The British and American versions of the English language can often spell confusion. There’s biscuits and cookies. Pavements and sidewalks. Crisps and chips. Then there’s Bill Nighy and Bill Nye.
We asked the British Bill (Nighy) about it recently, while discussing his upcoming movie “Their Finest.”
And it turns out the actor has quite the history with his similarly named counterpart.
Nighy said he went to his daughter’s school one day to pick her up “and all her friends at the school rushed up. They were really disappointed. They were like, ‘It’s not, Bill Nye the Science Guy.’”
But has Nighy ever actually met Nye?
The answer is that they have been introduced, one night at Fiorello’s on the Upper West Side.
Nighy was a regular in the restaurant back in 2015, he says, while performing “Skylight” on Broadway.
“I went in one night and [the staff] said, ‘Hey Mr. Nighy, the other Bill Nye is in the back of the restaurant.’ I said, ‘Oh, my God.’”
The pair met and had pictures taken. So, were they friends or foes? “There was no conflict. We were respectful of one another,” Nighy says.
“I was slightly sniffy because my name is rarer, but he doesn’t know that,” he added. “He was very gracious and we had a laugh, and he’d had this conversation with people same as I had, so it was quite funny to finally be united.”