‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley Cover ‘Out’ 

The zany, pill-popping, champagne-gulping, fashion-forward duo is back!

Although Absolutely Fabulous may not claim viewership records, the program’s five seasons, created over the span of 20 years, have left an indelible mark on pop culture. The comedy follows PR maven Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and fashion editor Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) as they stumble through the upper echelons of the fashion world and beyond. Now, they’ve got a film on the way in hopes of giving their cult following a bit more Ab Fab.

“I am the Olympic gold-medalist of procrastination,” Saunders told Out magazine when asked about why it took so long to get a film made. “People act as if there’s something wrong with that. There isn’t. You’re just holding off from making a big mistake.”

“There’s a point where you go, ‘Fuck it, let’s just do it,’” she said. “I suppose we just kind of miss them. For me and Joanna, they are alter egos in a way, and everyone keeps wanting a bit more. So I’ve tried to keep them going as they would keep going, rather than just go back to where they were. Even Joanna and I get tired of drinking and smoking.” She paused, then added, “Of course, they still do that.”

In the forthcoming film, the hard-partying friends accidentally push supermodel Kate Moss into the River Thames, forcing them to go into hiding on the French Riviera. A cavalcade of drinking, dining, and satire poking fun at our culture’s self-obsessed materialism quickly follows. But, the creators of Ab Fab admit times have changed in the world of comedy and writing jokes has never been more treacherous.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley Pose for 'Out'
CREDIT: Tim Walker/Out Magazine

“Now people are up in arms if you say the wrong thing by mistake even if you are trying to be on their side,” Saunders lamented. “Suddenly everyone has become an army of haters. Is it the power of Twitter? Let’s loosen up, otherwise it’s all going to be so black-and-white. The truth is that people shouldn’t be offended by Patsy and Edina, because they represent people who are offensive. These aren’t role models — they are not saying what I think. They’re just who they are — great big mouths. They are natural offenders. That’s their job.”

But that’s not going to stop Saunders and Lumley from continuing on the devoutly un-P.C. viewpoint that gave Absolutely Fabulous such a rabid following. However, this time around, they do want to give their nightmarish alter egos some brief clarity during their French gallivanting.

“It’s all about being loved, being high-profile, everyone respecting her again because she’s top of her game, and it all goes hideously wrong,” said Saunders of Lumley’s Edina. “It’s the first time, I think ever, that she and Patsy admit to knowing what she really is, which is this machine of consumerism, and she goes, ‘All I’ve wanted is to keep the body going and now here I am just fat and old and hated.’ It’s my favorite moment.”

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie arrives July 22, 2016.