4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Interview with Cuban Fury star Nick Frost

Nick Frost — perhaps best known as the Oliver Hardy to Simon Pegg’s Stan Laurel in the Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) — salsas into the spotlight in the romcom/sports flick Cuban Fury.

Frost plays Bruce Garrett, a child-prodigy dancer who fled the floor after an adolescent trauma. He’s been hugging the wall ever since, but when he learns that his pretty new boss likes to dance, well...

Frost with Pegg in Shaun of the Dead

Matthew Lickona: The IMDb page for Cuban Fury notes that the script is based on an original idea of yours. What was it?

Nick Frost: It was about a normal, everyday man who falls in love with a beautiful woman and woos her using the power of dance. I think it was kind of that simple. There were other things within it, though — things like, “It’s not necessarily how you look that makes you attractive. It can be about passion, and the fact that you are nice, and funny. Sometimes, that’s more than enough.” It was an idea I’d had for ages. The one-line pitch in my head was, “Do you want to do a film where you dance a lot?” It seemed ridiculous, but I knew my producer, Nira Park, would kind of love it. I never told anyone, because I thought if I did, I might just have to do the film. But the idea kept popping up, and one night when I was slightly the worse for wear and my defenses were down, I wrote an email to Nyra pitching the whole idea and then fell asleep with all my clothes on. Sure enough, in the morning, there was a message from Nira saying, “Hey, this is great. Let’s do this.”

Pretty boss-lady Rashida Jones

ML: Did you have much involvement with the writing beyond that?

NF: No. I had an idea for who the characters should be, and for the shape — technically, it’s a similar shape to any sports movie, including a sports montage. It structures itself, really. But we met this lovely man, John Brown, and we liked him a lot and he liked us. I think you can’t be too precious about an idea in terms of letting it go. If you are, then you might as well write it yourself, and I didn’t want to write this. Writing takes so much time — Simon Pegg and I found that out after spending two and a half years writing Paul. During that not time, you’re not acting. Essentially, you’re not getting paid. I liked the idea of coming up with an idea and then working with a writer that we like.

"Technically, it's similar in shape to any sports movie" — you know, like Major League.

ML: Had you danced much prior to making this?

NF: Not at all. I’m a house music fan, so my dancing is essentially a fist pump and some foot-stomping. I’d never danced “in hold” before.

ML: Do clubs like the one you visit in the film actually exist?

NF: Absolutely. That was part of my training, to go to clubs and see how the dancing I’d learned in the classroom played out there.

ML: Yeah, when you show up in the club, it looks a little twerkier than what you learned in class.

NF: That club had different musical genres under one roof. You had one room that was playing Kizomba, which is essentially just a chance for a man and a woman to rub themselves together. Then you had a Cuban room, a cross-body room, and a reggae room, which is more of a Jamaican dance hall, really.

Spicy!

ML: There are a number of ’80s film references — The Goonies, Back to the Future, Scarface... and when you say, “Salsa. Why did it have to be salsa?” you’re playing on Indiana Jones. And then you top off the ’80s vibe by featuring a Prius with a tape deck to set up the mixtape element.

NF: I think that was the thing that took us the most amount of time to find — a Prius with a tape deck. But we found one. I think there’s a romance about mix tapes. Plus, Bruce has vinyl, and he can’t do vinyl to CD. But he can do vinyl to tape. I think the romance is something that will be lost on anyone born after 1986. But the 40-year-olds, they’ll understand.

Instant age-tester.

ML: Tell me about the dance fight.

NF: We tried to shoot it like one of the fights in The Bourne Identity — instead of dancing, Bruce and Drew might as well have box cutters, you know? If you see it again, you’ll realize that they’re both kind of shit at it. No matter how good Bruce is, when he has the dance-off, he’s terrible. There’s a lot about that scene that I like. When Drew says, “Fuck off Bruce; I can’t do this every lunch,” that kind of makes me think they did it yesterday as well. And I love that they talk about the fight happening at lunch, but when Bruce defeats Drew, you can see there’s this beautiful orange sunset in the background. The fight has lasted all afternoon, which is kind of epic.

Dance fight!

ML: It’s a clever twist on the “nerd with his secret passion” story, because ballroom dance is one of the few secret passions that almost always involves girls.

NF: Absolutely. I think all of us nerds are a little bit romantic. There’s all the unrequited love.

Behold the power of dance!

ML: There is so much out there these in terms of body issues. I kept thinking as I watched, “This would not be as much fun if Nick Frost were not a big guy.”

NF: I think it’s a media-driven circus, essentially — to have us all buy smaller jeans. If you’re happy, then that’s surely what life is all about. I don’t think [size] should be an issue. Bruce Garrett is a big man; that’s how he is, that’s who he is. I think you have to have people on television and in the media who are a fair reflection of our society. You’re force-fed the lie that [size] 00 is the norm.

"Bruce Garrett is a big man; that's how he is, that's who he is."

ML: To me, the neat trick is walking the line: proclaiming the normalcy of Bruce Garrett — a big guy who dances really well — and then mining the comedic element in seeing this big guy be so nimble, outdancing the tall skinny guy.

NF: I think that if I’ve done my job right, you shouldn’t notice it, to be perfectly honest.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tecate mayor calls out her cops to face down the Baja state police

Olga Zulema Adams says debt paid off the day before
Next Article

Paxton adobe house in Escondido threatened

Model home for Longview Acres subdivision

Nick Frost — perhaps best known as the Oliver Hardy to Simon Pegg’s Stan Laurel in the Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) — salsas into the spotlight in the romcom/sports flick Cuban Fury.

Frost plays Bruce Garrett, a child-prodigy dancer who fled the floor after an adolescent trauma. He’s been hugging the wall ever since, but when he learns that his pretty new boss likes to dance, well...

Frost with Pegg in Shaun of the Dead

Matthew Lickona: The IMDb page for Cuban Fury notes that the script is based on an original idea of yours. What was it?

Nick Frost: It was about a normal, everyday man who falls in love with a beautiful woman and woos her using the power of dance. I think it was kind of that simple. There were other things within it, though — things like, “It’s not necessarily how you look that makes you attractive. It can be about passion, and the fact that you are nice, and funny. Sometimes, that’s more than enough.” It was an idea I’d had for ages. The one-line pitch in my head was, “Do you want to do a film where you dance a lot?” It seemed ridiculous, but I knew my producer, Nira Park, would kind of love it. I never told anyone, because I thought if I did, I might just have to do the film. But the idea kept popping up, and one night when I was slightly the worse for wear and my defenses were down, I wrote an email to Nyra pitching the whole idea and then fell asleep with all my clothes on. Sure enough, in the morning, there was a message from Nira saying, “Hey, this is great. Let’s do this.”

Pretty boss-lady Rashida Jones

ML: Did you have much involvement with the writing beyond that?

NF: No. I had an idea for who the characters should be, and for the shape — technically, it’s a similar shape to any sports movie, including a sports montage. It structures itself, really. But we met this lovely man, John Brown, and we liked him a lot and he liked us. I think you can’t be too precious about an idea in terms of letting it go. If you are, then you might as well write it yourself, and I didn’t want to write this. Writing takes so much time — Simon Pegg and I found that out after spending two and a half years writing Paul. During that not time, you’re not acting. Essentially, you’re not getting paid. I liked the idea of coming up with an idea and then working with a writer that we like.

"Technically, it's similar in shape to any sports movie" — you know, like Major League.

ML: Had you danced much prior to making this?

NF: Not at all. I’m a house music fan, so my dancing is essentially a fist pump and some foot-stomping. I’d never danced “in hold” before.

ML: Do clubs like the one you visit in the film actually exist?

NF: Absolutely. That was part of my training, to go to clubs and see how the dancing I’d learned in the classroom played out there.

ML: Yeah, when you show up in the club, it looks a little twerkier than what you learned in class.

NF: That club had different musical genres under one roof. You had one room that was playing Kizomba, which is essentially just a chance for a man and a woman to rub themselves together. Then you had a Cuban room, a cross-body room, and a reggae room, which is more of a Jamaican dance hall, really.

Spicy!

ML: There are a number of ’80s film references — The Goonies, Back to the Future, Scarface... and when you say, “Salsa. Why did it have to be salsa?” you’re playing on Indiana Jones. And then you top off the ’80s vibe by featuring a Prius with a tape deck to set up the mixtape element.

NF: I think that was the thing that took us the most amount of time to find — a Prius with a tape deck. But we found one. I think there’s a romance about mix tapes. Plus, Bruce has vinyl, and he can’t do vinyl to CD. But he can do vinyl to tape. I think the romance is something that will be lost on anyone born after 1986. But the 40-year-olds, they’ll understand.

Instant age-tester.

ML: Tell me about the dance fight.

NF: We tried to shoot it like one of the fights in The Bourne Identity — instead of dancing, Bruce and Drew might as well have box cutters, you know? If you see it again, you’ll realize that they’re both kind of shit at it. No matter how good Bruce is, when he has the dance-off, he’s terrible. There’s a lot about that scene that I like. When Drew says, “Fuck off Bruce; I can’t do this every lunch,” that kind of makes me think they did it yesterday as well. And I love that they talk about the fight happening at lunch, but when Bruce defeats Drew, you can see there’s this beautiful orange sunset in the background. The fight has lasted all afternoon, which is kind of epic.

Dance fight!

ML: It’s a clever twist on the “nerd with his secret passion” story, because ballroom dance is one of the few secret passions that almost always involves girls.

NF: Absolutely. I think all of us nerds are a little bit romantic. There’s all the unrequited love.

Behold the power of dance!

ML: There is so much out there these in terms of body issues. I kept thinking as I watched, “This would not be as much fun if Nick Frost were not a big guy.”

NF: I think it’s a media-driven circus, essentially — to have us all buy smaller jeans. If you’re happy, then that’s surely what life is all about. I don’t think [size] should be an issue. Bruce Garrett is a big man; that’s how he is, that’s who he is. I think you have to have people on television and in the media who are a fair reflection of our society. You’re force-fed the lie that [size] 00 is the norm.

"Bruce Garrett is a big man; that's how he is, that's who he is."

ML: To me, the neat trick is walking the line: proclaiming the normalcy of Bruce Garrett — a big guy who dances really well — and then mining the comedic element in seeing this big guy be so nimble, outdancing the tall skinny guy.

NF: I think that if I’ve done my job right, you shouldn’t notice it, to be perfectly honest.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Appalled by cigarette ad, frightened by Gloria

Under the slavery of San Diego developers
Next Article

San Diego's secret and not-so-secret Trump supporters

‘Marilou, don’t say anything. You’re going to get hurt.'
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close