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FIDO

BILLY CONNOLLY (Fido)

"I'm a zombie. There's been a Zombie war, something cosmic happens, zombies arise, huge war takes place, wise man discovers way of controlling zombies (when the light is on we're passive but when it goes out we go back to our way of eating people). A zombie's life is very dull.” 

So explains Billy Connolly, a legendary comic and striking dramatic actor, as he dissects his role of Fido. His native Scottish accent nearly overwhelming his words, Connolly's take on FIDO is as rare as he is. 

"I'm looked after by Timmy and I become more and more human as the days go by, although I remain a zombie (I do have to go and eat Mrs. Henderson at one point). It's a pretty movie, very 1950's Americana: Frilly underskirts, great cars, guys with those lovely rayon shirts. 

"But we're kind of like slaves. And because I'm like Timmy's dog, I'll do anything he wants; trundle along all day in the back. It's in this place that I start to find myself. 

"It's funny but the moment I arrived in Canada they cut my hair and shaved my beard off so I'm like a cue ball. And I've got no dialogue: I make growling noises and wear smoky contact lenses. I couldn't believe it when my agent said no dialogue. Why wouldn't they get someone else? Then I read the script—so lovely, idyllic but very dark. I remain as a zombie, I'm not a lap dog, so it lurches from idyllic to nightmarish and back again very quickly. It's a beautiful thing. 

"I found if I behave like a dog or a wolf, the eyes come into it much more. And I wear big teeth. Ever seen a dog when it's been eating an animal, a rabbit or something? It puts its head up and lifts its lip and licks its teeth? Well, I do that a lot. But it also makes a smacking noise and I do that quite often. It's a character made up of grunts, burps, farts. I found a wee noise way inside me like a whimper that I use, found him one night doing my crossword puzzles.

"Really, it's a metaphor for being weird, the weird guy among all the normal guys. My zombie doesn't like being a zombie. I can't just leave that to the words and avoid the character in this case. It's a mental business and I'm really glad to be doing this. 

"The hardest part was probably the 2 ½ hours of make-up each morning. When it comes off at night it's like chewing gum, latex and paint and glue. My cheekbones are bits of ravioli. I have three eye arrangements, including a very cloudy one like an eggshell for when I lose my temper and eat people. 

"Women in the village are going wild when they see me. Sometimes I forget until little girls pass me screaming. I've become one of the people mothers warn their children about. 

"I love that I stand out against the idyllic atmosphere here; I'm so ghastly against it! It's great and grotesque. I like being grotesque. I'm not a pretty boy, and that makes the bizarre characters much more interesting. It's best when we're juxtaposed against beauty. Kids are great that way, they don't care what shape or color you are. They might be curious but they have to be taught to think different people are freaks. 

"I've been lucky since MRS. BROWN: it's lovely to be a zombie, it's nice to work. I can also work as a comedian but I like to work as an actor. I don't get a mountain of scripts, but I get to take my pick.” 

Bio: Best known to U.S. audiences for his comedic work, Billy Connolly gave a moving performance as the loyal servant John Brown in the highly acclaimed "Mrs. Brown.” A stand-up comedian who has toured the world, Connolly's recent film credits include "Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events, "The Last Samurai” and "Timeline” and his previous film credits include Peter Kosminsky's "White Oleander,” Troy Duffy's "The Boondock Saints,” Stephen Metcalfe's "Beautiful Joe” and Barry Levinson's

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