From Crawl to Brawl

Mixing equal parts comedy and action, Edgar Wright choreographed fight scenes that were acrobatic and athletic, while still delivering a great punch line.

Eddie Marsan, who plays Peter, enthuses, "That Beehive set, from [production designer] Marcus Rowland and his crew, was fantastic. We would smash it up every day and then they would rebuild it so we could do another angle - and smash it up again."

Extensive training right up to the moment of filming the fight sequences helped the actors stay in-character and also safely prepared. Marsan praises Allan's team for carefully monitoring the script to "incorporate character into the fights so you are not leaving your character behind. There is a logic to the way these characters fight rather than their having the stock abilities, which enhances the audience appreciation."

Rosamund Pike, who plays Sam, notes, "One scene that I love is where Gary is getting really physical yet his primary aim is not to spill his pint."

Edgar Wright elaborates, "You have to allow more time to shoot the action scenes and get the stunts right but then you also try to do the comedy and dialogue scenes faster, which is good for the performances. The guideline for the action was that these guys don't have super powers; that's not part of the story. We kept in mind Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movies where, as he continues to drink, his fighting prowess improves. There's a crazy Dutch courage that takes over when intoxicated, and we wanted our heroes to become more fearless and indeed foolhardy as the movie continued.

"Brad Allan has worked and trained with Jackie for years, so he brings furiousness and invention to the staging of the scenes. But, at heart, I wanted it to be that the audience was watching something that could erupt at your local pub - a bar brawl."

Even so, remarks Martin Freeman, cast as Oliver, "The stunt team on THE WORLD'S END came seemingly from another universe. Of course, they have, because it's an Edgar-and-Simon film...

"I volunteered to do some stunts, and was physically able to busk my way through a choreographed fight. But, being thrown across a table? Then it was a hand-over to the stunt double."

Wright notes that "throughout the movie, a lot of our actors are not doubled. You will see their faces very clearly in the scenes."

Nick Frost notes, "Once I got over the fact that Brad's amazing team seemed to enjoy it more the harder you hit them, I liked doing the fight scenes. My favorite is the one at The Beehive where I use high stools as fists. Simon and I wanted the stunt men to be impressed by us."

"Those two were really impressive," marvels Pike. "Nick is amazingly fast on his feet, and Simon manages to do so much with his face."

The anticipated demands of the action scenes obliged Simon Pegg to "start training at least seven months early, while I was still filming Star Trek Into Darkness. I wanted Gary to be one of those people who shouldn't be alive yet somehow looks wiry and fit, like certain rock stars we all know; you think, 'What is this guy's metabolism made of?'"

Wright adds, "Gary is reckless, but he's the only one with a plan; the others don't have one, so they fall in line. Gary shows unexpected gumption when things get really weird, and just keeps going in the face of some big obstacles. He is relentless, and the others get swept along on his coattails."