Nick Frost Interview
Nick Frost Interview
Renowned as one half of the Pegg and Frost duo that have starred in films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, and before that the TV comedy Spaced, Nick Frost is now going solo on the big screen. Starring in Joe Cornish’s debut feature Attack the Block, he plays a lazy, tracksuit and slipper wearing drug dealer with a Fagin-like attitude to the kids that live nearby.

In London recently, he spoke to View’s Matthew Turner about his longstanding friendship with the director, growing his hair and attempting to inspire young actors on set while trying not to feel really old.
How did you get involved and at what stage did you get involved?

Nick Frost

I wasn't in from the bottom. I think there was a script and Joe had very nicely written the part of Ron for me. So, we had a meeting, went through Big Talk, who was the company that Simon, Edgar and I are involved in, and he came down to the office and said "I've written this script and I've written a part for you and I'd really like you to be in it."

And as an actor, I was just flattered that someone would write something for you specifically, and so I was in. I was absolutely in. And, he's a mate, he's a mate of mine for ten years or so, so I was chuffed to see what he would do and how he would go about directing a movie. It’s a big thing, a big deal, so I was pleased that I could do it. And I was pleased that I could stand on set and watch Joe direct a film, and it didn't seem weird, it just seemed perfect doing it. That was a nice thing to watch.
Any day where you get to wear a tracksuit and slippers all day is pretty good...
Did you and Joe work out a back story for Ron?

Nick Frost

We did, we took ages just chatting all the time about it. Joe wanted to spend quite a bit of time trying to work things out, trying to work where Ron had come from, and why he was how he was, and why he was so lazy and -
- and why is that?

Nick Frost

I think Ron just wants an easy life. I think we briefly talked upon that he had spent some time in the military and he just hated it, or he got injured and it just wasn't for him. 'Cause I guess he's forty-odd, and he could have done that when he was 18, and then bummed around a bit and lived in India for a while, psychedelics, brain leaks, you know, and then lost love. We kind of hinted at that - you see he's got a tiny little ring on his chain, and you imagine that was a girl that he loved and it didn't work.

It is sad and as an actor that helps when you then look at the other side to Ron is he's getting kids to deal weed for him. If it's just that, that's a different proposition for an actor. No less appealing, but just a different thing, you have to do it differently. But when you know inside that Ron's had quite a shit life - we imagine that he probably had that weed room, that was his own, it wasn't as big, there wasn't as much, but Hi-Hatz then moved in at gunpoint and said, "You can either now fuck off or you can stay and work for me," and rather than have to move out of the block and move all his shit and rehouse mum, he's just said, "All right, yeah."

And I like the fact you see him and the kids as a kind of confident Fagin character but then when you see him with Hi-Hatz he's quite submissive, and he doesn't catch his eye much, and you can see him sucking up to him a bit more. Even though I'm probably only in the film for 18% of the time it kind of makes it work a bit, because you see more than one side to him.
You are rocking the most amazing tracksuit and haircut in this film. Is that the best look you've ever had on screen?

Nick Frost

I think that's the best look I've ever had off screen as well, to be honest! Yeah, I love it, I like the fact that when you come into a film like this and you're asked to do it and it's written for you, that you kind of get a bit of a say in what he would look like.

The hair was mine. I had to keep it because I made this in between finishing Paul and doing reshoots a year and a half later, so I had nothing else apart from writing to do, so I thought, well, I'll fuckin' just keep it growing. And then it came to shoot this and it was that length, and I thought let's keep it.

The tracksuit is amazing, it's the tightest thing I've ever worn, it was like killer whale skin. It was the most flammable material known to man, and there's also a bum bag in there too which I think gets hidden a bit in between my gut and the oily blackness of the tracksuit.

That bum bag was full of stuff as well. It had, like, lighters in it and secateurs and little bits and pieces, little ties for the plants and stuff. They let you muck about a bit, and you can have specs on a chain, and you start going a bit crazy with character minutiae. But I liked it, any day where you get to wear a tracksuit and slippers all day is pretty good.
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 06:32

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