A touch of Frost

Nick Frost suits up as Fa­ther Christ­mas for Doc­tor Who spe­cial

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page - DOC­TOR WHO (CHRIST­MAS SPE­CIAL – LAST CHRIST­MAS) FRI­DAY, 7.30PM, ABC

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.

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