Simon Pegg Talks About His Unlikely Success in Big Budget Action Films


Comedic actor/writer Simon Pegg might have to watch the jokes he writes now that he’s become a popular supporting actor in big budget films like Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.  Years ago, in an episode of his popular television series, Spaced, he once said, “As sure as day follows night, as sure as every odd numbered Star Trek movie is crap.”

The problem?  Pegg appeared as Scotty in the 2009 Star Trek reboot… which was the eleventh Star Trek film.  Oops.

Though Pegg shouldn’t feel too bad.  Not only is 2009’s Star Trek the most critically acclaimed and financially successful Star Trek film, but he didn’t have to work too hard to get his role in the film.

Pegg reveals to The National that he received his offer from director J. J. Abrams via e-mail.  The article reveals, “‘Do you want to be Scotty?’ was, according to Simon Pegg, the sole content of a message from JJ Abrams that saw him take the role of the USS Enterprise’s famed engineer Montgomery Scott in the 2009 Star Trek reboot.”  It turns out that wasn’t the only role Pegg received via e-mail.  After appearing as Benji in Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III, Abrams, who produced the latest sequel Ghost Protocol, shot him another e-mail.  Pegg explains, “Me and JJ had always joked that if we did a fourth Mission: Impossible, Benji should be an agent, but it was just a joke. Then one morning, as is JJ’s way, I woke and there’s an email that said ‘Do you want to be an agent, then?'”

Of course, Pegg had to do a bit of work before he could jump out of windows with Mission: Impossible star Tom Cruise since Pegg’s character in the third film was confined to desk work.  He explains, “In Mission: Impossible 3, I look like a potato.  But you need to look like an agent when you’re in the field, so I trained really hard in Prague and Dubai and lost around 22 pounds.”  As for the training he underwent, Pegg credits a Los Angeles SWAT captain for making him battle-ready, pointing out, “He taught me how to draw a service pistol correctly, as apparently there are lots of guys who just shoot their fingers off.”

Ultimately, Pegg recognizes how incredible his success has been in the movie industry.  He admits, “There are so many ironies in my life about things I did when I was younger.  I wrote a whole book about these weird circularities about being a Star Trek fan when I was nine and being in it when I was 39.”  He adds that one of the perks of being an actor is being friendly with Hollywood mega-stars like Tom Cruise, saying with a laugh, “I do still get excited when Tom emails me.  At night, I’ll be curled up with my phone sending love letters to Tom while my wife asks: ‘Are you talking to him again?'”

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