Soon, editor Spencer Legacy spoke to Brian and Charles writers and cast David Earl, who plays Brian, and Chris Hayward, who plays Charles, about comedic timing and Charles’ journey through his adolescence. The film premiered in theaters on June 17 in the United States and on July 8 in the United Kingdom.
The film’s official synopsis reads, “Brian is a lone inventor from the Welsh countryside who spends his days building exotic, unorthodox tools that rarely work.” Undeterred by his lack of success, he quickly attempts his biggest project yet. Using a washing machine and various spare parts, Charles has invented an artificial intelligence robot that learns English from a dictionary and is obsessed with cabbage.
Spencer Legacy: As writers and actors, how much of Brian and Charles’ scripts have been written and how much were improvised?
David Earl: It was definitely written, and I would say for most of the scenes there was a specific script, scene, and dialogue to follow. And so we tried to at least do that, and then hopefully we’d play if there was time and space. There are definitely scenes out there… like when I first showed off the inventions, I’ve never seen them before, some of them. We put on the egg belt and the bag of pinecones, but the others, Jim wanted me to interact for the first time. So he was improvised, and also Charles was fired for the first time. But we definitely stuck with one script overall, yeah.
The film started as a short film, interviews and YouTube videos. Was it difficult to adapt this idea into a feature film?
Chris Hayward: A little bit at first. We were a little confused at first. “What exactly is their story going to be? And that’s how we spent a long time [to] Offers different versions. At first, we had an idea, like the short film, where Charles would actually be alive, to start the movie. Then I was like, ‘Oh, we really missed a ride and it’s going to be fun to see it build and see it come to life. So between David and me and so is Jim [Archer, writer and director of Brian and Charles]And our producer, Robert [Majendie]We’re just talking about different story ideas and follow your instincts on what I think is right for you and what will be interesting to the audience.
You both wrote a lot of comedies. What communicated the idea behind Brian and Charles when I first envisioned it?
David Earl: We love playing the characters and Charles really makes me laugh. And when we used to do it as a live show, [we] I just wanted to show the world [and] I also hope to make people laugh. So when we had the opportunity, it was very exciting to be able to introduce this funny being. So it was just so much fun playing these two characters together, yeah, that was the motivation.
Was comedic timing difficult between the two of you? Chris, you totally have Charles’ costume. So how does comedic timing work there?
David Earl: I love all those awkward stops and knocking on doors without hitting your targets, yeah, it’s actually a lot of fun. And we had some pre-recorded conversations, but other times we’d improvise and talk with Charles and Robert, the producer will be in the other room, he answers. So it would be very interesting not to know what will come out of Charles’ mouth around me. So it was hard not to laugh. And sometimes she improvises, right, Chris, if we’re out and about?
Chris Hayward: Yeah, it was kind of a combination, really. Then in terms of timing, even though I can’t see anything, I know Charles seems so stupid that everything I do is going to sound crazy. And I was just trying to make David laugh sometimes. And look what we ended up with. Just cross your fingers until we get something funny.
David Earl: You literally will!
Chris, how did this outfit perform? It doesn’t look easy given the box and the head on top. How was it during filming?
Chris Hayward: Just really oppressive. The first week I didn’t really mind, and I’ve obviously done that a lot in the past. If it was a short scene, it was fine, but there were days when I knew I was going to be there for hours. So I was watching the show and I said, ‘How am I going to spend an entire day in this club? Because I’m basically sewn, like the outfit is sewn into a box, so it’s not easy to take it off quickly. So I almost have to meditate and think, ‘I’m fine.’ It will soon be over. »
David Earl: I don’t think I thought of you there, in the box.
Chris Hayward: No, you didn’t really, no. I made fun of him!
David Earl: The more I talked about it, the more I felt, “Oh my God. It must be…”
Chris Hayward: I remember there was a moment when I said to David, “Hey, you gotta wear this, you know what it is.” I just went there. “No, no, no, no, no.”
When I spoke to Jim and Robert, they said that much of the dynamic between the two characters came from David’s teenage son. Can you tell me more?
David Earl: Yeah, we came up with the evolution of Charles of late, from a toddler to a teen. At the time of this writing, my sons are 14 and 15 years old. And so I was really living these experiences with him, and he didn’t want to hang out with me anymore. wanted to ride [to] He’s shopping, hanging out with his buddies, and I didn’t want him to do that. And it’s really hard to let go of them, because they don’t feel old enough to face the world, but you just have to trust them. It’s a bit painful to go through all of that. So we just glued that in there, hopefully that gives this movie more depth and truth.
I said it was a later addition, because in short, we feel less like father and son and more like friends. So did it come with the feature film?
David Earl: Yes. We wanted to give Charles some kind of ride, and because the way we played was just such an excited kid, we thought, “Oh, what would it be like if he started acting like a 15-year-old listening to Rage Against the machine?”
Do you have a favorite scene to shoot that stood out while shooting?
Chris Hayward: There are really quite a few. There’s someone we both like as we’re all together in the scene, almost all the characters together as Charles dances in front of Eddie. It was fun just because we all laughed while doing it, because it’s a silly scene, but it was just so much fun. The fact that all the main actors were involved in it. When you’re writing a screenplay, especially us, there are times when we just think, ‘How’s this going to be filmed? How is Jim going to get out of this, and how are we going to be able to do that?’ So without letting go of any spoilers, some of the biggest pieces are at the end of the movie. It was good enough to share and watch what we wrote get filmed.
David Earl: Like Chris said. I really loved playing against Eddie or Jimmy [Michie]City tyrant. There’s a scene where I turn around and ask him why he kidnapped Charles, and it’s pretty scary – and Jimmy in real life too. But he played that role so well, and I’d sit across from him and say, ‘Oh my God, what’s he going to do? And sometimes he would push me to the floor. I enjoyed playing in front of him and so did Charles.’
What have been, as writers, some of your biggest comedic influences?
DAVID EARL: The reason I started standing up was the British comedian Harry Hill. Don’t know if you’ve heard of Harry Hill?
I do not have.
David Earle: Well, it’s worth the search. It’s why I wanted to be on stage and thought, “Oh, if I could make someone laugh as much as they made me laugh, it would be nice to give him that.” So I would say Harry Hill. And apparently, Ricky Gervais is right there.
Chris Hayward: For me, when I was growing up, there was a singer-songwriter named Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Steve Coogan… they influenced me a lot when I was a teenager. Lots of different comedies, really. We both became obsessed with growing up.
As for Charles’ design, is it really just because you saw a bunch of junk or did you draw it? Where does his sight come from?
Chris Hayward: For me it was just the sound. I just imagined him as a teacher. So I had just drawn a primitive robot costume, and it was huge, bulky, stupid robots. I’m about 1 meter 80, so with Charles, when I put the box on, he adds another foot. It is about seven feet long. For our first party, we wanted something that looked really silly. I think we got there.
Will you be open to pursuing more content with Brian and Charles, whether it be more films or shows, or are you looking more towards new projects?
David Earl: Well, we have new ideas that we’d like to do, but if the appetite is there, we’d love to go back to it. Because it is so much fun to play with them and hang out as friends. Both, like an emphatic yes.
Chris Hayward: No!
David Earl: He made a good recovery!
Chris Hayward: No, I’m going back to the box. I don’t mind, as long as I can take breaks, and this time David has to go too.