The World’s End comes out next week, and (spoiler alert) it’s really good. We dusted this interview with director Edgar Wright out of the archives. It was first seen in issue 171, a whole year back, but his childhood’s unlikely to have changed in that time, innit.
EDGAR WRIGHT ANECDOTE: This interview was done on the phone, and the next day we ran into him on the street outside our office in London. “Hi Edgar, we spoke to you yesterday about needing a piss on a plane!” we said. Weirdly, he didn’t immediately cast us as the lead in his next movie. We just had a really awkward short conversation. We’ve got loads of stories like that.
1. As a youngster, what was your favourite film?
I can’t say Star Wars, it’s too obvious, but it was the first film I ever saw. I’ll go for Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I re-watched it recently and it really holds up. I didn’t know what hit me. Before that film, I didn’t know you could melt Nazis.
2. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
In Mexico I had an omelette with ant’s eggs. I was told it was a delicacy but it may have been an elaborate prank. The idea of it was a lot worse than the actual taste.
3. If you could throw one person off TV into a pen of lions, who would it be?
Piers Morgan. In the States people assume that everyone in the UK loves him, and you have to tell them, absolutely not.
4. If you could have any super power, what would you go for?
Going back in time. I worry I wouldn’t remember any significant events though, so wouldn’t be able to prevent them. I could make a lot of money betting on the Christmas Number One though.
5. If we gave you a million quid and you had 24 hours to rinse it, how would you do so?
I’d spend it on Jaffa Cakes and walk the streets distributing them.
6. What for you makes an awesome night out properly awesome?
7. What’s the first album you ever bought?
A Doctor Who sound effects record from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. I think they still use some of those effects.
8. What will your funeral be like?
Whatever I do won’t be as cool as Hunter S Thompson’s one – he had his ashes fired out of a cannon by Johnny Depp.
9. Who’s the biggest arsehole famous person you’ve ever met?
It was kind of part of his schtick, but when my then-girlfriend introduced me to the lead singer of the Hives and said “This is Edgar, he’s a big fan of the Hives”, he said “Well, why wouldn’t he be?” I liked that line so much I wrote it into Scott Pilgrim.
10. Have you got any phobias?
I have a fear of drowning. There’s a scene in Master And Commander where they cut a man loose to drown that really gave me the chills, more than any horror film.
11. If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you be doing?
I’d have gone into film editing, which is part of the same industry, but I like it a lot.
12. What social networking shit do you like?
I like playing dumb on Twitter. Generally 95% of people get that I’m being stupid and 5% think I’m insane or stupid.
13. What’s the most you’ve ever needed the toilet?
I was on a tiny Cessna plane from JFK airport to the premiere of Land Of The Dead in Pittsburgh with Simon Pegg. I couldn’t find a toilet before I got on it, so I spent the next three hours in agony. When I got off the plane I could barely walk.
14. What’s the worst idea you’ve ever had?
I once chose to stay in a Glasgow chain hotel for three months. It was like my own Scottish version of The Shining.
15. What’s your alcoholic drink of choice?
16. Where’s the shittest place you’ve ever been?
Amarillo, Texas. It’s not as fun as the song, and they wouldn’t accept my driving licence as ID so refused to sell me a drink.
17. What’s the most illegal thing you (or “a friend of yours”) have ever done?
After I made my first film I was broke, but I’d heard there was a nice review of it in a magazine so I shoplifted it from a newsagent in Camden.
18. Why should people read The Random Adventures Of Brandon Generator? [Note: that’s what the interview was plugging.]
At the end of every episode you get a chance to contribute, and see your ideas used in subsequent episodes. It’s really fun to write a story that the public can influence the outcome of.
19. Tell us an AMAZING thing we wouldn’t know about you.
I know all the words to the 1970s Pink Panther series theme tune. It has the lyrics “He really is a groovy cat – he’s a gentleman, a scholar and an acrobat”.
20. What’s the punchline to your favourite ever joke?