Chortle Interview With Peter
He’s a superb mimic and talented comic actor who pops up in all manner of programmes – although his own star vehicle was short lived. But the prolific Peter Serafinowicz is about to have a bumper year, with a batch of new movie projects in the pipeline.
His hapless overweight businessman Brian Butterfield is to become the star of his own film; he’s appearing in the big-screen version of cult American sitcom Arrested Development, and he’s developing The Other Side, the Radio 4 series apparently broadcast from the afterlife, for Film 4.
Next year also sees the publication of his first joke book – and he’s just finished shooting the pilot of Channel 4’s Bad Sugar, written by Peep Show’s Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. All that and he’s making tentative appearances on London’s stand-up circuit to boot.
The Butterfield movie – which he is writing with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz, placing the character as an inept private investigator – could be the one that makes his name. Serafinowicz likens the plot to the Pink Panther and Naked Gun series. ‘We wanted to do a modern Clouseau movie but with our character’ he explains. ‘So he’s a really unsuccessful detective, just one of his many businesses that fail. Then this terrible detective becomes embroiled in a real case.’
Also working the screenplay are Serafinowicz’s brother James and Andrew Ellard, script editor for The IT Crowd and Red Dwarf.
‘We’re on the fourth or fifth incarnation of the script’ says 39-year-old Serafinowicz. ‘We want to spoof the genre like The Naked Gun and Police Squad but we’re trying to make the character three-dimensional. It’s great fun fleshing him out, giving him a backstory and family life.’
Last seen in August in a guest appearance on Shooting Stars, Butterfield made his TV debut on The Peter Serafinowicz Show. Promoting himself as a workplace injury lawyer, dietician and speaking clock amongst other doomed business ventures, The Butterfield Detective Agency revealed a less than impressive chameleonic range, including ‘lord mayor’s croupier’, ‘pyramid worker’ and ‘gay man’, as he pledged to return kidnapped loved ones ‘dead or alive’.
You can read the complete interview here.