Rob Brydon talks to Julia about the dark humour in Human Remains
Rob: Would you find it harder to make those jokes about disease now that we're ten or eleven years older than we were [at the time of writing Human Remains]?
Julia: What, and closer to...?
Rob: And closer to all those diseases, and closer to friends of ours... you know, we're in that age now...
Julia: Which diseases?
Rob: Well, we did lots of jokes... we did different types of cancer...
Julia: We did cancer.
Rob: And I would defend that, when people would sometimes question it, by saying, "Oh, we're confronting our fear of it."
Julia: I really believe that's true.
Rob: And I think there's truth in that. I think there's truth in that.
Rob: But I do think that I might make different judgements now. Being that much older, I'm more inclined [to think], "I don't want to confront it; I'd rather just pretend it's not there," because I think, oh, I may have to confront it, you know?
[after a thoughtful pause]
Julia: I think I still would.
Rob: Oh, really?
Rob: You brutal woman.
There are some shows which you know from the start are going to be very, very special. Hunderby was one of those for me, so I’m thrilled that Julia’s phenomenal talent has been recognised at the British Comedy Awards.
Julia released a slightly more articulate version of her British Comedy Awards acceptance speech via the Sky Atlantic site
Hunderby has been a huge passion project of mine for many years and I’m so amazed and proud to have won two awards when up against such other brilliant shows; it’s a real honour. I was so dazed to win it left me a bit speechless but want to say a massive thank you to the incredible cast and crew, to Barunka and to the hugely talented people at Sky Atlantic and Baby Cow for believing in it and making it happen.
I really love collaborating with Julia Davis. There are very few people who I click with in the same way, and she was at a time in her life when she wasn’t sure how to find her way through the comedy world… and I was at the same point. So we started to improvise together and gradually we began to build up a little collection of characters who were quite strange but we loved performing. Through Julia I met Baby Cow, because I was a bit without a production company, and Baby Cow have brought me into the fold.
Nighty Night didn’t just cross the line; it scissor-kicked over it with no pants on.
Her comedy has its own unique voice. Sometimes I think it can be a bit alienating; I gave her some notes on the last series of Nighty Night, but she ignored them.
Steve Coogan on Julia Davis
Julia Davis hasn’t so much pushed the envelope as blown up a branch of Ryman.
I read an article a while back which suggested that the people who write all this supposedly “dark” comedy are dark types themselves: cynical, miserable old goths who see the world as an awful place, while those responsible for My Family or Last of the Summer Wine skip through meadows singing about how wonderful life is before falling backwards, giggling, arms flailing, into a village pond. My experience is different. Sorry to destroy the fantasies of a certain kind of troubled man out there drawn to her disgusting alter ego Jill, but Julia Davis is a lovely, sweet, slightly unworldly person much more likely to plunge into a pond than whatever wheezing old hack wrote Mad About Alice.
Peter Baynham (from here)
She brings out the darker side of me, and I bring out the lighter side of her. I think we complement each other very well; we rein each other in and egg each other on at the same time.
Rob Brydon on Julia Davis
The first thing that springs to mind about Julia [Davis], if I was going to describe her, is ‘pastry lover.’ I don’t think I know anyone who consumes high-class pastry with as much aplomb and class as Julia. I mean, she really knows how to eat tart.
I don’t see Rob [Brydon] a lot because he is always on holiday with Steve Coogan, but we do text quite a bit.
I meet lots of lovely people in my job. Part of the reason why I love it so much. There are in fact a lot of shallow self-seeking reptiles too but that makes the nice ones more valuable. Julia Davis springs to mind as almost ludicrously lovely. You wouldn’t think so with all that nasty Nighty Night character stuff but she is totally terrific.