Hollywood screenwriter Phil Johnston visits Grimsby to gain inspiration for new film
A HOLLYWOOD screenwriter visited Grimsby twice to gain inspiration for a film he is penning with Sacha Baron Cohen.
Phil Johnston and the infamous star of Borat, Bruno and The Dictator, are writing a film for Paramount Pictures which centres around life in northern England.
Phil, who wrote award-nominated film Cedar Rapids, has spent the last ten days in the UK, visiting Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Hull and Newcastle.
He said: "Sacha and I are writing a film about northern football supporters, and even though I am a football fan and have been to two World Cups and a European Cup, it's not in my blood.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I wanted to come here to see how the northern football supporter spends his days and to get a sense of how he talks and the dialogue he uses.
"I attended a football match while I was in Newcastle and the passion fans have for their local club is incredible. They were all singing and insulting the other team while they watched."
Former broadcast journalist Phil, who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York, stopped off in Grimsby twice on his whistlestop tour of the north.
As well as spending time talking to locals in Cottees pub in Freeman Street, Phil took a tour of the fish docks, East Marsh, West Marsh and visited Blundell Park.
He said: "I grew up in Wisconsin and it is very similar to Grimsby in many ways.
"Wisconsin was changed forever by the closure of steel and paper mills and I can see the decline of the fishing industry had a similar impact here."
And Phil is confident the visit will help him and Sacha – who rose to fame as Ali G – to pen the perfect comedy.
He added: "The overwhelming thing I've found is that northern people are honest and straightforward.
"Everybody I met has been so happy to help me and eager to share their stories with me. Having experienced the sights, sounds and smells of life here I have a much better idea of how to write the film."
Phil was due to return home today when he will begin working on a first draft of the script. It will then be up to Paramount whether it goes into production and where it is filmed.