Nick Frost is often viweed as joined at the hip with his two best friends, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. But all three regularly go off on their own. Frost’s latest solo work is “Cuban Fury,” a “Marty”-like underdog rom-com in which he plays a sadsack who decides to reignite his youthful love for salsa dancing in order to win over his dream girl (Rashida Jones). Though he’s credited with the story, it definitely isn’t autobiographical.
Are you a dancer in real life?
I’ve always liked dancing. All my mates, all my male mates — we’ve all danced. We’re not that type of people where, because of our heterosexual ego, we’re afraid to dance. But I have a complex relationship with dance, which comes from the fact that I rarely want to do it if it’s expected of me. If someone badgers me, “Do you wanna dance?” I would rather lose a foot than dance with that person. I didn’t want to dance at the wedding with my wife. I like dancing and my wife likes dancing, and we have danced a lot. But that’s when you’re out and about and you’re having a disco or you’re having a party.
You do dance well, though.
Being a big man who can dance well, there’s a weird look that thinner people who can dance give you, which is the look you give a 13-year-old boy who’s overcome a terrible disease and gone on to complete a half-marathon. “Go for it, big guy!” F— that, f— you.
Why salsa? Had you done salsa a lot before?
No, not at all. And I had to get over how, in my culture, you don’t dance with a girl. You’re near someone. You don’t hold them. There was a lot that was hard about the training, but the first two weeks of trying to avoid touching the top of someone’s bum a little bit was hard. You have to get over that complete Hugh Grant-ness of being a gentleman.
How bad was the training?
It was seven hours a day, six days a week for seven months. It was amazing and terrifying in equal measure. That first hour of day one, I just thought, “F— this, I’m never going to be able to do this,” because I’d never done anything like it before. You’re essentially in a box of mirrors. Mirrors are everywhere. You can’t even avoid looking at yourself murdering the thing your trainers love.
The story hews pretty close to a certain formula.
There’s been criticism about the story being kind of done before. And it has. [Chuckles] That’s how the underdog story works. There has to be a montage of the training process and he either gets the girl or doesn’t get the girl, he scores the touchdown, he does the scorpion kick, like at the end of “The Karate Kid.” It works as a formula. The comedy and the character, that’s what puts us apart.
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