The Inbetweeners Movie: an interview with writers Damon Beesley and Iain Morris

We caught up with Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, the writers of The Inbetweeners Movie, to chat about taking the TV hit to the big screen…

After launching to modest viewing figures, UK sitcom The Inbetweeners went on to became a massive comedy hit. So much so, that the movie version of it is out now. We caught up with writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley to find out how they did it…

Was it tough writing a feature script after so many short, episodic stories?

Iain Morris: Weirdly, we had a very rough draft before we did series three of the show, and we had to constantly bastardise the script. The bit where Jay rides the motorcycle into the wall was intended for the film because you would classically hire a motorbike abroad, but at the beginning of series three we had to have a really good scene to open an episode with. So, when we came back to the script after that series, we had to pull a few jokes out and move it around a bit.

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Damon Beesley: Because we had to give it more of an emotional depth, there are a lot of scenes that aren’t as joke heavy as the series. When we rehearsed those scenes, it was terrifying for us, but it was really important that we didn’t just try to cram more jokes in there. That’s what we’ve learnt about writing film scripts.IM: We’re very lucky to have Ben (Palmer) because there are a lot of jokes that are based on action sequences, and it’s very difficult to realise those even if it’s funny on the page. Ben’s done an incredible job, giving it a sense of scale that’s different to the television series. The ending in particular, as well as the scene on the party boat, we’re very lucky to have him and we’re delighted that it turned out so well.DB: We always had a lot of those big set pieces throughout the series but it feels like in the films there’s just one after the other.

Initially, did you know the show would have such a wide range of viewers?

DB: I am surprised we have such a strong female following, I thought it wouldn’t have. We’ve done some testing with the film, and girls just really seem to enjoy the show, as well as the film so far. I think it’s because it’s gratifying the thought that boys are idiots, and I’d imagine that’s really brilliant to watch. I think we were really lucky because we wrote it for ourselves, and because it was about teenagers, E4 were really hands off. We’ve been charmed.

IM: If we generally thought it would be successful, we probably wouldn’t have set it in a sixth form with actors who were getting older the whole time. We could have had it going for 100 series.

You’ve talked a lot about writing The Inbetweeners from your own experiences, do you think you’ll ever make something as personal again?

DB: I think it’s inevitable because it’s how we write. When you look back, it does seem like an awful lot of embarrassing things have happened to Iain and me over the years.

IM: I think seeing the funny side is the only way of processing what a colossal loser you are. We like writing honest, authentic things so we’re going to have to continue getting into scrapes.

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Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, thank you very much.

The Inbetweeners Movie is out now.

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Interviews at Den Of Geek