Q&A: Simon Pegg of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ on Loving Sci-Fi

Q&A: Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead on Loving Sci-Fi
Simon Pegg didn’t set out to write a memoir. At first, the 41-year-old actor and writer thought he’d create a mini production diary illustrated with personal behind-the-scenes photos — you know, to show us a bit of the real film industry. Four hundred pages later, Pegg delivered Nerd Do Well, a love letter to acting, sex and Han Solo. An anthology of childhood milestones and film analysis, Pegg’s book isn’t your run-of-the-mill celebrity tell-all. There are no big reveals or tattletale tidbits about his celebrity pals, though there is something oddly endearing about the juxtaposition of his first sexual experience with his first Star Wars experience. TIME sat down with Pegg to chat about his love for science fiction and why so many fans still have a bone to pick with George Lucas.

You’re one of the main cast members of the new Star Trek franchise. Did you ever experience angry-nerd syndrome on set?
With Star Trek, it was evident that something cool was happening. It was in safe hands. At no point did I think, “Oh, I don’t like that idea.” I always wanted to say [to fans], “Don’t worry. It’s going to be fine,” but obviously we weren’t allowed to talk about it. I think it would have been hard to be in the Star Wars [prequels] and see that happening all around me. I think that’s what it was like for Ewan McGregor. He was quite candid about it.