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Sunday 21 September 2014

Insider Interrogation: The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird

Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30

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In their new movie the hapless quartet head to Australia
In their new movie the hapless quartet head to Australia
Simon Bird

Everybody's favourite gormless, foul-mouthed quartet is back with a second movie - and this time they're in Australia.

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Profession: actor, comedian

What are you promoting today, and why?

My new movie, The Inbetweeners 2, which I have to say is really rather brilliant. And I'm not being in the slightest way biased. Honestly I'm not…

What is the most rewarding thing about your life?

That's deep! I don't know, I'm happily married. Does that count? Let's go with that. Earn some brownie points. The wife will be happy to read that.

Why do you do what you do for a living?

I think, it's just so much fun. I've never had more fun than I did filming this sequel. We had three years off from each other, so we had three years of jokes to roll out. And we never thought this film would happen, we all genuinely thought the last movie was the last Inbetweeners outing. And we wanted to move on. So when the opportunity came along to do the sequel, it was joyous. We were all so excited and it ended up being a couple of weeks of sheer non-stop jokes and laughing. And when you're in that position, isn't that what it's all about? I've always loved comedy, I've always loved making people laugh and I've always loved making shows that make people laugh. It was always my dream job, I never thought I'd get to do it. It was always pie in the sky for me. You have to consider yourself so lucky. How many people get to do this for a living?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

God, I don't know. I'm probably a bit of a control freak. I like things to be organised and pinned down. I like scheduling and plans. I've always been like that but it's probably getting a little worse as I get older and less tolerant. It takes over from time to time and it stresses me out so I guess I could calm down on that. Chill out a little bit. It doesn't get anything done quicker or more efficiently, which I've got to start getting into my head. It'll get there eventually.

What's the rumour about you that's bothered you the most?

I seriously don't know. I avoid all that stuff. Frankly if anyone's bothered to make up a rumour, I'm flattered. So sadly, I can't think of any. But if I was pushed, it's not really a rumour but it annoys me that there are fake Twitter accounts with my name and face on them. They're just so boring. I don't go on Twitter, because I don't want to bore people with some inane tweets so I really don't want someone faking my identity and boring them. That's the worst outcome altogether.

It's Sunday night, you're curling up to watch TV. What's on your DVR?

Me and my wife are currently hooked on The Good Wife on Netflix. We usually work on one obsession at a time and The Good Wife is it. Julianna Margulies is really fantastic but we're years behind everyone else. So far, series two gets our seal of approval. It's difficult to avoid the spoilers though because when people hear you're watching it, they want to discuss the plot points and you're like, 'Please, just keep it under your hat. It would be most appreciated.'

What's the most shamefully uncool album you own?

I'm pretty cool when it comes to music, I'm not sure I have one. Although when we got married, I had to take in all my wife's CD's in my CD collection but I don't want to claim that they're mine as that would be really embarrassing. She has one by the Lighthouse Family but I'm being clear, that is hers. If anyone breaks into our house, it's nothing to do with me.

Who is your best friend?

Going to go and earn some more brownie points again - it's my wife.

Do you like being well known?

I like being on TV and films but I don't know if I necessarily like the trappings of fame. That's not really why I got into comedy. I don't actively dislike it but it's not the reason why I do the job that I do. If anyone gets into this game, just for the fame, for easy dinner reservations and free stuff, they're doing it for all the wrong reasons.

What drives you on a daily basis?

Just working on comedy, I don't want to waste that opportunity so I'm always trying to write new stuff and get projects off the ground. It's incredibly important for me, it's a chance I've been given in life which I'm very grateful for and I'm not going to mess it up.

Who is your hero?

At the moment, I really like Louis CK, the funniest stand-up around at the moment. He makes so much stuff and seems to really - and this comes back to my control freakery - he really has total control over the show he does; he writes it, he's in it, he directs it, he edits it, I really respect that and he has a very clear vision. There's really so many I look up to but Louis, right now, is the one I aspire to the most.

What makes you emotional?

The usual sad stuff. And romantic comedy on planes. I always cry on planes, which I don't know why, but a bad romantic comedy on a plane will have me in floods of tears.

What's your favourite day of the week?

I mean, I'm sort of in this industry where it doesn't really matter. There's no real Monday to Friday. Let's go with the popular favourite, Saturday because you've got Match of the Day, everyone can have a few drinks. It's the universal favourite day of the week, right?

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Hopefully, writing and being in good comedy films. I'd love to do different genres of comedy, something like The Apartment or Noah Baumbach's The Squid and The Whale. And I guess happy and healthy is pretty important.

The Inbetweeners 2 is in cinemas August 6.

CV Highlights

2008 - Makes his debut as Will McKenzie on E4's The Inbetweeners

2009 - Wins Best Actor at the British Comedy Awards

2011 - The Inbetweeners Movie grosses €66million

Irish Independent

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