The Inbetweeners 2 interview: 'There's a high penis count'
Joe Thomas, Simon Bird, Blake Harrison and James Buckley sit down to discuss the comedy sequel
The first Inbetweeners movie became the most successful British comedy ever. Matthew Turner talks to its four stars about the upcoming sequel which sees the foursome head to Australia for more painfully awkward high jinks
I'm ushered in to meet the Inbetweeners boys (it's impossible not to think of them as boys, despite the fact that they are all in their late 20s / early 30s) just a few minutes after Andy Murray crashes out of Wimbledon, so I break the news to them and they react with uniform disappointment. Our tennis dreams crushed, we get down to the business at hand – Joe Thomas (who plays Simon), Simon Bird (Will), Blake Harrison (Neil) and James Buckley (Jay) are all here to discuss The Inbetweeners 2, the inevitable sequel to 2011's surprisingly massive hit. So what was their reaction to the success of the first film?
'We didn't know [it was going to be a huge hit]', says Thomas. 'It's not that we didn't care how it went, but we were just so happy to be making it and it felt like a vindication of the success of the series to be doing it at all.'
Given the enormity of the first film's box office, there was obviously a certain amount of pressure to deliver on the sequel. Buckley pipes up: 'I mean, we put pressure on ourselves – we're our own worst enemies. We're obsessed with it being as funny as possible and that attitude has done us well so far – we're confident in that we genuinely feel we've made a better film than the last one'.
So what can audiences expect from the second film? The short version is: The Inbetweeners Go To Australia. None of us have seen the finished film and the boys are understandably wary about revealing any plot details. However, fans of excruciatingly awkward nudity (something of an Inbetweeners trademark at this point) can rest assured – according to Bird, 'There's a high penis count', the mention of which gives rise to a discussion about “stunt penises”, the prosthetics involved and the slightly disturbing revelation, from Bird, that 'Iain and Damon (co-writers / directors Iain Morris and Damon Beesley) had very set ideas of what size and shape each one of our penises should be. It's really quite weird'.
Given the age differences between the actors and their characters, I ask them how they stay so youthful. Thomas laughs, 'I think we bring out the worst in each other in terms of immaturity – we have a kind of infantile regression when we get back together, we become the boys again'. But do they worry about looking too old? Bird says no: 'We'll worry about it when other people start worrying about it'.
As for the prospects of a third film, Harrison says, 'At the moment, as far as we're concerned, this is it', with Thomas adding that 'This is the farewell film, I think', though they concede that none of them expected to be making a second film, so anything is possible. In the meantime, each of them seems happy to be moving on with different projects and there's a sudden burst of their onscreen relationship as Buckley teases, 'It's impossible to keep up with Blake's many sitcoms' and they all laugh.
The Inbetweeners 2 is on general release from Wed 6 Aug.