Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg

Simon John Pegg was born in Gloucester, in Southwest England. He grew up in a music shop where his father, John, a jazz musician, sold keyboards, while his mother, Gillian, worked as a civil servant. They divorced when he was seven. As a kid, Pegg was fascinated by an eclectic mix of horror movies, Dr. Who, and stand-up comedy. He also played drums from early on, playing in a teenage band called God's Third Leg. After attending Brockworth Comprehensive Secondary School, he took up English literature and performance studies at Stratford-upon-Avon College before earning his bachelor's degree in drama at the University of Bristol, where he wrote his undergraduate thesis, A Marxist Overview of Popular Seventies Cinema and Hegemonic Discourses. In 1991, Pegg began performing stand-up comedy at local clubs, after which he moved to London and became an established comedian, touring the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand with his act.Pegg made the leap from stage comic to television actor with roles on several sketch shows, including "Big Train" (BBC, 1998, 2002), "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-) and "Six Pairs of Pants" (ITV, 1995) - on the latter of which he met Jessica Stevenson and Edgar Wright, a comedy duo he would work with on many future productions. Stevenson and Pegg went on to appear together in the award-winning sitcom, "Faith in the Future" (ITV1, 1995-98) before creating their own show, "Spaced." Co-written and co-starring Pegg and Stevenson, "Spaced" was directed by Wright and introduced Pegg's real-life best friend, Nick Frost, who had no prior experience as an actor. The sitcom revolved around a pair of roommates and their aimless friends and was loved for its excessive use of pop culture references, quick cut edits, and occasional journeys into surreal territory - sometimes aided by recreational drug use. The same year "Spaced" debuted, Pegg toured the U.K. with top British comic Steve Coogan and his live show, "The Man Who Thinks He's It." He also starred in the show "Hippies" (1999) for BBC2 and regularly appeared on BBC Radio 4's "99p Challenge."There was definitely a buzz surrounding Pegg, who stayed busy with television and film appearances in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" (2001) and the feature "24 Hour Party People" (2002), while he and Stevenson remained hard at work crafting their first feature film script, "Shaun of the Dead." As an homage to the B-horror films the two had watched while growing up, "Shaun of the Dead" boasted an ensemble cast that was a virtual who's who of up-and-coming British comedic actors including Pegg, Stevenson and Frost, Lucy Davis and Martin Freeman from the British version of "The Office," Dylan Moran from the BAFTA-winning sitcom "Black Books," and Peter Serafinowicz from "Spaced" and "Black Books." The Wright-directed film was a breakout success with both critics and audiences, earning over $30 million in box office worldwide and being named the third greatest comedy of all time in a Channel 4 poll.Now a certifiable "it" boy, Pegg was tapped for film and television roles in both Britain and the U.S., appearing in "Dr. Who," (2005), "Mission: Impossible III" (2006) and "Grindhouse" (2007). Director George Romero, whose "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) Pegg had referenced with "Shaun," gave Pegg and Frost small roles in his "Land of the Dead" (2005) as a token of thanks. In 2007, the Pegg/Frost/Wright team delivered yet another genre parody with "Hot Fuzz," which brilliantly lampooned cop buddy films with gratuitous violence and over-the-top action. With the team's established reputation, the film enjoyed more widespread distribution than its predecessor. "Hot Fuzz" was a huge hit with both loyal followers of "Shaun of the Dead" and a legion of new fans.By the time "Hot Fuzz" hit the theaters, Pegg was already shooting scenes for the David Schwimmer-directed feature "Run, Fat Boy, Run" (2007), in which he starred as an out-of-shape man who tries to win back the bride (Thandie Newton) he left at the altar five years earlier by running a marathon. Despite the rising tide surrounding Pegg, "Fat Boy" flopped before reaching the first mile marker. But Pegg's run continued nonetheless when it was announced that after a lengthy, high-profile search for the perfect Starship Enterprise crew, J.J. Abrams had selected and cast him as Scotty - played originally by the late James Doohan - in the revamp of the long-running franchise, "Star Trek" (2009). Following that sci-fi hit, he lent his voice to "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009) and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (2010). Getting back to on-screen appearances, he starred with Andy Serkis in the little-seen period comedy "Burke and Hare" (2010) and reunited with Frost for the silly alien-encounter movie "Paul" (2011), which the duo co-wrote. The close friends also played the bumbling pair Thompson and Thomson in the CGI-animated Steven Spielberg movie "The Adventures of Tintin" (2011), and Pegg continued to have success in major movie series, reprising earlier roles in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (2011) and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (2012). In 2013, he had another big year, portraying Scotty once again in the intense sequel "Star Trek Into Darkness" and reconvening with Wright and Frost for the apocalyptic comedy "The World's End."