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Simon Pegg & Nick Frost

In this age of YouTube holes, do you reckon it’s important to have a film that shifts genres, as The World’s End does, to keep people engaged?
SIMON: As a filmmaker these days, I think you owe it to the audience to make a film that bears repeated viewings. Films used to be something of a one-off – you’d see them at the cinema and they’d have to hit you with everything there and then. These days, because movies can be re-watched many times, we’ve always been at pains to place things in our films that you may not pick up on during a first viewing. In terms of tonal shifts, absolutely. You want it to be engaging and you can’t just assume an audience will be excited by fireworks and facile emotions. You want it to be as edifying an experience as possible. Audiences are, on the whole, taken as fools and spoon-fed bullshit, but they’re actually clever people who yearn to be challenged, and I think comedy that is grounded in something deeper excites them.

The movie has a very Australian flavour, in that it’s about drinking and mateship and, at the end – SPOILER ALERT – there’s a big anti-authoritarian speech where you tell your potential overlords to, “F–k off!”
SIMON: That kind of thing has its roots in British science fiction – the whole ‘talking to the entity’ kind of thing. There’s obviously a lot of common ground between Britain and Australia, like the fascination with pubs and the disregard for being told what to do.

Can you talk about the significance of the pub to the English because you might actually have more per capita than we do?
NICK: I live in a little town called Twickenham, which is just south of London. There are probably 18 pubs or so in a two-mile radius. It’s a big part of our culture but it’s becoming less so, as people drink at home more. I think a nice pub can be a thing of beauty and a great place to be.
SIMON: Why you’re there also matters.
NICK: Once you’re over doing the pub quiz or having a few beers with mates… If you’re in there all the time or something.
SIMON: If you drink at home, on your own, then you start to wonder why you’re doing that, but if you’re drinking around other people, you can justify it a little better. It’s the shared experience of a legal high.

For the full feature and images grab the December 2013 issue of MAXIM, in stores November 21 – December 18, 2013.

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Eva Marie