Talking Movies: Exclusive Chats with Steve Coogan, Simon Pegg

Steve Coogan is on a bit of a roll – he can be seen in cinemas right nowin Tropic Thunder, albeit in a small role opposite Ben Stiller, RobertDowney Jr., and Jack Black. Coogan is playing a somewhat manic moviedirector in this Hollywood spoof about the making of war film. But his leadingrole in Hamlet 2 has given him a bigger moment in the sun. It’s not quite what you’d expect – it’s a comedy abouta drama teacher in Tucson who decides to stage a sequel toShakespeare’s classic tragedy. Coogan is excellent in the role. When Isat down with him a few days ago, he displayed none of the bad boyattitude suggested by some tabloid accounts. He spoke quite candidlyabout his work, what it feels like to be a celebrity, and how he thinksHamlet 2 could be seen as a worthwhile satire of American priggishness.

My interview with Steve Coogan.

One of the most eagerly awaited forthcoming Brit films is How to LoseFriends & Alienate People, out here in the U.S. in early October. Itpromises to be a high profile showcase for Simon Pegg. He’s playing thelead in a big screen adaptation of British journalist Toby Young‘sbestseller, which chronicled his exploits in New York in the 1990′s -including his stint at Vanity Fair magazine. I’ve no idea if the film isany good – I’ve only seen the trailer. For Pegg, it’s probably the mostglossy production he’s starred in to date. Let’s hope this picturedoesn’t mar the sharp wit of Young’s memoir. Pegg has always been apersonal favorite. When I met him he was clearly trying to sell hisfilm – but there was nothing crass about his efforts. He’s a totallyunpretentious actor and also someone who’s quite insightful about thefilm industry.

My interview with Simon Pegg.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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