Simon Pegg: How J.J. Abrams Inspired Him So Much On Star Trek Into Darkness That He Threw Up
Where were you when you found out that J.J. Abrams was going to do Star Wars, that it was official, and what was the first thing that ran through your mind?
I was at the movies. I was watching a documentary about Graham Chapman, one of the Monty Python team and I got an email to say that it was happening and I phoned him, no, I emailed him straightaway and I said, “You’re not going to forget us, are you,” and he kind of said, “Of course not.” I just needed a little bit of reassurance.
So you found out around the same time the rest of us did?
A little bit before, I think. It was when it was kind of being thrown around and I emailed and said, “Is this happening,” and he said, “I think so,” and you know, you immediately think, “Oh, you’re going to be off doing that and you’re going to forget...all of a sudden Star Trek is going to be like the older, less cute sibling” J.J. is just not like that. He’s so committed to everything he does. He never does anything by any halves or anything.
With The World’s End coming this summer, I don’t know if this is something you guys have done intentionally, but you guys haven’t really revealed anything about what’s happening beyond it being a pub crawl. Is that knack for secrecy something you picked up working with J.J. Abrams for so long? Are you even being intentionally as secretive as it seems you are?
Oh, absolutely. I’m a big believer in protecting the experience of the audience and fending off the efforts of people who would just seek to ruin films because they want to sell more advertising on their websites. There used to be a time when the film media worked for it and I think there’s a huge element that works against it now, by this whole idea of spoilers. They’re exactly that, they spoil things and I think people tend to want spoilers because people like the path of least resistance sometimes, and I think they shouldn’t be easy for audience members. They should experience every moment of tension and surprise and see a film how it was intended to be seen by the filmmakers.
Eventually things are going to start coming out-- the trailer that is going to drop this week and the US trailer is kind of full of spoilers. When we saw it, we were like, “Oh, really?? You’re going to show all of this stuff?” They were like, “Well, unfortunately, people want to see the film before seeing the film,” which kind of breaks my heart in a way, because it means no films ever get seen the way they’re intended to be seen, because things always have to be spoiled. If we had our way, then when we were promoting Paul, we never would have said there was an alien in it. We kind of wanted to surprise to be as surprising to the audience as it is to the characters Nick and I play, but it just doesn’t work like that anymore.
So, you just try to protect as much of the film as you can and I figure the people that want to spoil things, they kind of think you’re involved in some kind of guessing game where if they get it right, you say, “Yeah, well done,” but they’re not. It isn’t a game and I don’t owe those people anything, anyone that’s trying to undermine or spoil something I’ve taken a long time to try to create, is the enemy as far as I’m concerned and I don’t owe them anything, least of all the truth. So, yeah, we’re going to protect it as much as we can.
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