Ever wondered what Simon Bird (Will) and James Buckley (Jay) are like in real life when they aren’t playing their iconic characters? We’ve found out for you!
Firstly, Simon and James can I say hats off to the actors and the writers for such an excellent show. We are all massive fans; it must be a dream script for you both?
Simon Bird (Will): Thank you, as an actor you go to so many auditions and often the scripts don’t make you laugh at all so when you get a script that makes you laugh pretty much every line, it’s a joy.
What was the audition process like?
James Buckley (Jay): I auditioned a few years ago for the pilot which was then called ‘Baggy Trousers’ and I think that was 3 or 4 auditions to get that. I played Neil in the pilot. As it turned out they didn’t like me for that so they asked if I’d come back and read again once they did the pilot. When they said it was going to be made into a series they asked me if I would come back and read as Jay. The rest is history.
S: It was a long audition process and a bit of a fluke for me. The writers saw me and Joe (who plays Simon) doing a show that we had written for the Edinburgh Festival, that was a couple of years before we did The Inbetweeners. We stayed in touch with them and became friends. They said they were doing a pilot and we asked if we could audition but they kept saying no as they thought we would be totally wrong for the parts! It got to about a week before filming and I think they were getting a bit desperate so they went through their address book and I think we were the first names in there! Really it was just a stroke of luck.
The Inbetweeners has had a huge impact, how has the rise to fame affected you?
J: I don’t think it’s affected my personal life too much. I’ve still got the same group of friends that treat me in the same way. When people do recognise me, it’s usually people coming up to me and saying really nice things so I’m not complaining. I’m very happy with the way things have gone.
It affected the show in a good way as well as we realised people actually liked what we were doing so it gave us a lot more confidence for the second series. The writers realised they were on the right tracks and they could take things even further. The same was true for us in our personal lives. I guess the fame has been life changing in a way because you can’t do certain things that you could do previously but you also have opportunities to do other things that were not possible beforehand.
What are the most common things people say when they recognise you in the street?
S: Well they are all quite rude! We went to T4 on the Beach and hoards of teenagers were shouting “Bus wanker” and “Briefcase mong” at me! In a twisted way I guess that is positive but it can be a little frightening.
J: For me it’s usually, “Are you Jay, from The Inbetweeners?”. [Laughs] Actually there was a group of kids the other day that asked me that question. I went “Yeah I am” and they went “No you’re not, we don’t believe you”. Then they said “Are you really Jay from The Inbetweeners?” I went “Na, not really” and they were like “You are though aren’t you!” I couldn’t win with these children, they wouldn’t leave me alone.
SPG: My favourite scene is either “Bus wankers” or when Simon is sick over Carly’s younger brother. Comedy genius. What is your favourite scene and why?
J: My favourite scene is not particularly one that stands out for most people. It’s a scene in the first episode of the second series where Simon, Will and the new Irish girl are at the dinner table arguing about who is going to do a survey with this new fit girl. Simon gets in there earlier than Will. I was standing there when they were filming that scene and I thought the performance was brilliant. I had to bite down on something to stop me from laughing so hard, I thought it was excellent.
S: The scene that was most fun in my opinion was the boat scene. It was one of the most stressful but there was so much happening that it was really enjoyable. That was the scene where Joe (Simon’s character) was totally naked with only a sock over his penis. He was literally close to freezing to death so we had fun with that. It’s also the scene where Jay set off the flare. On the first take of that he forgot that flares go off vertically and shot it horizontally, almost blowing up the town of Little Hampton! We had lots of locals watching us and they got a good old view of Joe’s penis!
SPG: I have to ask this and it may seem like a silly question but in that scene on the boat when Neil punches the fish to death that’s not real is it?
S: The way they did it was the fish that was flapping around was real; it had just been taken out of a bucket of water. When the first shot ends the fish gets put back in the bucket and they replace it with one that is already dead. I can safely say that no fish were harmed in the filming of that scene.
SPG: It must be hard keeping a straight face in pretty much all the scenes. Does it make filming more difficult?
S: Yeah it is hard. We don’t actually keep a straight face in a lot of them. There are some scenes that have made the show that you can clearly see we are all laughing. There was one in the second series when Neil, Simon and Jay are hiding in the toilets at the kids disco and I have to open the door to see Neil sitting on the toilet. Just the slow opening of the door and the creek it made all combined into making it hilarious. That scene took a good couple of hours!
J: We are very bad at controlling ourselves and we’re constantly getting told off for laughing. When there’s a crew of 30 people that all want to go home but can’t get a scene finished because you can’t stop laughing, people do get a bit annoyed. If it’s a long scene it can last all day in filming. Most of the time we are giggling. If we’re not getting told off for giggling then it’s for whistling or singing.
SPG: How similar are you to your characters in real life?
S: I get asked that a lot and it’s a difficult one. I think probably very similar as I don’t really class myself as an actor; I just sort of say the words in my own voice. In that way Will is similar to me but I would hope that I’m not quite as offensive and tactless as he is. He just says the first thing that comes into his head most of the time.
SPG: Do you ever get asked to do the Yoda impression Simon?
S: Oh yeah all the time. It’s a difficult one though because obviously just being asked to do lines and impressions at the drop of a hat can be a little humiliating but at the same time you want to keep the fans happy, so I don’t mind. The great thing about being in The Inbetweeners is that it seems everyone really loves the show, so the fans are always really nice, (apart from when they’re calling me briefcase mong). I’m always happy to do it.
SPG: Will you do it for us now?
S: Can do.
SPG: Go on then.
S: (In his best Yoda voice) FEISTY ONE YOU ARE!
SPG: Is there a 3rd series on the horizon?
J: There’s still one more year of sixth form left so the door is open for another series. If we did do another series I think it will probably be the last though.
SPG: Aside from The Inbetweeners have you guys got any other projects on the go?
J: I’ve just finished a sitcom for the BBC called ‘Fresh’. It’s set in a university and it’s about 4 students, what goes on in their lives, home etc. I play a completely different character to Jay and it was a lot of fun doing it. I think that comes out in September on BBC 3.
S: Yeah well I am hoping to do some stand up later in the year so I’m currently writing for that and I’m also working on a pilot for BBC 3 which is a comedy game show.
SPG: Thanks a lot for your time guys. Hope to see you on our screens again soon in the third series.
Quotes from Series 3
Jay: Morning Benders, jump in the minge mobile.
Will: Strange thing to call your mums car.
Simon: Hang on, have you had the left ear pierced?
Simon: Aint that the one you get pierced to show you’re gay?
Jay: FUCK OFF
Neil: Oh yeah that is the gay one
Jay: Well there’s a quick way to tell Neil, which ear’s your dad got pierced?
Neil: Neither cos he’s not bent!
Simon: Course not
Jay: You? Who wants a model that looks like a spotty baby crossed with the Statue of Liberty?
Jay: Oh, I’m gonna have to go, got a missed call from Ralph Lauren.
Jay: Alright Yves Saint Leponce what’s going on here then?
Simon: Neil’s getting me in shit.
Neil: They’ve put a curtain up so we can’t see the clunge, it’stotally sexist
Jay: Ahh the craft fuckers, they tried this when we did the school play, we just cut a hole in the curtain and stuck our knobs through it, it was well horny, we was getting noshed off in between scenes.
Jay: Oh well done you’ve mastered walking like a knob and looking like a dick at the same time.
Simon: This is actually enjoyable, in a ‘I’m shitting myself’ kind of way
Neil: If you’ve shit yourself in them trousers I aint touching them
Simon: Of course I haven’t
Neil: You walk like you have
Will: Bit over dramatic, it’s only a bollock
Jay: Alright gays?
Neil: How’s your ear Jay?
Jay: Perfect, that’s why I’ve got to wear this massive bandage.
Neil: Oh, I suppose that’s your modelling career fucked then.
Will: He never had a modelling career!
Jay: Yeah but I’m not bothered, cos I fucked the nurse that looked after me.
Will: The St. Johns Ambulance lady?
Simon: Isn’t she Warren Duncan’s Nan?
Jay: No there was another one who looked like Lucy Pinder.
Will: Course there was.
Jay: So I had one bent over the table here, there was one up here who I was fingering and I was just toe fucking the one on the floor.
Will: So when do we get to meet these lucky ladies?
Jay: You can’t, they’ve gone back to the playboy mansion.
Neil: Jay was telling us about them birds he pulled in Norfolk.
Jays Dad: Oh right was he?
Jay: Yeah, you remember them, right dad?
Jays Dad: Well he’s a total bullshitter then, cos the only pussy he’s ever touched was his mums when he fell out of it.
Jay: When I say I’m gonna deliver, I fucking deliver.
Will: Like a postman with Tourettes?
Will: A few years ago i went to see King Kong at the cinema, now I’m on a date with her!
Simon: Its YOUR spunk!!
Neil: but it’s YOUR car!
Simon: What…so if I spunked in your face it would be yours?
Will: No one would get fingered for a bet Jay… with the possible exception of your sister.
Jay: Take that back
Will: You’re right I do take that back, on the other hand your mum would probably get fingered for a packet of biscuits.
Simon: You wet the bed when you were 10
Jay: Yeah I wet your mums bed…with my spunk
Jay: Have you had a wank over Will’s mum?
Will: Please don’t have a wank over my mum!
Neil: I can’t promise that, Will.
Jay: While you’ve been at home wanking over Carly all summer… I’ve been out porkin’ loads of vadge!
Will: Oh piss off
Neils Dad: don’t talk to me like that in my own house!
Will: oh sorry, my manners, piss off PLEASE!!
Neils Dad: I’ve had enough of your lip
Will: oh you’d like my lip wouldn’t you, right round your bell end! if Mr Chippy doesn’t get there first! What’s he gunna knock up, a closet for you to hide in!? you BUMDER!!
Jay: Where’ve you been? Wankin’ over your mum’s bras?
Will: Well seeing as she’s my mum, probably not
Jay: Well can I have them then?
Jays Dad: I know what you’re up to, you think cos she’s sooo massive, she’ll count as 2 shags, well she doesnt!
Will: What you lookin at?
Jay: Your mum
Will: Doesn’t look anything like my mum
Jay: But that is her snatch though!
Simon’s mum: Just because Kevin’s gay, doesn’t mean he’s a paedophile!
Kevin: I’m not a paedophile!
Neil: My Dad’s not gay!
Jay: Well…let’s look at the evidence…1) your mum left him because he loves! cock.
Simon’s Dad: Your’ve had an eventful day bunking off school, buying alchol illegally, defacing carly’s drive and insulting Neil’s dad, have i missed anything?”
Will: We also hit a spastic with a frispy
Jay: I’m gonna go find that yummy mummy who wants me to spunk on her tummy.
Jay: You lot can stay here and finger Neil’s arse but I’m off to find some clunge.
Neil: He rubbed my legs
Jay: That’s what you get for leading on Peados you slut!
Jay: She’s probably just got an old face, must be cos of all the jizz she’s had on it
Old Lady: What can I get you?
Jay: Cornetto please
Old Lady: One Cornetto, is that all?
Jay: Do you want to lick it?
Old Lady: Sorry?
Jay: My Cornetto, do you want to lick it?
Old Lady: Oh that is kind, I’ve had enough Ice Cream today though sweetheart
Jay: Oh right, bit late am I?
Old Lady: Do you want something else?
Jay: Are you the woman who sucks school boys off?
Old Lady: Sorry?
Jay: Can you suck me off?
Neil: Oh go on I love boats, I used to go fishing with my dad.
Neil: Just who is this Duke of Edinburgh, does he teach it?
Jay: No, of course he doesn’t teach it you fucking idiot, the Duke of Edinburgh is Prince Charles.
Will: Umm, No he isn’t, it’s his dad
Neil: King Phillip?
Will: No, I mean, that IS the Duke of Edinburgh you’re thinking of, but he’s not the king
Neil: But he fucks the Queen though
Jay: Probably up the arse
Will: LOOK, do you wanna sign up or not?
Jay: You’ve gotta be fucking joking, there’s no way I’m gonna get bummed by some royal bloke on a mountain
Neil: Yeah fuck it I’m in
Will: Your dad’s moved out?
Simon: It’s no biggie, they’ve not been getting on lately so he’s moved out for a few weeks while they sort stuff out
Jay: What like her face? It’s gonna take more than a few weeks to sort that mess out
Will: I went to fart and instead, shit myself
Simon: No-one brings a bag of shit to a pub
Jay: Your dad does
Simon: Does he?
Jay: Yeah, your mum
Will: Alright you big poof? Where’s your bit then? I thought you’d be having it up to your nuts in guts
Jay: Nah, I had to er, I had to give her the boot
Will: Did you? I thought you were really into her
Jay: Nah, she was like frigid, and she wouldn’t have this threesome even though I organised it with a top lezzer model, and (sobbing) my cock was too big for her
Jay: At least they wont call you briefcase mong anymore
Will: Oh well that’s good
Jay: No, they’ll call you shit pants mong
Neil: Or Shitty Shitty Bang Bang
Will: Any more?
Simon: Wayne Pooney, Take Shat
Neil: Dr Poo
Jay: The Lion the Witch and the speccy kid who shit himself
Simon: We can keep this up all summer you know
Will: Brilliant looking forward to it
Simon: Brad Shit
Jay: Bumlog Millionaire
Simon: How about Vladimir Pootin
Simon: I don’t know if my dad will let me go anyway
Jay: What’s it got to do with your dad?
Simon: He’s paying for my car, he might not let me do long journeys yet
Jay: Surely he’ll want you to get sucked off by a little lovely on the T-Cup ride
Will: This is perfect, Simon passes his test, drives us to Thorpe Park, Neil gets us freebies, and I get to ride…
Jay: A man’s cock in the bushes
Will: …The Nemesis Inferno!
Simon: Yeah well I’m the only one who can drive so you can fuck off!
Jay: I can drive, I took an army driving course when I was 10
Simon: Bollocks! You still wet the bed when you were 10
Jay: Yeah, I wet your mums bed, with my spunk
Jay: Fuck that! Look you lot can stay here and finger Neil’s arse if you wanna but I’m off to find the clunge.
Jay: I’ve just seen the clunge head towards Nemesis
Will: Well sounds like they are thrill seekers too
Jay: Oh I hope they are cock seekers too!
Jays Dad: “What’s he gonna do with that, it’s like a McDonalds chip”
Jay: I’d fuck her, right up the bum hole.
Will: Lucky girl.
Simon: Yeah, that’s right, I’ve had 210 wanks and my cocks like a pepperami!!
Neil: Are we gonna have to swim back?
Simon: It’s very cold in there.
Jay: Just row back, on holiday in Spain one year me and my mate took a pedalo out and went to Africa.
Will: Do you think you can spare us the bullshit, for one minute, while I try to figure out how not to die at sea.