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We interview The World's End star Nick Frost for his new flick Cuban Fury!

04.03.2014

Nick Frost is one of the nicest guys working in film. I’ve been a fan since the very first time I witnessed him in the fantastic SHAUN OF THE DEAD and continue to enjoy his work alongside Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. With his terrific work in THE WORLD’S END, it has been nice to see Mr. Frost grow as an actor, and to be honest, it is a bit shocking to see him not only fighting on-screen, but dancing as well.

In his latest film CUBAN FURY, he shares some serious screen time with the lovely Rashida Jones. And on Nick’s birthday, he found himself doing press for the film which meant talking to people on the phone to promote the film. Happily, for me anyway, I had the chance to chat with him regarding dancing, fighting, and working with a talented group of filmmakers. If you’d like to see what Nick Frost has been up to, get ready to tap your foot to a little music and face a little CUBAN FURY, opening Friday, April 11th at select theatres.

Hey Nick happy birthday!

Oh thank you, thank you very much.

That's actually from everybody at JoBlo by the way.

Thank you JoBlo!

So how are you doing, you get to work on your birthday?

Yeah, let me tell you it's kinda wretched.

I imagine, that sucks. You should be partying right now.

Yeah, I don't think I finish till ten o'clock tonight.

Well I gotta tell you, you keep blowing me away. First you kick ass in THE WORLD’S END with the amazing fight scenes now you’re frickin' dancing dude.

My secret to that is that they're kinda the same thing, except one has far less punching.

Where did this story come from, and why did you decide to do a dance movie?

Well I think after all the lovely things I've done with Simon [Pegg] and Edgar [Wright], I was aware that I needed to do something that was completely different. And I wanted to challenge myself, to do something that was not easy. It was f*cking difficult! Something that I was afraid of [was] dancing. I like dancing, I've kinda always been pretty good at it but you know having to do a dance film where you're essentially doing in the finale of this film a three and a half minute dance in front six-hundred of the world’s best salsa dancers is a frickin' challenge. For me, I trained for seven hours a day, every day for seven months to become a dancer so I could do it all. There are probably five shots in the entire film that we had to double up. But basically the dancing you see is me doing it.

That's incredible.

Thank you very much.

You are kicking f*cking ass in this movie.

[Laughs] Tell you what, here's kind of an interesting little thing. I shot this before THE WORLD’S END. There was like a week between the wrap of CUBAN FURY and starting rehearsals for WORLD’S END. So when I did those big fight scenes I did in WORLD’S END, they have a beautiful flow. That was because I had become a dancer. Do you know what I mean?

Yeah, absolutely. What was it about that music, that you decided to go for the Salsa flair?

Well, there were a couple reasons. I used to hate Salsa music because I used to work in a Mexican restaurant for years. Head office would send down a pack of music and that was the only thing we could listen to. I just heard so much of it that I think that it drove me kind of bonkers. It kind of had a negative effect on me.

But for this film, It had to be a tough dance, it had to be about passion about fire and you dance holding someone. The costumes, technically it would look f*cking great on camera. We could have had different styles. Someone mentioned tango yesterday, which is a really good idea and it could have worked. Or it could've been ballroom but obviously you are going to have a problem trying to make a film better than Baz Luhrmann’s STRICTLY BALLROOM. So you probably shouldn't even bother.

Now I think everyone's going to think CUBAN FURY when it comes to Salsa...

That would be kinda amazing, that would be pretty good.

In every way, it seems like a difficult process, not only are you dancing but also writing a dance movie. Was that kind of strange delving into that territory, and trying to find the beats and make it work for your style of comedy?

Uh yeah, you say dance movie but it might also be a fight movie or a sports movie, you know what I mean, it's a similar kind of format. Instead of it being about MMA or ice skating it's about music, it's about dancing. It's a comedy. It was always gonna be me and Nira [Parks], then we found the amazing Jon Brown and then we added Chris O’Dowd on board and then Rashida [Jones] and Olivia Colman. And it's just comedy, which is the easy bit in a way. You are just being honest and making people laugh at the heart of it if you kind of want to strip away all the technicalities of making a comedy. You are just trying to make someone laugh. And the heartbeat is the balance between making the comedy funny and making the actors and making the drama dramatic and believable.

Speaking of finding the right partner, first of all I love Rashida Jones, how quickly did you know she was the right fit for you?

I met her in London, we met for kind of a late lunch. We met a couple of times in LA, it was at Edgar's birthday or a screening. We kind of waved awkwardly because we thought we knew each other a little bit but we got over to London and we met for a late lunch which turned into early evening drinks which turned into more drinks, only to realize we sat there for five hours without awkward breaks. We just made each other laugh. We bullshitted one another, and we never had to explain a joke. There was just a connection there. Not just the kind of charms of working with someone for eight weeks. It was a connection between people. I think that's a very rare thing to see out in the wild. You bump into that and you think 'God, you're like me. You are one of us. I'm like you, you're like me. We could be friends. This could work as a friendship.' When that's the first instinct you have and you’re going to potentially learn to dance together while making a film its real exciting.

You and Chris O’Dowd are so funny in this as well.

Yeah he's amazing. I think he found it difficult to be an out and out villain. He’s just not that as a person. Sometimes, some of the stuff we wanted him to say to me in the scenes he'd be like 'oh my God I'm not sure I can say this to you'. He found it kind of difficult as an all-out creep.

Now you've written so many times with Simon and Edgar, you've worked with those guys. What was it like working with Jon and finding the humor in this story?

It was great. Jon is such a clever man and he quietly goes about his business and does his work. I had a great meeting with him. I like what he did and I liked him as a person a lot and I liked hanging out with him. He took on board what I thought the film should be and chatted about it a little bit then he went away and ten weeks later he brought in a film, not a three hour TV show. It was a film, Jon’s talents are many but he is a true collaborator in terms of we would sit and we would go through the script page by page and laugh at the bits we really love. 'What about this or would this work' and then we would discuss it. He'd write something down in his little book. We had a real laugh trying to find it and then he'd go off again and then three to four weeks later he'd bring another draft. That was up to Jon, to me if you come up with the idea for a film and you don't want to write it yourself then don't put your nose into that man’s business when he's trying to write a great film for you. You need to be able to trust the people around you and let it go. Otherwise you might as well have written it yourself.

You chose an interesting director as well, James Griffiths. I've watched the series 'Up All Night,' I've seen his show that he worked on. It was just such an interesting choice and he added a really honest sensibility to the film.

Thanks, he's like a big charming bear. He loves comedy and he loves actors and gives you so much time to do what you wanna do, he gives support and his notes are amazing. He had a great relationship with the crew that we worked with. Everything seemed to work and he went on to direct the film as he wanted to.

What was it that you wanted to say with this character, because you are definitely stepping in a new direction with the performances you’ve been giving.

Thank you. I think and I always thought that, especially in this kind of driven society that we live in now, where you are told 'you need to look like this and your hair needs to be this shiny and you’re a shit person if you don't weigh eight pounds.’ You could say there isn't a point to the character, it started as a romantic comedy, but if you had to find a point then [it is] being confident is attractive and being funny is attractive. Liking football or baseball, being passionate about something is attractive. Those things don't get flabby and they don't get old and smell like piss. They are forever, and that's a really important thing to remember. I think it is a very, very tiny percentage of people on earth that look like Brad Pitt, and the rest of us are normal along for the ride, and I think people need to understand that. Obviously we are attracted to people on a very knee jerk reaction but there's more to that. Everyone has a chance to win the girl no matter what you look like.

Now you've conquered the world, you've done dancing, what’s next for you after this?

I've kinda written a wrestling movie, that I guess its official classification would be in-development. It's an old British wrestler called Cockney Lump, so there's that. And I'm just about to do a pilot for Fox with Justin Long. I have never done that before so I'm really interested to see how the process works. The script was great and the character was complex and fun. I like Justin Long a lot.

What's it about?

It's essentially a high functioning alcoholic lawyer who makes one too many mistakes due to his rampant alcoholism and it's called 'Sober Companion for 90 Days' and it's about their relationship.

Is this a half hour comedy

It's a half hour single camera.

Is that attractive to you? To come in five days a week a do a show like that?

Yeah, listen if I'm being completely pragmatic I'd say to you that I'm a father with a child, sitting around for six months waiting for something to come in to put bread on my table. If I can do that and at the same time keep a certain amount of anonymity, the fact that I can actually say why don't we do this, instead or can we do that. That's kind of big in a way that you can keep it fresh and push in a [certain] direction.

It sounds like a great opportunity…

I say no to so much, I think I have to say yes to something for a change.

Source: JoBlo.com

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