Chris Barrie – hostility?

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    I’ve read somewhere that Grant Naylor stopped writing bunkroom scenes because Chris Barrie and Craig Charles really, really didn’t get on. Is this true? And presumably any hostility’s dissipated now?

    And I read somewhere else that around the time of Series VI Chris said something along the lines of nothing could drag him back to Red Dwarf – what changed?



    Tarka Dal

    Well the end of Brittas and the lack of other acting jobs possibly ;-)

    As for hostility being behind the end of the bunkroom scenes. That sounds like twaddle. Actors are peformers AND employees. It’d be pathetic if either of them was so unprofessional that even if they did hate each other they refused to do any solo scenes with them.

    The bunkroom stuff simply evolved when the show went from Series 2 to Series 3. The dialogue simply moved to other parts of the ship. Anyhow series 3 features an episode which is virtually all ‘bunkroom’ except it’s set on Starbug.


    Turk Thrust

    Hostility is the reason given by Doug on the DVDs but whether it`s true or not…

    The fact that Brittas ended and Chris felt it went on for too long probably was a contributing factor to him returning to Dwarf.



    Yeah, Doug does say doing bunkroom scenes partly because Chris Barrie and Craig Charles didn’t get along. And Chris Barrie on the DVD says something on the lines of he didn’t want to do another Red Dwarf after 6 because he thought the shoot was disorganised and harder than it needed to have been. On the Series VII DVD, Craig says Chris and him were friends when Chris left the show.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    They didn’t get on in the early days, but they became friends later. The bunkroom scenes stopped during this time. I don’t think the two things are massively related.


    Plastic Percy

    I think on a documentary or interview Craig said that he really didn’t like Chris to begin with and apparently the feeling was mutual. However, by the time it came to Series VII they had grown up, moved on and were on friendlier terms.
    But they also admitted that not being ‘bestest ever pals’ probably helped develop the mutual dislike between Lister and Rimmer.



    They didn’t seem to mind shooting “Blue” so I don’t see how bunkroom banter would’ve been a problem to shoot.



    It seems to me that things were a bit prickly between all of them at some stage in the early series’. They genuinely got stressed out about who was getting the ‘woofers’, who was just doing feed lines etc. it was like a competition. And Craig and Chris obviously got on each other’s nerves somewhat. Craig definitely enjoyed winding Chris up, as shown in Dimension Jump when he was taking the piss when they were getting wet, though this suited the characters so well.

    Btw why is the thread titled ‘Chris Barrie – hostility?’ That doesn’t sound good.


    Mr Flibble

    Yeah, I think the point was that they stopped doing the bunk scenes because they were hard to rehearse because they didn’t get along. Not that they wouldn’t do them, or didn’t want to, just that it made life harder.

    Plus Kryten’s arrival and a change in the pace of the show made them less useful.



    >Actors are peformers AND employees. It?d be pathetic if either of them was so unprofessional that even if they did hate each other they refused to do any solo scenes with them

    It’s also difficult to believe either of them would act like a prima donna twat in front of a studio audience. I think it’s more likely it was a slow process in which Rob & Doug realised that the two actors in question got on better when working as a foursome or in other pairs. The one-up-man-ship that we know went on playfully may have gathered a slightly nastier streak over time and competition between four people is easier to handle.

    Over time the bunkroom scenes gave way to the cockpit scenes. Maybe they are bunkroom scenes with two referees?



    They had to ditch the bunkroom scenes if they wanted more action going on (not that there couldn’t be action in the bunkroom, but…). Whatever the situation with Craig and Chris you can just tell the change was the natural progression of the show. With Kryten joining and Cat becoming more involved, scenes could be more evenly spread out.



    Series VIII had bunk room scenes. Series VI and VII had cock-pit scenes which are the same basic principle just with a bit more action going on.


    Tarka Dal

    I think we’ve experienced this part of the conversation before sir.


    Plastic Percy

    So this ‘hostility’… what is it?



    And that one.



    I’ve followed this one with interest- in all the interviews and commentaries there are never explicit examples of the animosity, although my guess is that Craig is a wind-up merchant and Chris is altogether more straight-laiced and serious. I’m guessing at the beginning this put them on the wrong foot with each other personally (Craig has admitted to being hungover through most of the first three series), but Rob and Doug used that to develop the characters (I think you see a lot of the actors in the characters).

    As for particular examples of hostility, the only two I can recall are just Craig getting up Chris’s flared nostrils- the soaking and jibes during Dimension Jump, and sending Chris’s horse into flight during Gunmen. I wonder if this was the incident that put Chris off coming back for Series VII?



    You know those series 1 rehearsal photos that showed up online recently? I seem to remember there was a hilarious one amongst them of Craig looking daggers at Chris.



    What I’ve picked up over the years (via interviews, commentaries et al) is that some animosity started brewing around series II… I don’t know if it was ever established exactly when it eased, but certainly before VII. Doug implied the bunkroom scenes became unbearable to rehearse due to the bickering and so they stopped writing so many Lister/Rimmer double-handers (bet Marooned was fun to make!)

    I always notice in an outtake (series III-IV era) where Chris makes a remark about Craig flubbing a line, to which Craig retorts “he’s one to talk, ya know what I mean?” where it seems fairly clear due to the body language (the two don’t even look each other in the eyes) that, were the studio audience not there, it wouldn’t have been quite so amicably resolved.



    I just looked it up, it’s from Marooned. Maybe just reading too much into it.



    I think this has all been exagerated – Craig Charles admits on ‘Comedy Connections’ that he hated Chris Barrie at the beginning but Robert Llewellyn makes no mention of any hostility in his book – quite the opposite! Their body language in the smeg-ups definately improves as the series goes on – Craig hugs Chris in one smeg-up from season 1!!!

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