Hot Fuzz – Movie Facts

Simon Pegg had weapons training in preparation for his role as Nick Angel, and also learned how to skid a bicycle properly along the way.

Nick Frost is in fact a West Ham fan and apparently hated wearing the Bristol Rovers shirt.

The combination for the lock of the Evidence Room is 999, the same as the telephone number of the police (and other emergency services) in Britain.

Lead character “Nicholas Angel” was named in homage to Nick Angel who worked as music supervisor for this film as well as Shaun of the Dead.

Throughout the film, Sergeant Angel uses a Vauxhall Astra Diesel and a Subaru Impreza WRX. The Subaru’s markings are “HF” obviously referring to the film title.

Simon Pegg lost over two stone (28 pounds, 13-ish kg) in preparing for the role of Nicholas Angel.

The code name “Dead Right”, which the film was shipped to British cinemas with, is actually the name of a short amateur film that Edgar Wright wrote and directed, when he was a student.

The judges for the Best Kept Village competition near the end of the film are played by Peter Wild and the mothers of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.

Although Bill Bailey plays two different Sergeant Turners they both wear a uniform with service number 101 – even when they are appearing in the same scene.

Nicholas Angel’s service number is 777, this is often seen as the mark of God just as 666 is seen as the mark of the devil. The only character to call him by that number is Timothy Dalton, who played Agent 007 in The The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.

Sampson the dog (who played Saxon the dog) was not allowed to become a real police dog as he was considered too friendly.

The fictional “Norris Avenue” is named after Chuck Norris.

The first draft of the script included a love interest for Nicholas named Victoria. She was cut from subsequent drafts, but a good amount of her dialog was given to Danny, often without any changes.

The names of the townspeople of Sandford are almost all words for occupations or activities: Cooper, Porter, Turner, Shooter, Prosser, Hatcher, Paver, Butcher, Skinner, Fisher, Walker, Thatcher, Weaver, Roper, Tiller, Reaper, Messenger, Staker, Treacher, Cocker, Blower, Draper, Merchant.

This is Joseph McManners first feature film. Unfortunately, the huge back story behind his character was left out of the final cut and can only be found in the deleted scenes on the DVD.

Nick Frost got so attached to his Winchester shotgun during filming he named it “Emma”.

The character of Simon Skinner was originally called Stephen Stockwell.

When in costume Nick Frost and Simon Pegg often were assumed to be police officers. Many strangers asked them for directions and instead of telling the truth they went along with it. They claimed it made them feel powerful.

In their DVD commentary, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg revealed that they fully expected the intentional misspellings of newspaper headlines to turn up in the IMDb’s ‘Goofs’ section.

Before Somerfield was chosen to feature in the film, writers originally made a fictional store chain called “Summeraisles” referring to the island in The Wicker Man also starring Edward Woodward.

In contrast to being used during the movie as the stereotypical first name in the phone book, the character named “Aaron A. Aaronson” is in fact the last one listed in the credits.

For its premiere at the AFI DALLAS film festival, the film was introduced by action star Dolph Lundgren who was in town directing his movie Missionary Man.

Bill Bailey plays two different characters in the film. One of the characters reads “Complicity” by Iain Banks, while the other reads two novels by Iain M. Banks. They are in fact all written by the same author (Iain Banks), the “M” simply shows that the books are science-fiction rather than normal fiction. (One of the Iain M. Banks books is “The State Of The Art”). This split is clearly supposed to symbolize differences in the two characters’ personalities.

Had an 11-week shooting schedule.

Sandford, the “fictional” setting for the film, is the name of the town used as the setting for all police training role plays.

Somerfield is a real UK supermarket chain, and all of the exterior scenes were shot at one of their stores. Edgar Wright chose to use it as he worked there as a shelf-stacker as a teenager, and in a nod to this, he makes a blink-and-miss-it cameo as a shelf-stacker in the Somerfield store.

To indicate how behind the times Sandford police station is, the sound of a very old Apple Macintosh startup tone is heard in the background. This startup tone hasn’t been played by any Mac for more than ten years.

At a Q&A session following a screening of the film in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Edgar Wright revealed that the film featured disguised cameos by two Oscar winners: Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson. Jackson appears as the Santa Claus who stabs Nick Angel through the hand during the opening montage, and Blanchett appears masked as Angel’s ex-girlfriend who is a Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO), which is the Metropolitan Police’s term for an officer who collects and processes forensic evidence at the scene of a crime (roughly analogous to a CSI).

Whilst doing research for the film, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg discovered that a disproportionate number of police officers were named either Nick or Andy, which led to the character names of Nicholas Angel and the two Andys. The Angel part of Nicholas Angel was named after the film’s music director, and the joke where the local paper misspelled Angel’s name as “Angle” was based on several incidences where this happened to him.

According to the director, actor Paddy Considine sneaked two Robert De Niro impressions into the movie, the first a facial mug in the incident room during Angel’s “Murder rant”, the second during the final stand off in the pub.

When wearing his Reverend’s costume, Paul Freeman was approached many times by strangers assuming he was from the cathedral.

The desk sergeant is reading “Complicity” by Iain Banks, which is about a series of cruel, if rather fitting, killings.

27 different sirens including a wailer, a bell, and a whistle were mixed together for the siren at the start of the film.

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright interviewed many real police officers while doing research for the film. Many lines in the film such as “I prefer to think my office is out on the street” came directly from those interviews. The stylized scenes of Nick doing paperwork were inspired by the officers noting that paperwork is a huge part of the job but it is never depicted in cop shows and films. The visual style was inspired by Tony Scott’s films. Roger Ebert’s “Bigger” Little Movie Glossary was also used as a reference source.

When Wright discovered that Chris Waitt’s (Dave) line needed to be redubbed, Wright did the looping himself because he was short on time and it was quicker than scheduling a session with Waitt.

The picture of a young Danny is a real picture of Nick Frost as a child.

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright also prepared for the film by studying Roger Ebert’s “Bigger” Little Movie Glossary.

Jim Broadbent was a big fan of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and asked them for a role in their next film. They wrote the part of Inspector Butterman for him.

According to the DVD’s trivia track, the N.W.A. is a reference to 80’s rap group N.W.A. which featured Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E.

Danny’s DVD collection is made up of the entire combined collection of director Edgar Wright, his brother Oscar Wright and his friend Joe Cornish.

Before filming the lay-by scene, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reportedly had an argument. Pegg claimed Frost was getting cocky and making the ADs get him coffee, whereas Pegg wanted him to get his own. As a result they took four hours to do that scene and they didn’t talk to each other at all except when acting.

According to his certificates, among the 9 special commendations Sergeant Angel received were awards for Operations Shakedown, Crackdown, Showdown, and Takedown.

According to the front of his test booklet, Sergeant Nicholas Angel took his Police Constable’s exam in 1995, 12 years before the film is set.

Simon Pegg also became attached to his Mossberg shotgun and named it “Sarah”.

Elements of the film are taken from a film Edgar Wright made when he was 18-19 called “Dead Right”. The film is featured on the 3-Disc Collector’s Edition of Hot Fuzz.

The place where Angel is going to live is located on “Spencer Hill”, which is probably a reference to Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, one of the funniest movie couplings ever, and who featured in many films during the 70’s and 80’s.

Features four actors from various Lord of the Rings adaptations. Peter Jackson plays “Father Christmas” in the opening montage. Bill Nighy played Sam Gamgee in the BBC Radio broadcast. Cate Blanchett played Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s films. Martin Freeman went on to play Bilbo Baggins in Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.

Paul Freeman, Jim Broadbent and the uncredited Cate Blanchett have all appeared in the Indiana Jones films.

Jim Broadbent, David Bradley, and Bill Nighy have all appeared in the Harry Potter films. Rafe Spall is the son of Timothy Spall, who also appears in the Potter films.

The line, “the greater good,” is never said just once: every time a character says it, at least one other character repeats it.

In the movie, director Edgar Wright’s hometown of Wells, Somerset, UK, doubled as Sandford. The alley down which Nicholas Angel pursues the shoplifter is where the director used to walk to school, and where he had his first kiss. The scene during the chase where Angel spots the swan was shot outside the house of one of the director’s friends.

In the script, Frank’s wife’s name was Iris, but since Jim Broadbent had recently won an Oscar for playing the husband of a woman named Iris in Iris, he thought viewers might see it as a reference to that, so he asked for her name to be changed, which it was – to Irene.

When the two detectives Andy Wainwright and Andy Cartwright (Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall) are referred to together, they are called “the Andes,” spelled in the captions like the South American mountain range because of a brief reference to those mountains in the dialogue.

The filming of Angel and Skinner’s first meeting at the supermarket was filmed over the course of two days. The conversation was filmed entirely from Timothy Dalton’s perspective first. The next day, early in the morning, they were to film the conversation with Angel’s perspective and close-ups. Dalton, much to the surprise of the crew, showed up early the next morning, and even though he wasn’t going to be on camera for that particular portion of the filming, he sat off-camera in Skinner’s chair and played the role so that Simon Pegg would be able to have him to work with while filming his part as Angel. Pegg stated it really showed Dalton’s professionalism.

Edgar Wright said that the role of Simon Skinner was written with Timothy Dalton in mind, so they were thrilled when he signed on to play the character. Simon Pegg says that he and Wright shared a thumbs-up when Dalton first played the character in the read-through, as they both knew they’d gotten the perfect person for the part.

While Nicholas is chasing a shoplifter through the supermarket, Danny is reading the tag-lines of the cheap action films in the half-price bin. “Supercop. Meet the cop that can’t be stopped”. When he realizes the chase is on, he throws the DVD back into the bargain bin where we see it land beside a DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead but called “Zombies Party”, the release title of “Shaun of the Dead” in certain countries.

Sandford police station has a staff of ten officers. These consist of one Inspector, five sergeants and only four constables.

Quite a few actors from Shaun of the Dead crop up in Hot Fuzz. E.g. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy. And they’re both directed by Edgar Wright. As well as similar sequences and familiar sights. E.g. both films have a pub in them. Cornettos. Wright uses the same rapid zooms and cross-cuts. And the scene where Shaun jumped over a fence and collapsed it is given a comic spin in this film where Angel perfectly clears them and even somersaults over one at the end. He even uses a similar line.

Simon Pegg worked out for four weeks to prepare for the role.

Like Shaun of the Dead, the starring roles were written for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Simon Pegg could only spend up to seven minutes a day in his trailer.

It was three weeks before any scenes were shot with most of the cast on the same set.

When Angel gets annoyed at the supermarket, the voice over the intercom is directorEdgar Wright.

Edgar Wright was exhausted after four weeks of shooting. Compared to Shaun of the Dead when exhaustion set in only at the end of the shoot.

Edgar Wright got to shoot most of the film in his hometown. And the fête scenes were shot outside the St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church in the city of Wells.

Some of the shoot was delayed by torrential rain.

The second in Simon Pegg’s and Edgar Wright’s unofficial “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy. The first was Shaun of the Dead, and the third is called The World’s End.

Nick Frost only agreed to do the film if he could get to name his character. He was also asked to watch over 20 action films to warm up for the role. He only watched one, Bad Boys II.

Cast requirements were fifty people for speaking and non-speaking parts.

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright spent 18 months writing the script.

Shane Black, a veteran scriptwriter of action films thought very highly of Hot Fuzz.

After the huge success of Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright were given free rein to do whatever they wanted on their next film.

Simon Pegg’s favourite film of his own to date.

Bill Nighy filmed his scenes in a day.

It took over two hours for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to get home and to get to work on time. After a while they didn’t see the point in it and just decided to sleep in their trailers.

Out of all the words written on the swear box, ‘cunt’ (probably the most offensive word) is ironically the only word that hasn’t been censored in any way.

Several members of the cast have appeared in the rebooted Doctor Who series. Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy, Timothy Dalton, Olivia Colman and Bill Bailey.

Sandford is the name given to the town used for most UK police training scenarios, the street plan of which is based on the street plan of Dundee, Scotland.

SPOILER TRIVIA:

Throughout the first half of the film, Danny asks Angel a number of annoying questions like “Have you ever shot two guns at once while diving through the air?” to which Angel responds “No – you’ve been watching too many cop movies! The job isn’t like that.” Then in the second half of the film, every single thing that Danny has asked about, Angel has to do. He does shoot two guns while leaping through the air, etc. The only thing that Nicolas doesn’t do is shooting into the air and screaming. Danny does that. Also, when the police crew are in the pub (on Nicholas’ first day), the Andes mention that in small towns everybody carries a firearm, especially farmer’s and their mothers. Not only are they correct (at least in Sandford), but the first people who shoot at Angel are a farmer and his mum.

When Angel and Butterman are discussing the first four victims, trying to figure out how they might be connected, Angel actually says what the ultimate motive was in each killing. The head of the Drama club was a terrible actor, his young lover had a “distinctive laugh,” the reporter was a bad speller, and the rich land developer had an ugly house.

During the early scene of Nicholas Angel jogging in his first morning in Sanford, all of the NWA members can be seen standing in the same positions they later stand in for the ‘final showdown’.

The blackboard on the bar during the shootout at the pub says “2 shooters 4 the price of one” whilst the couple that run the bar are behind shooting at Angel and Danny.

When Timothy Dalton raises his glass to the “memory” of Eve and Martin, Dalton very briefly looks into the camera. Director Edgar Wright liked it so much he synchronized the sound of a cash register “ching” at the same time.

Although Angel shoots his firearms many times, he actually hits only two people. The rest of the people are either hit by an object that Angel shoots, or they are shot by Danny.

When Simon Skinner passes the blown up house “Fire” by Arthur Brown is playing in his car.

During the climactic confrontation between Sergeant Nicholas Angel and the Sandford citizens, Angel walks in slow motion while surrounded by birds. This is a trademark used by action director John Woo in such films as Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off and Yi dan qun ying, the action of diving through the air while firing two guns.

When Timothy Dalton’s character drives up to Simon Pegg’s character after the “traffic collision” involving the actor and actress who appeared the night before in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” his car stereo is playing the Dire Straits song “Romeo and Juliet.”

It’s said that a swan can break a person’s arm with its wing. At the end of the movie, having been made to crash by the swan in the car, you can see Jim Broadbent’s arm in a sling as he’s loaded onto the ambulance.

With the exception of ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Butterman’, everyone pictured having a mugshot taken has a surname ending in ‘er’.

In preparation in writing the script for Hot Fuzz, writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg read a book by film critic Roger Ebert which includes all the clichés from action movies, so they could include them all. They include: having a character wake up in a dark hotel room and flick on the light switch without having to fumble for it (Nicholas Angel does this), having a shot of the median lines on a road from a moving camera (used in the sequence when Angel is driving back to London), and having a genial person in charge actually being the bad guy (Frank Butterman is the bad guy and this is the same as the James Cromwell part in L.A. Confidential). Other clichés were taken from Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Man on Fire, Bad Boys and Chinatown.

On the day of filming the fight between Michael Armstrong (one of Skinner’s thugs), and Nicholas Angel, Simon Pegg’s stunt double broke his collarbone and Pegg had to do the fight himself, though he had to be pretty careful.

The character of Simon Skinner having a moustache was Timothy Dalton’s idea, and was not specifically written for the character. Dalton thought that it would add an extra bit of sleaze to the character, and it hearkened back to his days of playing Prince Barin in Flash Gordon.

Timothy Dalton has said this film, particularly the sequence where Skinner and Angel are shooting at each other during the chase, was the most fun he’s ever had on a film. Jim Broadbent stated it was a thrill for him to be driving “James Bond” around during that sequence. Simon Pegg also stated the sequence and the fistfight between Angel and Skinner was the same type of thrill for him to shoot, staying it was very much in the front of his mind that he was being shot at, and fighting with “James Bond”.

The wood-handled knife Danny (Nick Frost) uses to stab Nicholas (Simon Pegg) is a French-made Opinel.

The Latin phrase “Bonum comunitae comunitatis” chanted by the NWA at the castle means ‘for the good of the community’ or ‘the greater good’, which is a recurring tag line.

CAMEO APPEARANCES:

Cate Blanchett:  Nicolas’ ex-girlfriend Jeanine at the crime scene. Blanchett asked to be in the film because of her fondness for Shaun of the Dead.

Peter Jackson:  Deranged Santa who stabs Nicolas.

Stephen Merchant:  as Peter Ian Staker.

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