Actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg, well known for his collaborations with Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and roles in the Mission Impossible franchise, returns with the dark and somewhat different comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything – written and directed by former Kula Shaker lead singer Crispian Mills. In the film, Simon plays Jack, a former children’s author whose career, home life, hygiene and sanity has seen better days. Determined to put children’s books behind him, Jack has tried to begin a new chapter in his career as a crime writer. Unfortunately tough, his research into the field of Victorian serial killers has pushed Jack of the edge – paranoid and fearful that he is going to be murdered. We chatted to Pegg about the low-budget comedy thriller.
What first attracted you to the project?
Crispian Mills brought the script to me a while ago, well a script which was an adaptation of Bruce Robinson’s short story, “Paranoia in the Laundrette”. I think he just wanted me to read it at first as I was never clear at if he wanted me to be in it or just to read it as a fellow writer. I’m friends with Crispian and have been for a long time and I read it and thought it was amazing and said if this was a little bit longer, if this was fleshed out into something a little more with three acts, it could be a feature, rather than just a short film, which is what it seemed to be a first. I said, if you make this into a feature I would certainly be interested. I love the idea of doing a small low budget British movie.
How much input did you have on the script?
I was a producer on the movie, so I had creative input here and there but I was very trusting of
The appearance of Jack, was that you or Crispian?
We spoke about it, we wanted to get a specific look for him, we wanted him to be sort of rakish and almost romantic looking even though he is essentially like a posh tramp in the same way that
Withnail is in Withnail and I.
How long did the film take to shoot?
It was 28 days, compared to Star Trek which was 5 months and Mission Impossible which was seven months, it was nothing. it was a very quick shoot.
Are you pleased with the finished project?
I love it, I’m really happy with it, its something I really proud of because it’s very different
Different is a good word to describe it…
It’s not what you might expect in terms of what I have done previously. It’s challenging and thoughtful and requires multiple viewings which I think you owe the audience nowadays in the light of DVD; You need to interpret it in different ways and different points of seeing it, there are things in the film that you simply won’t get on the first watch.
The World’s End is the next film I’m working on and I think that I am going to probably spend the summer writing and disappear for a little bit.
Words: Craig Collinson
A Fantastic Fear of Everything opens in cinemas from Friday.