Simon Pegg: 'I don't like the idea of visibility'

 

I still get star-struck on set It's not even being nerdy; I'm just being honest. I was involved in Paramount's 100th anniversary photograph and it was the most incredible day; everyone from Mickey Rooney to Justin Bieber and all in between were there – Nicholson, De Niro, Scorsese, Spielberg – and I was sat with them having pictures taken. And I was like, "I'm from Gloucester, so what does this mean?" The truth is, it means nothing, but it was extremely exciting.

I do have some sort of sway in the film world now I'm not an unknown quantity, and it's a nice position to be in. I don't know if it's to do with going to America [and starring in franchises such as Mission Impossible and Star Trek]; it's probably more to do with what I've done domestically, with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. When the American audiences came to watch those, they recognised established film tropes delivered with a sideways look. That's why those films had a big success over there and they've opened doors.

I love LA I spent five months there recently. It's so fluid. If you meet someone, you can take them for a meeting the next day. And there's a positivity; it's a place where things get done. I love working in Britain, because I can sleep in my own bed and work near my family, and I'm proud of the talent we have here, but we don't have the support or the facilities they do in LA.

The last two jobs I booked I got because I was in the right place at the right time One [a pilot for a TV show called LA Noir, set to be shown next year] was because I was at [director] Frank Darabont's birthday party. It's not because they sought me out. But I generate my own work anyway and I want to continue writing and producing and if other people don't give me jobs, well, I'll make myself one!

We can't make blockbusters here Earlier this year David Cameron said he wants Britain to make more commercial films, but we can't. You can make about $35m in America from a British film, because we're foreigners to them; worldwide we can do a little better, but it's not like we can make something for $30m and expect to make a profit from it. We have to make small films – and we do them well.

I don't like the idea of visibility You do what you do so you can entertain, but at the same time I don't like the idea of not being able to walk down the street. People assume you can't see them going, "Oh look, it's him," but you always can. They're always really nice and it's not something I want to complain about, as it's my own doing, but it's one of those weird things: you can't be anonymous any more.

All our fears are essentially the fear of death projected on to spiders or heights or whatever. One of my fears is not achieving my goals or not being able to do what I love to do, which is this job I have. I'd be lost without it.

Simon Pegg, 42, is an actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director. His latest film, 'A Fantastic Fear of Everything', is out on DVD tomorrow

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