Ev­ery­one’s a win­ner

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - JAMES WIGNEY THE TRIP Now show­ing State Cin­ema

IN his new movie The Trip, Bri­tish co­me­dian Steve Coogan plays a char­ac­ter named Steve Coogan who hap­pens to be a Bri­tish co­me­dian.

The char­ac­ter is not par­tic­u­larly like­able but rather un­faith­ful, petty, cruel and rid­dled with in­se­cu­ri­ties.

Coogan says his on-screen coun­ter­part is not him but a height­ened ver­sion based on ‘‘ ker­nels of truth’’. ‘‘ It’s cathar­tic,’’ Coogan says. ‘‘ All the in­se­cu­ri­ties you have, it’s a great ex­er­cise in find­ing the things that worry you, see­ing the hu­mour in them, maybe ex­ag­ger­at­ing them slightly and putting them on screen in a way that will be en­ter­tain­ing for other peo­ple.

‘‘ It’s quite ther­a­peu­tic. They are like ghosts that you van­quish.’’

The Trip was made as a TV se­ries and has Coogan com­mis­sioned by a news­pa­per to re­view restau­rants in the north of Eng­land.

When his girl­friend leaves him, he takes fel­low co­me­dian and some­time col­league Rob Bry­don ( both pic­tured) – also play­ing a fic­tional ver­sion of him­self.

The pair bicker, squab­ble and eat their way through the movie, talk­ing rub­bish, try­ing to outdo each other with celebrity im­pres­sions and jump­ing at the chance to put each other down.

The idea came from di­rec­tor Michael Win­ter­bot­tom, who had di­rected the pair in the off­beat 2006 art­house movie A Cock and Bull Story. The Coogan in The Trip is for­ever on the phone to his smarmy US agent, try­ing to crack Hol­ly­wood.

The real Coogan ad­mits, with a slightly hol­low laugh, that those scenes cut fairly close to the bone.

De­spite a lead­ing role in Around the World in 80 Days and sup­port­ing roles in block­busters, Hol­ly­wood suc­cess has so far eluded Coogan.

‘‘ I have done work out there,’’ he says. ‘‘ I would like to have been more suc­cess­ful there, that’s true, but I’m not de­fined by it.

‘‘ I am here in Eng­land, very busily do­ing things that I like.

‘‘ I am do­ing a film in New York with Ju­lianne Moore next month and an­other film with Stephen Dorff in Africa af­ter that, so it’s go­ing bet­ter than I de­pict it in The Trip.’’

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