How A Joke Led To Simon Pegg's Casting In Ready Player One

simon pegg in ready player one

During the time Simon Pegg has been in the acting game, he's been involved with a slew of franchises with big fanbases. There's Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, obviously, and more recently the actor has taken parts in both the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. These sort of fan-forward gigs were a dream come true for Simon Pegg, and he didn't think he could top them at first. In fact, he recently revealed that he told his agent he wanted to take six months off after Star Trek Beyond, that is, unless Steven Spielberg called. The next thing he knew Spielberg was asking for him to sign on for Ready Player One. Simon Pegg told Peter Travers recently:

I did Star Wars. I then got the gig writing Star Trek Beyond. It was like being given the key to the kingdom. It was incredibly daunting, emotionally taxing. And we got that film made and finished shooting it in Dubai. I got back to the UK and I just thought, 'What do I do now?' I feel like I've fulfilled all of my sort of childhood dreams. I said to my agent in the U.S., 'I'm going to take six months off and think about what comes next. Don't call me unless Steven Spielberg rings. And he did. It was a flippant remark and it came [true].

On Popcorn with Peter Travers, Simon Pegg explained how a joke to his agent became a reality, leading to the gig in Ready Player One. It's not super uncommon for an actor to take a break after long months hopping from job to job, and Pegg has spent the last few years, as he put it, taking gigs that fit all of his "childhood dreams." But when Steven Spielberg comes calling, it's hard to say no, especially when the popular director is asking you to join a project filled with fantastic eighties references and Easter eggs, you don't really say no.

Pegg also said during the episode with Peter Travers that his near-immediate response was a yes, noting:

So when I got the call that Steven Spielberg wants to talk to you, I was like, 'Yeah, okay. I'll do it.'

Ready Player One officially hit theaters this holiday weekend. In the movie, Simon Pegg plays Ogden Morrow, the co-creator of the virtual OASIS world that is a big factor in the events of the movie, as players in the world are searching for an Easter egg left behind by other co-creator James Halliday. If you'd like to know more about Ready Player One, you can take a look at our full guide. In the meantime, Simon Pegg has plenty of other movie projects on the horizon. He can next be seen in the upcoming Mission: Impossible -- Fallout sequel. In addition, he hast Terminal and Slaughterhouse Rulez coming up.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.