How did a goofy Brit become a sought-after stateside star? Play along with our game of Life: Simon Pegg Edition to find out.
For actors in the UK, the road to American stardom tends to favor the dashing and reserved -- your Colin Firths and Pierce Brosnans. But a fumbling, excitable, and geeky Brit named Simon Pegg has broken the mold, slashing his way through Shaun of the Dead’s zombies and into America’s heart. This month, he’ll tackle his biggest leading role yet in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Put on your game face and follow the 38-year-old actor’s road to success. (Dice not included.)
Pegg’s standup- comedy career blossoms with an appearance at Britain’s huge Edinburgh International Festival in 1995. Move forward four spaces.
Pegg lands his first British TV series in the fall of 1995: the short-lived Six Pairs of Pants. Roll again.
In the 1996 British TV series Asylum, Pegg’s character, a dopey pizza boy, is tricked into staying at a loony bin full of crazed stand-up comedians. Though highly bizarre and not particularly successful, the series, which Pegg co-wrote, marks the beginning of his path into dark comedy. Lose a turn.
After acting in a few more popular British TV shows and working on BBC radio, Pegg takes center stage in 1999’s cult-smash TV series Spaced, in which the average lives of latent British 30-somethings are given a surrealist, cinematic treatment. This series -- think Seinfeld for the art-school crowd -- finally came out on American DVD this year. Jump ahead three spaces.
Pegg’s first American exposure comes in 2001, thanks to a minor role on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. There, he meets former Friends star David Schwimmer. The two actors eventually collaborate on the 2006 British film Big Nothing and on 2007’s Run Fatboy Run. Collect a Golden Chance card to celebrate their budding friendship.
Zombies meet the dry, dark humor of Pegg and his Spaced costars in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, which Pegg cowrote. Advance two spaces to the movie’s famed pub, the Winchester, and get a Golden Chance card for doing your best zombie imitation.
The Winchester pub. Have a drink!
In Pegg’s first blockbuster movie, Mission: Impossible III (2006), he plays token science genius Benji Dunn. Spend time researching what exactly the film’s secret Rabbit’s Foot project is; lose a turn.
In 2007, Hot Fuzz is billed as “Shaun meets action movies.” This buddy-cop film sees cowriter Pegg’s, as well as his collaborators’, knack for absurdity, sharp jokes, and cinematic flair reach new, explosive heights. Hop over a white picket fence and advance three spaces with guns blazing.
Pegg’s cynical, bumbling personality collides with high brow Manhattan glitz in this month’s How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Jump ahead two spaces to the final frontier.
The self-proclaimed geek will be Scotty in next year’s Star Trek movie. Beam yourself up to the Winner’s Circle.