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Phillip
Phillip
Phillip
Appeared in: Shaun of the Dead
Portrayed by: Bill Nighy
"He's not my dad, he's my step-dad."
Shaun, referring to Phillip

Phillip is a character in Shaun of the Dead and is the step-father of Shaun.

Background

Phillip is the stepfather of the main protagonist, Shaun. From the very beginning, it is obvious that they have a strained relationship. It is only later in the film that the two have something akin to a reconciliation.

Shaun’s real father died when he was young and Phillip married his mother, Barbara, when Shaun was 12 years old. As the movie begins, Phillip and Barbara have been happily married for 17 years. By his clothes and demeanor, it would appear that Phillip lives an upper-middle-class existence. His appearance is very neat, and his prized Jaguar indicates a successful life.

We are first introduced to Phillip when he pays Shaun a visit at Foree Electric. He is there to remind Shaun that it’s time for his bi-monthly visit. Shaun, of course, seems to resent the reminder. Phillip also suggests that he bring flowers this time, since he forgot to do so on Mother’s Day. Phillip then weakly smiles and tells Shaun that they look forward to seeing him. After pointing out to Shaun that "You’ve got red on you," Phillip leaves.

Z-Day

"I'm perfectly alright, Barbara. I ran it under a cold tap."
―Phillip, to Barbara

As the events of Z-Day unfold, we next hear about Phillip when Shaun talks to his mother on the phone. She tells Shaun that some men tried to break into the house (zombies), and one of them bit Phillip. This doesn’t seem to bother Shaun in the least, and he and Ed begin to casually plot the best way to kill Phillip before he can turn into a zombie.

Shaun and Ed eventually arrive at Phillip’s house. As Ed admires Phillip’s Jaguar, Shaun relates a story about Phillip once chasing him around the garden with a bit of wood after a much younger Shaun tampered with the car. Shaun then goes inside to dispose of his stepfather.

Shaun greets his mother and inquires about Phillip. She tells Shaun that he’s in the living room and then starts preparing some tea and sandwiches. Shaun takes his cricket bat and walks into to the living room. Phillip is there, sitting quietly with his eyes closed. His face is pale, and he looks to have been sweating. Shaun believes him to already be dead, so he raises the bat over his head and prepares to strike. At this point, Phillip speaks.

A moment later, Shaun’s mother enters the room. Shaun urges her to leave the house, but she says that she will not leave without Phillip. She mentions that she has called the doctor, and Phillip seems to object. He believes all the reports on television are nonsense, and the hysteria has been caused by a bunch of rampant drug addicts.

Philip zombie

At the mention of his bite, Phillip assures Barbara that he ran it under some cold water. He also mentions that they received their vaccinations when they visited the Isle of Wight.

Shaun continues to try to convince his mother to leave Phillip, even going so far as to accuse him of child molestation (which he quickly admits is a lie). Phillip enters the room. Shaun once again contemplates killing him, but can’t bring himself to do it.

The trio head outside and prepare to leave in the Jaguar (Ed wrecked their other car so that he could ride in the Jag). Several zombies ambush them, and Phillip is bitten in the neck. He is reluctant to give Shaun the car keys, but finally relents and tells Shaun to protect Barbara.

As they drive towards the apartment of Liz, Shaun’s girlfriend, Phillip complains about the loud music which is being played on the radio. Ed and Shaun ignore him. When Barbara mentions the loud music, Ed politely turns it down.

After stopping to rescue Liz and her roommates, everyone piles back into the car. Phillip is looking worse, sweating and bleeding profusely. He weakly nudges Shaun’s arm and apologises to him. Shaun dismisses him at first, but Phillip is persistent.

Phillip tells Shaun that he was hard on him because he didn’t want Shaun to give up after the death of his father. He always knew Shaun had potential, but he just lacked motivation. He thought Shaun needed someone to look up to and always hoped that it might be him. He tells a tearful Shaun that he loves him and then passes away.

Moments later, Phillip rises from the dead and attacks. The group escape from the Jaguar and locks Phillip inside. As Shaun tries to convince his mother that nothing is left of the man she married, a zombified Phillip reaches into the front seat and turns off the stereo (which was once again blaring). The group then flees on foot towards the Winchester, leaving Phillip locked inside the Jaguar.

He is never seen again. He may have been killed later on.