New Netflix comedy ‘Mascots’ was inspired by seeing League Two club’s Theo mascot in action
This Is Spinal Tap creator Christopher Guest has revealed how League Two club Leyton Orient inspired his new movie, Mascots.
Mascots stars Chris O’Dowd and Parker Posey, and shows various sporting club’s mascots competing at the fictitious World Mascots Championships. Guest’s first film for Netflix, it’s released by the streaming service on Thursday (October 13).
Speaking at a screening of the film at London’s Cineworld Haymarket as part of London Film Festival, Guest said: “My co-writer Jim Piddock and I went to a Leyton Orient game. Their mascot is a wyvern and all he did was wave his hands from side-to-side in the air.”
Orient’s mascot, named Theo after the club’s nickname The Os, is based on the lizard-like wyvern from the club’s badge. Guest added: “At half-time, the Orient mascot didn’t even re-appear. Jim and I had this idea that he was in the pub, with his wyvern head on the table next to him. Being a mascot intrigued me, because on the one hand you’re a performer, but you also have to stay hidden in the mascot costume.”
Guest reprises his role as oddball dance tutor Corky St Clair in Mascots, a character who first appeared in Guest’s 1997 film Waiting For Guffman. Although Guest regularly uses the same actors in his films, it’s the first time any of his characters have re-appeared. Asked if he’d been tempted to use other past characters in his films before, Guest replied with a simple “No.”
This Is Spinal Tap co-star Harry Shearer also features in Mascots as the competition announcer at the mascot championships. It also features Phone Shop actor Tom Bennett as a British non-league football mascot with comedian Kerry Godliman as his wife Sarah.
Asked about making the film for Netflix, Guest explained: “It’s known that my films’ dialogue is all improvised, so I can’t show anyone a script. But Netflix said they’d fund the film and they left us to get on with it. To that extent, it was ideal.”