A touch of Frost
Nick Frost suits up as Father Christmas for Doctor Who special
BEHIND the funnyman facade, Nick Frost’s life has been plagued by a shocking level of tragedy.
As a child he was traumatised by his uncle’s attempted suicide and his sister’s death from an asthma attack.
At 15, his parents’ furniture business went bust, forcing the family to live in a council flat on a rough estate. His dad subsequently had a nervous breakdown and never worked again.
His mum had a stroke. She died shortly after cult sitcom
Spaced turned Frost into an accidental star. Four of his six siblings have passed away.
“It just made me more serious as a man and it made me work harder and appreciate what I’ve got,” the actor and writer says from his Twickenham home.
“I’ve always been one to put my head down and trudge forward … things just happen and you can either put some bigger onus on things and let it crush you, or you can kind of say, ‘ Well, let’s crack on, let’s move on’.”
Frost’s latest role as Father Christmas in the Doctor Who Christmas special evokes happy childhood memories – Tom Baker’s scarf, the weird theme tune and being terrified of Daleks and Cybermen.
“I remember being with my mum and dad and having my pyjamas on and … we’ve just had our supper on Saturday and that music started, and you know for the next 40 minutes or so that’s going to be me on the sofa, and after that it’s bed,” he says.
Frost is under strict instructions not to spoil the plot but reveals none of the “classic monsters” make an appearance.
“It’s not entirely monster-free, but it hasn’t got any of the big ones in it,” he says.
Having spent parts of his youth on a kibbutz in Israel, going to dance parties and in a smoky haze watching daytime TV, it was his dead-end job at a Mexican restaurant that resulted in Frost’s current career when he bonded with one of the waitresses’ partners, Simon Pegg, over Star Wars.
The comedian cast Frost – in his late 20s with zero acting experience – in slacker sitcom Spaced and they went on to form a partnership across films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.
Very much an accidental star despite appearing in blockbusters Tintin, Paul, Snow White and the
Huntsman and The Boxtrolls, Frost has never sweated over an audition or worried about his next job – he just had faith it would all work out.
“I think I still have that attitude,” he says.
“It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine … so far, so good.”
Frost isn’t much of a fan of the acting process and has spoken of how nerve-racking he found Tintin, being handed reams of rewritten dialogue just minutes before filming.
He has recently expanded his skills, co-producing
Cuban Fury and he is currently writing and set to star in a new pilot for US network ABC about a retired jewel thief called The Finger.
“I never really wanted to be an actor, I always wanted to be a writer, a novelist,” he says. “I’m as happy behind the camera or producing something, or writing.
“I think if I could do a job in this industry that didn’t mean I had to learn lines and lines of s----- dialogue each week, that would probably make me a lot happier.”
Festive spirit: As Father Christmas, Nick Frost joins Peter Capaldi in the DoctorWho Christmas special.