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Q&A: Rob Brydon on new film Swimming With Men

BY Simon Button

1st Jul 2018 Film & TV

Q&A: Rob Brydon on new film Swimming With Men
Best known for co-starring in Gavin & Stacey, hosting Would I Lie To You? and jaunting around with Steve Coogan in The Trip, Rob Brydon graduates to leading man this month in new big screen comedy Swimming With Men
RD: What was it about the film that hooked you in?
It's that boring old answer that I'm sure you get from actors every day of the week: I really liked the script.
I read a certain number of scripts that come my way and with nine out of ten you just go, "Nah, I don't know". But with this one, I thought it was charming.
It's a familiar underdog story but deftly told.
RD: How did you prepare for the swimming scenes?
We did an intensive two weeks of three hours a day in the pool, learning the routines. It was exhausting and our body shapes all changed.
We all lost weight and toned up and the main side effect is that you sleep like a baby. We did that for two weeks, then the first scenes we shot were all the swimming ones.
"None of us look like we could be in The Avengers… We all look very normal"
RD: Can you relate to the character of Eric in any way?
One of the things where I don't relate to him is this idea of him finding it a challenge to join a new group of men or a new group of people.
I had to remember that for most men of that age if their social circle is changing at all then it's getting smaller, not bigger, whereas doing what I do I'm constantly going into new groups.
RD: How do you feel about Swimming With Men being compared to The Full Monty?
The comparisons are inevitable. It's about a group of disparate men coming together and putting on a performance.
I just hope we've made as good a film as that. It was a lovely film that touched people and I hope we can do the same.
"These men have to lean on each other and support each other, literally as well as emotionally"

With The Trip co-star Steve Cogan
RD: What reaction have you gotten to it so far?
I know someone who saw it who said, "I expected to laugh but I didn't expect to cry". They didn't expect it to be so touching.
I think one of the reasons it's so touching is that you see all these men who are all a bit adrift, they've all sort of come loose from their moorings. They have to lean on each other and support each other, literally as well as emotionally. They have to reach out and touch each other's bodies and hold each other's ankles or wrists.
I think there's something quite affecting about seeing that on screen. I mean, none of us look like we could be in The Avengers or something like that. We all look very normal.
Swimming With Men is in cinemas on July 6. Read our full interview with Rob Brydon in the August issue