Who is Simon Pegg? Is he the guy we see him portray in The Three Flavours of Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End)? Is he a former aspiring standup comedian? Is he someone who once aspired to join The Royal Shakespearian Company?
To be frank, it’s hard to quantify Simon Pegg. While he grew up in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, the son of a former civil servant and a jazz musician, he’s seemingly always been moving to his next conquest, never settling for the status quo. At 16 years old, he went to Stratford Upon Avon College to study English Literature and Theatre. He graduated from the University of Bristol in 1991 with a BA in Theatre, Film, and Television. Pegg’s undergraduate thesis was entitled A Marxist overview of popular 1970s cinema and hegemonic discourses. Who is this guy? What undergraduate would take on such a heavy topic? Simon Pegg would.
While in college, he performed with a Comedy troupe called David Icke and the Orphans of Jesus. When he graduated, he went into standup comedy, but in the back of his mind, he had thoughts about working at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Between 1998-2004 he had appearances on a myriad of British Television programs, but the one that would have the most impact on his career was Spaced which he co-wrote with Jessica Stevenson. Edgar Wright directed the series, and Pegg wrote the role of Mike Watt in the series for his friend Nick Frost. The show became a smash hit and ultimately led to Frost and Pegg writing Shaun of the Dead, which most would agree was Pegg’s big break.
Most would have parlayed the commercial success of that film into a career focused on film. Still, Pegg continued writing, acting, and even began tackling the world of audio narratives when he worked on the Dr. Who series Invaders from Mars. He voiced such characters as Buck in the Ice Age trilogy, Chamberlain in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and Reepicheep in Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Pegg even played a small role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but to this day, he still gets asked about his role as Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek reboot. Will he reprise that role for the 4th time?
Pegg discusses that in our interview where he’s promoting Luck, an Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation animated story of a girl named Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest girl in the world, who finds herself in the ‘Land of Luck,’ where she must unite with the magical creatures there, including Pegg’s sly black cat Bob, to turn her luck around. Our discussion was wide-ranging, from his approach to voicing the character of Bob to whether or not he still owns Darth Vader’s pants. We hit on many topics almost out of necessity because there’s so much to cover when someone is as fascinating as Pegg.
Luck is coming to AppleTV+ on August 5 and co-stars Eva Nobelzada with Academy Award winners Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg.