#SDCC 2013: Dread Central Chats with Simon Pegg for The World’s End

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#SDCC 2013: Dread Central Chats with Simon Pegg for The World's EndWhile at Comic-Con, one of the amazing things that popped up on our calendar was an invitation to a special breakfast with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in support of the release of the upcoming final installment in their Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End, on August 23rd.

Co-written by Wright and Pegg, with Wright handling director duties, The World’s End follows five friends (Pegg, Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine) who return to their hometown 20 years after they’ve graduated high school to try to complete “The Golden Mile,” a legendary pub crawl where challengers must travel to a dozen different drinking establishments in a night, ending at the appropriately named “The World’s End” pub. When they arrive, the childhood friends begin to suspect something is amiss when they realize their sleepy little village has undergone some shocking changes while they’ve been away- ultimately putting the fate of all mankind in their hands when they uncover the sinister secret.

During our breakfast interview with Pegg, we had the opportunity to speak with the writer/actor about his approach to the complex story he created for The World’s End, what fans can expect from his character in the film, why he thinks challenging films are better for audiences and much more about his latest.

And since we were fortunate to have had a good amount of time with Pegg, this writer couldn’t help but geek out a moment and ask him about the Point Break references in Hot Fuzz (seriously, I just would have never forgiven myself had I not asked) and Pegg’s response was pretty awesome so we’ve included it here as well.

Check back later this week for more with Wright and Frost for The World’s End!

On the importance of ending this story in a completely different place than where it started:

That was very important to us; we wanted you to feel like at the end of the movie where you’re like, “Wait, wasn’t I just watching the movie with those kids and then- (laughs).” I think that the re-establishing the status quo is something that might make the audience feel all nice at the end of everything but it ends up making the film forgettable. When we go to the movies, we see a normality and then a disruption of that normality and then we see it returned to normal and that’s when we leave feeling, “Oh well…that was nice.”

It’s just a fact that sometimes it’s good to upset the status quo and leave everything completely undone at the end. Then you think about it a bit more and I think it’s more challenging to an audience when you can give them something that isn’t what their comfort zone is expecting. We didn’t want to welch on the title either; right from the beginning we said, “Let’s go through with it (laughs).”

Discussing the complexity of his character Gary King:

Selfishly, I wanted to be the overtly comic one in this because Nick was usually the overtly comedic one in the other two films. We wanted to give him the chance to be the straight guy in this. And I wanted to make Gary as maddening, as difficult to like as I possibly could because I knew ultimately that there was an excuse for it. I knew ultimately that there is a reason for the way that he is and also, sometimes it’s just really fun to be a dick for once (laughs).

As an actor, a role like this is a gift and I love Gary. I knew guys like that- who were the most popular guy in high school, or they were in a band or they were the best looking. But then they never quite moved on past that and that glory was so intense that anything that came subsequently was unfulfilling. I just wanted Gary to be impossible and maddening and lovable and dickish all in one.

On Balancing the heart and the referential humor throughout the Cornetto Trilogy:

I think any time you do anything like that, with references, that it has to come organically from the story. You don’t really want to draw attention that it’s happening or you lose something. With “Spaced,” that show was very referential; the idea was that Tim and Daisy would live their lives through popular culture. It was like they were telling the story of their lives where it was like, “Oh, this was like The Matrix!” so we made their lives like that for a reason.

This film doesn’t have a lot of those overt references in it at all; we got kind of sick of people saying, “Oh, what was that from?” when it was our fucking idea (laughs). They just assume we were being referential. But we just never assume that someone isn’t going to get something; it sounds weird to say this, almost like it’s a commercial to watch The World’s End over and over again but I want audiences to want to watch this movie a lot of times so that they can continue to discover little moments in it even after they’ve seen it like seven or eight times. There were these tiny moments throughout the entire film that are just these really great but minute references that only add to the story we’re telling when you discover them. You owe it to the audience to create a movie that can stand up to repeated viewings; that’s always been important to all of us, ever since we began making projects together.

Chatting about the references to Point Break and Bad Boys 2 in Hot Fuzz:

Well, Edgar and I liked both those movies for different reasons; Point Break is a brilliant film. It’s brilliant because it’s made by a woman so it has a very interesting view on masculinity; there’s a detachment to the machismo which I think is brilliant and focuses the story so much more.

Bad Boys 2 is the opposite of that; it’s just fucking stupid (laughs). The machismo is just totally shameless and that’s what makes it so incredible. It’s just so operatically daft. So we liked this idea that Danny (Frost) liked this one movie which was ridiculously to type and then this other movie which was covertly clever. There were other movies it could have been but these two movies seemed to represent those characters- Danny and Nick- the best. We knew people would be like, “Oh yeah- Point Break; I love that movie.”

I think the very best thing that happened was we realized as we made these movies that they all have a moment; in Shaun it was where the girl goes through the pole, in Hot Fuzz it’s where Danny shoots up into the air when he can’t shoot [SPOILER] and in The World’s End, it’s the Cornetto wrapper. Those are the moments to come in and hear the audience get excited. And we knew Point Break had the power to create that moment because people do love that movie.

Check out our The World’s End review!

The World’s End is directed by Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg along with long time buddy Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan.

Look for the flick in theatres on August 23rd.

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

The World's End

The World's End

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