(Photo by Netflix)
Ever the kind-hearted critics, The Great British Baking Show’s Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith couldn’t help themselves from laughing good-naturedly at how this American interviewer, pronounced the word “tomatoes” when sharing the outlet’s name.
But the two celebrity bakers should be used to language issues when promoting their show across the pond: for one, Hollywood and Leith refer to their long-running, cult-favorite, wholesome and cheeky reality competition series by its original title, The Great British Bake Off, instead of the U.S. Baking Show title. (As to which they prefer, Hollywood said, “I like Bake Off).
But we were meeting to talk about Leith and Hollywood’s favorite foodie films, not diction. As it turns out, the two feared judges are just as fastidious about the depictions of bakers and chefs on screen as they are about the caramelization on a pineapple upside down cake.
“Anybody who knows a trade is upset when actors are not portraying the actions right,” Leith said. “If you can play tennis and you see some actor trying to hold a racket and they’ve obviously never been on the tennis court and they never swung the racket, it’s irritating.”
Hollywood says he often skips the food film genre all together.
“I always equate watching movies to relaxing, but if I’m watching a movie about baking, then I’ll just been going, Now this is a nightmare,” he said, “because I’ll be picking at all the little nuances and going, Don’t do that. I’d rather watch a movie away from what I am.”
Which is why this Leith and Hollywood’s list of scrumptious foodie films should be taken with the highest regard.
“I was a fan of Julia Child’s. She rang me up once and I thought it was one of my friends making a joke. I couldn’t believe it,” Leith said. “She rang me up from the south of France, where she was living, and said nice things about something I’d done. We chatted for about half an hour, and she ended up asking me if I’d like to come and see that see them in the south of France. I never could go because of time commitments and stuff, and she died soon after, so I never met her.”
Both Leith and Hollywood also have strong opinions of the world of celebrity chefs.
“I think ultimately, what what does ‘celebrity’ mean?,” Hollywood said. “Bake Off put me into a situation where I was good at what I did professionally … then you get known for it … A celebrity baker? Nah. I’m just the baker who just happens to be known.”
Leith added: “To be honest, most of the so-called celebrity chefs I know would rather cook than sign autographs or have selfies taken.”
“The sad side of celebrity cheffing is that there are young people who want to be in the kitchen because they want to be famous or they want to be rich or they want to be popular like Jamie Oliver or something,” she said. “And so they’re entering the trade for the wrong reasons.”
“It’s very accurate. It’s good about what kitchens can be like,” Hollywood said, while also laughing that that’s as long as you don’t take the whole rat-in-the-kitchen thing too seriously.
“It’s all about a family on an island in Scandinavia. It’s just all about food,” Leith said.
“I would even say The Godfather III , because of when [Osvaldo Altobello] eats the [poisoned] cannoli because the cannoli is everything,” Hollywood said, but Hollywood doesn’t like the look of the cannoli in that famous death scene: “It wasn’t big enough, and it wasn’t full enough, either.”
The feature is called “Five Favorite Films,” but The Great British Baking Show duo wriggled from our grasp before they chose a fifth film, so here’s a selection of Certified Fresh titles to choose from to sate your foodie film appetite:
The Great British Baking Show collection 9 (season 12) new episodes release weekly on Netflix.