The weekend Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s comedic homage to the science fiction films of the ’70s and ’80s, Paul, opens in theaters. Last week, we had the opportunity to go on location to the legendary Area 51 in Nevada to speak with the co-writers/stars of the film Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as well as their new collaborating partner, director Greg Mottola (Superbad).

To give you a sense of the surreal, hilarious, and singular nature of the trip, picture yourself thusly: You are shepherded from an airport in Las Vegas into a waiting RV filled with fellow nerds and journalists. You pass the time with geek trivia and movie reminiscence, perhaps you find yourself in a brief moment of nerd rage when a trivia card (inaccurately) states that the correct response to this question (in the world of Battlestar Galactica) “What do you hear?” is not “Nothing but the rain.” It SO is!

You then descend upon the dusty town of Rachel NV, population 73. The expanse is starkly, strangely beautiful, the culture at the one restaurant/bar in town (which is aptly named The Little A’Le’Inn) is both foreign, welcoming, and imbued with a slight flavor of terror (for spice).

You recognize that you are on a bizarre, enlightening adventure, filled with experiences and encounters of a once-in-a-lifetime nature, and peppered with references to all of the most popular, beloved, and sometimes obscure science fiction films of that last half century. You are in fact, living in the movie Paul.

Paul, a celebration of one’s inner (and outer) nerd, and comedic foray into the world of the science-fiction/alien encounter films, is the brainchild of Frost and Pegg, who worked as co-writers for the first time on this film. This project also represents their first venture into production without Edgar Wright (who was shooting Scott Pilgrim vs The World at the time) and the birth of their collaboration with director Greg Mottola. Stay tuned for an interview with Mottola, coming later today.

Here’s our interview with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, where we learn about the inspiration for Paul, test their geek-cred and play a game of word association, genre-style.

Paul opens in theaters this Friday the 18th.

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