'World's End' stars fight the crawl toward sameness

Even where you live, I asked Pegg?

Pegg: "Absolutely, but you —" he points at Frost — "you still have nice ones near you."

Frost: "I do. I live in a place called Twickenham (a former suburb, south of central London) and I have counted the pubs there, and there are exactly 21 in town. People don't go to the homogenized ones. The thing is, we have a big sports stadium in town. Holds 85,000. They play rugby there. Even the bad pubs are bursting at the seams on gamedays. It's how they survive. But outside those matches, the locals don't go."

I said, you guys realize you've made three movies now about people in fear of losing their identity?

Wright: "Or growing up, or losing our perpetual adolescence, or being scared that you are going to miss something you think you can't do without. I turn 40 next year, and there are all these things I want to do before that. Like … just cleaning out my house. I look in my suitcase and it reminds of me how little I need! How many of the books and DVDs I thought I couldn't live without when I was younger don't mean anything at this age. It's a fear of losing what you think made you unique, becoming part of a homogenizing system."

Pegg: "I think that's true. But just as crucially: What you're talking about is being British. We are a small island in the North Sea. A minority community, in a way. Something about being British leaves one feeling always under siege, expecting to be subsumed by American culture. It's not a criticism. England embraces the dominant culture. I'm in 'Star Trek,' Edgar is doing a Marvel movie, Nick did 'Tintin' and 'Snow White and the Huntsman' — all willingly. But being British, we feel on the fringe, always about to be gentrified."

Wright jumped in.

"Perhaps I should say something to the people of Chicago," he said, speaking directly into my recorder.

He cleared his throat.

"People of Chicago, please enjoy our movie and prepare to make us feel welcome when our country is underwater in 20 years. In return, when we arrive here in boats, we promise to enjoy all of your fake Irish pubs."


Twitter @borrelli


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