From Star Wars and Star Trek, to zombies and car chases, actor Simon Pegg has done it all. Now, he is returning with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout, hitting U.S. theaters on July 27. Pegg sat down and talked about his decade of experience with the franchise, his role as Star Trek’s Scotty, and the rumors of him becoming a superhero.
Screen Rant: Simon Pegg, how are you doing?
Simon Pegg: Very well, my light blue jacketed friend.
Screen Rant: Yeah, there we go, twinning. So, where is Benji right now in the Mission: Impossible universe, heading, leading into this film?
Simon Pegg: Well, he's kind of been a field agent for a while now. He's been on a few missions. He's learned a few things. He's experienced a few near-death moments. But he's still the same guy. He's still the first person to question everything and ask the wisdom of certain actions. Which is, same as me and Tom, really. I'm all, you really want to go and do that right now? You want to fly that helicopter into a spin? So, it's kind of a, yeah, it's a slight mirror of real life.
Screen Rant: Now, when you read this script, because Christopher [McQuarrie] knocked it out of the park. And his action sequences in this are brilliant. So, when you read this script, what went on through your head?
Simon Pegg: This is going to be fun. You know, whenever you get a Mission: Impossible script, sometimes you get an outline because the dialogues not all finished yet. Or sometimes you get the full script. You kind of look for where you're going to go and what you're going to learn how to do. And this one, it was like, okay, so we're going to this place and this place, this chunk takes place in Paris, we're going to be in London, Kashmir, you know, which turned out to be New Zealand. And I'm going to learn to drive a twin-engine speed boat. And I'm going to learn to, you know, use the rebreather underwater. And that is your first flip through. And it's always exciting. And so, I was just like, bring it on. This is going to be great.
Screen Rant: Now, whether Benji's either doing his underwater antics or car chases, he's more in the field now. Do you approach the action the same way as Tom would or are you a little bit more reserved? Like, wait, wait, I'm going to do what now?
Simon Pegg: Well, fortunately I never get to sort of, um, I never have to do quite the things that Tom does. Because Benji, the way Chris writes Benji is, he is a particular kind of agent. He has certain limits. They are always pushed, but he's not at Ethan level. I'm kind of, can I just hang off one helicopter? And it's like, well that wouldn't really be true to the character, you know? So, I'm kind of happy for Tom to take, do most of the legwork there and do these crazy signature stunts. And I say crazy. But really, they're not. I mean, they're so well thought out and planned. He's a very, very studious person when it comes to this kind of thing. He doesn't take risks. I say that. He does. He takes, he risked his life. Let's put it on the table.
Screen Rant: He broke his ankle, right?
Simon Pegg: Yes, exactly right. But he doesn't take unnecessary risk. Let's say that. Yeah, he broke his ankle, but it says a lot about the movie that, and Tom, that I got that call and was relieved, you know? To get a call and it's a broken ankle is fine. He'll get better. It's the other call you don't want to get.
Screen Rant: Right, right, right. Now, where would you like to see Benji go next in the Mission: Impossible universe?
Simon Pegg: I just like to see him grow further. And that's what seems to have happened with each one. He's kind of, he's changed, and he's matured and he's more capable. And if he survives this one, I'd like to see him just continue to do that, you know. I love the dynamic with him and Luther. It's kinda like, Luther's the elder statesman. He's the real true expert. The journeyman Benji just wants to please him and like be respected by him. And that's a really nice dynamic, which I like playing with Ving. So, I'd like to see Ving and Benji.
Screen Rant: So, this is Christopher’s second time directing a Mission: Impossible. He's the first director to ever do it twice. What did you learn from him on this go around?
Simon Pegg: That you can do amazing things under pressure. You know, Chris is great at telling, his gift is his storytelling. Whether that be on the page or through the lens. He has an amazing instinct for being able to tell a story and putting your eye at certain points in the frame in a way that you don't even realize it's happening. And it's inspiring to watch directors like that. Because that's, they’re the true storytellers.
Screen Rant: Yeah, his action sequences were out of this world. It's so amazing.
Simon Pegg: The chase through Paris was like, I have my feet were off the ground. It was insane.
Screen Rant: It was crazy. So, Star Trek is a big thing with Quentin Tarantino possibly taking over. That's at least the rumor right now.
Simon Pegg: Down the line, that is though. He came in and sort of pitched an idea. But he's very busy with his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And will be for a while. So, maybe in the future that might come to something. At the moment, S. J. Clarkson is ready to direct the fourth one. And we're all very excited to be working with her.
Screen Rant: Are you excited to reprise Scotty? Because I love Scotty, he’s my favorite.
Simon Pegg: Always. Yeah. Yeah. It's always fun to do that. It will be nice this time. I'm not writing at this time, so it'll be slightly less pressure gig.
Screen Rant: I loved Beyond. It was great.
Simon Pegg: Thank you. Yeah, it was fun to write that one.
Screen Rant: Now, you've done Mission: Impossible, Star Wars, Star Trek. Is there any chance you'd want to jump into the superhero world at all? Because I know there's rumors about Ant-Man back in the day.
Simon Pegg: Oh wait, that's because Edgar was directing. And I think somebody asked me recently at an interview that had nothing to do with superheroes. What superhero would I'd like to play. And I just sort of said Captain Britain, because I used to get the Hulk Weekly when I was a kid. And Captain Britain debuted in that. And he's a British superhero. I used to read the Knights of Pendragon. And I figured that was a good answer. Suddenly, all these rumors popped up. Oh, Simon Pegg wants to play Captain Britain. I don't really. But you know, I mean, I try to take every job as it comes. I don't have any ambition really to be in anything else, other than what I'm in now. If something comes up and it looks good, of course it'll be fun. I love watching the Marvel films. They're always so well executed. They've done a fantastic job with that sort of extended universe of movies. But I'm happy to be an audience member.
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018