AT LACMA Fri 9.20.2013

“It’s ‘Life is Sweet’ with zombies!” Edgar Wright Tells Elvis Mitchell How He Annoyed Mike Leigh

If you weren’t one of the lucky Edgar Wright fans who caught last month’s Film independent Members’ Preview Screening of The World’s End, you missed a spirited post-screening Q&A with Film Independent at LACMA Curator Elvis Mitchell, Wright and his quirky cast and co-writer (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). Good news: now you get a second chance to hear from the idiosyncratic director. On last week’s episode of KCRW’s The Treatment, Wright revealed his comedic inspirations and cracked up Elvis with quotes like, “There’s something fun in playing up to the stereotype of Brits being drunks.” Here are our three favorite moments from the interview.

On what he takes pride in
“We actually get the most pleasure from the personal stuff in the movies, not to say that we don’t like doing the action and sci-fi stuff, because it’s an absolute thrill to put that on the big screen. But when I watch it back, I’m most proud of the fact that we were able to do something that’s a little more challenging in a comedy, maybe just cause it’s more honest.”

On writing characters
“There’s two things you do when you’re writing characters. When people say, ‘Are any of these characters you?’ There are all kinds of bits of me in Simon. The two things you do is you kind of try to exorcise your own demons on screen, and the other thing is you try and be a better man on screen than you are in reality. Shaun of the Dead I always think was a long apology for being a lazy boyfriend to my ex-girlfriend.”

When meeting your heroes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
When Shaun of the Dead was nominated for a BAFTA, Mike Leigh approached Wright at a party, and congratulated him on the film. “I said, ‘thank you so much, I’m such a big fan, and it’s ironic because I actually pitched [it as] your movie, Life is Sweet, with more zombies.’ And he just said, ‘Well it certainly had more zombies.’ And walked off… And I’m thinking, ‘Does he like it? Does he hate it? Does he hate me?’ Mike, come back! DON’T GO!”


By Pamela Miller / Website & Grants Manager