British actor Simon Pegg might be known for a series of zombie movies, but he admits he doesn’t buy in to the supernatural.
One thing he does believe in, though, is his best friend of over 20 years, funnyman Nick Frost.
The comedy duo — who’ve starred together in Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End and Hot Fuzz — have now not only reunited on screen for the first time since 2013, but off-screen as well, in the new “comedy-horror” series Truth Seekers. It’s the first TV project from their new production company Stolen Picture.
“It was more about creating a show in line with the sort of stuff Nick and I used to love when we were living together and when we were in our 20s, [like] The X Files,” Pegg tells 9Honey Celebrity via Zoom.
“Our favourite X-Files episodes were the Darin Morgan episodes, which were quite funny and whimsical and we had this idea of creating a show which was all that. So it wasn’t the odd episode that was whimsical, it was constantly whimsical and a bit silly, but at the same time took its supernatural element seriously.
“That was the kind of remit the four of us [writers] all agreed on when we were all together.”
The duo met through Pegg’s now ex-girlfriend, who was a waitress at the restaurant where Frost worked while trying to get into stand-up comedy.
Pegg, 50, says the pair are “like brothers”. Having clicked from their first meeting, they began hanging out almost daily as Pegg helped Frost, 48, navigate the comedy world he was already in at that time.
While the stand-up career didn’t pan out for Frost, Pegg thought his mate was the “funniest person” he knew. So while writing TV show Spaced in the late 90s, he decided to add in a character Frost had created in his comedy routine and got his friend to take on the part.
The duo have carried on working together over the years, and Pegg says they created the production company as an excuse to hang out more, like in their younger years.
Truth Seekers tells the story of Gus (Frost), an internet installer who is a paranormal investigator in his spare time. He teams up with his work colleague to film ghost sightings across the UK, and they uncover a conspiracy to cause Armageddon for the entire human race.
Pegg stars as Gus’s boss Dave, explaining he didn’t model the character on anyone in particular because “I’ve never had a boss like that”.
“I just sort of came in at the end of the shoot and spent about three days wearing a wig, which I chose myself because I wanted him to look kind of like a mannequin. There’s a reason for that,” he says.
“But no, try and think of like a really nice, a really helpful, really sweet man. The kind of boss you wish you had, really, the kind of boss who actually thinks about you and compliments you, a sort of father figure that smothers you with external validation. I’ve never had a boss like that,” he laughs .
Pegg, speaking to 9Honey Celebrity from Venice, where he’s currently filming Mission Impossible 7, laughs when it’s suggested life almost seems a little more paranormal now than in the show, given how the pandemic’s changed all our lives.
“I’m at work now, I’m in Venice, I’m filming but the first lockdown in the UK, I worked a lot and Zoom was a fabulous resource, as are other systems that are available. But it’s been fun because I haven’t had to leave my house, which I don’t like to do if I don’t have to, and if there is any bright kind of side to this awful situation we find ourselves in, it has been an opportunity to be at home and stay with my loved ones and work from there and find ways to do that. You mutate and survive,” he says.
“I wrote a lot of stuff with another project I’m developing with my writing partner just like this [via video] with him in the corner, working on the same script at the same time and it just worked really well.
“I worked with my trainer as I was getting ready for this movie, did it all remotely. We’re all very adaptable creatures us humans.”
“It’s been an interesting period [but] I hope it ends soon. I could do without having to look like a ninja every time I go out,” Pegg continues.
“I don’t begrudge having to do that — I wear my mask happily and responsibly, but it’s really hard to wear with sunglasses ’cause they steam up, and I love sunglasses. Small problems,” he laughs.
While Pegg hints to future projects on the call, he dashes any hopes of a sequel to the hugely popular Shaun of the Dead but says he will be working with director and friend Edgar Wright again.
Truth Seekers is available now on Amazon Prime Video
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