-by Ken Plume
The Brits have a knack for taking the tired old sitcom format, blowing it up, and creating some absolutely brilliant television.
Most definitely to be included in their long line of triumphs is Spaced, a show about a pair of twenty-something slackers - Tim & Daisy (Simon Pegg & Jessica Hynes née Stevenson) - who pose as a professional couple in order to get a North London apartment. Sure, Tim could be a comic book artist if he tried, and Daisy’s quite a good writer, but being successful in either of those careers would mean applying themselves… By, of all things, *working*. Gah!
With a gaggle of off-the-wall friends and acquaintances, if you think of it as a twenty-something Seinfeld with a postmodern pop culture twist (there are frequent surreal diversions), you wouldn’t be far off the mark.
After much legal wrangling, fans and soon-to-be fans in the US can now pick up Spaced: The Complete Series.
After Spaced, co-creator/co-writer/co-star (with Simon Pegg) Jessica Hynes continued on with her acting career, accumulating quite an impressive CV - including guest appearances on Doctor Who, a regular role on the acclaimed Royle Family, writing the telefilm Learners, and even starring as Mafalda Hopkirk in the Harry Potter series - in addition to many others.
Find out about the Spaced trio’s appearance at LA’s Secret Stash on Wednesday, July 22 HERE. You can then catch Jessica, Simon, and Edgar Wright at the San Diego Comic-Con.
I got a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Jessica about… Well, about a lot of things… Read on…
KEN PLUME: Hiya. This still a good time for you?
JESSICA HYNES: This is fine, yes.
KP: Did I catch you at a bad moment?
HYNES: No you didn’t at all. I was sadly just listening to the podcast of me…
KP: Well, then I caught you at a really awkward, self-reflective moment…
HYNES: You caught me red handed. (laughing) Oh, the sadness of it.
KP: I’ll make sure and send this tape to you for your collection…
HYNES: Yeah! (laughing)
KP: So, let me say, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you…
KP: And something that we’ve definitely wanted to do for a few years now, so I’m glad it pulled together.
HYNES: Oh, great…
KP: But since everyone else is talking about Spaced, why don’t we just start off and talk completely about According to Bex?
HYNES: Oh God! (laughing) Do we have to?
KP: Well, all that Spaced stuff is covered. When are we ever gonna have an According to Bex interview?
HYNES: Listen, Accordion to Bex is a show I’m working on now. It’s when Bex finally learns to play the accordion. That was my original suggestion. I thought that’s maybe where the show should have gone in the outset, and they’ve finally come around.
KP: Is this being done for CBBC now?
HYNES: Accordion to Bex is a CBBC show starring, obviously, me. I’m the accordion. So I feel very positive about it. Feel very upbeat about it, yeah.
KP: Well, I heard you were bringing a monkey in for it to.
HYNES: The joke is the monkey tries to play the accordion but fails. He’s obviously not a real monkey, because it wouldn’t be ethical to have live animals on a children’s show. It’s a man dressed in a monkey suit.
KP: Well, I’m surprised that you got Simon to play the monkey…
HYNES: He did it as a favor. He had a week off and was feeling sort of in a good mood, so he came down and put the monkey suit on, and bingo!
KP: It’s good that you finally got a catchphrase. It’s, “Silly monkey, that’s my accordion!!”, right?
HYNES: (laughing) That’s what was lacking from the original format, I felt. No, no accordion catchphrase. No really good catchphrases. So I think we’re all set up now.
KP: It’s a good thing that that’s faded quickly, then, so you don’t have to worry about accordion catchphrases…
HYNES: Yeah, exactly. (laughing)
KP: Now I’m going to put you out of your misery and we’re not going to talk about According to Bex anymore…
HYNES: Okay! (laughing)
KP: I was actually just watching your Room 101 appearance, and your fight against marzipan…
HYNES: Oh yeah, marzipan. What is that about? What the hell? It’s got to be some holdover from the war or something, isn’t it? Some kind of foodstuff hanging over from the time when we didn’t have any nice stuff to eat.
KP: “We have no real food product - can we make some kind of faux food product?”
HYNES: Yeah. “That is disgusting, but because it’s so sugary, we can almost convince ourselves that it’s a treat.”
KP: “How can we make it festive?” “Well, we put it on cakes. People will eat it if it’s on cake.” “But we don’t have cakes right now.” “Well, we’ll just give them the marzipan.”
HYNES: “We’ll camouflage it amongst some actual genuine confectionery, and no one will know it’s there.”
KP: “It’s after the war. There’s no more munitions factories. We can get those people to start sculpting marzipan.”
HYNES: Yeah, all the women returned from the gun to the marzipan sculpting.
KP: You realize that all those wartime factories transitioned over to marzipan after the war…
HYNES: I’d almost rather they were still making munitions, frankly.
KP: Well, your convictions on marzipan were kind of full of holes during the Room 101 appearance. There were a lot of digressions to your hatred of it…
HYNES: Oh yeah…
KP: Which, of course, Paul (Merton) poked further holes in rather quickly…
HYNES: He’s so good at that. I mean, he’s just such a quick wit. He doesn’t miss anything.
KP: What is your comfort level on shows like that? Because you’ve been doing them for the past few years…
HYNES: Oh yeah…
KP: You did a rather memorable appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks last season…
HYNES: (laughing) I was really ready for that.
KP: Now, when you’re in the green room on that, at what point did you formulate, “You know, I’m gonna wrestle Simon (Amstell)…” ?
HYNES: When somebody came and interviewed me for the Guardian and they said, “Are you scared? Are you worried?” I said, “Look, I’m gonna snap his little arms like the twiglets they are.” I became extremely aggressive, physically. Honestly, in an ironic way. I’m not an aggressive person, but it was a kind of way of psyching myself up. And then I suddenly realized that I was just… that was it. That we were gonna wrestle as soon as he came out. Because it’s very difficult to get anything past Simon, so I realized the only way to go was just to bring him down. I thought that he would appreciate the physical contact, as well. He always seems to me like somebody who’d kind of, you know, appreciate a hug.
KP: Just needs a hug?
HYNES: Or a wrestle. And a kiss. He was quite keen for the kiss though, wasn’t he?
HYNES: He’s just straight in there…
KP: And you completely subverted him on that.
HYNES: Yeah, I did. I did!
KP: So you clearly proved dominance on that.
HYNES: Yes, I did!
KP: And by that point, it was your game to win.
HYNES: (laughing) Yeah. Yeah, he respected me after that, didn’t he?
KP: Yes, now you know. Exactly… wrestle and refuse the kiss.
HYNES: Yeah, I did.
KP: That’s the way to live life, I think.
HYNES: We became friends after that. It was great.
KP: When you talk about friends, what kind of contact have you had with Simon since?
HYNES: He’s in Paris at the moment, and I just got a nice text from him saying, “I’m in Paris and I’m having a nice holiday.” I’ve met up with him and gone out with him a couple of times. We haven’t done any wrestling since then, obviously. But he let me do… I tried out a bit of stand-up, a bit of comedy, in one of his shows and he let me do a warm-up for him. In Brighton. He wasn’t planning to because I’d done a warm-up for him up in London. I just did a tight three minutes at the beginning of one of his sets, because I’d mentioned I was into it, and he said, “Go on then, come along.” And then I went down to one of his gigs in Brighton, which is a sort of 1600 seat theater - and the intention wasn’t to do anything, and then when we got there he said, “Go on, do a bit. Do a bit on the stage while we’re warming up.” And he said, “Go on, why don’t you go on tonight? Go and do a bit.” So I did. It was fun. It was a great night. He’s a great guy. I love Simon.
KP: Now, you’ve done stage work before. How different is the sort of feeling and dynamic when it’s stand-up, as opposed to stage work?
HYNES: Stand-up is a lot more… it’s showmanship, stand-up. It’s showmanship. It’s absolutely about the very immediate and direct relationship that you have with the audience. The connection. (DOG BARKS) All right. That dog obviously disagrees. I’m out in the garden. Yeah, I think stand-up is, from the very little that I’ve done… hopefully I might do more. I’m rehearsing for a play, actually, at the moment. But yeah, stand-up is obviously about an immediate relationship that you have with the audience. It’s not about a character you - stage work is about a character, kind of thinking about the dynamic of the play. You want to play the play. You want to do the play and kind of bring it to life and be faithful and true to the author’s vision, if you like. Whereas stand-up is completely different. It’s pure entertainment.
KP: Do you think, on some level when you’re doing a production, you’re in some ways divorced from the audience?
HYNES: Not entirely. Because you can get a sense of them. You know when they’re with you. But it’s not such an immediate relationship in that way. And you’re not necessarily courting the audience, unless you’re in that kind of play. I’m working with a director at the moment, and he’s saying he recently was working on a comedy. He said it got to the point where everyone realized that everyone could get a laugh on every single line if they wanted to. So there was a point they were saying, “Well, do you know what, cut down the laughs and try not to get a laugh on that, because then that stamps on someone else’s laugh.” I think, when you’re doing a play, you’re not so totally focused on that immediate laugh, that immediate gratification - you’re focused on what you’re actually doing. Whereas when you’re doing stand-up, that’s all you want. You just want them to laugh. You do anything to get a laugh.
KP: Do you think that situation you just described - about toning down when an audience is sort of prompting you for gags - is the difference between stage and sort of panto?
HYNES: Yes. I think that’s where I’m headed. God.
KP: What’s the one panto role you’ve always wanted to play?
HYNES: Oh, god. I think the one panto role I’ve always wanted to play… let’s see. I think I’d like to play… I’d quite like to play a Dame, but I don’t think I can. I don’t know whether they have female Dames. And I don’t know if they have this big panto thing in America…
KP: No, not at all.
HYNES: Well, the whole panto thing in England is the Christmas show, and you tell the same stories. You basically kind of beef up the classic fairy tales - Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Dick Wittington… which is a story about a boy who goes to London. That’s a very famous British panto. And there’s always… the female character is normally the cook in the castle, played by an enormously tall, fat, large drag queen. And that’s a pantomime Dame. And I kind of think that I wouldn’t mind being a pantomime Dame at some point. Sometimes I feel like I am a pantomime Dame.
KP: Maybe you need to break the glass ceiling on male pantomime Dames…
HYNES: Thank you! I don’t know whether that would be right…
KP: Do you think there would be a massive public backlash against it? “How dare a female try and be a Dame!”
HYNES: That’s so British. That would happen. People would boycott the theaters.
KP: “You’re ruining tradition!”
HYNES: “Who does she think she is?” (laughing)
KP: “You’re destroying our culture!”
HYNES: Yeah, exactly.
KP: Maybe that’s how the Spaced reunion has to happen. You all just get together as a rep group and put on a panto for Christmas.
HYNES: And put on a panto. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about!
KP: You’d probably have to fight Nick (Frost) for the Dame role, though…
HYNES: Do you know, it’s going to go to him. You know that, and know that. I’d be lucky if I get Buttons to his… if you ever look up. That is also a very famous pantomime role. Buttons. He’s the butler, I think, to Cinderella… or something like that.
KP: Maybe that’s what the panto is about - is the fact that you’re fighting to be the Dame…
HYNES: That’s what my life is about.
KP: It’ll be like a meta-panto.
HYNES: (laughing) Maybe that’s… I see what you mean. Yes, a meta-panto about me wanting to be the pantomime Dame. You’re a genius! I couldn’t take that from you. That’s yours. That’s yours, my friend.
KP: No, you can take it and run with is as far as your legs will carry…
HYNES: Oh my god, the hamster’s got out. The hamster. I swear to god - there’s a hamster on the floor…
KP: Gosh, everyone is disagreeing with this interview…
HYNES: I’m sorry. I don’t think he’s coming in protest. There’s just quite a lot of cats ’round here.
KP: He’s disgusted by the idea of a female Dame, too…
HYNES: I can’t believe… Yeah, he’s disgusted by it. He heard me from his tiny little plastic little network of pods…
KP: And he said, “Enough is enough. I’m dealing with this.”
HYNES: Yeah. “I’ve had enough of this. I’m getting out there. I’m gonna tell her what I think.”
KP: Yes, “Too much subversion of our culture…”
HYNES: No, I’m all about subversion. Yeah, and he better learn to live with it. That hamster, I’m gonna show him! (laughing)
KP: So that’ll be on the 20th anniversary release of Spaced - the meta-panto…
HYNES: The meta-panto. I’m wondering whether the final final might be Tim and Daisy - although I have said this a couple of times in interviews, so it might sound… oh look, he’s there… Maybe in an old people’s home, maybe.
KP: Just sort of what, reflecting?
HYNES: Making kind of catheter bag jokes? I don’t know.
KP: That’s how you do your clip show.
HYNES: What, as oldies?
KP: Yes. And flashbacks to the time when they were younger…
KP: Of course, you have it peppered with flashbacks that never happened…
HYNES: Yes, that’s a good idea. (laughing) Lots of good ideas!
KP: Yeah, I’m sure. None of them workable. Strictly an idea person. Not anywhere close to a realization person. So, obviously, you’ve been working quite steadily over the past 20 years…
HYNES: Yeah. Yeah, I have.
KP: What was the appeal… because you started in National Youth Theatre, right?
HYNES: That’s right.
KP: At a rather young age…
HYNES: Yeah. I was 14 when I joined the National Youth Theatre. I auditioned when I was 13, and they didn’t let me in, but they wrote me a really lovely letter. They actually wrote me a letter and said, “Do try again. We just did feel that maybe you were a little bit too young to come up to London alone for two weeks.” But then I got in the following year.
KP: Were your parents always encouraging of that move to theater?
HYNES: Yeah. I mean, I was kinda lucky in a way, because I had quite a sort of… I mean, my situation was that I was able to kind of make those sort of decisions for myself. I mean, it was up to me to kind of get on with it. They were quite… my mother was a working single mother, so she was quite preoccupied with working. And I just got on with it. And I had quite a lot of freedom to do that, really, and no pressure to do anything else. So a friend from school said, “I’m in a Saturday afternoon drama class.” I just found myself a quid from somewhere, a pound, and got myself on the bus and took myself down there, because I wanted to do it and I sort of had that sort of freedom and autonomy. Because I think if you do have a working lone parent, you have to be quite self-sufficient - or, at least in my experience, that was the case. So I just kinda got on with it. It was what I wanted to do. I never met any sort of resistance. I mean, only from a couple of teachers, grumpy teachers. But I just sort of got on with it, and then as it picked up momentum I think my mum came to some… I won the Sussex drama competition or something when I was about 13, and I had to do a poem on stage. And I think my mum by that point was thinking, “Oh, you know, she’s really…” I remember her and my sister coming down and watching it and kind of being like, “Oh, yeah!” You know? It suddenly became so obvious that maybe it was something that was actually gonna happen and I might do it. But I was quite lucky in that way. I just had the freedom to do it, was never discouraged, and just I very, very early on realized that if you focus and you work hard enough, you’ll get there. You just have to keep working hard.
KP: I’m curious when you mentioned the grumpy teachers, how did that exactly take form?
HYNES: Well, I remember when I was at an A-Level college, I was very fond at that point of saying, “I’m gonna be an actress.” And almost enjoyed and sort of relished the response, which was, “Oh really, are you?” And this teacher would do that, and she would just give me a whole list of why that wasn’t gonna happen and why it was a bad idea, and why I should have something else to do. It may be kind of sound advice, but it only fueled my determination to go ahead and do it. I never let it deter me.
KP: Was there any point where your belief in yourself faltered?
HYNES: There’s a very clear point I remember going back to… because when I first started working, through the Youth Theatre, I had a really great foundation. Mainly from doing lots of theater work. And I had a fantastic artistic director who was very encouraging of me, and basically within three or four years of being in the Youth Theatre I was playing the lead in the big musical that year. So when I was 17, I was playing a big lead in a musical at the Youth Theatre. And agents came, and I got an agent. I hadn’t finished my A-levels, even, and I hadn’t finished college, but I decided, “Well, this is it. This is great.” I didn’t leave then. I kind of sat college out, basically, looking at my watch, just desperate to get out there and start auditioning and stuff. Once I finally got out, it wasn’t anything major - it was walking into a restaurant job and a washing up job, and then going to auditions. And on several occasions people would say, “You’re much too young. You’ve no experience. You haven’t been to drama school. You know, this is just ridiculous. I don’t even know why you’re here.” I remember bringing my reviews at one point, which was an odd decision…
KP: “Look! Look! They said I’m good!”
HYNES: My newspaper cuttings of my of reviews! “Would you like to see my reviews?” And I remember my mouth was so dry, my tongue was sticking to my teeth. I was so nervous. It felt like maybe they’re right. Maybe I just need to go to drama school.
KP: Not many actors go into auditions with scrapbooks…
HYNES: I went in with a scrapbook and said, “Here, these are my reviews.” I remember going in and working in a restaurant, and then getting my first job and thinking, “God, a paycheck. Brilliant.” And so you give up the job that you’re doing currently. But then eventually after a week, two weeks, a month, that little chunk runs out and you have to go back. And I always remember those… because you say, “Oh, I won’t need to do a restaurant job for a month or so. I can just relax and I’ll get another job, I’ll get another job,” and then you don’t, and you have to pay bills, so you’ve got to go back. And I think the going back is always… especially if it’s back to the same place…. It’s like you leave in a blaze of glory, “I’m going! I’m going off!” (laughing)
KP: You’ve got those smoke bombs and the flash powder…
HYNES: Yeah, the fireworks are going. “I’ll be in touch, I’ll see you…”
KP: Somebody there with a boom box to play your exit music…
HYNES: Exactly. And then you’re come back asking for your job back again because you’ve run out of money. That happened a couple of times, and I always remember those were the points at which I was low. But I never, ever, ever was ever going to give up, ever.
KP: So there was no point where you said, “Well, this is my fallback position…”
HYNES: My fallback position was busking in Covent Garden. The point at which I got my first job, I was already planning out this character that I was gonna do. He was gonna be a magician who couldn’t do magic tricks - because I couldn’t do magic tricks, so I was gonna play like… I was gonna get myself a fat man suit and a little table, and do magic tricks not very well, in a comedy way. I hadn’t really worked out exactly what I was going to do, but I thought, “Well, that’d be great.” I don’t even know if I’ve actually got notes for that somewhere, but I remember making little notes and jotting down the character and thinking… to me, to just be performing in any way, in any capacity - I had already set the bar extremely low in that way. And it was like, “That’s what I want to do. I want to perform; whatever it is, however it is, I will just do it. I will do it and I will just do whatever…” You know, “Whatever I need to do, I will do it.” And the fact that I was waitressing to pay bills? Well, that was just a necessity, but I was still an actress, and I was still a performer. Maybe I wasn’t making my living at it, but I still was that. And that was all that really mattered to me. And, in a way, I suppose that still is all that really matters to me. That feeling of feeling officially like you’re an actress. Mainly just having an agent, I suppose, and going to auditions. It’s like, if you’re failing at being something, you’re still something.
KP: Even if that agent gets you According to Bex?
HYNES: I left that agent. I left that agent very soon after According to Bex. That was a low point, actually, because that was an instinct that I didn’t follow - because I was instinctively thinking it’s not the right project for me. It’s not the right project for me at all. And I kind of… I let myself be persuaded, and my instincts were going, “No! No! No!” and I didn’t trust them. So, in that sense, you only have yourself to blame in that situation.
KP: Do you think there’s a line to walk - obviously because it’s a fickle business…
KP: Do you find there’s a pull between, “Well, do I just take everything that comes along because it’s work and it’s working and it’s a career, or do I pick and choose and navigate it based on what I feel I should be doing?”
HYNES: Well, I think that I was always trying to pick and choose and navigate. But sometimes I was kind of trying to steer a rudderless ship, basically. And I kind of sort of feel, as well - I mean, I was never managed. I never had management. I only ever had an agent - and it’s quite different, actually. Because if you have a manager, they’ll say, “Okay, this is how we see things going for you…” And I never really had that. I had an agent that said, “Well, this person wants to audition you for this. How about that?” There’s a subtle - but I think quite significant - difference. The bottom line for me is that I think I’ve always seen my life as a learning experience. Because I didn’t really go on after college, I’m sort of prepared to accept the reality that I am gonna make mistakes and do things wrong - but then I will just get up and do something else. It’s the getting up and going on really that matters. It’s not the fact that you might take a bit of a bad turn, for whatever reason - it’s the kind of steering back on and keeping going. I think one thing I’ve really learned is that unless something jumps out at me, that it’s not such a great idea for me to do it. Because I’m much happier as a writer/performer, and I can generate my own work as a writer/performer. With the right production company and with the right people, it’s kind of where my heart is really. It’s where I feel I can have the most freedom, the most fun, and do the best work. But it is harder, and it took me a while to find the right production company to do that with. But next year I’ve got work as a writer/performer lined up. And this year I’m doing a play - which is great, because it’s a classic British play, an Alan Ayckbourn play. I don’t know if you know him, but he’s one of the most amazing dialogue and play writers, really, but his dialogue is just so quick and funny, but also very beautifully observed.
KP: Which play are you doing?
HYNES: We’re doing the trilogy, the Norman Conquests trilogy, so we’ve got three plays that we’re doing. And on certain Saturdays we’ll be doing all of them back to back.
HYNES: Yeah. And it’s going to be at the Old Vic, that they’re turning into in the round. It’s a six hander. But it feels like a really hard, but really great job to be doing. It’s obviously very different from working in television. It feels like I’m very much led to strong scripts - like most actors are. And if those comedy scripts that come my way aren’t so good, I will and am really focusing on writing my own, as I was before. Yeah, but that’s a decision that I made, really, last year. I mean, I did a couple of low budget British films…
KP: You did Confetti…
HYNES: I did Confetti, and then I did Magicians, and then I did Son of Rambow, and then I did Faint Heart. And I really enjoyed working all those films and working with the actors, but I did feel a little frustrated as a performer, as a comedy performer, because I felt that I wasn’t able to really flex my muscles. I kept thinking, “When do I get the gag? When do I get the laugh?” And the thing is, the gags weren’t written. I didn’t have any. The writers were great, but that’s just not what they were writing. They were writing comedy for guys, and I was clearly not a part of that, and that was fine…
KP: Your voice betrays that..
HYNES: Yeah. I really mean that, don’t I? And that was just *fine*. That was just ABSOLUTELY FINE!! (laughing)
KP: “I can be a Dame!”
HYNES: (laughing) I was absolutely fine with that. Thanks very much, it was fine!
KP: Now I feel so bad I brought it up.
HYNES: Oh god. But you know, you can’t moan. You can’t moan about it. You have to just get on with it.
KP: Well, as you said, you’re in an enviable position because you can generate your own material…
HYNES: Yes. And now I’ve kind of hooked up with Julia Davis, who’s a great British actress. We’re going to write something next year together, which will be a really fun, exciting experience, and hopefully it will be a very funny show for ourselves. So that will be great. And then hopefully following that up with some more writing, but more writing/performing work. Writing a film and this sort of thing. So that’s what I’m very definitely moving myself toward. And it feels right. It’s definitely where I’m most happy, I think.
KP: How would you describe the opportunities and reception towards… There definitely seems to be more female piloted shows in the UK than there would be in the US…
HYNES: Are you kidding? America seems to me to be absolutely at the forefront of that. Do you think it’s the other way round?
KP: Yes. I don’t think you’d have a Royle Family or a Nighty Night, or anything like that over in the US.
HYNES: You think?
KP: I most certainly think. Particularly in regards to genre shows. I think a female show runner in the US would be skirted towards soaps or something like a Grey’s Anatomy, but I don’t think you’d get unique comedy views in the US…
HYNES: Yeah. I suppose when I look at the US, immediately I see the comedy icons - people like Ellen, Roseanne Barr, Sarah Silverman. These strong female comics. Joan Rivers, who is the longest living human being as far as I can see, let alone the longest thriving female comic.
KP: But the respect level and the admiration of Joan Rivers is much higher in the UK than it is in the US…
HYNES: You’re kidding me!
KP: In the US she’s viewed largely as a pop culture joke for her red carpet material over the past dozen years…
HYNES: And not for an absolutely consistent and brilliant comedienne, which is what she is…
KP: She’s not given the opportunity to showcase that in the US, at this point…
HYNES: So she’s sort of trapped in her multimillion dollar stand-up career, at this point?
HYNES: Poor Joan. (laughing)
KP: Yeah, she’s lonely at the top.
HYNES: But then she exists… We do have some good female stand-ups, but we don’t have any female stand-ups like Joan. And also the Queens of Comedy, the DVD I watched; is one of the most hilarious and dirtiest and filthiest stand-up comedy I’ve ever seen come from American women. We don’t have that here. And I love it. Obviously, on the male front, the stand-up icon for me - well, the major icon - is Richard Pryor. We don’t really… but then again, he found a place in the mainstream with Gene Wilder and a slew of, now I think, classic 80s comedy films. And people embraced him. But I suppose you’re right. It’s very difficult to find and write vehicles for good, strong female characters, I think.
KP: Right. Or they have to be created by the females, like a French and Saunders…
HYNES: Yeah. They are, I suppose, our most successful female comedy export, without a doubt. I mean, Absolutely Fabulous is global. It’s totally global. I love them. I just think they’re amazing.
KP: But again, the fact that you have a track record at this point, obviously with Simon on Spaced, you have a reputation and the ability to open doors.
KP: Do you find it’s almost a pressure to now try and get those doors open?
HYNES: Well, it’s a pressure you put on yourself, or you don’t. The sort of pressure I put on myself creatively, in my work mode is… also, in terms of my kind of writing and performing, is just the constantly trying, at this point, to write original funny material, and that’s it. There is no other pressure. There is no other focus. Only to write original funny material. I wrote a film for the BBC last year, Learners, which kind of fell in between things for me, in a way. I was happy with it, but it was slightly more drama-y. I think that experience reaffirmed for me that I was very comfortable in comedy. You know, comedy born out of obviously truth and real relationships. But I have no shame in going all out for a laugh in a scene. I’m almost always inclined to do that as a writer, and that’s where my heart is and that’s where I’m… I mean, last year I did Learners, and that took a while to get on, but we did it and it did well. David Tennant was in it. It was prime time, BBC1. I think we got… I don’t know, we did well. The show did well. It was a one-off film, and David Tennant agreed to star in it, and I wrote it, and I was in it with him.
KP: That was a very good film. I enjoyed it.
HYNES: There was a thing about it, that I would have liked to have gone for more comedy moments. I felt that I’d written them, but because it was supposed to be more of a drama, I think some of that was lost in the making of it. I know now that I’m comfortable - that’s what I want to do. I want to write things slightly more… that are funny.
KP: When it comes to character work like that - and you did a lot of it in the early part of your career…
KP: As you progress, do you move away from going back to the sketch comedy route?
HYNES: I never wanted to go back to sketch comedy. I remember doing sketch comedy and feeling so frustrated because the joy of sketch comedy is you sit ’round the table… you all kind of turn up on the Monday or whatever. You’ve got how many sketches you’ve got to do, and you immediately inform that character on the page, that sketch page. And the more you bring to that character, the funnier ultimately it will be. However finely observed it is or nuanced it is, then it’s more enjoyable to watch it. But I would find, more often than not, that I would get to a point where I would think, “Oh, that’s a shame we don’t do more. There’s not more of a story.” And that was really what led me on to wanting to write something like Spaced, because it was just the frustration - it was just sort of the interruptus, if you like, of sketch show comedy was always just deeply dissatisfying to me. I’d get into this character and go for it, and then think, “Can’t we have her doing more?” I suppose it’s the comedian combined with actor, really - ultimately - because as an actor, that’s what you do. You created a three dimensional character, and you really go deep. And then as a comedian, you want to make people laugh. So I suppose that, in a way, is my style, really. And sketch show comedy was always frustration. I mean, this show I’m doing with Julia next year will be… there will be characters, but they will be in half hour shows. So that, in a way - I suppose - is a sort of… not really a halfway house, but I think you can have more fun with them for longer. They don’t have to just be… And sketch show writing is a skill. It’s a specific skill. I suppose a good sketch is like the TV equivalent of a stand-up doing a really good joke. And there are some people who are great at just writing good jokes - joke joke joke. And there are some people who are great at writing good sketches. And it’s just that funny thing that’s just - that’s funny, that’s funny, that’s funny. I don’t know whether that’s particularly my skill as a writer. And I love to perform that. I love to do anything that’s funny. I mean, I love to get laughs, obviously. But as a writer, my skill is much more about character… building character.
KP: I think it’s interesting that you mentioned that’s the tack that you’re taking on the show with Julia. I’ve always wondered why more people didn’t try and do a show like Ripping Yarns…
HYNES: I didn’t see Ripping Yarns…
HYNES: No… What’s Ripping Yarns?
KP: Ripping Yarns is the follow-up series that Michael Palin and Terry Jones did post-Python…
HYNES: Oh yes. And how did it go?
KP: Basically, each of the episodes was a self-contained sort of comedic play…
HYNES: Oh, well, that’s it. That’s what we’re doing. The only difference is that we are going to join them all up. I’ve had this idea about… I mean, the producer’s already saying, “Why are you making it so complicated?”
KP: You’re screwing up the ability to do the reruns, Jessica…
HYNES: That’s it. That’s the great thing about it in England, is that they really are prepared to make what I suppose you could describe as boutique television. You put everything into it to create this one-off unique series, blood sweat and tears, and your blood is stained on every single page of the writing. And that’s how they do it, I suppose. That’s how we do it. I mean, it’s so rare to find a situation where someone goes, “Great; let’s set up a writing team.” That just very rarely happens. What happens is they like your talent and skill as a performer, and they say, “Well, write a series.” I’m always the first to say, “Couldn’t we get someone else, as well, to help us?” And they go, “No, no - you can do it.” (laughing) That’s how it works here.
KP: Do you find that, more and more, you’re getting this pull from the executive level about, “Well, how can we get this to transition to America? How can we make this appealing enough to get someone to license this?”
HYNES: No. This production company I’m working for, they’re not like that at all. They’re very very happy in their groove, I suppose.
KP: Because I’ve never understood, in this day and age when you have so much exposure through the internet to other cultures, as it were, and the accessibility that you have now to entertainment across the world, why there’s the feeling that - outside of language issues - a UK series has to be adapted for the US and re-imagined. Particularly in light of the whole Spaced issue…
HYNES: I know exactly what you’re saying. I think that is a kind of revolution, in a way, in which we view material. I think that is ultimately changing. One thing occurred to me, when suddenly we were… the prospect that the channel’s streaming through our homes… what was available… the only thing that came into my mind as the only thing that matters, is quality. If it’s good quality, people will want to watch it. Bottom line. Quality is hard work - It’s concept, it’s imagination, it’s passion, it’s enthusiasm, it’s focus. A good example is something like The Mighty Boosh, which is just this really sort of dedicated little… it depends; you might not like it. It might be your thing. But these two stand-ups who nurtured themselves through the stand-up scene have now created their own TV show. And people will come to it and people will love it. But I can’t imagine that ever translating or being translated - or needing, really, to be translated - into a different version of itself, if you know what I mean, for another, different, English-speaking audience. I just don’t think that would ever need to happen. To some degree, there’s almost a case of it being… well, actually I’ve got two things about this. On the one hand, I feel that there’s a slight… it’s almost insulting to assume than an American audience wouldn’t enjoy it and love it for the way it was. Ultimately, America loved Python. There was nobody saying, “Let’s do a remake of Python.” They just loved it. People love what they love. The bottom line is - they love what they love. But what we do not have in England is anything like the kind of business setup and focus, in terms of making TV. We do not have the infrastructure. We do not have the executives. We do not have the companies that want to make 100 episodes of something. We just do not have it. We do not have the audience, specifically, more than anything else. You make 100 episodes of something for an English audience off the bat - like, straightaway, “Okay, let’s do 100,” and it’s not a success…You know, that’s a big deal. Whereas in America, you’ve got a massive audience there. So I think it’s an economic reason, more than anything.
KP: Yeah, but I think you would have an incentive to do more of that production if there was a faith in the universality of comedy.
HYNES: Good point. Very, very good point. That’s a very good point, yeah.
KP: I had this ongoing argument with Phil Jupitus and Alan Davies and Bill Bailey. We were chatting about the idea of how difficult it is for a UK comedian to penetrate America… When their idea of penetrating America is to do three dates in New York and three dates in LA…
KP: Compared to - and I was talking to Alan about this, because Alan’s a good friend of Eddie Izzard’s - that Eddie set out with a determination to break America. And he played every club and every city from coast to coast that he could, to build up and audience. The same way you would do in the UK. And it’s this weird sort of common sense idea that no one ever tries to do that in the US. I was saying, if you have a Kings of Comedy and a Queens of Comedy, why isn’t there a UK version of that, that goes into the US? Get together a bunch of comedians, and you could have the roster rotate depending on schedules, but tour as a block. Get a headliner that the audience knows, like an Eddie, and take that on the road.
HYNES: I think that’s a good idea.
KP: And the thing is you could do the same thing - I’ve had this idea for years, because I used to run a film fest in Atlanta, but I would show a ton of UK material. Including episodes of some of the television shows. Like, we showed Black Books one year. I showed them an episode of QI. And the audience loved it. The one good thing about a UK series being an average six episodes is you could very easily do a film fest of showing of a show. From start to finish. I know you’re going to be doing it in Austin with Spaced…
HYNES: Spaced, yeah…
KP: But the idea that you could actually say, “We’re gonna have a film fest. We’re gonna show the run of Black Books. We’re gonna show the run of Nighty Night. And expose audiences that way, and make it like a cultural thing… You know, the way Python started out in the US. That it became the thing that hip people knew, who started spreading the word about it.
HYNES: Well, hopefully that will happen with Spaced. I mean, hopefully that will… to some degree, it kind of already has, because it’s reached America and it’s already seemed to have made an impact. I’m not sure how that has impacted, but it seems to have made some impact.
KP: It was obviously strong enough to put a stop to the American version…
HYNES: Well, yeah. Well, I don’t know if that’s what put the stop to the American version…
KP: I would say that they did not appreciate the criticism in public, from the creators, as they were trying to gear up for their remake…
HYNES: Yeah. My feeling about that was that I felt that it ties in with my feeling about the whole mentality of making shows. Somebody has a good idea. They think, “Oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s make that into a show. Let’s carry it on. Let’s turn it into something more. Let’s make it…” Like, The Office had two series, and now the American Office - there’s so many. There’s seasons of them, going on and on. And presumably somebody thought, “Well, Spaced works. Let’s try and do that with that.” And that - as a basic intention - is not… there’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t think.
KP: I think they mishandled things on a very basic level, that would have prevented much of what happened…even if it was just a courtesy acknowledgment and communication…
KP: The problem is you still have these production companies and these networks operating like the internet doesn’t exist. That this massive communication network doesn’t exist. And in the past, they would have just licensed something, and the show would have went out. No one would have heard from the creators in the UK, because there was no means to hear from them.
HYNES: Well, apparently they did a remake of Fawlty Towers, and they called it Annabelle’s…
KP: They’ve done it a couple of times.
HYNES: Yeah, they did. And they got rid of Basil. It was all about… oh, what’s her name? Sybil. It was all about Sybil. Basil was out. He was out on his ear.
KP: Did you ever see the remake that starred John Laroquette in sort of the Basil role?
KP: Basically, what they did was…
HYNES: I would love to see that.
KP: Their idea of remaking it, and making it unique, was that they mirrored the set.
HYNES: They mirrored the set. They recreated the set?
KP: Yeah. They recreated the exact layout of the set, but they mirrored it. So instead of the reception being on the left, it’s now on the right. Everything was just flipped. The problem is that you’re still retaining the basic stories, but comedy seemed off-kilter…
HYNES: That is a special screening I would like to see. Six of the best remakes. You could probably put the Spaced pilot in there. Annabelle’s would probably be in there.
KP: Red Dwarf…
HYNES: Red Dwarf would be in there. What else would be in there? You need to get hold of the pilots. I think this could be a DVD. I think this could be a box set.
KP: It’d be the only way these things would get released.
HYNES: With the whole Spaced in the US thing, there was a part of me that felt bad that they’d actually put all that effort in and then it hadn’t come off for them. Because at the end of the day, everyone’s just trying to do it. Everyone’s just trying to make a show. Make it happen. And in America, it’s not unusual to pick up a show and remake it. In England, they don’t do that. I felt that was almost… it was a cultural thing going on. There was a little bit lost in translation there. A little bit of, “Oh, we don’t do that in England, because that’s not the way our industry works.”
KP: Well, maybe that’s what you should do. Maybe you should propose a six episode remake of Cheers.
HYNES: I know, a British remake of Cheers. What would that be like? Well, I suppose it would probably be After Hours, wouldn’t it? I don’t know. I think that there should be more British remakes in lots of things. I was thinking maybe you could do an opera of Friends or something. How would that be? I don’t know. We could turn it into a three hour… maybe a sort of Ring Cycle. Maybe a six hour…
KP: You turn it into a period costume drama for the BBC.
HYNES: What, turn Friends into a period costume drama?
KP: Or you can get authentic 1890s costumes meticulously recreated from the massive BBC costume department…
HYNES: Friends in the 1890s…
KP: Yes, exactly.
HYNES: It’s perfect! Do you know, you could probably list it completely and no one would notice. You could pass it off as some Jane Austin classic.
KP: There’s your task.
HYNES: Yeah, there’s my chance. That’s what I’ll be doing in 2010.
KP: That’s good. I’m glad we’re making progress.
HYNES: I really thought it out.
KP: I think that the other issue is - I was talking to John Lloyd about this, because I’ve been a big proponent of QI. I think that what a lot of UK creators are starting to realize is that you’re not really helped by the production companies…
KP: And you’re not helped by the UK networks. But you have this marvelous platform in the internet, and going out to the US yourselves to go and make your case and get the show out there yourself, and do this sort of guerilla marketing of this material…
KP: Because the audience is receptive. The audience just needs to see it. And to know it exists and know it’s out there. I mean, the audience loves it. I’ll show an episode of Black Books and the audience loves it. There’s no translation issues. I’ll show an episode of QI. John’s been fighting for years, and the response it always, “Oh, we need to Americanize it for the audience.” Well, no. Funny is funny.
KP: And the audience loves it.
HYNES: I should tell you the hamster’s back in the cage.
KP: You did it?
HYNES: I did it. It sounds a bit like a spy euphemism doesn’t it? “The hamster is back in the cage.” But he is back in there.
KP: “And the dog digs at midnight.”
HYNES: Yeah. But yeah, it’s exactly as you said. What you said. Funny is funny. Funny is funny… Funny is as funny does…
KP: I’m glad that you’re getting out there and getting the recognition that is well deserved…
HYNES: That’s such a nice thing to say. I’m waiting for it. I’m really expecting… my hopes are quite high now for this tour. Because I feel like I just really, really kind of not at all have… I have no expectations. And actually, it’s only the journalists I’ve been speaking to in the last few days that have made me feel like, “Yeah! Yeah!” I swear to god!
KP: Well, you just have to make sure it doesn’t turn into a boy’s club…
HYNES: Well, you know…
KP: (laughing) They have a habit of unintentionally pushing you out…
KP: I notice on the commentaries they wouldn’t allow you to complete a thought.
HYNES: Yeah.(laughing) You just gotta talk quick. I do manage to… I think I manage to… really? Do I not finish anything, or do I finish some?
KP: What I think I noticed was I think you were setting a land speed record during those first couple of commentaries with Kevin (Smith)…
HYNES: Right, good.
KP: It’s like you saw a spot, you saw an opening, you knew you had to fill it quick.
HYNES: I took it.
HYNES: I took it and ran with it. I didn’t look back.
KP: No. No apologies.
HYNES: No apologies. Well I’m a toughie, me. I’m a toughie. I loved it. It was such a thrilling weekend to go and do that. And I love the play I’m doing. I love it. I absolutely love the play. And when it gets rough, I just get rough. Sometimes I get too rough. I was telling Simon that sometimes it feels like I’m… it’s like that thing you sometimes feel a little bit like you kind of misjudge it. (laughing) You get so excited.
KP: Are you the kind of actor that’s able to stand outside themselves and sort of view that performance as you’re doing it, and meter it?
HYNES: When I get into my stride, I’m just happy as anything just honing and getting the best laugh. When I was doing Spaced with Edgar (Wright), that was the best fun. You both kind of know what you’re going for with a gag, and you’re just working it, working it. And you both know when you’d really got it, and it couldn’t be any funnier. Those rare moments, or those few moments, I mean - you always… they’re great. That’s what it’s all about. It’s just the thrill of doing it keeps you doing it, I think. Just the love of doing it.
KP: Is there any regret that divergent careers have separated you from collaborating with Simon further?
HYNES: I don’t know what we would have done next together, to be honest. We would have done more Spaced, obviously. But I know Edgar wanted to do a film, and I know making Spaced, for the money we made it, was extremely difficult. What Edgar achieved was incredible. I mean, it’s basically like building a kind of 747 from a couple of dustbins in the back yard. We were strapped for time. We presented him with these scripts and he was so enthusiastic. But it was tough. I think the thought of a third series was just daunting. But at that point, creatively, Simon and Edgar had just gone “joooooo” over this kind of zombie scene in the beginning of episode three in series one, I think. Tim had been up all night playing Resident Evil 2, and Simon was just like, “We’ve got to do a zombie film. That’s it.” And at that point, that was a project that Edgar and Simon were just salivating over. And I was excited about it, too, but it was their project. At that point, it was like, “We’re going to write this together.” So apart from a third series of Spaced, I don’t know if there was anything that Simon was really craving to write with me. Do you know what I mean? Whereas his only project with Edgar was something he would just absolutely… you know, that was a natural progression from doing Spaced. Hot Fuzz was a pet project, I think, of Edgar’s that he was burning to write. So him and Simon wrote that, and I know Simon’s now writing with Nick on a project that they’re both loving. It’s about finding the project. Spaced was Simon and my writing project, that was fantastic. It was great. It worked out really well as a show. But I don’t know what we would go on to write together. I don’t know if his projects would necessarily need me. I mean, Spaced was particular because of this female character that I wrote, obviously, and because the dynamic between Tim and Daisy and the kind of relationship, and the other characters and the world. It was very much coming from my experiences and sort of gelling with Simon’s kind of brilliant grasp of this kind of… I don’t know.,, The film reference world, which gave this sort of elevated dimension which we’d been striving toward at the very beginning. But Simon really consolidated and brought it into focus. And the combination of those two is really what created Spaced. Any further writing projects would… anything that we would come up with together, I think, would have to be something we’re both just as passionate about, just as into, and just as ready to sort of share. And, as yet, I don’t think that’s happened. But it might happen. I’m looking forward to it. When it does happen, if it does happen, I loved writing with Simon and I hope I do again, definitely.
KP: Do you think that Spaced was sort of an alchemy of the moment?
HYNES: Absolutely, yeah. Absolutely. It was born out of my experiences of living in rented flats and squats and shared houses, and the fun I was having even though sometimes you have no money, but you had your mates and you were going out. I wanted to really create a subversive and authentic world that reflected my experiences, and make it really, really funny. And Simon was really, really into that, and I’d always wanted to kind of elevate it from the quite gritty sort of kitchen sink type of comedy that I didn’t feel really served the material. I wanted to elevate it all and make it kind of super and magical. And Simon was so into that. I only realized recently, not that it has any particular bearing on Spaced as it is, but I used to work in a cinema as one of my jobs when I was, like, 14. I worked as an usherette, and one of the films I watched was When Harry Met Sally. I watched it probably about 30 times. And I’ve always been a big… I’m just a total film addict and TV addict. I love watching telly and I love watching films. Anyway, that was a film that was… the core of that relationship, that unrequited love, was something that had really captured my imagination. But I just absolutely loved that film. And then feeding any of that into Spaced - I don’t know what was there, but Simon told me he’d written an essay at college comparing Annie Hall to When Harry Met Sally. Basically, I realized that at that point in time, we were both… that was one detail of our experiences and our education, leading up to the point in which we both sat down and wrote Spaced together. But I just realized that, in different ways, we were both actually completely on the same wavelength. We were both absolutely in the right place at the right time, and writing shows that we kind of both really wanted to write. And that was a really special moment. It was almost like this was a natural conclusion of our television watching childhoods. I imagined both Simon and I had watched probably about the same amount. The same television. Him definitely, definitely watching Star Wars more times than me, although I absolutely loved Star Wars, as well. I’d never dare 66:46) to call myself as much of a fan as Simon Pegg, who wrote his dissertation on Star Wars, but we had both been on this journey of growing up watching TV.
KP: A sort of pop culture odyssey?
HYNES: On a pop culture odyssey. And it had led us… When he would say, “What about this?” I knew exactly what he was talking about, and vice versa. We just absolutely clicked, and that was it. I always knew exactly what he was talking about, and he always knew exactly what I was talking about. And that is absolutely reflected in the show. Our ambition for it - and my ambition knew no bounds in terms of what we were striving for, what we wanted to do - which is comedy, and fun, and entertainment. Like, “Let’s make this fucking brilliant.” And I only felt like that because I was writing with Simon. And, at that point, I like to think he felt the same writing with me. So it was just a great moment for us, creatively. But whether or not that will happen again in a different way, I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t need to. We did Spaced. Isn’t that enough for you? (laughing) ISN’T THAT ENOUGH, FOR GOD’S SAKE?
KP: No! We demand more!
HYNES: But I’d love to write with him more. I mean let’s face it; everything he’s done since then hasn’t been as good - so what does that tell you?
KP: Really. The collaboration with Edgar, what has it really gotten?
HYNES: (laughing) No, I’m joking. That’s my acerbic, sarcastic, ironic British sense of humor. I’m joking.
KP: I don’t think the tape’s picking up any of what you just said.
HYNES: I’m joking. I’m joking with you.
KP: In all seriousness, how does it feel, knowing that there’s probably a college student somewhere who’s written a paper comparing When Harry Met Sally to Spaced? That you’ve become part of the pop culture lexicon?
HYNES: My work is done. That’s all I ever wanted. That was what I wanted. I wanted to be part of the pop culture lexicon. And I wanted to be part of the pop culture lexicon on my own terms without compromising and without pretending to be some idiot. Although Daisy is a bit of an idiot. No… (laughing)
KP: I wouldn’t say that. I’d say that Daisy had a very realistic maturation arc…
HYNES: No, Daisy’s great.
KP: The great thing is you can say that, while they’re the same person, there was a lot of growth between the Daisy in the first episode and the Daisy of the last episode…
HYNES: Yeah, there was. And that was great as well, being able to write a series and say, “Well, let’s make them develop. Let’s make them grow. Let’s make them change.” So I suppose, yeah, there was. There was. But it’s great to think that’s the case.
KP: So, what is Daisy doing now, almost 10 years later?
HYNES: Yeah, what is Daisy doing now, 10 years later? I think she’s still living in flats. (laughing)
KP: Do you think they ever would have moved out of the flat?
HYNES: I think Tim would have moved out. I don’t think Daisy did. I think Daisy stayed there. I reckon Daisy might be having a bad flat mate experience as we speak. (laughing) She’s getting a little fat. She’s got a cat that’s got a little poop tray in the corner.
KP: What’s the name of the cat?
HYNES: The cat is maybe called Maxine…
KP: Even though it’s a male cat?
HYNES: Yeah. Colin’s dead. And actually, she’s never really recovered from the death of Colin, especially since Tim’s moved out. He keeps promising to come back and visit, but he never does. A new flat mate’s moved in.
KP: Male or female?
HYNES: A male flat mate who’s really sullen and grumpy and anal, and won’t take any phone messages. And Daisy’s trawling through a novel. She’s about 3/4 way through the novel.
KP: Is the what the title is? It has no other title but “The Novel”?
HYNES: She doesn’t know what it’s called yet. The novel. She’s thinking about calling it Maxine, but that’s as cute as it’s got. (laughing) Marcia’s got a really good looking new boyfriend, which really pisses Daisy off.
KP: Does she make awkward appearances just to try and upset things?
HYNES: Yeah, she turns up with her gorgeous boyfriend, rubbing it in Daisy’s face.
KP: Is Daisy instigating, trying to orchestrate some kind of breakup?
HYNES: No no, Daisy wouldn’t be interested in that. She tried to gather inspiration from her book. That’s all she wants because she’s running dry. She’s got 3/4 of the way through and she’s just realized she’s absolutely got no clue what happens next.
KP: Does she come to the realization it’s actually an autobiography?
HYNES: (laughing) That’s maybe a little bit too Dada. I don’t know. I don’t know where you’re going with that. She’s writing her own life! Ahh!
KP: Yes, as the camera spirals above her. And where’s Mike?
HYNES: I don’t know. I think Mike is now openly gay and is enjoying… I don’t know, the thrill of being part of the small, openly gay group of soldiers who campaign and make appearances. And very, very happy. He’s in a steady relationship, finally, after years of denial. Yeah.
KP: And Tim? Is he happy?
HYNES: I don’t know. He thinks he is. I think he might be in a kind of loft apartment somewhere.
KP: What caused him to move out?
HYNES: What caused him to move out? Oh god, I haven’t actually thought that far.
KP: Well, it sounds like there’s certainly plenty of stuff that can percolate.
HYNES: Well, yeah…
KP: You realize this entire interview was just a grand brainstorming exercise and Simon put me up to it.
HYNES: Oh right, good.
KP: He figures it’s the only way to get you motivated…
HYNES: Yeah. Well, yeah. I’d always love to go back to those characters.
KP: Maybe it’ll be the Spaced Christmas Special.
HYNES: I would love to do that. I’d love to do the Spaced Christmas Special.
KP: Maybe it can be the Only Fools and Horses of this generation.
HYNES: Oh yeah! God, that was the biggest Christmas special, wasn’t it?
KP: They did, what, three total? Two total, post when the series “ended”?
HYNES: Yeah, they did. The final. “No, this is the final one.” “No, *this* is the final one.”
KP: With massive gaps between them. Wasn’t there like five or six years between at least one of the sets?
HYNES: Yeah, I think there was, actually. And then it was the final one, and they all went off into the sunset, I remember.
KP: Well I hope it hasn’t been too painful an interview…
HYNES: It’s been a lovely interview. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I really appreciate your support. It’s been lovely to talk to you.
HYNES: As I say, you know, every person I speak to makes me more and more excited about coming over to America and promoting the DVD. It’s very gratifying to know that…
KP: Until you spoke with me. I was the one who put the chink in the armor…
HYNES: You really put the chink in the armor. But I know now there are at least 10 or 11 Spaced fans definitely in America, and that makes me feel good.
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