I recently got the chance to talk to Zachary Bailess about his role in Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s new movie, ‘The World’s End’. Here, Zachary talks about how he got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film is about five guys, who upon reaching middle age decide to retry a pub crawl they attempted in their teens. Simon’s character, Gary, rounds the whole gang up, but when they return to their home town, they find things are a bit different from when they left.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
So, in the movie, I play the younger version of Nick Frost’s character, Andy, as the boys attempt their first pub crawl in 1990. If Gary is the leader, Andy is his wing-man. It was a great little part and a lot of fun to play. Most of our scenes involved drinking lots of fake beer, and acting drunk – so it was a great laugh.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Quite simply – I auditioned! I did my first audition for the movie last summer, and then we started shooting in the Autumn. It was a really fun audition process, involving lots of improv with the other boys.
How would you say this film is different and unique to ‘Shaun Of The Dead‘ and ‘Hot Fuzz‘?
Personally I feel this film is a lot grander than the other two. ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ has quite an indie feel to it, and ‘Hot Fuzz’ feels slightly bigger. Whereas this film, feels much more epic – the stakes are much higher. The main cast is bigger, and the story itself is very intelligent and deeply layered.
The film stars Rosamund Pike, Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, David Bradley, Paddy Considine and Mark Heap – with Edgar Wright onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
In a word: amazing. Edgar is a really, really great director. He’s very focused, and knows exactly what he wants – but he also gave us a lot of chance to experiment and play about with our roles, especially when it came to the drinking scenes. In terms of the cast, everyone was great! The cast were amazingly professional, and friendly at the same time. For the younger actors, like me and Thomas Law, who plays the teenage Simon, it was pretty much a dream come true to be working with such an amazing and varied cast.
I remember in one of the early rehearsals, me and Nick were standing next to each other at lunch. And I think it was Simon that pointed out that we were both stood in pretty much exactly the same stance, with the same facial expression, staring into space – without even thinking about it. It really proved that we were well matched. Nick took to calling me ‘Mini Me’ every now and then.
Let’s talk a bit about you Zachary. What made you want to get into the acting industry in the first place?
I’ve always enjoyed performing, I started off by doing a lot of theatre when I was younger and I never found anything I enjoyed doing more, so one thing led to another… And here I am!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
To keep trying. People say that a lot – but it really is true. I think for younger actors, like myself, it’s hard to see things on a bigger scale. But if you really want to act as a career then it’s a life long thing, so you always have to remember that and keep very focused and driven. So just keep going and getting yourself out there.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I might be a bit late to the party, but I’ve recently really gotten into The Black Keys. I have a horrible habit of listening to an album or artist to death and then getting bored with it, so I have quite a variety of music on there as I’m always on the look out for something new to listen to.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Ahh – this is tough. If I was picking people involved in film-making it’d probably be the directors Nicholas Winding-Refn, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steve McQueen as I’m such huge fans of their work and it’d be great to chat to them about their thoughts and processes. If it was historical figures, maybe Hitler, Caesar and Churchill, just to say I’d met them, I guess. If it was three people just to hang out with and have a laugh, it’d probably be a group of guys like Simon, Nick and Edgar, in all honesty.
Which film was your favourite of 2012 and why?
I only recently watched it, but I absolutely loved ‘The Hunt’ with Mads Mikkelsen. It was such a great story, and so beautifully directed and acted. Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’ was also amazing, and I did really enjoy going to see ‘The Avengers’.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
I’ve got a few different projects in the pipeline. I’m currently co-directing a short film, that I’ve also co-written and am starring in – which is a lot of fun, writing and directing has always been another things that’s interested me.
Thanks for the interview!