As I
said earlier, in the new movie, Scotty joins the Starship Enterprise
long after we’ve seen the rest of the young crew have their Fast Times
At Starfleet High experiences, which makes him something of a cuckoo in
the nest initially. Fitting that Pegg should play him then, given that,
when it comes to Tinseltown, the ginger-bearded one is also something
of a cuckoo. Or maybe, after Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek and the
upcoming Tintin, he feels like a fully paid-up resident these days?

“Yes and no,” says Pegg. “I think there’s a lot of mythology that
surrounds that place. People assume it’s this weird toy town, with
music playing out of the shrubs. It’s not – it’s just a place where
movies get made, and when you’re on set, you’re working with the same
hard-working, realistic people that you usually would. The notion of
the Hollywood actor, flouncing off to their trailer, is very rare. I’ve
never really met anybody like that. I think the view of Hollywood, the
notion of Hollywood, far exceeds the reality of it. It’s just a place
where films get made. And it’s exciting. But I don’t feel like an
outsider there, because everyone’s an outsider there.”

Speaking to Pegg last year, I asked this wisecracking movie geek if,
now that he’s actually meeting and greeting many of Hollywood’s big
players, he’s still able to call a spade a spade. Or, to be more
precise, a new X-Files film a piece of crap. Back then, he claimed his
good friend Gillian Anderson – who leads the X-Files franchise,
alongside David Duchovny – had written a special little message on his
dressing room mirror during the making of last year’s not-very-good How
To Lose Friends And Alienate People. In bright red lipstick, Anderson
had written, ‘Why aren’t you coming to my movie, you scumbag?’, Pegg
having been unable to attend the premiere of The X-Files: I Want To
Believe. So, has he seen it since? And what did he honestly think of
this much-maligned film?

“I have, actually. I saw it on a plane, and I’m glad they made it,
because it’s like a good episode. It’s difficult for a show like that,
because the mythology kind of came to an end with The X-Files. But I
enjoyed the film – I thought it was great, but it was like a really
great extended episode of the series, which I don’t think is unfair to
say. I’d follow her to the end of the universe; I think she’s great.”

Very diplomatic. What would Tim Bisley say. Amongst the many projects
Pegg has lined up for the next two years, the one fans of Spaced, Shaun
Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz will be most excited about is The World’s End,
which will reunite Pegg with his buddies, actor Nick Frost and
writer/director Edgar Wright. Talking to Frost two weeks ago, he had no
idea what the movie was about…

“That’s because he doesn’t know,” laughs Pegg.

Having satired the zombie genre with Shaun, and the cop thriller with
Hot Fuzz, I’m guessing that a title like The World’s End must be taking
the Mick out of… romantic comedies? Period dramas?

“Yeah, it’s about zombie cops.”

Whatever this curiously-titled movie might be about, there’s little
doubt that expectations will be high. Pegg hasn’t had much success
without Frost and Wright, giving us such so-so movies as How To
Lose…, Run, Fatboy, Run and Big Nothing.

“Ultimately, it’s where I’m happiest, and for me, it’s just about being
happy at work, and working with the people I like. That part of it, you
would hope, would be comparable to what we’ve done before, but
ultimately, it’s about the process. It’s about going to work, writing
the thing, working with those people.

All people who don’t work in the film industry see is the product –
that’s all they ever see. And I think it loses focus about what it’s
about, and also, the product of the product, which is celebrity, and
all that bull. What it’s really about is going to work and making
films; that’s so much fun. And that’s where I’m happiest, working with
those guys.

“Having said that, J.J., I feel, is a kindred spirit, and he’s like
someone who I found in a completely different country who has exactly
the same enthusiasm and drive, and love for what he does, as Edgar and
Nick and me.”


Interview by Paul Byrne


Star Trek lands in Irish cinemas May 8th

Catch our video interviews with all the cast from next week!