10 Things You Never Knew About Nick Frost
Since he broke through in beloved '90s sitcom Spaced, actor and screenwriter Nick Frost has seemingly never been out of work. As well as starring opposite his bestie Simon Pegg in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, he's appeared in everything from Richard Curtis's comedy movie The Boat That Rocked to AMC's post-apocalyptic drama series Into the Badlands, and sports movie Fighting with My Family to pitch-black sitcom Sick Note.
Doctor Who fans, of course, will remember his portrayal of Santa Claus in the 2014 festive special "Last Christmas."
His latest assignment is another juicy genre role in The Nevers, HBO's sci-fi series about a gang of women with extraordinary abilities living in Victorian London. Ahead of its premiere Sunday, here are 10 things you might not know about this charismatic performer.
1. When he was 15, his family's office furniture business went bust, leaving his family in dire straits.
"We were put on the street," Frost told The Guardian in 2014. "We had to go and live next door in one room – the three of us and our massive Alsatian, Sheba." Frost says that the enormous stress of the situation caused his mother to have a stroke, so he decided to leave school "to support them financially." Eventually, the family were moved by local authorities to what Frost called "a horrible block of flats."
"So the fall from grace was complete and my parents were just never the same again. I wasn't a kid any more at that point," he added.
2. In the early '90s, craving a break from his family's money troubles, he spent two years living on a kibbutz in Israel.
"I was an 18-year-old kid with not much direction in the U.K., didn't really want to do anything. I had a friend called Brendan who had been on a kibbutz. He said, 'You should go, it'd be good for you.' So I went and I just loved it," Frost told Buzzfeed in 2013.
Recalling the way of life on the kibbutz, Frost added: "It was like being in a labor camp. I'm an early riser, so I'm happy to get up early. You get up at 4:30, you do six hours of labor, and you're finished by noon. Perfect for me. You get the day off, there was a pub, you get all the free drinks you could want, free cigarettes. All my clothes were given to me. I liked the regimented life."
3. He and Simon Pegg were introduced by Pegg's then-girlfriend, who was waiting tables in the same Mexican restaurant in north London as Frost.
And the pair hit it off immediately. "The thing was, he was the funniest guy working [in the restaurant] and everyone was always saying, 'you should be on stage, you should do stand up,'" Pegg told The Observer in 2007. "But I think the performance anxiety was a bit of a thing for him. He thought he had comedy cancer. He didn't know that those awful feelings were perfectly normal when standing up in front of lots of people, trying to make them laugh. That's why I wrote him a part in my sitcom, Spaced, in 1999."
4. Pegg apparently threatened to "castrate" Frost if he didn't accept that part in Spaced.
At the time, Frost had no intention of becoming an actor and couldn't believe he had actually been given the role. "Right up to two weeks before rehearsal, I assumed it wouldn't happen: that there were things in place to prevent someone with no acting experience from appearing in a major sitcom," he told the Evening Standard in 2010.
Thankfully, no one intervened, and Spaced became an instant cult classic.
5. He and Pegg became so close that for a time they even shared a bed.
In 2019, Frost said he thinks he and Pegg played a part in redefining and detoxifying masculinity. “I think we probably started all of that," he told The Observer. "In terms of groups of men watching films that we made and then reading about the people in them sharing a bed together. I’m sure they were like, ‘If they can fucking do it, then we can, too!’
“I hadn’t seen many people before doing that," he continued. “You were either gay or straight. There was never that... we kiss on the mouth, yet we’re heterosexual. We were affectionate. We were in love. It was a platonic, non-sexual love affair, for 25 years."
6. He turned down an offer to play Paul Potts, the opera singer who won Britain's Got Talent, in a big screen biopic produced by Simon Cowell.
The role eventually went to James Corden, and the movie, One Chance, opened in 2013. Explaining why he rejected the role, Frost told The Independent in 2011: "I read the script and if it hadn't been about Paul Potts, I'd probably have done it. It was good. But I didn't want to be known as Paul Potts. I'd rather play Pol Pot."
7. He also turned down a role in a Star Wars movie.
Speaking on the Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did in March, Frost revealed: “It was only a little bit but I was like, it’s really small, the pay’s rubbish… I’ve got a family – I don’t do this for free."
Asked whether he regrets his decision, Frost replied: “There’s a part of me that thinks, ‘You could have been in Star Wars.’ But f**k it. I tend to not to look backwards at all, so that doesn’t really affect me as a choice I took because I think, well, it’s done. I’ve made the decision.”
8. He's now sober and hasn't touched a drop of alcohol since 2018.
"There are lots of nice non-alcoholic beers on the market now, so I can still sit in pubs with friends, which is nice," he told The Guardian in 2019. "I wish they’d do them on tap though, because it costs £8.40 ($11.60) for two bottles of [alcohol-free] Bitburger to pour into a pint glass. That’s annoying."
9. He's also an accomplished painter.
You can check out quite a lot of his work on this gallery website.
10. He and Pegg once covered Daft Punk's "Get Lucky."
Yes, really – during an appearance on a U.K. radio show. Somehow their version manages to be both very funny and... kind of good?
Do you know something interesting about Nick Frost that we've missed out?