‘There’s one thing wonderful in regards to the mundane’ : Interviews 2022 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Information

Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond on their new sci-fi comedyWe Are Not Alone

Within the new feature-length sci-fi comedy We Are Not Alone, coming to Dave subsequent week, alien invaders have conquered earth and now should work out the right way to govern it. It stars Declan Baxter as a human making an attempt to  coach his alien bosses – inept politician Trater (Vicki Pepperdine), tightly-wound soldier Gordan (Mike Wozniak) and clumsy underling Greggs (Joe Thomas) – in regards to the methods of humanity.

Right here creators Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond – who additionally co-write and star in Ghosts, and right here play alien safety guards, speak in regards to the genesis of the movie…

Laurence Rickard

What’s the start line of We Are Not Alone?

There’s one thing enjoyable within the truth our story begins the place alien movies usually finish. Normally, aliens have tried to invade and we have now discovered a method of preventing them off. However our story begins with, ‘OK, they’ve received. None of our makes an attempt to cease them in any method succeeded.  The aliens are going: ‘OK, we now run this place.’

Relatively than it being about Earth making an attempt to combat off the aliens, that is in regards to the aliens going, ‘We at the moment are in cost.”’And it seems that it is a nightmare. Which it might be.

If you happen to had been to come back right here from one other planet, you’ll simply go, ‘Why do you do something you do?’ That was our method. If you happen to had been an alien touchdown right here on day one and taking a look at what we do day after day, you’d go, ‘Dangle on, there have to be a greater method of doing this.’

They can underline the idiocy of human beings, aren’t they?

Completely. We tried to be even-handed with it. The aliens miss out on numerous issues as nicely. They do not see the purpose of issues that are fairly appropriate, and so they do not perceive why we get so emotional about issues. And so they’re barely dismissive of us.

However on the similar time, we do have quite a few flaws. It is much like when a toddler will typically say one thing to you, and you’ll go, ‘Yeah, that is truly a extremely good level. Why will we do this?’ That’s the place Greggs [the alien character played by Joe Thomas, below] got here from.

We Are Not Alone blue-haired alien Greggs

t is beneficial to have a personality who has that toddler outlook. He’s fairly a helpful cipher. He can ask, ‘Guys, why do you do this?’ and it makes the human character stand again and go, ‘I don’t know.’

Does this present have one thing to say about struggle and peace?

Sure. We had been all the time fairly eager to have operating beneath the story this concept of a continuing seek for peace, regardless of struggle – which is form of the human situation.

With the attainable exception of Putin, for those who requested folks, ‘Would you like struggle?’, they’d go, ‘No.’ However there’s all the time a struggle occurring someplace. In We Are Not Alone, each the resistance and the aliens are each saying, ‘We simply wish to stay peacefully alongside them.’ However they’re nonetheless each at struggle with one another the entire time. So we’re making that time.

What different factors are you making?

It simply felt like during the last 10 years, every little thing that you’d suppose is vastly unlikely has truly occurred, proper the best way from Trump changing into President to the overturning of Roe v Wade. So we thought, ‘You understand what? If aliens landed tomorrow, I believe lots of people would simply go ‘Yeah. And?’”

Did you and Ben have enjoyable enjoying the aliens guards?

Sure. I believe one of many issues we each actually get pleasure from about our jobs is the truth that we get to put on each hats – or on this case, helmets. As soon as we have spent six months in our research, poring over scripts, it is very nice to go to set and fiddle. I’ve not been petrified of a bit little bit of make-up over time. And equally, as soon as we’ve been taking pictures for a couple of weeks, it is very nice to go and sit again in your examine and do some script work. So I believe we’re actually fortunate that we’re capable of flip between the 2.

What do you suppose the takeaway from We Are Not Alone may be?

I hope viewers will take it as leisure and have enjoyable with it. But in addition if on some degree, it leaves you fascinated with how foolish we will be day-after-day, that will be nice. It is really easy to take every little thing too significantly.

So it may be actually helpful to take that step again and ask, ‘If somebody on the market was watching me do that proper now, does it matter? Does it even make sense?’ There’s one thing enjoyable about taking a look at ourselves by a Corridor of Mirrors and seeing ourselves in a barely completely different method. So I hope it does make folks suppose, even when it solely makes them take into consideration how ridiculous we’re!

Ben Willbond

What was the genesis of We Are Not Alone?

I spent a big portion of my youth in Lincolnshire, and 6 or seven years in the past I used to be getting a prepare again there to see my mother and father. The prepare known as at Peterborough. It was a extremely gray day. I simply thought to myself, ‘If aliens invaded, they might most likely find yourself governing from someplace central like Peterborough, and it might simply be actually uninteresting.’

The concept simply caught with me. I pitched it to Larry, and we had an actual chortle about it. After which in fact, we had been simply so busy doing different stuff that we left it. However some concepts simply preserve knocking on the door. So finally Larry and I sat down and labored up this concept. And right here we’re.

How did you develop the idea of the present?

Working in British tv, we knew that we would not have Hollywood scale. However there’s one thing actually joyous about that. There’s one thing wonderful in regards to the mundane. I might all the time cherished working with the crew on The Thick Of It which was in regards to the mundanity of presidency. Politicians are working in an workplace and are identical to you and me, however the stakes are actually excessive.

We Are Not Alone aliens at a desk

How do the aliens view human beings?

They’re simply totally baffled by humanity. Nowadays, you may’t actually do satire as a result of it is excellent in entrance of you on the information day-after-day. So how do you method it? Properly, you simply go to the bottom frequent denominator, which is basically an alien going, ‘Why?’And all of the sudden all of it made sense.

The method was, simply ask the query, ‘Why?’ or ‘Why do not you?’’Why are there homeless folks?’ As a result of the minute you ask anyone concerned in politics that query, they are saying, ‘Properly, what you have to perceive is that …’ And you have misplaced

Whereas for those who’re an alien, you say, ‘Dangle on, there’s folks over there with an enormous home. Cannot they simply have folks dwelling in there with them?’ In order that’s mainly the thrust of the entire present. Let’s have an excellent chortle at ourselves as a result of all of us want a little bit of amusing in the meanwhile.

Did you and Laurence get pleasure from enjoying the alien guards?

Our job right here was to provide it and create the present. So we intentionally forged ourselves in comparatively small elements because the guards on the entrance door. We spent numerous time on the script and on casting and producing it. So by the point that we obtained to play our scenes, we thought, “Who’re these guys?” Abruptly we discovered ourselves painted blue in a wetsuit with some skateboard armour on it. In order that’s how we performed it!

Does We Are Not Alone have a message?

I suppose in a really small, very foolish method it is making an attempt to get folks to go, ‘Dangle on, we have to suppose a bit extra about one another as a result of we’re simply consuming issues too shortly and never pondering sufficient about neighborhood.’ It’s an enormous subject to tackle, however I suppose we’re taking it on in the best way that we all know the right way to.

We now have very foolish aliens who’ve come and brought over. To allow them to be the mouthpiece for all these concepts.

What else do you hope the viewers will take away from We Are Not Alone?

I hope it is escapism, however I additionally hope it simply makes folks pause and ask the broadest, easiest questions on what’s vital.

Is there one query above all that you just really need folks to ask?

Do I really want to purchase an enormous diesel 4×4 to drive across the slim streets of London?

• We Are Not Alone airs on Dave at 9pm on Monday

Revealed: 22 Nov 2022

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