Simon Pegg

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Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg Premiere of Kill Me Three Times (cropped).jpg
Pegg at the Los Angeles premiere of Kill Me Three Times in 2015
Born
Simon John Beckingham

(1970-02-14) 14 February 1970 (age 49)
Occupation
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)
Maureen McCann(m. 2005)
Children1

Simon John Pegg ( Beckingham; [1] [2] born 14 February 1970) [3] is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He came to public prominence in the UK as the co-creator of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced , directed by Edgar Wright. He went on to co-write and star in the Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013). He and Nick Frost wrote and starred in the sci-fi film Paul (2011).

Contents

Pegg is one of the few performers to have achieved what Radio Times calls "the Holy Grail of nerd-dom", playing popular supporting characters in Doctor Who (2005), Star Trek as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (2009–present), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). [4] He currently stars as Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible film series (2006–present), and the Chamberlain in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019).

Early life

Pegg was born and raised in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, [5] [6] the son of Gillian Rosemary (née Smith), a former civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician and keyboard salesman. [7] His parents divorced when he was seven and he took the surname of his stepfather (Pegg) after his mother remarried. [1] [2] Pegg attended Castle Hill Primary School, [8] Brockworth Comprehensive Secondary School, [8] and The King's School, Gloucester. [9]

Pegg moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire when he was 16 and studied English Literature and Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon College. [10] He graduated from the University of Bristol in 1991 with a BA in Theatre, Film, and Television, [3] titling his undergraduate thesis "A Marxist overview of popular 1970s cinema and hegemonic discourses". [2] While there, he performed as a member of a comedy troupe called David Icke and the Orphans of Jesus, alongside David Walliams, Dominik Diamond, and Jason Bradbury. [8]

Career

Pegg in New York City, July 2008 Simon Pegg 01.jpg
Pegg in New York City, July 2008

Pegg's early appearances in TV series and films include Asylum , Six Pairs of Pants, Faith in the Future , Big Train and Hippies . Between 1998 and 2004, Pegg was regularly featured on BBC Radio 4's The 99p Challenge . Pegg's other credits include appearances in the World War II mini-series Band of Brothers ; the television comedies Black Books , Brass Eye and I'm Alan Partridge ; and the films The Parole Officer , 24 Hour Party People , and Guest House Paradiso . He played various roles during the tour of Steve Coogan's 1998 live stage show The Man Who Thinks He's It. [8]

Pegg at a premiere for Star Trek in April 2009 SimonPeggApr09.jpg
Pegg at a premiere for Star Trek in April 2009

In 1999, he created and co-wrote the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced with Jessica Stevenson. The series was directed by Edgar Wright, with whom Pegg and Stevenson had previously worked on Asylum, and Pegg wrote the character of Mike Watt specifically for his friend Nick Frost. [8] For his performance in this series, Pegg was nominated for a British Comedy Award as Best Male Comedy Newcomer. [11] The experience of making a Spaced fantasy sequence featuring zombies led to Pegg and Wright co-writing the "romantic zombie comedy" film Shaun of the Dead , released in April 2004, in which Pegg also starred. [8] At George A. Romero's invitation, Pegg and Wright made cameo appearances in Romero's zombie film, Land of the Dead . [8] In 2004, Pegg starred in a spin-off of the television show Danger! 50,000 Volts! called Danger! 50,000 Zombies!, in which he played a zombie hunter named Dr. Fell.

He played mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog, in a series of Big Finish Productions audio plays based on the character from British comic 2000 AD . Pegg also appeared in Big Finish Productions' Doctor Who audio story Invaders From Mars as Don Chaney, and appeared in the Doctor Who television series, playing the Editor in the 2005 episode "The Long Game". [12] He also narrated the first series of the "making-of" documentary series Doctor Who Confidential . [13]

Upon completion of Shaun of the Dead, Pegg was questioned as to whether he would be abandoning the British film industry for Hollywood, and he replied, "It's not like we're going to go away and do, I don't know, Mission: Impossible III", picking the title of an imaginary blockbuster. When the film Mission: Impossible III was subsequently made, Pegg appeared in it as Benji Dunn, an IMF technician who assists Tom Cruise's character Ethan Hunt. [2] He reprised the role in three further Mission Impossible sequel films: Ghost Protocol (2011), Rogue Nation (2015), and Fallout (2018). [14]

In 2006, he played Gus in Big Nothing alongside David Schwimmer. [15] The same year, Pegg and Wright completed their second film, Hot Fuzz , released in February 2007. The film is a police-action movie homage and also stars Nick Frost, in which Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a London policeman transferred to rural Sandford, a fictional village where grisly events take place. [16] In 2007, Pegg starred in The Good Night (directed by Jake Paltrow) and Run Fatboy Run directed by David Schwimmer and co-starring Thandie Newton and Hank Azaria. In 2008, he wrote the dialogue for an English language re-release of the cult 2006 animated Norwegian film, Free Jimmy . Pegg received screenwriting credit for this, and also voiced one of the main characters in the English-language version, which has an international range of actors including Woody Harrelson.

Pegg co-wrote the script for a film called Paul , about two young men who encounter a comedic extraterrestrial alien during a road trip across the US. [17] [18] The completed script appeared on the 2008 "Brit List", a film-industry-compiled survey of the best unproduced British screenplays, inspired by the American Black List. [19] In those films and in Spaced, Pegg typically plays the leading hero while Frost plays the sidekick. However Paul reverses this dynamic. [20] The film was released in 2011.

“I’ve now done the ultimate nerd hat trick – Doctor Who, Star Wars and Star Trek.”

—Pegg speaking on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show , January 2018. [4]

Pegg played engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in Star Trek , the eleventh film in the Star Trek film series, [21] released 8 May 2009. He reprised the role in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond (2016), also co-writing the latter. [22] [23] In 2010 he appeared as William Burke in Burke and Hare , a film directed by John Landis about two Ulstermen who were notorious murderers and bodysnatchers in early 19th-century Edinburgh. His likeness was also used for the character of Wee Hughie in the comic book series The Boys ; while this was done without Pegg's permission, he quickly became a fan of the title, and even wrote the introduction to the first bound volume. [24] He voiced Reepicheep, the heroic mouse in Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader . [25]

Pegg and Wright completed the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (the first two films being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz ) with their 2013 film The World's End . [26] In July 2014, Pegg appeared on stage with Monty Python during their live show Monty Python Live (Mostly) held at the O2 Arena, London. He was the special guest in their "Blackmail" sketch. [27] In 2015 he appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Unkar Plutt, the Junkyard dealer on Jakku. [28]

Views and activism

Pegg is a supporter of the feminist campaign, HeForShe. [29]

In January 2020, Pegg signed an open letter calling for the wealthiest in society to pay more tax in order to help fight inequality. [30]

Personal life

Pegg is an atheist. [31] He married his long-time girlfriend Maureen McCann, a music industry publicist, on 23 July 2005 in Glasgow. [32] [33] Best friend Nick Frost was the best man at his wedding. [34] The couple have one child together, Matilda (born 2009). [35] [36]

Pegg is close friends with Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin: Pegg appears as a violin-playing Elvis impersonator in Coldplay's 2010 single "Christmas Lights". [37] Along with Jonny Buckland, Pegg is godfather to Apple, daughter of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. [38] In return, Martin is godfather to Pegg's daughter. [39] In a video interview with British GQ magazine in July 2018, Pegg stated that his daughter Matilda has sung backing vocals for Coldplay onstage at Glastonbury Festival. [40] Pegg is also godfather to Joe, the son of actor and friend Martin Freeman. [41] Pegg's parents and sister briefly appeared in Spaced , while his mother appeared in both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz .

In a July 2018 interview with The Guardian , Pegg opened up about his battle with depression and alcoholism, and how rehabilitation helped him recover from the latter. He stated: "When I watch [ Mission: Impossible III ], I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic [...] I'm not ashamed of what happened. And I think if anyone finds any relationship to it, then it might motivate them to get well. But I am not proud of it either — I don't think it's cool, like I was Mr. Rock ’n’ Roll, blackout and all that s---. It wasn't, it was just terrible." [42]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1999 Tube Tales ClerkSegment: "Steal Away"
Guest House Paradiso Mr. Nice
2001 The Parole Officer Deflated Husband
2002 24 Hour Party People Paul Morley
2004 Shaun of the Dead Shaun RileyAlso co-writer
2005 The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse Peter Cow
Land of the Dead Photo Booth Zombie
2006 Mission: Impossible III Benji Dunn
Big Nothing Gus
Free Jimmy Odd (voice)Writer of the English version
2007 Grindhouse CannibalSegment: "Don't"
The Good Night Paul
Hot Fuzz Sgt. Nicholas AngelAlso co-writer
Run Fatboy Run Dennis Doyle
Diary of the Dead Newsreader (voice)Cameo
2008 How to Lose Friends and Alienate People Sidney Young
2009 Star Trek Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Buck (voice)
2010 Burke and Hare William Burke
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [43] Reepicheep (voice)
2011 Paul Graeme WillyAlso co-writer [44]
Scrat's Continental Crack-up Buck (voice)Short film
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Thompson (voice)Motion capture
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Benji Dunn
The Death and Return of Superman John Landis Short film
2012 A Fantastic Fear of Everything JackAlso executive producer
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
The World's End Gary KingAlso co-writer and executive producer
2014 Cuban Fury Mondeo DriverUncredited cameo
Hector and the Search for Happiness Hector
Kill Me Three Times Charlie Wolfe
The Boxtrolls Hebert Trubshaw (voice)
2015 Man Up JackAlso executive producer
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Benji Dunn
Absolutely Anything Neil Clarke
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Unkar Plutt
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Buck (voice)
Star Trek Beyond Montgomery "Scotty" ScottAlso co-writer
2018 The Cloverfield Paradox Radio Voice (voice)
Ready Player One Ogden "Og" Morrow
Terminal Bill
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Benji Dunn
Slaughterhouse Rulez Meredith HousemanAlso executive producer
2019 Lost Transmissions Theo Ross
TBA Inheritance MorganPost-production

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1995Six Pairs of PantsVarious CharactersWriter; 3 episodes
1995–1998 Faith in the Future Jools15 episodes
1996 Asylum SimonWriter; 6 episodes
1997 I'm Alan Partridge Steve BennettEpisode: "Watership Alan"
We Know Where You LiveVarious Characters [45] 12 episodes
1998 Is It Bill Bailey? Various Characters6 episodes
Live from the LighthouseRobert JobsonTelevision film
1998–2002 Big Train Various CharactersAlso writer; 12 episodes
1999 Tube Tales ClerkSegment: "Steal Away"
Hippies Ray Purbbs6 episodes
1999–2001 Spaced Tim BisleyAlso co-writer; 14 episodes
2000 Randall & Hopkirk Justin PopeEpisode: "Paranoia"
2001 Brass Eye Gerard ChoteEpisode: "Paedophilia Special"
Band of Brothers First Sergeant William Evans2 episodes
Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible AngusEpisode: "Curse of the Blood of the Lizard of Doom"
2002 Look Around You Sleeping Queen's GuardEpisode: "Maths"
Linda Green JayEpisode: "Dark Side of the Moon"
2003Final DemandColin TaylorTelevision film
2004 Black Books EvanEpisode: "Manny Come Home"
I Am Not an Animal Kieron (voice)6 episodes
Sex & LiesRadio DJTelevision film
2005 Look Around You Handsome ManEpisode: "Health"
Doctor Who The Editor Episode: "The Long Game"
Doctor Who Confidential NarratorDocumentary series
Spider-Plant Man Frank MattersTelevision film
2009 Robot Chicken Various voices2 episodes
2012 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Dengar (voice)Episode: "Bounty"
Room on the Broom NarratorTelevision film
2012–2014 Phineas and Ferb Various voices4 episodes
2013 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Pitch Kickham (voice)Episode: "The McHugger Games/McFreaks"
Mob City Hecky Nash2 episodes
2019–present The Boys Hugh Campbell4 episodes
2019 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance The Chamberlain (skekSil) (voice)

Video games

YearTitleRole
2010 Fable III Ben Finn
2011 Spare Parts Con-Rad
2013 Star Trek Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
2016 Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin Dengar

Awards and nominations

YearNominated workAwardResult
1999 Big Train British Comedy Award for Best Male Comedy Award Nominated
2000 Spaced BAFTA TV Situation Comedy Award (shared with Edgar Wright, Nira Park and Jessica Hynes)Nominated
British Comedy Award for Best Male Comedy Newcomer [11] Nominated
2004 Shaun of the Dead Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay (shared with Edgar Wright)Won
British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay (shared with Edgar Wright)Won
Peter Sellers Award for Comedy Won
Empire Award for Best British Actor Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Screenwriter of the Year (shared with Edgar Wright)Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay (shared with Edgar Wright)Nominated
2007 Hot Fuzz Empire Award for Best Actor Nominated
2009 Star Trek Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best CastNominated
Critics' Choice Award for Best Acting EnsembleNominated
Scream Award for Best EnsembleNominated
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture (shared with Peter de Sève)Nominated
2014 The World's End Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Writing Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Actor Nominated
2016 Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated

Honours

Pegg was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Gloucestershire on 4 December 2008. [46]

Related Research Articles

<i>Spaced</i> British television sitcom

Spaced is a British television sitcom created, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and directed by Edgar Wright, about the misadventures of Daisy Steiner and Tim Bisley, two twenty-something Londoners who, despite only having just met, decide to move in together after she gives up on squatting and he is kicked out by his ex-girlfriend. Supporting roles include Nick Frost as Tim's best friend Mike, Katy Carmichael as Daisy's best friend Twist, Mark Heap as lodger Brian who lives downstairs and Julia Deakin as landlady Marsha.

Julia Deakin is an English actress. She is known for her roles in the sitcoms So Haunt Me (1992–94), Oh Doctor Beeching! (1996–97) and Spaced (1999–2001). Her film appearances include Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and High-Rise (2015).

Joe Cornish English comedian, television and radio presenter, director, writer and actor

Joseph Murray Cornish is an English comedian, television and radio presenter, film director, writer and actor, who together with his long-time comedy partner, Adam Buxton, forms the comedy duo Adam and Joe. In 2011, Cornish released his directorial debut Attack the Block. He has also co-written The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, with Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright, and Ant-Man, with Wright, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd.

<i>Black Books</i> British sitcom

Black Books is a British sitcom created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan, and written by Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Linehan and Arthur Mathews. It was broadcast on Channel 4, running for three series from 2000 to 2004. Starring Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig, the series is set in the eponymous London bookshop and follows the lives of its owner Bernard Black (Moran), his assistant Manny Bianco (Bailey) and their friend Fran Katzenjammer (Greig). The series was produced by Big Talk Productions, in association with Channel 4.

<i>Shaun of the Dead</i> 2004 zombie comedy film directed by Edgar Wright

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, who co-wrote it with Simon Pegg. The film stars Pegg and Nick Frost as mates Shaun and Ed, Londoners who are caught in an apocalyptic zombie uprising and attempt to take refuge in a local pub with their loved ones. The film co-stars Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Penelope Wilton. It is the first installment in Wright and Pegg's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, followed by Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).

Peter Serafinowicz British actor

Peter Szymon Serafinowicz is an English actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for his roles as the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Pete in Shaun of the Dead (2004), and Garthan Saal in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). He has also appeared in many British and American comedy series. He starred as the titular character in the 2016 live-action series of The Tick, and has been praised for his political satire parody videos in which he voices a camp version of Donald Trump.

Edgar Wright English film director, screenwriter and producer

Edgar Howard Wright is an English director, screenwriter and producer. Recognized as an auteur, he is famous for his fast-paced and kinetic, satirical genre films, which feature extensive reliance on music, tracking steady-cam shots, dolly zooms and a signature editing style that includes transitions, whip-pans and wipes.

Nick Frost British actor

Nicholas John Frost is a British actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and author. He has appeared in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy of films, consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), and the television comedy Spaced (1999–2001). He also appeared in Joe Cornish's film Attack the Block (2011). He co-starred in the 2011 film Paul, which he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator and best friend Simon Pegg. He also played various roles in the sketch show Man Stroke Woman.

Rafe Spall British actor

Rafe Joseph Spall is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy of films, portraying Noel in Shaun of the Dead (2004), Andy Cartwright in Hot Fuzz (2007), and briefly appearing as a homebuyer in The World's End (2013).

Nira Park is a British television and film producer.

<i>Hot Fuzz</i> 2007 comedy film directed by Edgar Wright

Hot Fuzz is a 2007 action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg and Frost play police officers attempting to solve a series of mysterious deaths in Sandford, a village in the West Country. Wright, Pegg, Frost and producer Nira Park had previously worked together on the television series Spaced and the 2004 film Shaun of the Dead.

<i>Is It Bill Bailey?</i> television series

Is It Bill Bailey? was a stand up / sketch comedy series written by and starring Bill Bailey. One series of six episodes was produced and aired on BBC Two in 1998, and it has never been recommissioned or released on DVD. It was to have been repeated for the first time since original transmission on Dave from 23 September 2008, but was dropped from the schedules a few days before broadcast.

<i>Hot Fuzz</i> (soundtrack) 2007 soundtrack album by Various Artists

Hot Fuzz: Music from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack album to the 2007 British crime-comedy film, Hot Fuzz. The album was released on February 19, 2007 in the United Kingdom, and on April 17, 2007 in the United States and Canada. The UK release contains 22 tracks, and the US/Canada release has 14.

Michael Smiley British actor

Michael Smiley is a Northern Irish comedian and actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the films Kill List (2011) and The Lobster (2015).

<i>Three Flavours Cornetto</i> trilogy 2004–2013 films directed by Edgar Wright

The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy is a series of British comedic genre films directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, produced by Nira Park, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. The trilogy consists of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013).

<i>Paul</i> (film) paul paul paul

Paul is a 2011 science fiction road comedy film directed by Greg Mottola from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Starring Pegg, Frost and the voice and motion capture of Seth Rogen, the film plot focuses on two science fiction geeks who meet an alien with a sarcastic manner and an appetite for alcohol and cigarettes. Together, they help the alien escape from the FBI agents who are pursuing him so that he can return to his home world. The film is a parody of other science-fiction films, especially those of Steven Spielberg, as well as to general science fiction fandom.

Hermione Isla Conyngham Corfield is an English actress. She has appeared in such movies as Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), Mr. Holmes (2015), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016), XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017), and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

<i>Slaughterhouse Rulez</i> 2018 film directed by Crispian Mills

Slaughterhouse Rulez is a 2018 horror comedy film directed by Crispian Mills. Written by Mills and Henry Fitzherbert, the film's cast features Asa Butterfield, Finn Cole, Hermione Corfield, Michael Sheen, with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. It was released on Halloween night in the United Kingdom. The film follows an illustrious British boarding school which turns a battleground of survival after a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site, causing unspeakable horror to be released into the world.

Stolen Picture is a British film production company founded by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in 2016, with Miles Ketley joining in July 2017.

References

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Preceded by
none
Narrator of Doctor Who Confidential
2005
Succeeded by
Mark Gatiss