In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.
Though he’s probably best known for his roles in the Cornetto Trilogy movies—Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End—Nick Frost has been in all sorts of non-Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright-related projects, including Snow White And The Huntsman, Cuban Fury, and this spring’s Unfinished Business. His latest project, the television comedy Mr. Sloane, made its U.K. debut in May 2014, but is only now coming to American television. All seven episodes of the show will air Sunday, May 17 starting at 8 p.m. Eastern on Link TV, with encore presentations of the entire ’60s set series happening May 19, 20, and 21.
Nick Frost: There are two answers to this. I worked in a chicken farm once, and that was horrendous. It was very hot, the environment I was living in, and when you get 30,000 chickens crammed into a shit-filled shed, in hundred-degree heat, it’s kind of like hell on Earth, actually. So that was kind of a bad job. But that said, I didn’t really dislike it as such.
The job I disliked most is when I was 16 and had a job in a big warehouse that sold auto parts, and I don’t know why, but for some reason I hated that job. They made me wear a really awful uniform and it was really scratchy and itched my neck, and so after three days I just walked out and left. I hated it.
The A.V. Club: Was that your first job you ever had?
NF: I’d done stuff before. I’d done paper routes and I’d worked in shops selling fruit and vegetables and stuff. My parents were always keen that I worked from a very early age. But that job in that warehouse was just crushing. It crushed me. I think I preferred working with the chickens, to be fair.
NF: I think probably a lot of people who have answered these questions have said “never.” I kind of feel like hopefully that’s yet to come. But I have to answer that, when Simon, Edgar, and I did the Hot Fuzz press tour in America, we did a lot of Q&As. We’d go and introduce the film and 500 people would watch it and then we’d do a Q&A afterward. There were a few of those that we went to where it felt like we were the Beatles in Japan. It kind of felt crazy. I think at that point, we realized that we’d done something pretty good with Shaun Of The Dead and that people really loved Hot Fuzz, too. So I’ll say then. But also, hopefully, there’s more yet to come.
NF: I’d probably want to do something really awful, like do away with all governments and then I’d run the world myself. And then secretly, out the back door, I’d kind of be helping everyone.
AVC: Like a Bane sort of thing but not as bad as Bane.
NF: Yeah. Like the anti-Bane.
AVC: Why did you pick that?
NF: I suppose it’s a relative thing. I wouldn’t be villainous to regular Joe on the street. I’d be villainous to the shady corporations that run our democracies. It’s like a smash capitalism Robin Hood. So I’m villainous to the guys who deserve it, and I’m a hero to the everyman.
NF: I was naughty and adventurous and dirty. I was always dirty. I was always getting injured. I played a lot of rugby. I was quite mischievous and cheeky, and I didn’t really like being told what to do. I, fortunately, was very loved by my parents, so I was allowed to get away with a lot of stuff, because I was cheeky.
AVC: Sometimes when people do these, they basically say they’re like they are now, but with slightly more freedom. Did you have more freedom then, do you think?
NF: No, I think I’ve got a lot more freedom now.
NF: I think my first celebrity crush was probably Charlie’s Angels.
AVC: Which one?
NF: It was never just one. One week it was Farrah Fawcett, the next week it was the redhead. I just flipped between them. And then I really fancied—do you remember Johnny Depp used to be with a French singer called Vanessa Paradis?
AVC: Of course.
NF: I was crazy for Vanessa Paradis, and I really fancied her. But yeah, I think my first one was probably Charlie’s Angels.
AVC: Good to know.
NF: And Charlie! He’s part of it.
AVC: He’s the mystery. You don’t know what he looks like.
NF: It could also be a woman with a deep voice.
NF: I always think about this in terms of like if I was a mixed martial artist or a wrestler or something. There’s a style of… what would you call it? EDM? Electronic dance music? There’s a style of it here in Britain called hard house. And it’s very crunchy and brain-mashing and repetitive and I absolutely love it. So there’s a few big, big tracks that I’d like to have as entrance music as I came out to wrestle with John Cena or someone. I think it would put the fear of God in everyone. But essentially, the answer would be hard house.
AVC: Do you know the names of the tracks?
NF: No. That’s the thing. They’re all mixed. I’ve never know any names of any tracks, but some DJs of hard house would be the Tidy Boys. Or a lady called Lisa Pin-Up. A lady called Lucy Fur. A man called Energy Syndicate. Yeah. All these are kind of hard house DJs.
AVC: That sounds great. You’d get pumped up and the crowd would get pumped up.
NF: Yeah. And I’ll start busting some nuts.
NF: Today I got up very early. I’m writing a book so I sat at my desk from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., and in between that I had to go and see a government official about an extension on a house I’m building. Oh, and I went shopping, too. We’re having shrimp tacos for our dinner, so I went shopping for the ingredients for shrimp tacos.
AVC: Is that something you’re going to cook?
NF: Yeah, that’s me. I do all the cooking. I love to cook.
AVC: You talked about working in a Mexican restaurant when you were on WTF With Marc Maron.
NF: I did, yeah. I worked in a Mexican restaurant for like five years.
The thing about England is we do not have a lot of good Mexican restaurants. So I was very fortunate, I was given the keys to the menu locker so I can now cook pretty good Tex-Mex at home, and it tastes amazing.
NF: There’s a show over here called Graham Norton, which is essentially like Jimmy Kimmel. They have guests on, and they’re plugging new films and blah blah blah. When the Hollywood stars come over they always go to Graham’s show. And I was a guest on the show with Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. I had a black suit on and a white shirt and a black tie, and I knew Sam didn’t know me, or Sandra didn’t know me, so I was quite quiet backstage, and then we all were led on together and stuff. And Samuel thought that I was Sandra Bullock’s security officer. So he was kind of amazed when I sat next to him, telling him stories about Cuban Fury.
AVC: So you weren’t mistaken for someone famous, but rather for someone entirely not famous.
NF: Yeah, which is great. I think it’s fantastic. Someone who is so iconically threatening and a hard nut in films mistook me for a security guard. I was charmed. I was flattered.
NF: Yeah, cooking.
I think about this, you know? If it all stopped tomorrow what would I do? I think I would definitely start some kind of kitchen. You know those vans they have in Portland and Austin where you just kind of pull up and… like the film Chef? I think I’d want to be like him, the guy in the film Chef. So, yeah, like knife skills, and the fact that I can skin and bone a chicken in a short time, and I can chop a big bunch of cilantro into a fine shred in seconds. I think all of that would come in handy.
AVC: Did you teach yourself that or did you learn it working in the restaurant?
NF: My mom was a good cook, so from the age of like 9 or 10 I was cooking with her in the kitchen, and then I grew up and became a young teen and I didn’t cook a lot. Then, you grow up a bit more, and I was in my 20s and living with a group of guys and working in this restaurant, and I started to cook again. It was only when I was, I think, 28 when I stopped working in restaurants and became an actor that I then started again. And from then until now, at the age of 43, I’ve just kind of taught myself. I still continue to learn things every day. You’ll often find me with my nose in a theory book or a recipe book. I just want to keep getting better and better and learning more and more. I think cooking is something that you never know it all. There’s always something left to learn, and I like that.
NF: Not really. I suppose maybe kitchen stuff. I’ve got a lot of nice kitchen stuff, and it’s always my aim to get a really bloody lovely kitchen and fill it with really nice pans and pots and good knives and nice glasses and plates, and so I guess I would have to say that. I’m building up a beautiful, lifelong kitchen.
AVC: That stuff can last forever.
NF: Oh, yeah. I found this amazing… have you ever heard of a French company called Le Creuset that makes iron pots?
NF: Well I just found it on eBay and bought, used of course, a 1950s original Le Creuset pan and it looks very art deco. It’s canary yellow—I’m looking at it right now—and it’s obviously been used for the past 60 years, and it’s good as new. It looks beautiful. Like an old kind of weathered wok, it just gets better with age. Like an old skillet. It just gets better.
NF: My death row meal would be a bucket of KFC with all the fixings. French fries, chicken gravy, Coca-Cola. I think I’d probably ask if I could have like a McDonald’s milkshake and maybe a double cheeseburger as well. But essentially stuff that I crave but I can’t really eat here while I’m pre-death. But I think if I’m going to be executed anyway, then fuck it. Maybe I’ll do that and if I eat a whole bucket of KFC I’ll just kind of just die of a heart attack before I’m gassed, shot, or electrocuted. That in itself is a poke in the eye to the death penalty, you know?
AVC: Sure. See if you can kill yourself first.
NF: Yeah, it’d be perfect. Maybe if I was in a place or a state where the mode of execution was electric chair, the amount of grease and fat in my body from eating a bucket of KFC and a McDonald’s would probably mean I’d die a lot quicker.
AVC: And you wouldn’t have to worry about feeling bad afterward.
NF: Oh, no. I think they’d feel bad when they had to try and clean up what I leave. I’ll leave that image with you.
NF: I don’t know if it was racist, but it was certainly pro… [Laughs.] I can’t even answer this. No. I’ll say I have shouted out something during sex, but it wasn’t racist.
AVC: And you’ll leave it at that?
NF: Yeah. But you know the idea of it was that it was a comedic punchline upon arrival, so to speak. It wasn’t racist but it was pro-England.
AVC: And then you get to ask the next person a question, not knowing who it is.
NF: Have you ever had sex with a man?