Nick Frost first captured the attention of American fanboys with his portrayal of a sloppy best friend turned carnivorous zombie in the hit 2004 horror satire "Shaun of the Dead," which he co-wrote with comedy partner Simon Pegg. After even years and a slew of hits with Pegg, Frost is set to make two more wild transformations on the big screen.
The British writer/actor will be rendered unrecognizable by motion-capture animation in Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," in which he plays the bumbling, mustachioed Detective Thomson. Working with the special costumes and cameras that facilitate the film's breathtaking computer animation presented an array of challenges, but nothing like the rigors he endured while making "Snow White and the Huntsman," the 2012 fairytale action epic starring Kristen Stewart.
"We had to attend dwarf college for, like, two weeks before we started shooting, to learn how to move like a dwarf," Frost told The Huffington Post of the preparation for his role as Nion, one of seven warrior dwarfs. "It's very, very weird and quite tough, because you have to stick with it for the whole thing. You can't forget and suddenly start walking quickly or your arms get long. You have to stay with it all the time. It was a great shoot -- I got to hang out with Bob Hoskins for three months."
Joining Frost and Hoskins, who played the dwarf Muir, were Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Eddie Izzard, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan and Stephen Graham, composing quite the distinguished group of dwarf college alumni. But things didn't get much easier for the crew once they were handed their diplomas.
"A lot of the time on the shoot we would be picked up at 3 a.m. and then we would do five hours in the makeup chair and then have to do a full 16-hour day, so that was kind of challenging," Frost said. "Having my head shaved bald was a real drag as well. Razored bald every morning. Mrs. Frost, she is not a happy bunny, but now we've wrapped and I can regrow it, and hopefully regrow my love."
Letting down his wife, however, may have been safer than disappointing Charlize Theron, the film's Evil Queen. "When she's in character," Frost observed, "she is really chilling."