Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 09:32 UK

Simon Pegg comedy makes UK debut

Simon Pegg and Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson (right) is eight months pregnant with her third child

Actor Simon Pegg and a heavily pregnant Gillian Anderson were among the stars at the UK premiere of comedy, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

The film, released in the UK next week, was adapted from writer Toby Young's memoir documenting his time working for Vanity Fair magazine in New York.

Speaking on the red carpet, 38-year-old Pegg said shooting the movie had been a "thrill from start to finish".

"Having my trailer on Times Square was amazing," he told reporters.

"To be sat in this weird little air-conditioned environment and then open the door onto Times Square was sensational."

Kirsten Dunst and Jeff Bridges also appear in the film, alongside Transformers star Megan Fox.


Pegg said it had been "great fun" to play the hero of the film, a character based on British writer Young.

"Peter Straughan, who did the adaptation, did a great job of creating this fictional version of Toby," the Hot Fuzz star explained.

I am so close to popping out
Gillian Anderson

"He's an idiot, and it's fun playing an idiot."

However, Pegg admitted the film did not stay entirely true to the book.

"It stays true to the spirit, but you couldn't really adapt Toby's book as a film," he continued.

"It's a series of anecdotes, strung together with notions of philosophy. It would be very hard to put that on the screen."

Speaking to BBC News ahead of the premiere in Leicester Square, director Robert Weide said it was the script that attracted him to the project.

"It was funny and made me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen very often," he said.

Toby Young with his wife Caroline
Pegg plays Sidney, a character based on Toby Young (pictured)

"I love the central character of Sidney, and the story is very engaging. As soon as I read the script I knew I wanted to do this film."

Weide, best known for directing US sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, said he had no knowledge of Pegg's acting career before casting.

"I did not know Simon's work, so when his name came up I did my homework and saw Shaun of the Dead," he revealed.

"I knew after about 15 seconds he was the right guy for the job."

Megan Fox has since found fame as one of the human stars of Transformers, but Weide claimed Michael Bay's blockbuster did not figure in the casting.

'Robot movie'

"Transformers was months away from coming out when we cast her," said the US director.

"I thought I'd go down in history as the guy who discovered Megan Fox. Then that robot movie came out and made her a big star overnight.

"Now everyone says, 'You cast her because of Transformers?' No I didn't! I knew nothing about it."

Anderson, who is eight months pregnant with her third child, plays a glamorous agent in the film.

"I'm so close to popping out," she joked with reporters at the premiere.

Actor Pegg raises US profile
08 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Hot Fuzz duo confirm third movie
03 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Blue carpet for Hot Fuzz premiere
14 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Pegg beats own box office record
22 Feb 07 |  Entertainment

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