With Shaun Of The Dead Simon Pegg and Nick Frost invented a newsubgenre of cinema – the zom-rom-com. Now, they’re back with an homage toaction movies. NOW sat down with the bad blokes from Hot Fuzz to discuss their love of on-screen mayhem, why Supermangets a bit boring, shaving your pubic hair for your craft and the genius of BadBoys 2.
NOW: Obviously, youguys are fans of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Why so many references toBad Boys 2 and not Bad Boys 1?
Nick Frost: Is there a Bad Boys 1?
Simon Pegg: Bad Boys 2 is a completelyunnecessary sequel.
NF: Most of them are, aren’t they?
SP: It’s also the most impudent, excessivemovie ever. It exists solely without the need for its predecessor.
NF: It’s perfect, though, isn’t it? It’s likea birthday cake with lots of icing.
NOW:So will there be a Hot Fuzz sequel?
SP: No. It would be silly.
NF: Right. And we wouldn’t want to be silly.
SP: It would be easier to do than a sequel toShaun Of The Dead, but it would just be Danny and Nick getting into anotheradventure.
NF: Like Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon2.
NOW:The first Lethal Weapon is a classic of the action cop genre yet you don’t seemto reference it in the film.
NF: We were going to mention Lethal Weapon,but I don’t think Mel Gibson has a sense of humor.
NOW:But you do give some props to Point Break, one of the greatest action films ofthe last 20 years.
SP: It’s a completely ridiculous premise –surfing bank robbers in presidents’ masks, but it totally works on every level.
NOW:Unlike Naked Gun this isn’t a spoof or a parody of cop movies.
SP: The Naked Gun movies and all those ScaryMovie, Epic Movie movies are gag driven.
NF: And with those Scary Movies all they seemto do is repeat the exact same scene from the movie they’re parodying but witha slight comic twist, which isn’t really comedy, is it?
SP: No, it isn’t, Nick. Good point.Ultimately, the film we make is the kind of film we’re taking on. With Shaun OfThe Dead we wanted to make a zombie movie. At no point did we want to make funof a zombie movie. While there are more parodist elements in Hot Fuzz it’sstill an action movie.
NF: Of a sort.
SP: Yes, of a sort. We don’t feel superior tothe source material at all. In a way, the film is saying that it’s okay towatch fireworks. Intellectually, it’s a light show, and there’s nothing wrongwith that. It doesn’t always have to be Ibsen.
NF: I’ve had enough of him.
SP: In superhero terms, Hot Fuzz is the originstory. The best part of any superhero movie is when the hero first gets hissuper powers. Like in the original Superman when he’s flying around stoppingthieves and pulling cats from trees.
NOW:And dropping a boat full of robbers off at the police station.
SP: Exactly. But after that with all the LexLuthor stuff it gets a little boring. By the end of Hot Fuzz Danny and Nickhave become super cops. They’ve fulfilled all the action cop movie clichés.There’s really no need for anything more.
NF: Just like Bad Boys 2.
NOW:Nick, I understand that for Shaun Of The Dead you shaved your pubic hair tomake sure it itched to help you get into character. I’m wondering if you wentto any Method-y lengths for Hot Fuzz?
NF: I joined the Dutch Police force for fouryears.
SP: I think shaving the pubes was just anexcuse to actually do that. Really, he just wanted to shave his scrotum.
NOW:You must have watched a lot of action movies.
SP: 138 to be exact. Everything from DirtyHarry and Serpico to Die Hard. And a lot of Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal.
NF: I only watched one. Bad Boys 2. It was onthe top of the pile of DVDs. After you’ve seen Bad Boys 2 what else is there?
NOW:While British cinema has a long tradition of crime and gangster pictures, therearen’t too many cop action movies.
NF: No, and James Bond doesn’t count.
SP: He’s never in England anyway. He’s alwaysin the Bahamas.
NF: Playing baccarat.
SP: He plays poker now. Anyway, you’re right.Our police films are more procedural. Prime Suspect. Touch of Frost, that sortof thing. Lots of police tape and investigating. It’s never about car chasesand gunfights.
NF: There’s less bad assery.
NOW:With Shaun Of The Dead you had the godfather of zombie movies, George Romero,come out and support it. Is there anyone you’d like to see Hot Fuzz?
NF: Catherine Keener.
SP: What is it with you and Catherine Keener?
NF: I like her. She’s cute.
SP: Well, Quentin Tarantino and RobertRodriguez have seen it already. I’d be curious what Jerry Bruckheimer orMichael Bay think. And Robert Patrick. I based Nick Angel almost completely onhis T-1000 from Terminator 2.
NF: And Will Smith.
SP: And Keanu.
NF: Yeah, Keanu.