Simon Bird: ‘All my favorite directors specializing in gloomy, sad comedy – right up my street’ | Movies

Hey Simon, I saw Days of the Bagnold Summer when it premiered in Glasgow movie festival. I loved it! I wonder if Wes Anderson was an inspiration? Much of the film made him think, from the colors to the staging. theocapa

Well, I’m a huge fan of Rushmore, so I think he was probably an inspiration on some level. But the directors I watched, analyzed—and plagiarized most—were the filmmakers of the 60s and 70s—the generation before Wes Anderson—people like Hal Ashby, Peter Bogdanovich, and Elaine May, who specialized in gloomy, sad comedy – right up my street.

How did you get Earl Cave involved, and what was it like working with your wife, Lisa Owens? TurangaLeela2

Earl walked into the audition and knocked it out of the park. He’s a tricky part because it’s kind of moody and gloomy on the page, but he managed to give Daniel a real softness and vulnerability. What was it like working with my wife? In hindsight, that feels like a pretty tough decision, with potentially catastrophic consequences. But I think we have to have an unshakable faith in each other on some level. I certainly had no doubts that she would produce a brilliant script, so as soon as she hinted that she might be interested in writing the adaptation, I bit her.

‘He knocked it out of the park’… Earl Cave (right) as Daniel in Days of the Bagnold Summer with Monica Dolan as Sue. Photo: Rob Baker Ashton

Does Bagnold Summer have a TV series? It seems a shame that we only got to spend an hour and a half with such fantastic characters. time to shine

It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure we’d get away with Bagnold Summer on TV, since the movie is – let’s face it – an almost plotless show. On TV there should be story, action, emotional climaxes – all things we really wanted to avoid. If you want more Daniel and Sue, may I refer you to the original Joff Winterhart graphic novel on which the film is based?

I’d love to see you in a movie where you play a young David Baddiel from the 90s and he plays you in the year 2050. Maybe it could be some kind of Timeslip thing, with the 2050 Simon Bird tired of being unfavorable be compared to Baddiel, and use a time machine (which will of course exist in 2050) to return to the 90s and sabotage Baddiel’s career so that he never becomes famous. robot dog

What a specific and unusual premise, robot dog† That’s not to say I’m not interested, if the money is right. I should see a script, but… why don’t you put me down like a heavy pencil? Have I ever been compared – favorable or unfavorable – to Baddiel? No, it didn’t come up. Am I a big Baddiel fan? Absolute. I grew up in the 90s, an obsessive fan of Fantasy Football. I have a feeling you’re trying to make some sort of argument between me and Baddiel, which I’m not interested in. I have nothing but respect for David Baddiel and his illustrious career.

What if a manufacturing company offers a blank check?which movie would you direct? and/or star infly for fun

May I refer you to the previous question? I’m in the Baddiel Timeslip vehicle. But if for some unimaginable reason that doesn’t happen, I think my ambition is to make the two films I’m developing with my wife. Unfortunately, it’s much too early to give details about either.

Piano playing Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou
No better … Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou at her piano. Photo: Gali Tibbon

Thank you for recommending 98-year-old Ethiopian piano-playing nun Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou in an earlier interview with Guardian† Any more musical recommendations? Mirren54

Oh, great time. Judee Sill is a recent discovery, a 1970s American singer who writes these incredible songs that are somewhere between teen pop anthems and anthems. I also listened to a lot of shoegaze, so Slowdive and Mazzy Star. Cate Le Bon’s new album is also great.

Would you consider taking over an episode of the Warningary Tales podcast to see if anyone notices it’s not being done by [economist and journalist] Tim Harford? The joke I’m making here is that your voices are quite similarSir Anthony Hopkins

I’ve never heard of the podcast, but I do have an A grade in economics, so I might qualify for some sort of job swap, if Tim Harford can be coaxed into a grueling acting career with a sideline in directing. low-cost indie movies that don’t hit the box office. It’s a big if, admittedly.

Simon Bird at work on the set of Days of the Bagnold Summer
Vogel at work on the set of Days of the Bagnold Summer. Photo: Rob Baker Ashton

Would you have pursued a comedy/acting career if you hadn’t made it to Cambridge and Footlights? criticized

I like to think I would, but Footlights definitely gave me an edge. Not really for the reasons people assume: nepotism and the old boy network, neither of which I’ve experienced. It’s more about the infrastructure that allows 18- and 19-year-olds to play live comedy for the first time in a supportive environment. It’s a boot camp for aspiring comedians, with a relentless schedule of gigs that forces you to generate material and hone your craft.

After being on television for the first time, how hard was it to get used to always being nice to people who want pictures and stuff, when you’re just trying to do normal things? HarmfulA

I really don’t mind. I mean – let’s not be disingenuous – there are times when it can be annoying, but that usually has a direct bearing on how drunk the person is. But overall it’s delicious. I came into this business hoping—but never really believing—that I could be involved in shows that mean as much to people as my favorite comedies meant to me growing up. Shows like The Office, Look Around You and Big Train. To be reminded that I actually did is really humbling. A politician’s answer if I’ve ever heard one.

Do people on the street still yell “briefcase wanker” at you? davidabsalom

“Briefcase jerk.” “Bus-wanker.” As long as it has a jerk in it, that seems to be the critical part.

Simon Bird (left) as Adam in Friday Night Dinner, with Tom Rosenthal as Jonny, Paul Ritter as Martin and Tamsin Greig as Jackie
Simon Bird (left) as Adam in Friday Night Dinner, with Tom Rosenthal as Jonny, Paul Ritter as Martin and Tamsin Greig as Jackie. Photo: Mark Johnson/Channel 4

Give us your best Paul Ritter anecdote as we miss him terribly. fareastman

I don’t really have a defining anecdote. It wasn’t exactly Paul’s style to ruin takes by laughing or going out on wild improvisations. That would have been way too selfish. What you got with Paul was a gradual accumulation of wisdom and generosity from one of the humblest people I’ve ever met. He was a father figure and remains a tremendous role model, both professionally and personally. When writer Robert Popper pitched the show to me, he said it was based on two universal truths. No matter how old you are, when you go home, you immediately start behaving like a child again. And that all dads, when they turn 50, just act a little weird. I think that’s probably true. I’m only a decade and a little off.

If you could go back and re-record one episode of Inbetweeners and Friday Night Dinner, which episode would it be? NintheO

Well, it would be almost criminal of me not to take this opportunity to re-run Series 2 Episode 1 of Friday Night Dinner, in which I accidentally broke Tom Rosenthal’s leg, leading to multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy. So the Field Trip episode of Inbetweeners it is. A beautiful location, fish and chips on the beach, watching one of my best friends, Joe Thomas, almost dying of hypothermia. What could be better?

Liam Gallagher, Ian Brown and Richard Ashcroft are known for their stylistically distinct running style. Yet Will is mocked in The Inbetweeners. How is that possible? Ben Fitzgerald

I think the obvious difference is that dude are literally rock stars while Will is a picky virgin. Will probably would have gotten away with his weird gait if he’d written I Am the Resurrection too. Also – let’s be clear – Will’s running style is just mine running style. That’s how I literally walk. It’s not a comedic choice. To this day I don’t understand what’s funny about it.

The Inbetweeners Movie (left to right): Bird, Blake Harrison, James Buckley and Joe Thomas
The Inbetweeners Movie (left to right): Bird, Blake Harrison, James Buckley and Joe Thomas. Photo: Bwark Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

Do you like Will’s mother too? hector mandarin

I guess that should be “no comment”, right?

What is your favorite brand of powdered custard? vammyp

This feels like a trap. as i imagine vammyp know, is the industry leader in custard powder Bird’s Custard Powder. It seems clear that vammyp want me to at least acknowledge that I share my last name with the founder of a powdered custard brand. I just don’t know if that should be a source of shame or pride. Anyway, long story short, I’m more of a creme fraiche man.

How about more Inbetweeners, but this time you’re the embarrassing parents? TurangaLeela2

It’s a hard no, I’m afraid. It just wouldn’t be the show people want or remember. Much better to leave it as a happy memory. Tells us all we’re going to make a third movie for Netflix next year… Anything is possible. Honestly, you can’t trust a single word I said in this interview. It’s all padding, not a killer.

Days of the Bagnold Summer will be released as a special edition DVD & Blu-ray by ANTI-WORLDS on April 25. Simon Bird takes part in a post-movie Q&A at the Prince Charles Cinema in London at 23 April.

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