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Simon John Pegg ( Beckingham;[1][2] born 14 February 1970)[3] is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.

Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg Premiere of Kill Me Three Times (cropped).jpg
Pegg in March 2015
BornSimon John Beckingham
(1970-02-14) 14 February 1970 (age 48)
Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
ResidenceCrouch End, London, England, United Kingdom
OccupationActor, comedian, screenwriter, producer
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)
Maureen McCann (m. 2005)
Children1

Pegg came to public prominence in Britain as the co-creator of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, directed by Edgar Wright. Pegg 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). Pegg portrays Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible film series (2006–present) and played Montgomery Scott in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016), co-writing the latter.

Contents

Early life

Pegg was born and raised in Brockworth, Gloucestershire,[4][5] the son of Gillian Rosemary (née Smith), a former civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician and keyboard salesman.[6] 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,[7] Brockworth Comprehensive Secondary School,[7] and The King's School, Gloucester.[8]

Pegg moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire when he was 16 and studied English Literature and Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon College.[9] 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.[7]

Career

 
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.[7]

 
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.[7] For his performance in this series, Pegg was nominated for a British Comedy Award as Best Male Comedy Newcomer.[10] 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.[7] At George A. Romero's invitation, Pegg and Wright made cameo appearances in Romero's zombie film, Land of the Dead.[7] 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".[11] He also narrated the first series of the "making-of" documentary series Doctor Who Confidential.[12]

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 the sequel films Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011),[13] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).

In 2006, he played Gus in Big Nothing alongside David Schwimmer.[14] 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.[15] 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 Pegg 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.[16][17] 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.[18] In those films and in Spaced, Pegg typically plays the leading hero while Frost plays the sidekick. However Paul reverses this dynamic.[19] The film was later produced, and was released in 2011.

Pegg played engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in Star Trek, the eleventh film in the Star Trek film series,[20] 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.[21][22] 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.[23] He voiced Reepicheep, the heroic mouse in Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.[24]

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.[25]

Charity work

Pegg is a supporter of the feminist campaign, HeForShe.[26]

Personal life

Pegg is an atheist.[27] He married his long-time girlfriend Maureen McCann, a music industry publicist, on 23 July 2005 in Glasgow.[28][29] Best friend Nick Frost was the best man at his wedding.[30] The couple have one child together, Matilda (born 2009).[31][32][33]

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".[34] Along with Jonny Buckland, Pegg is godfather to Apple, daughter of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow.[31][35] In return, Martin is godfather to Pegg's daughter.[36] Pegg is also godfather to Joe, the son of actor and friend Martin Freeman.[37] 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."[38]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Tube Tales Clerk Segment: "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 Riley 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 Cannibal Segment: "Don't"
The Good Night Paul
Hot Fuzz Sgt. Nicholas Angel Co-writer
Run Fatboy Run Dennis Doyle Co-writer
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[39] Reepicheep Voice
2011 Paul Graeme Willy Co-writer[40]
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 Jack Executive producer
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
The World's End Gary King Co-writer, executive producer
2014 Cuban Fury Mondeo Driver Uncredited cameo
Hector and the Search for Happiness Hector
Kill Me Three Times Charlie Wolfe
The Boxtrolls Hebert Trubshaw Voice
2015 Man Up Jack 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" Scott 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 Houseman Post-production; executive producer
2019 Lost Transmissions Theo Ross Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Six Pairs of Pants Various Characters Writer
3 episodes
1995–1998 Faith in the Future Jools 15 episodes
1996 Asylum Simon Writer
6 episodes
1997 I'm Alan Partridge Steve Bennett Episode: "Watership Alan"
We Know Where You Live Various Characters[41] 12 episodes
1998 Is It Bill Bailey? Various Characters 6 episodes
Live from the Lighthouse Robert Jobson Television film
1998–2002 Big Train Various Characters Writer
12 episodes
1999 Tube Tales Clerk Segment: "Steal Away"
Hippies Ray Purbbs 6 episodes
1999–2001 Spaced Tim Bisley Co-writer
14 episodes
2000 Randall & Hopkirk Justin Pope Episode: "Paranoia"
2001 Brass Eye Gerard Chote Episode: "Paedophilia Special"
Band of Brothers First Sergeant William Evans 2 episodes
Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible Angus Episode: "Curse of the Blood of the Lizard of Doom"
2002 Look Around You Sleeping Queen's Guard Episode: "Maths"
Linda Green Jay Episode: "Dark Side of the Moon"
2003 Final Demand Colin Taylor Television film
2004 Black Books Evan Episode: "Manny Come Home"
I Am Not an Animal Kieron Voice
6 episodes
Sex & Lies Radio DJ Television film
2005 Look Around You Handsome Man Episode: "Health"
Doctor Who The Editor Episode: "The Long Game"
Doctor Who Confidential Narrator Documentary series
Spider-Plant Man Frank Matters Television film
2009 Robot Chicken Various Characters Voice
2 episodes
2012 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Dengar Voice
Episode: "Bounty"
Room on the Broom Narrator Television film
2012–2014 Phineas and Ferb Various Characters Voice
4 episodes
2013 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Pitch Kickham Voice
Episode: "The McHugger Games/McFreaks"
Mob City Hecky Nash 2 episodes
2019 The Boys[42] Hughie's father

Video games

Year Title Role
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

Honours

Pegg was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Gloucestershire on 4 December 2008.[43]

References

  1. ^ a b "10 Questions for Simon Pegg". Time. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Cadwallader, Carole (4 February 2007). "A fair cop". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b Norman, Neil (4 February 2007). "Simon Pegg: A geek made good". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  4. ^ Day, Elizabeth (17 September 2013). "Simon Pegg: 'My daughter was a blank slate. This little life had never eaten an E-number'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2015. As a child growing up in the Gloucestershire village of Brockworth....
  5. ^ Simon Pegg at FamilySearch.org.
  6. ^ Barratt, Nick (2 June 2007). "Family detective". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Pegg, Simon (2010). Nerd Do Well. London, UK: Random House. ISBN 978-1-8460-5811-0.
  8. ^ "Significant former pupils". The King's School, Gloucester. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Simon Pegg profile". Stratford-upon-Avon College: About the College" Alumni. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Entertainment | Royle flush in comedy shortlist". BBC News. 17 November 1999. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Simon Pegg plays The Editor (Press release)". BBC. 4 May 2005. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Do you think Doctor Who Confidential should have been cancelled?". Radio Times. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Simon Pegg Returns for Mission: Impossible 4". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
  14. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (1 December 2006). "Big Nothing". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  15. ^ Chilton, Martin (19 September 2014). "Hot Fuzz, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Pegg set for road trip flick". Metro. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  17. ^ Setchfield, Nick (1 April 2009). "Simon Pegg Exclusive". SFX. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  18. ^ Thomas, Archie (3 October 2008). "Brit List brings scripts to light". Variety. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  19. ^ "Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Do America". JustPressPlay.net. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (12 October 2007). "Simon Pegg to play Scotty in 'Star Trek'". Variety. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
  21. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (9 May 2013). "Star Trek Into Darkness – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  22. ^ Upadhyaya, Ruchinka (21 July 2016). "Simon Pegg teases the 'idea of the Federation', calls Star Trek Beyond a 'social commentary'". International Business Times. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  23. ^ Ennis, Garth (2007). The Boys Volume One: The Name of the Game (Introduction). The Boys. Dynamite Entertainment.
  24. ^ "Simon Pegg Replaces Bill Nighy as the Voice of Reepicheep".
  25. ^ "Interview with Simon Pegg". BBC. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008.
  26. ^ Emma Powell (24 September 2014). "Russell Crowe and Douglas Booth among male celebs tweeting support for". London Evening Standard.
  27. ^ Simon Pegg [@simonpegg] (18 November 2010). "As an atheist, I'd skip the prayer and go straight to the colonel, who is arguably the god of affordable, bucket housed fried chicken bits" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 February 2017 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Harvey, Chris (27 September 2008). "Simon Pegg: hyperspaced". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  29. ^ "Star Trek star Simon Pegg on his new role as Scotland's most famous spaceman". Us Weekly. 8 May 2009.
  30. ^ "Simon Pegg and Nick Frost: Losers in love". Us Weekly. 5 February 2011.
  31. ^ a b "It's Shaun of the dad: Simon Pegg reveals baby secret". Daily Mail. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  32. ^ Apodaca, Joseph (22 August 2013). "Simon Pegg talks 'World's End,' quitting drinking for daughter". On The Red Carpet.
  33. ^ Campos, Nicole (15 June 2011). "Simon Pegg's New Autobiography: Well Done, Nerd!". LA Weekly. p. 2. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  34. ^ "12 Great Coldplay Songs You Probably Don't Know". Rolling Stone. 18 December 2017.
  35. ^ "Chris Martin – Martin + Paltrow Name Pegg As Godfather". Contactmusic.com. 9 September 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  36. ^ "Simon Pegg Q&A: "If I don't get recognised, I say I'm in Coldplay"". Coldplay.com. 29 October 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  37. ^ "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Q&A". blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  38. ^ "Simon Pegg on Battling Alcoholism, Depression: "It Owned Me"". www.msn.com. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  39. ^ "Voice of Reepicheep Recast Once Again as Simon Pegg".
  40. ^ "The Official Website of Simon Pegg". Peggster.net. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  41. ^ "We Know Where You Live". BBC Comedy. Archived from the original on 16 December 2004. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
  42. ^ Patten, Dominic (October 5, 2018). "Simon Pegg Joins Amazon's 'The Boys'; Makes Surprise On-Stage Appearance – New York Comic Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  43. ^ "Actor Simon Pegg receives honorary university fellowship for contribution to arts". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008.

External links

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