Belfast Telegraph

Bill Nighy: Oldies can be exciting!

Bill Nighy is pleased with the message about ageing that's contained in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The 65-year-old actor reprises the character of Douglas in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which also sees Dev Patel, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Celia Imrie returning. The first movie was about a group of elderly people who travelled to India, and this time around they are all still at the hotel.

For Bill, the best thing was how fun the project was.

"I think people liked the fact the movie showed another version of how to grow old," he told entertainment.suntimes.com. "You don’t just have to fade off into the distance. People loved the idea of characters going to someplace as exotic as India to retire. That is obviously exciting, just in itself.”

That said, initially he wasn't sure about coming back for round two. Bill is always wary of sequels as he thinks so often they are just about cashing in, and he has no interest in that at all.

"We all know how they usually go, and, by that I mean - going straight downhill! So rarely are sequels anything more than an attempt to squeeze more money out of a successful original film," he said.

"[But] when the script arrived for [The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel], I was absolutely delighted. I was completely reassured. Plus, I think they did a brilliant job of extending the story onward from the first movie. I think it’s a perfect continuum.”

There are many funny scenes in this new movie, including some where Douglas is helping to fix a motorbike. That was interesting for Bill to shoot, because he has absolutely no talent when it comes to fixing engines - even though his father and brother did.

"They both went on to run businesses, but they were originally slated to become mechanics. So I saw it coming and knew that was something I had to avoid," he added.

“I was lucky to keep my fingernails clean. But, in the process, I arranged to learn absolutely nothing about the internal combustion engine. I can turn the key to start the car, and I can tune in the radio, and that’s about it.”

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