Stefan Pape talks to the cast and crew of The Inbetweeners Movie
It seems that everyone is talking about the Inbetweeners movie. People are flooding to cinemas all over the UK, to watch the embarrassing and crude antics of Jay and Simon, and the snobbery of Will and thickness of Neil.
However, despite the spotlight being on the leading four characters, it seems that those who made the film have become the forgotten heroes somewhat.
Stefan Pape sat down with the cast and crew to talk about the film and where they go from here.
Was there also a pressure to avoid being too similar to Kevin and Perry?
Simon Bird: I don’t know what everyone’s got against Kevin and Perry! I really liked it when I saw it.
Blake Harrison: The fundamental difference is that that came from a sketch and this is a sitcom so it’s easier to transfer sitcom to a film, I think, than just a sketch. ?Simon Bird: It’s still difficult though. You know, the real challenge was for Iain (Morris) and Damon (Beesley), who write the show.
Blake Harrison: They wanted to do a British teen comedy, because there wasn’t one really. There are the American films like American Pie and Superbad, but few British.
Simon Bird: This was an idea they had separate from the Inbetweeners, maybe even beforehand. They’ve always been talking about doing a British teen comedy movie, then the Inbetweeners became a big hit and it just seemed like too good a fit to do it with different characters.
Blake Harrison: They’re just lazy and couldn’t be bothered to do another casting process.
Did you ever envisage when you were first cast in the Inbetweeners that you would be sitting in a swanky hotel in London promoting your new feature film?
James Buckley: Definitely not. I never really thought about the future once when we were making that first series. I was just making something that I thought was funny, I completely forgot that what happened next would completely depend on whether people liked it or not. I didn’t think about that at all while we were filming.
Joe Thomas: No we didn’t expect it at all. I don’t think the show has a big hook or anything to sell it and the first series were just every day stories, the characters are quite run of the mill, they’re the sort of people who are nothing special in a way.
James Buckley: At the time we were filming, Skins had just come out and that was really cool and popular and showed these kids off in a trendy, romantic light and we were doing the complete opposite to that I guess. I thought that maybe we were doing the wrong thing.
Joe Thomas: The show didn’t seem to be reaching dramatic climaxes particularly just a lot of stories which were one thing after another so I suppose we didn’t know what the money shots were, or what it would be which would make it standout or make it memorable. I think the vision was, in a way, just Damon (Beesley) and Ian’s (Morris) to realise that people just liked seeing, and had an appetite for, characters that appear to be normal and are recognisable, so you don’t need to over-dramatise life, you can just reflect life and that’s interesting enough. It’s more interesting in a way if it seems to ring true but I think it took me a while to realise that that was what was making the show successful. Now it’s obvious but not at the time.
Was it tough writing the script for a feature length film after writing so many 20 minute episodes?
Damon Beesley: I think we were always very aware that it would be a difficult challenge, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.
Iain Morris: Also, we started writing a very rough draft before we did series three, so we were constantly bastardising the script for that series. For example, when Jay drives a motorbike into the wall, we thought that’s great, we can put that in the film. But then we realised we needed a good scene in the series and we had that sitting there, so when we came back to the script we had to pull a few jokes out and move it around a bit. It was difficult, but hopefully it’s gone alright.
Damon Beesley: Also, as it’s a film we felt we had to give it a bit more emotional depth.
Iain Morris: Not that much…
Damon Beesley: Yeah, don’t take a box of Kleenex with you.
Iain Morris: Some people are comparing it to the Tree of Life, but it’s not for us to say.
Damon Beesley: But we had obviously written some scenes that aren’t as joke-heavy as the TV show, which was terrifying for us, and a bit of a leap of faith.
Iain Morris: You can use that as a headline if you like. “Not as joke-heavy.”
Ben Palmer: We always had a lot of those big set-pieces throughout the series but it seems as though the film has got one after the other, they escalate up until the finale.
Damon Beesley: The finale on the boat was pretty challenging, as, just to make it even harder for Ben, we decided to do it in the winter.
Christopher Young: Winter for summer was quite a tricky thing to do, lots of half naked people on the boat freezing themselves to death.
Damon Beesley: The end result is amazing though, knowing what happened.
Iain Morris: We didn’t use these, but there were some takes where it literally went from the sky to the sea, sky to sea, because we couldn’t get the camera steady! So yeah, definitely logistical challenges as well as script challenges in making this film.
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THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE IS OUT NOW