The cream of the domesticated undead speaks
Meet Fido, your domesticated zombie butler, good with the kids and possibly in love with the neighbors wife. Billy Connolly plays our undead title character, who has no speaking parts in the film. It's all grunts and remarkable use of the eyes. This is definitely the most unique film of the summer so far. Billy's always a riot. He kept everyone in stitches with his laconic Scottish brogue. It's good to meet an actor that enjoys talking to the press every once in a while.
Talk about the make up process and how you felt when you looked at yourself in the mirror after it was over.
Billy Connolly: The most traumatic thing for me was having my hair whipped off on my first day. Oh shit, it was the baptism of fire. They'd paint me with silver paint and put stuff like pasta on me. There's like a big piece of ravioli on each cheek and then painted over. And my hands were the same, they were like straws of pasta. Like veins with plastic stuff and then painted with this rubbery plastic-y substance. The children in the film used to love ripping off at the end of the day, you know? It would take about 2 hours. They found the right order to do me in, where everything dried at the right order. And it became very, dum, dum, dum, dum. I would sleep. The 3 hours became a joy, just lying there. The strangest thing is at tea breaks, or coffee breaks or lunch, you forget you're a zombie. And you're talking about politics to somebody at the table and you forget that you have a bullet hole in your forehead.
They gave you special teeth too...
Billy Connolly: Yeah, the teeth were hell, absolute hell.
Billy Connolly: The trouble with false teeth is that they fit over your own teeth, so you have 4 fucking sets of teeth, which sets your mouth a funny angle. Which in one way is great because you don't look like yourself anymore. It gives you an awful lot of saliva. You have to go (slurp). I found it kind of helped (slurps)when I was in the background and going (slurp). That's not what you want someone to be doing near you, you know? If you're in a room and some guy's behind you going (slurp), the hair on your arms would raise a little.
Did you ever explore the back story, the science fiction back story?
Billy Connolly: No, and I've never done that. I'm one of the school of people who don't do research of the reality of the thing or the unreality of the thing. In all the movies I've done, I've never done any research. And it's not laziness. I just believe in the movie. I don't care what the book was like. I don't care what the previous film was like or other films were like. I care only about the script I've got and how we could do that. When people say, "Oh, I didn't like the movie, it was nothing like the book." It's not suppose to be. It's suppose to be like the fucking movie. It's a movie, it's not a book. It's a movie, make a movie. The answer is invariably on the page in front of you.
Did you get any political comments that the film was trying to make
Billy Connolly: I don't even know if I was trying to make them or whether it happened upon them. I played the guy as a disabled guy. I didn't play him as a zombie. He was a man who was stricken by the inability to communicate, other than by his eyes. The movie is really about aliens and anything that's alien, as far as I can see. If you want to look broader then just zombies. It's about alien people, whether they're immigrants. Or people among you who are different from you or religious or in appearance. You can take lots of lesson from it. But I think it would be a mistake to take too many lessons from it because a lot of the things in the movie is morally questionable, you know? And killing a guy and stealing his wife and child isn't too nice a thing to do.
Were you always going to be Fido? Were there any considerations for other names?
Billy Connolly: No, it was always Fido, from the day I found it. And I love the idea of being Fido. Here, Fido! Since I was a boy, I never met a dog called Fido.
Describe what zombie sex would be like?
Billy Connolly: Zombies. It's just this morning your man here asked
me did I have sex with the leading lady? Did the zombie have sex? And
it never actually occurred to me before. I was always worried about
the morality of it. We've killed this guy and stolen his wife and
child and I'm the hero of it. This isn't right, you know? And the
zombie sex, I have no idea. It must be like tantric sex.
Have you entertained any sequel opportunities here?
Billy Connolly: I haven't heard one whisper of anything remotely like that. Normally it doesn't cross my mind. In movies I'm usually dead. And in this one I'm dead even before the movie started. It hasn't really crossed my mind. At the time when I saw the end of the movie in Toronto, I thought, oh my God, I wonder if someone would want that for TV? It was one of those TV ideas. But the other night, someone at the showing said it would make a good musical. I thought, what a good idea. As long as it was deeply irreverent and edgy and rocky.