Paul Feig has a tendency to make films that are difficult to talk about until you have seen them. The trailers for Spy, The Heat and A Simple Favour, for example, paint pictures quite different from the finished movies. Often, you leave the cinema feeling as if you have been pleasantly fooled.
It’s certainly true with Last Christmas, which the director is sitting down to talk about in early September, and which appears, based on its teaser, to be a mushy festive romcom. Naturally, it doesn’t quite go where you would expect it to, which of course means we can’t really talk about the film we are here to talk about. “Exactly,” he says, smiling. He is wearing, as is his custom, an impossibly dapper three-piece suit, and he has a sweetly nervous cough/chuckle that ripples up as he speaks. “A lot of the movies I do just happen to have something like that in it. But I like people being surprised.”
Christmas - Music - George - Michael - Wham
Last Christmas, very loosely inspired by the music of George Michael and Wham!, stars Emilia Clarke as a woman recovering from a life-threatening illness and whose day-to-day existence is a boozy, reckless mess. It turns out that Daenerys Targaryen is an excellent comic actor. “Isn’t it crazy?” Feig says. A huge Game of Thrones fan, he summoned her for a meeting. “I was expecting her to be very Daenerys, you know, proper: ‘How do you do?’ She comes in, and she’s just funny, goofy and effervescent. I equate her in this movie to when Meg Ryan was in When Harry Met Sally. The whole country just goes: we’re in love with you.”
The film is also Feig’s love letter to London, where he has been living for the past year, even if it takes some geographical liberties: “They walk from the...
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