Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 08:41 UK

Talking Shop: Simon Pegg

Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg stars opposite Kirsten Dunst in new Hollywood movie How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

Simon Pegg
Pegg stars as brash British journalist Sidney Young

Based on the memoir of journalist Toby Young, Pegg stars as Sidney, a brash British journalist who lands the chance to write for an upmarket US magazine in New York.

Also starring Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson and Megan Fox, the film follows Sidney as he tries to make his way up the career ladder in spite of his obnoxiousness.

The actor talks about the new film, upcoming projects - and his most embarrassing moment.

What attracted you to this role?

The script was really good - you can always tell within the first five pages of a script if it's going to be enjoyable and I was really enjoying this one straightaway.

And also Bob Weide was attached - who directed Curb Your Enthusiasm - which is a favourite programme of mine, so I was immediately drawn to it. It wasn't until I signed up that I realised the other people that were going to be in it as well, so that was a bonus.

Are you anything like your character in the film?

Oh no, I'm not as ruthlessly self-promoting as Sidney or desperate to be part of that world. I'm much happier being away from it.

What's the biggest gaffe you've ever made?

On set Bob reminded Gillian Anderson of the scene in Spaced where I talk about having fantasies about her which embarrassed me immensely. But I don't think I've ever really made a faux pas like Sidney - I'm slightly more careful.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Megan Fox (centre) and Kirsten Dunst (right) also star in the film.

You're best known for comedies - is that why you took a role in Star Trek to show you have a more serious side?

I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody - I do what I do because it makes me happy and if I read a script and I like it, or I get the chance to be in something as monumentally historic as Star Trek, then I'm going to do it.

I don't do it because I think 'what will people think of me?'. I wish it didn't involve any of that. It would be nice if you got to make your film and give it to your mum on DVD.

But the choices I make are about if I think I'm going to enjoy it. My favourite thing about this job is shooting and being on set and the three or four months it takes to make the film - the second part I could do without!

Can you tell us any secrets from The Enterprise?


Is it all hush hush?

Yes, it's very secret.

Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead were recently named in Empire magazine's top 500 films - how does that feel?

That's lovely. It's wonderful that somebody should think that. It's probably not the opinion of the world, but its an opinion and one that's very flattering so we're thrilled to bits by that.

I think they've done a special cover of Shaun of the Dead as well which they've sent us posters of.

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz
Nick Frost will star in Paul with Simon Pegg

Tell us about your new film, Paul, with Nick Frost and when we can see it.

We're shooting it next year so late 2009 or early 2010, but we've just got to finish off the script. It's being directed by Greg Mottola who did Superbad and we'll be shooting in New Mexico.

It's a road movie about two friends who are comic book aficionados who go to the San Diego Comic Con and end up doing a road trip around America and get into all sorts of crazy scrapes.

And you've got one more film to come with Edgar Wright haven't you?

Yes, The World Ends. That's going to be the third one in the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz series of films. Edgar and myself have yet to write it, but he's coming back from LA next week and we're going to sit down and start hashing it out.

You're the godfather to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple - how did that come about and do you have any cool godfatherly duties?

You know what, they never talk about their private life so I'm not going to. I'm just a godfather like anyone else.

Are you a cool uncle?

I do have two nieces and they think I'm cool but I never see them.

And what do they think of your work?

They like it - but they're not allowed to watch most of it!

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is on general release in the UK on 3 October. Simon Pegg was talking to BBC entertainment reporter Genevieve Hassan.

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