For years now, the mockumentary exploits of pirate radio station Kurupt FM have been one of the funniest things on TV – and now, after five series on the BBC, the People Just Do Nothing crew are heading to Tokyo for their first feature film: People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan. Having discovered that a Japanese TV show is using one of Kurupt FM’s tracks, the crew heads out East – but will they break Japan, or will Japan break them? In the new issue of Empire, star and co-writer Asim Chaudhry writes an exclusive account of the shoot, heading into the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest-moving cities in the world.

People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan – exclusive

“The first thing we film is us walking through Tokyo,” he writes. “Literally, central Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing, all of that. It’s packed. There’s this thing in Japan where you can’t really get permission to shoot in those locations. You have to just do a bit of guerrilla filming. Just insane. It’s a beautifully bonkers place, Japan. Everyone does their own thing. We don’t look that weird – you’ll see a grown man in a princess outfit, or you’ll see a woman dressed as Sonic The Hedgehog, and no-one looks at them, at all. We are, like, the least bizarre thing there. Japan just welcomes all.”

From humble origins to a major summer movie, People Just Do Nothing has come a long way. “We started off on YouTube, just a few mates making a silly little comedy show,” writes Chaudhry. “And now we’re in Japan. Surreal!”

Empire – July 2021 covers – British New Wave issue

Read Empire’s full People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan story in The British New Wave issue, on sale Thursday 10 June and available to pre-order online here. The film comes to UK cinemas from 18 August.

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