Simon Pegg joins us to talk about nerd rants, his philosophy on zombies, and his close-knit relationship with collaborator and friend Nick Frost.
He's best known as the actor, writer, and director whose guiding hands have been involved in British TV comedy Spaced and films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Paul.
His new memoir follows his own journey as the nerdy everyman; Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid is out now.
JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest is Simon Pegg; actor, writer, memoirist, geek. His new book is called Nerd Do Well. It's the story of how, well, let's be honest, a nerd did well. And a nerd did well through nerdiness. Almost all of Pegg's work has drawn on his identity as not just creator, but also fan. He co-created and starred in the British sitcom Spaced, which saw the world of the sitcom, or the romantic sitcom, through a pop culture lens. He made his reputation here in the United States with the hit zom-com, Shaun of the Dead; that's zom-com, half romantic comedy, half zombie film. He was co-writer and star of Hot Fuzz, which was again, a tribute/satire of the action-comedy, and he recently co-wrote and starred in Paul, which was, again, a sort of half-parody, half-tribute to, in this case, the extraterrestrial films of one Mr. Steven Spielberg.
And how's this for geek credit: he was Scotty in the reboot of Star Trek.
What binds all of these projects together, of course, is a deep appreciation for popular storytelling, including the kind of genre stories that, let's just say don't have the mainstream artistic credibility of 18th century period drama; in other words, they're geeky.
Simon Pegg, welcome to The Sound of Young America.
SIMON PEGG: Thank you very much. It's nice to be here.
Click here for a full transcript of this interview, or click here to stream or download the audio.