring
his bitches, you should get to bring yours.
Edgar: That's something we were working on before Hot
Fuzz, actually. Because we were doing Hot Fuzz, and Mike was doing
Year of the Dog...it's something we're going to have to start
Nick: Me and Jack can have a wrestle, and see who
What's it about, though?
Edgar: Well it's based on the John Bronson book...it's
a non-fiction book about extremists and various wild conspiracy
theories. And the idea is to sort of set the
film in a world where some of these things exist, basically.
And Jack Black?
Edgar: Well...it's very early days. He's playing
a lucha libre.
Edgar: No (laughs)
Simon: The lucha libre on the grassy knoll.
Edgar: No it's early days, but I'm sure if it happens
Jack will be involved.
Are you guys planning on a third film and if you do
will it follow the same trend of sending up a specific genre?
Edgar: Yeah, we have an idea. Simon and Nick are
writing something. Just started formulating the idea for the third
one, in what we're calling our "Three Flavors Trilogy" in that the
films will all contain blood and ice cream, and that's the only link
between the three. But yeah, we've got an idea, and...we really don't
think of ourselves as "spoofers" it's kind of like we try to find a
story within a genre we like and appeals to us in some way. Shaun of
the Dead is about turning 30, and Hot Fuzz in a weird way is
not autobiographical at all but it is kind of
based on where at least me and Simon grew up. So it is about that
kind of emotional hook within a genre it starts to become organic
after that. It might well be in another genre, mainly because we like
making films in the UK that people in the UK don't make. They may
fancy...Oscar hungry kind of films, they don't make too many genre
Simon: We won't be doing a period piece, let's put it
(The press contact sticks his head in and says he's
sorry to break things up, but we're out of time)
Simon: We've got one more question here.
So is there any updates on Ant-Man?
Simon: No! Thank you very much!
Edgar: I'd have to say early days again, still in the
So everything is going smoothly so far?
Edgar: Well, I mean again, I've been working on this
for like 18 months.
Is the script still being done?
Do you see it taking place in the UK?
Edgar: No, I think it would have to take place in the
At this point I pulled out a cricket bat and asked if
they wouldn't mind signing it for me. Simon jumped back and bit and
said, "I thought you were going to hit us over the head with that,
like something out of The Untouchables!" I don't normally ask for
autographs during interviews, but how could I resist, when I had a
chance to get this wonderful thing.
This is now officially the coolest thing I will ever
own in my life.
Hot Fuzz review coming soon, as well as a hilarious
audio file of this interview for Episode 118 of our podcast. Check it