(Jessica Zerby for RedEye )
“The World’s End” star/co-writer Simon Pegg wants to make a distinction between his film, which involves five guys on an epic pub crawl, and the Chicago-made, likewise beer-centric “Drinking Buddies.”
“’Drinking Buddies’ is a film about drinking. ‘The World’s End’ is not a film about drinking specifically. We had to do other things other than drink,” says Pegg regarding how the “World’s End” cast, unlike the “Drinking Buddies” folks, didn’t drink real beer on set. “I met Olivia Wilde recently; we were talking about it. She’s an amazing actress, and it sounded like [drinking] was part of the process. With this film, it would have been impossible; we had to do very complex fight choreography, which I don’t think they did in ‘Drinking Buddies.’”
No, they didn’t. In “The World’s End,” which opens Friday and caps the trilogy including “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” Gary (Pegg) pressures his old mates (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan) into another go at the Golden Mile, a 12-pub crawl they attempted but never finished more than two decades earlier. At the Park Hyatt, Pegg, 43, Frost, 41, and director/co-writer Edgar Wright, 39, talked about the film’s unglamorous presentation of pub crawls, hard-partying nurses and what they’d do if they could recapture their youth.
How much do you expect people to create their own version of the Golden Mile?
Edgar Wright: Well, I think quite a few people have, although somebody said, “Do you feel responsible for the amount of pub crawls being planned right now?” And I said, “I think we make it pretty clear in the movie what usually happens during a pub crawl.” If you are doing a pub crawl, you are basically saying, “We are on a mission to get completely obliterated.”
Nick Frost: Your world might end.
EW: It’s kind of what the movie’s about: In doing a quest like this, somebody like Gary King’s character, who’s kind of almost like the party monster, there’s that march or die approach. He says a line in the movie that’s in the trailer: “We’re going to get to the world’s end if it kills us.” That pretty much says it. I think we show the ups and downs. [Laughs]
It’s also that you can’t try so hard. The best nights usually don’t start with the grandest ambitions.
Simon Pegg: For me anyone watching this film and then going on a pub crawl is like watching “Trainspotting” and taking heroin.
EW: It did make it look pretty sexy! I was thinking, “I’d love to be as thin as Ewan McGregor. Maybe that’s the way to do it.” [Looks into our video camera] Don’t do heroin, kids. Please.
If you got to be in your early 20s again, what would be the first thing you did?
EW: Try to get off with Joanne Dixon again. [looks in camera] Hello, Joanne. [Laughs]
NF: Nothing. I think I’d just be—
EW: Go back to Spike Island?
NF: No. I mean, it was good.
SP: Do you mean be back in the ‘90s or we’d be physically younger?
Physically. It would be now, but you’d be 21 again.
EW: I’d just make a mental note saying, “You do not need to eat as much Chinese [food].”
NF: So I’m not married?
NF: Well, I think I’d probably turn into Illinois’ premiere p***y-hound.
So you’re living here now?
EW: He’s coming here.
SP: And pork swordsman.
EW: But you would specifically come to Illinois to …
NF: Well, the question was based here, so I thought I’d just pop up here.
We’d love to have you. That would be great.
EW: If we all turned 21 right now, the first thing we’d do is blow off this interview and be out of here.