The Cor­netto Tril­ogy star tells Nick Setch­field how much he loves Spiel­berg, Tom Baker and Trif­fids

SFX - - Contents - Por­traits by James Leighton- Burns

Nick Frost on his un­usual en­counter with The Day Of The Trif­fids – and other in­ci­dents.

Ifelt like I had a story,” says Nick Frost. He’s talk­ing Truths, Half Truths And Lit­tle White Lies, his new au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, the se­cret ori­gin of the Da­gen­ham boy who be­came the screen’s ul­ti­mate best mate. Dis­tinctly un­starry de­spite a ca­reer tra­jec­tory that’s taken him from Spaced to Spiel­berg, Frost is happy to munch Hob-Nobs and share some of his pas­sions with SFX. Not, he stresses, that he was a pure­blood, bed­room- bound geek as a kid. “If I could be over a de­serted piece of ground throw­ing bricks at a burnt- out Es­cort Mk 2 then I’d rather be do­ing that…”


If I think about The X- Files I think about me and Si­mon [ Pegg] in my old flat in Cricklewood. There was no fur­ni­ture in it. There was a so­fabed and a cup­board on its side, and I had a gas heater that we put the telly on, and a video. And we just watched end­less box sets, con­stantly. Apart from Sap­phire And Steel it was the most amaz­ing thing I’d ever seen on telly. I think in the pi­lot there’s a mo­ment where Mul­der and Scully are walk­ing back from a grave, and they do that thing where you’re walk­ing along in a street and you just kind of bump into one another… We must have re­wound that 10 times. There were so many times when Si­mon and I were like, “Whoa, they touched hands!” He was in­jured and she held him or some­thing like that. I got a se­cret nod that it was com­ing back. I re­mem­ber tex­ting Si­mon say­ing, “Hey, do you want to know some­thing fuck­ing amaz­ing?” And he texted back to say, “Yeah, I do!” And then I didn’t re­ply. Then I got another one from him say­ing “I SAID I DO.” I texted him back and said, “Fuck­ing X- Files is com­ing back!” Yeah, I think it’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic.


As a child I was a dif­fer­ent ket­tle of fish. I was about play­ing out­side and dirt and rugby and Ac­tion Man. I didn’t watch a lot of tele­vi­sion but Satur­day evenings was Doc­tor Who and my Doc­tor was Tom Baker. He just seemed so fuck­ing crazy, right? Not in a bad way, not like “Whoa, he could stab some­one…” He was batty. He kind of fright­ened and thrilled me in equal mea­sure. But I liked the bad­dies. I liked the Son­tarans and the Cy­ber­men and the Daleks. I al­ways wanted them to win but I was al­ways aware that would be a short sea­son.


I thought it was a doc­u­men­tary in terms of it af­fect­ing me so much. My Aun­tie Me­lanie lives in a small town in Wales and they used to have a big Amer­i­can air force base. She went out with one of the air­men and he would bring her VHS tapes to watch. One day he came in with this box with a New York- style cheese pizza in it – which I’d never had be­fore – and Close En­coun­ters. And me and him and my mum and dad and Aun­tie Me­lanie sat and watched it and ate fuck­ing pizza. It was amaz­ing. Even then it wasn’t lost on me that this was a film where a man’s life was crum­bling. His mar­riage was end­ing. It’s that great thing that Spiel­berg does where you get so hooked on Roy Neary – it’s like what Edgar does in Shaun Of The Dead, in a way. He’s split­ting up with Liz and that’s his main con­cern. And as view­ers that re­la­tion­ship is what you buy into. And at the back of that is the zom­bies, or in this case François Truf­faut and the aliens. I just bought it.


Ninety per cent of the time I’m lis­ten­ing to re­ally hard house. I was a club­ber. At 16 I was go­ing to Rain­dance and Telepa­thy, pop- ups and things in shit barns. It’s quite good be­ing semi- fa­mous now. I’ve con­tacted these guys called the Tidy Boys who are some of the big­gest hard house DJs. It means I can now go be­hind the DJ, which is great. I lis­ten to it in the car or if I’m writ­ing. The repet­i­tive na­ture of it – and the fact that even though it seems chaotic it’s very log­i­cal – is a calm­ing in­flu­ence. It’s like an equa­tion. You can see what they’re go­ing to do at any one point. It works for me.


He di­rected me in Tintin. I try not to be ner­vous be­cause then it be­comes some­thing else. I’m there to per­form. I’m not there to fan­boy over him. For­tu­nately for me and Si­mon, in be­tween takes he would talk about Close En­coun­ters and ET and things that he’d done with Ge­orge and bets they’d had… For the first week we’d just hang out be­hind the mon­i­tor. It was at that point I could sense my­self think­ing, “Okay, what can you say that means he won’t think you’re a dick?” Most days on set you could see him try­ing to work out his per­fect shot. How old is he now? In his six­ties? To see him dance on set af­ter a great take… you want to be around that. I love do­ing this job and to see that he still has that spark af­ter how many films he’s made is an in­spi­ra­tion.


I’m start­ing to write a novel about a man who’s the last per­son on Earth. I love that no­tion and I think John Wyn­d­ham did it so well. It seemed so bleak and so English. I got a bonus for a thing I did and I looked on the in­ter­net and tracked down a first edi­tion from 1953. Amaz­ing cover, re­ally beau­ti­ful cover. It’s a re­ally ex­pen­sive thing that I’ve got and I hate be­cause I don’t know what to do with it. I can’t put it on a book­shelf be­cause that would be in sun­light, and I don’t want it to bleach. I moved house and I put it into my bed­side cab­i­net, think­ing, “I’ll leave it there, it’s in the dark, no one can hurt it.” I used to have an en- suite toi­let. I moved into a house with­out one, but there was still a cup­board where my old toi­let was. I woke up one morn­ing and, to cut a long story short, I had got up in the night and I had pissed in my bed­side cab­i­net. As I opened the drawer it was full of piss and the book was just float­ing on top. I was so fuck­ing cross and up­set that I just felt noth­ing. I took the dust jacket off and I got like 10 tow­els. I put five on the floor and then I lay the book on top and cov­ered it with the other tow­els. And then just left it. I lit­er­ally couldn’t look at it for four days, such was my anger. I’ve man­aged to get it back to a near- pris­tine level. No aroma. Well, no more than a musty 70- year- old book any­way. But I just got a new kit­ten six weeks ago and he’s a lit­tle fucker. I let him into my room the other day. He was chew­ing on the fuck­ing spine. The same book. I might sell it. It feels doomed. Like it’s haunted or I’m just not meant to have it.

Truths, Half Truths And Lit­tle White Lies is out now.

Be­tween takes Spiel­berg would talk about Close En­coun­ters and ET and Ge­orge…

Close En­coun­ters: “I just bought it.”

Just don’t mess with his first edi­tions.

Frost is a lit­tle bit ex­cited about the new X- Files.

The Fourth Doc­tor “fright­ened and thrilled me in equal mea­sure.”

Nick Frost and Si­mon Pegg played Thom­son and Thompson in Spiel­berg’s Tintin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.