As the sensible Sam Chamberlain in "The World's End," Rosamund Pike is forced to do battle with her past and the scary inhabitants of her suburban hometown of Newton Haven, UK. As aging goth Gary King (Simon Pegg) drags his old mates around "The Golden Mile" of pubs, Sam has to step in on occasion and kick some butt... and fend off the advances of Gary, who's hoping for one last go with Sam in the bathroom.
"The World's End" is the capper to Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Pike, on the other hand, is just getting started. She's signed on to play the lead in what's easily one of the most anticipated adaptations of the near future, David Fincher's "Gone Girl," alongside Ben Affleck.
Pike called in to chat with Moviefone about the pleasures of working with Wright, Pegg, Frost, and the rest of the "World's End" crew, among other things.
Moviefone: I've never had a Cornetto ice cream. Are they the best thing ever? What's the deal with them?
Cornettos are a pretty in-joke in the series, But I'll tell you, when I was traveling in Vietnam, when I'd just left college, a Cornetto was the one bit of kind of Western indulgence that you could obtain -- the one kind of recognizable homeland treat -- so... I have a bit of a soft spot for them. The original, I think, is my favorite, which was the hot fudge one.
I love the details in all of Edgar Wright's movies, where you can go back and say, "Oh, yes, there's the Cornetto wrapper." The little things that re-occur, is that something you're aware of when you're filming it, or is it something that you see later when you watch the final cut?
Oh, no, I'm afraid I'm not really smart enough to pick up on those references. I just about get the "Casablanca" one, which Simon and I share with our little romantic moment about the disabled toilets... When we say, "We'll always have the disabled." You know that's a reference to "Casablanca," obviously: "We'll always have Paris."
A little less romantic, maybe.
[Laughs] Well, you know, it's Gary King's version of intimacy, the kind of intimacy that backfires, you know?
I love that Simon Pegg was actually a goth in high school. What were you like in high school?
I don't think Simon Pegg would have been interested in me in high school. I don't think his goth would have been interested in my nerd. I was a rebel but in a sort of quiet way. I tended to be... you know, seem quite well-behaved on the surface and all my rebellious stuff would come out without most people I was at school with ever knowing anything about it. I had another crowd I ran with.
I read that you met with Edgar Wright's ex on how to play Sam -- not how to play Sam, but ...
I think that's a little bit of a butchered story. I'm always trying to do research around [my roles], so I said to Edgar... "What do you want from Sam?" And he said, "I want Sam to be someone who always has the one-liners." I said, "Was she the sort of school fox?" And he said, "Well, Sam wasn't really the foxy one. She was the girl who was smart and always had the one-liners." And I said, "Was there anyone you were at school with who inspired Sam? Where is this girl now?" And he said, "Well, that's funny, because I Facebooked her the other day." I said, "Well, can I look her up? Can I meet her"?
So I went to have lunch with this girl, and I think she was rather flattered that Edgar had always seen her as someone who'd had a quick one-liner, and I think it was quite enlightening. She was quite surprised that that was how she was remembered. So that was nice. That was a good note on how to play Sam. She was vulnerable for being the younger sister, but she was also smart and had her head screwed on... and yet, there's something a little bit goofy about her, too. There's a sort of silliness underneath. The girl who gets lost on the ring road is never far from the surface, you know?
One of the great joys of watching British films and TV shows is seeing the same people pop up in different projects. Like, I really enjoy "Sherlock," and of course seeing Martin Freeman in things, and Paddy Considine, I think of "Tyrannosaur" when I see him. When you're working with other British actors, is that something that you all are aware of?
That's a really nice question, because we are obviously a smaller community there, and it becomes one of the great pleasures, working with in different films and different genres. That's the treat that we get to do.
It was very exciting company to be in, making this film. Those boys, those five guys, they sort of represent the here and now of British filmmaking... Simon Pegg and I went on to do another film together, and they're definitely all people -- we know we'll all work together further down the line. And each film, you're building on a relationship that you can reuse and recycle.
I mean, that's what Simon and Edgar and Nick really understand, is the familiarity with people and working with the same team only enriches the experience and means that you can share an easy humor, and you're with people who'll also tell you when it is funny and when it isn't funny, and it's a lovely environment to act in. It's really good. It's a nice question; I've never been asked that before. But I think in Britain, I think that's the thing -- we all have the chance of traveling into different genres, perhaps more so than American actors do.
Of course, "Gone Girl," which you have coming up, is getting a lot of buzz. It's a news story that people in the industry follow -- who's going to be cast, who are they looking at, etc. Are you aware of the buzz at all? Are you at home reading about it, like, "Hey! That's my role!" or are you at home biting your nails waiting to hear what the story is? How does that really work?
I don't read anything that's written about me or anything I'm involved in. It's far too painful, and the idea is to sort of create a fever and a fever of insecurity and competition, and I just don't get involved with it. I can't. It's just not healthy. And, in fact, all through the time that I was talking to David Fincher about the part, I was filming a film that I'd been on... up in Scotland called "What We Did on Our Holiday" and I was totally committed to the work I was doing there. And rather fortunately, we were also out of cell phone reception, so I was kind of immune, apart from my direct line of contact to the project and talking to, you know, the creatives involved with it, I was totally and utterly immune to anything that was written about it. I can imagine what you're talking about, but I don't actually know what you're talking about. [Laughs]
All this week, Moviefone will be celebrating the Cornetto Trilogy with exclusive looks at "The World's End," the last film in the series. You can check them all out here.