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“I wanted the best bar brawls in British cinema”

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“This film is all about friends reuniting, which is nice because that’s what was happening off-screen, too.

"It’s been six years since Hot Fuzz, which was the last time Simon, Nick and I all worked together. We are the best of friends, and we also share an unspoken telepathy when it comes to the finer points of comedy, so that helps massively during a 12-week shoot for something we wrote together.

“Another joy was having Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan joining the pair to play old mates attempting to recreate a pub crawl from past days. It was astounding to see how quickly the five of them turned into a bunch of kids, instantly giving me the role of taskmaster. But the guys are very close, especially Simon and Martin, who would be firing off anecdotes to one another right up until the take.

“Despite CGI aliens, it was a very physical shoot. I wanted the best bar brawls British cinema has ever seen. Simon broke his hand in one fight scene, while Nick completely f*cked up his feet thanks to a major running scene, with neither admitting their injuries until days later, as they didn’t want to let the stuntmen down. Shooting on location was difficult, too. We rarely have good weather in this country, so trying to make an action film, particularly when it’s outdoors and at night, felt like a military mission – because that’s the question, can you can be funny at minus 10 degrees? Thankfully, we were.”

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