Chalet Girl – Tamsin Egerton and Bill Bailey interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
TAMSIN Egerton and Bill Bailey talk about some of their experiences of filming British snowboarding romantic comedy Chalet Girl in Bavaria and what appealed to them about the film.
Q. What appealed to you about Chalet Girl?
Tamsin Egerton: Purely the script, which I thought was really amazing. I thought it was clever and witty and quite glossy for a British film. I mean, it’s quite similar to Chelsea [her character in St Trinian’s] but I just thought it was such a brilliant script and I wanted to work with Felicity [Jones] because I heard she was attached. I liked the characters and their complex little relationships.
Q. And Bill?
Bill Bailey: Because I thought I could do some snowboarding… but it turns out that all my scenes were in a little hut. So, I’m a bit upset about it really. When I got the call and heard we were going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria I was like: “Woohoo!” But then I get there, it was: “No, you’re just going to be indoors, Bill, and we’re going to make it look like you’re in Acton.” The exterior of my house was shot in Acton.
So, it was ‘Acton, Acton, Acton’ and that was it… that was my contribution. But for me, I was attracted because I like the character I play. He’s Kim’s dad in the film and he’s bereaved and coping with that. Normally, when I get films, they’re usually sort of bewildered farmers! So, this was a real turn up for me and I had to take it. But then my next film was a bewildered farmer as well. So, this was a real career high for me, getting to play somebody with a bit of depth for a change!
Q. A bewildered baked beans eater…
Bill Bailey: That’s it, yes. Thanks very much. I’ll now add that to my CV.
Q. So how was Garmisch-Partenkirchen?
Bill Bailey: Well, we had a margarita night, which was fun. It was massive jugs of margarita and we drank them out of margarita mix. I got in an argument with a taxi driver because I was four minutes late! And that’s when you realise you’re in Germany. I was in a hotel and a mini-cab came and the receptionist called me and said: “Your cab is here.” I said: “Thanks very much, I’ll be down in a minute.” So, I turned my laptop off, came down in the lift and the driver is looking at me as if: “What time do you call this?” And then he went: “Wait, wait!” And he handed me the phone and it was the manager of the cab company giving me another bollocking, saying: “Why are you keeping my driver waiting you…”
Q. Tamsin, it seems like a silly question given the setting for the film but did you have any previous skiing experience?
Tamsin Egerton: I’d never skied before, I’ve never been on a holiday with snow, I didn’t see the appeal of going somewhere cold and then wrapping up warm and nearly dying down a slope. I was a bit like Kim in the character. I spent my first few lessons going up and going: “I hate it! I hate it!!” And sulking. But then a few weeks later, after about four or five hours a day, every day with Gunter, I absolutely loved it. He was awesome… very harsh on me, but I did blacks by the end of it, which you don’t actually see in the film.
Q. Bill, do you think the British humour will play well in America?
Bill Bailey: You never know how it’s going to play out internationally. When I was in this sit-com called Black Books, in Scandinavia they called it ‘The Crazy Shop’!
- Read our review
- Felicity Jones interview
- Ed Westwick interview
- Tamsin Egerton and Bill Bailey interview
- Phil Traill interview
- Chalet Girl Photo Gallery
- Watch the trailer