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Edgar Wright & Krysty Wilson-Cairns On Last Night In Soho, A Cornetto Trilogy Reunion And The Next Bond Movie

by : Cameron Frew on : 27 Oct 2021 17:18
Edgar Wright Will Reunite With Simon Pegg And Nick Frost Under One ConditionUniversal Pictures/Alamy

Nostalgia; it’s delicate, potent and all-consuming in Last Night in Soho, a new nightmare you won’t want to wake up from – for the most part! – from Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. 

Wright’s name has been forged in a generation of movie-lovers’ lists via the Cornetto trilogy; three slices of fried gold in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. Nor must we forget Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a reputable quirky classic, and Baby Driver, a rollicking, high-octane musical. In other words, he’s always been ‘off the f*cking chain’.

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Last Night in Soho doesn’t mark a departure for the filmmaker; rather, a long-awaited arrival on the ‘sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty’, bringing the screaming ’60s shrieking to life with banging tunes, Giallo horror and Wilson-Cairns, the Oscar-nominated writer behind 1917.

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Ahead of the movie’s eventual release, I sat down with the co-writers to chat about Last Night in Soho‘s best scenes, its somewhat baffling age rating in the UK and future projects, whether it’s Wright’s hopeful reunion with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, or his and Wilson-Cairns’ own Bond movie down the line.

How are you both feeling ahead of it finally coming out?

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Edgar: It’s great, I’m excited for it to be out. It’s something I feel like… especially with this movie, there’s an element of… when you have an idea for a movie, it’s something that’s haunting you for a long time, to the point that usually when you choose a project it’s because you can’t get it out of your head. Then, we make the movie, and it’s like still in our veins for a long time

It’s exciting that the public will finally see it, but I feel like the film has become more poignant and emotional for us since we finished it. Some of the people in it are no longer with us, the area itself has changed even since we shot the movie. All of those things add up to it being more poignant than we originally intended.

Last Night in Soho. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Last Night in Soho was recently classified as an 18. What are your thoughts on that?

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Edgar: I wasn’t entirely surprised – in fact, I’d even said that to the producers before we started filming. It wasn’t a surprise to me. You’re probably asking the wrong person; I grew up in the 80s and 90s where horror films meant 18 certificates.

I’d be happy either way, but I do find it funny sometimes when you get trailers and posters sometimes saying ‘the most gruelling experience in screen terror… 15’ [laughs], so let me say this: whatever happens, I’m happy either way.

Krysty, I’m curious to know – and I know I struggle to talk about myself in this sort of way – what you thought you brought specifically to the script?

Krysty: Yeah, that’s quite an awkward question [laughs]. Edgar and I were friends first, and when he first told me about his idea, I lived in Soho above a strip club in Dean Street, I worked in a bar in Soho and I used to hang about all the seedy underground bars and the after-hours bars and lock-ins, so I knew that area really well.

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I’d also been a young girl that came from outside of London to the big city, with the hopes of achieving a dream – for me, it was writing film, but for Elouise it’s fashion. So, a lot of it resonated with me. Also… I think I’m an okay writer [laughs], so I brought that.

Edgar: I can confirm this.

Last Night in Soho. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

The way Last Night in Soho captures how stressful London can be resonated with me, similarly to how The World’s End really captured small-town life. Edgar, is there an era or place that you’re still waiting to capture in your filmography?

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Edgar: The way you phrased that question makes it seem like I’m saying there’s nowhere good in the UK to go to [laughs]. Don’t go to Somerset, don’t go back to your hometown, and definitely don’t go to London. I guess Scotland is the only place left! Let’s say that Scotland is the haven.

I guess you just end up touching on things that mean something to you. If I said to you that I thought my most autobiographical movies were Hot Fuzz and Last Night in Soho, some people would go, ‘What?’ But in a weird way, sort of what Krysty was talking about… I think when we started writing, we realised how much of the things in the script tied in with things that happened to us or family members.

Hot Fuzz (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

I came from Somerset to London, I went to art college, I felt like – at least for two or three years – that I couldn’t possibly make it in this place. I didn’t have any money, I didn’t know anybody, how the hell am I going to fit in here? Those kind of imposter syndrome feelings never really go away. We both feel like country mice in a way, even if we’ve both been to the Academy Awards, we still feel like they’re gonna be like, ‘Wait a minute, you guys don’t belong here, get out!’

Beyond that, your mum and grandmother had a history with making clothes. My mum went to art college and made clothes. My sister-in-law came from Cornwall to go to art college and study fashion. There’s lots of those elements that start to amalgamate together.

Last Night in Soho. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

On top of that – and this is something that I knew at the start, but it’s come back to me more recently now she’s seen it – my mother is a bit like Elouise, in that she’s very supernaturally switched on. My mum is the kind of person, like Elouise, who’ll feel or see presences. Me and my brother growing up with that, we never questioned it – I believe her.

In a weird way, I’m almost jealous that she’s seen ghosts and I haven’t. I’d take one in a bed sheet! I’d happily see a ghost. In our family house in Somerset, the core part of the building was hundreds of years old, my mum saw two separate ghosts from two separate previous owners. The history of it made sense too. When she saw the movie the other day, we went for lunch and all of those stories and more made their way back out again.

My personal favourite scene in the movie is Anya Taylor-Joy’s rendition of Downtown. Do you both have a favourite?

Edgar: Number one, Downtown sounds great in a Scottish accent [laughs]. I think there’s a couple of moments… there’s one that comes in the last 10 minutes which I cannot reveal, but every time it happens I’m so happy because it’s what I had in my head. Through people like my brother working on the concept design, or visual effects artists and production designers, it exceeded what’s in my head, which is something that’s always a great feeling. Sometimes, with the help of amazing collaborators, it sometimes goes beyond that.

Last Night in Soho. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Also, some of the stuff with the dance scenes and mirrors was really deceptively simple, in that more of it is happening for real than you’d possibly imagine but also incredibly complicated in that the only way to do those things is to rehearse, rehearse and rehearse, and having an amazing choreographer, actors and camera operator who’s always in the right place at the right time. There’s a couple of things that won’t be entirely clear until we do a technical commentary on the Blu-ray and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, now I understand!’

Krysty: For me, it’s a bit like picking your favourite child… and of course I have one! I love the puppet on the string stuff. I love all the scenes in the film but there’s something about that when it’s on, I grip the armrests wherever I’m sitting watching it. I just think, okay, I’m on the ride now. I think everything about that encapsulates the film for me, and what it’s like to be a woman, so I love that one.

Shaun of the Dead. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Edgar, when do you anticipate you’ll reunite with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for another film?

Edgar: We talk about it, me and Simon. The thing is, it has to be organic. I think we learned in the past that you’ve gotta do things you want to do rather than things you ought to do. It’s dangerous to just give fans what they want, because it’s not about what they think they want, it’s what they need – and those are two different things.

With that in mind, I think we will do something, it’s just finding the idea we all get excited about. We wouldn’t wanna just do something for the sake of it, or feel like we’re doing our own greatest hits and stuff. It’s not like I don’t see them a lot… I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, we all just want to make sure it’s something special.

For The Running Man, is there any crumb of anything you can say about it?

Edgar: I get superstitious about things that don’t exist yet, having nearly made a movie which then I didn’t. I learned my lesson after that to never do an interview or mention something about something that may or may not happen, and I’m gonna stick to that. Any of these things that I may or may not be involved in, you’ll hear about it when it exists in a film can.

The Running Man (TriStar Pictures)TriStar Pictures

That’s totally fair. Growing up, was there anyone both of you felt so close to in the way Elouise is to Sandy; almost like you wanted to be their best friend or you knew them?

Edgar: When I was 16, I had a massive, massive poster of Sherilyn Fenn on my wall as Audrey Horne – but I’m not sure I wanted to be her best friend! [Laughs]

Krysty: Mine is actually really topical. I used to watch The Avengers – the real Avengers – and so I was totally obsessed Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel. So when Edgar said he was gonna meet her for this, I almost lost my sh*t. Actually then getting to meet her was totally surreal. I used to make my mum buy me little ski suits and I’d go around the house trying to do judo and kicking an umbrella out of someone’s hand.

What was the thinking behind Thunderball as the big banner seen in the trailer? You’ve had past Bond actors in your movies, including Diana Rigg, so was that the influence?

Edgar: It’s funny, we went around the houses of different movies. It was Thunderball, then it was Fantastic Voyage, then it went back to Thunderball. I showed the trailer to a couple of people, and they said, ‘Aw! That Thunderball marque!’ I think it was just something to tell you what year it was.

In my head, as a bit of a Bond nerd, it’s like ‘Thunderball, 1965.’ I think also, it was the biggest Bond of the time and weirdly, but not completely by design, there’s a few references in the movie: there’s the marque; the Vesper they order in the Café de Paris; and then, Diana Rigg is in the movie; and Margaret Nolan is also in the film in her final screen role, in just a cameo, and she appeared in Goldfinger twice. It’s strange how there’s a lot of Bond references and stuff. It just seems like my resume to hand into Eon at some point [laughs].

Krysty: They should call us. We’d be very good at it.

Edgar: I hear they’re in the market for a new one.

Last Night in Soho hits cinemas this Friday, October 29. 

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

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