Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have been working together for decades and are well known for their genre-blending movies, with comedy-horror Shaun Of The Dead among their biggest hits.
Their latest project sees them returning to TV (many viewers will have first seen them together on cult show Spaced, which debuted in 1999) with new series Truth Seekers on Prime Video.
Once again they are mixing jokes with scares – and Frost tells Sky News’ Backstage podcast they make a great combination.
“I think the feeling of being made to laugh and the feeling of being made afraid, they’re kind of similar feelings, it’s a feeling of being out of control, in a way,” he says.
“You have to make the horror frightening and you have to make the comedy funny, and neither can suffer at the expense of the other.
“Our society now is about controlling every aspect of our lives, so for someone remotely to have the ability to make you burst out laughing, or need to do a wee, is kind of exciting.”
Truth Seekers, about a misfit team of part-time broadband installation engineers/ paranormal investigators, was partly inspired by late nights in Frost and Pegg’s younger years when they would visit graveyards and try to scare one another.
Frost says while they had no idea at the time those experiences would result in a TV series, they definitely drew from their escapades while writing the show.
“It was just two lonely, single men looking for some kind of thrill on a Saturday night,” he laughs. “We always loved horror films and mysteries and The X Files and so it just seemed like when one of us said, ‘Hey, why don’t we drive to a cemetery and see if we can find the spirits?’ It was like, ‘all right’.
“We never saw anything, but we would always end up running back to the car screaming, desperately needing to wee, and that was good, that was nice, I like that feeling.”
Frost says writing the eight episode series was a different experience to making one of their films, with him and Pegg working with James Serafinowicz and Nat Saunders on the scripts.
There’s no room to be thin-skinned when it comes to sharing your ideas with others, Frost admits.
“I think that we were really honest with each other in terms of – there comes a time when you have to hand [your draft] into the collective to say, ‘give me some notes, guys’,” he says.
“I think it would be easy for one to feel hurt when someone says, ‘Hey, the set up to this joke is sh*t’. I think you just have to understand that everyone is trying to push to make the show better.”
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Frost says his long-term relationship with Pegg can sometimes make things even harder.
“I can say things to people I don’t know very well easier than, sometimes, Simon,” he says. “In terms of the histrionics of a 25-year relationship and trying to realise what’s important and what would potentially upset Simon… but the thing about having a very long relationship is none of that matters.
“It’s about the friendship at the end of the day, and that thing we first discovered when we were terrified in a church yard together.
“It’s a balancing act, you know.”
Truth Seekers is out now on Prime Video. Listen to our interview with Nick Frost in this week’s Backstage podcast
Source : Sky News