While attending the London premiere of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Simon Pegg was granted a unique opportunity, to meet with one of his idols George Lucas. In his book, Nerd do well, Pegg recalled his exchange with the master of Jedi. “He semed tired and slightly exasperated and in that second I regretted accepting the offer to meet him.” Pegg had illustrated in a prior chapter his disillusionment with the Star Wars prequels. Introduced as a fellow filmmaker by Ron Howard, Pegg seemed to elicit a respect unseen in the presence of the fan boy assemblage. When Lucas leaned in to share a bit of advice he said “just don’t suddenly find yourself making the same film you made 30 years ago.”
Film makers vs.Theater owners on how you view movies
Sage advice indeed. Simon Pegg’s new book, published in June by Gotham Books an imprint of Penguin, the actor turned author recounts this and other learnings, show business and otherwise. The 41 year old english writer / actor / comedian admits that a biography seems a bit premature at such a young age. No matter, stories need to be told and tell them he does, sort of. Pegg recounts his early years with amazing clarity, his beginning in theatre arts leading to stand up comedy and from there writing on many british shows. Performing his comedy on screen came later and surprisingly make up very little of this tome.
Pegg writes much of the book as his alter ego, a would be Batman with a robotic butler. Nearly every other chapter has a few pages of this would be graphic novelization before getting back to the meat of the subject matter. Almost three quarters of the book go by before meeting up with Nick Frost, Edgar Wright and Jessica Hynes, the authors future collaborators.
Spaced, the 1999 british comedy series would be the first fruit from this comedic group with more to come. Additional television and eventually films filled the authors working life but unexpectedly very little of this is covered in the book. Pegg deals with this by stating that “these are the stuff of tabloids and only of interest to the participant, never the reader.” So no details about his film Paul or playing Scotty in the Star Trek reboot. Perhaps in his next literary endeavor.
An interesting footnote to this autobiography. In 2008 an american version of Spaced was attempted to much dismay by Pegg and company, read about it here. Pegg’s director Edgar Wright summed it up on a podcast with Kevin Smith, listen here, by advising “the best you could do is, don’t do it, the least you could do is call it something else.” It seems a lesson was learned by Pegg and company. “If George had only trusted those around him to nurture and temper his ideas with objective input, he might not only be wealthy but also blissfully content” said Pegg towards the end of his book.
Overall impressions: an easy summertime read but lacked focus of how the nerd did well. People generally read books about entertainment figures for stories about said entertainment. More of this please, less about how you want to be Batman.
Michiana residents can obtain their copy of Simon Pegg’s Nerd do well at your local Barnes and Noble located at 6501 N. Grape Rd. in Mishawaka. Copies are also available to check out at the St. Joseph County Public Library or the Mishawaka Penn – Harris library.