10 Reasons We'll Always Geek Out Over Simon Pegg
(Photo: Getty Images)
Simon Pegg reunites with his frequent collaborator Nick Frost in Truth Seekers, a new comedy horror series premiering today (October 30) on Amazon Prime. To whet your appetite, here's a celebration of some of the actor-writer-comedian's finest moments both on and off screen.
1. He co-created and starred in the cult British sitcom Spaced.
The quirky roommate comedy, which packed in loads of clever pop culture references to sci-fi, horror movies, comic books, and video games, ran for 14 episodes between 1999 and 2001. "We were of the mindset that we wanted the show to make one person's head explode rather than lots of people go, 'Oh that's quite good,'" Pegg told Vice in 2016. "We just wanted the one person to be like, 'Holy f**k, this is the best thing I've ever seen, and it speaks to me on such a personal level.' That was more important to us – to be niche and precise, rather than bland and mainstream."
2. He also co-created and starred in the so-called "Three Flavours Cornetto" film trilogy.
Directed by Edgar Wright, and co-starring Frost, the brilliant genre-spoofing trilogy consists of horror comedy Shaun of the Dead (2004), action comedy Hot Fuzz (2007), and sci-fi comedy The World's End (2013).
Earlier this year, Pegg and Frost revived their Shaun of the Dead characters for a cute PSA to keep fans amused during the Covid-19 pandemic.
3. He's a longtime champion of so-called "geek culture."
When it was reported in 2015 that Pegg had criticized sci-fi movies for "dumbing down" cinema, Pegg shared a heartfelt blog post on his website clarifying his thoughts on the matter. The ‘dumbing down’ comment came off as a huge generalization by an A-grade asshorn," he wrote. "I did not mean that science fiction or fantasy are dumb, far from it. How could I say that? In the words of Han Solo, 'Hey, it’s me!'"
4. Earlier this year, he signed an open letter calling for the world's super-rich to pay more tax.
"When big businesses and the super-rich don’t pay their fair share of tax, everyone else pays the price," he wrote in an op-ed for The Times of London. "As Oxfam argued this week, a world in which 22 men own more wealth than all the 325 million women in Africa is unsustainable, not to mention obscene. Those of us who are in a privileged position should contribute more, not less."
5. Back in 2005, he took on a delightfully villainous role in Doctor Who.
Pegg starred as The Editor, a megalomaniac alien who uses the press to control the human race, in the Russell T Davies-penned episode "The Long Game."
A few years later, he ruled himself out of playing the Doctor, telling Metro: "I really love Doctor Who and would hate to sit down on Saturday night and have it be me! David Tennant has done an incredible job, he’ll be a tough act to follow. I would feel awful if I messed up the franchise by just being rubbish.”
6. He's completed the so-called "Nerd Trifecta" by appearing in Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek.
As Pegg pointed out during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, he kind of deserves bonus points for co-writing (as well as starring in) the 2016 movie Star Trek Beyond.
7. He's spoken openly about suffering from depression, and how it led him toward alcohol addiction.
“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," he told The Guardian in 2018. "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**t. It wasn’t, it was just terrible.”
8. He's called for greater diversity in film and TV.
“Anyone that’s complaining about it should just shut the f**k up because it’s time,” he told The Guardian earlier this year. “The film industry would be such a healthier, more interesting place if there were more voices, different stories, different experiences. It’s so dominated by one particular voice and color of face, it just perpetuates a bland mono-voiced cultural landscape."
9. He's close friends with Coldplay's Chris Martin – and godfather to the singer's daughter Apple.
You can glimpse Pegg playing Elvis in the video for Coldplay's festive single "Christmas Lights."
10. He's also a vocal feminist.
In 2015, Pegg wrote a column for Glamour singing the praises of funny women. "Weak men are intimidated by funny women, because wit is an indication of intelligence and intelligence is a threat to elitism," Pegg said. "You often hear misogynists bemoaning 'female comedy,' because it deals with specifically female issues that they can't relate to. That makes sense because misogynists suffer from a severe lack of empathy."
Well said, Mr. Pegg!
Do you have a favorite Simon Pegg role or moment?