‘Ready Player One’ star Simon Pegg talked to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at the film’s premiere and the movie’s important message, working with Steven Spielberg, and more!
Simon Pegg, 48, stars alongside Tye Sheridan, 21, Olivia Cooke, 24, Mark Rylance, 58, T.J. Miller, 36, and Ben Mendelsohn, 48, in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Simon stars as Ogden Morrow, the co-creator of the OASIS. The film follows Tye’s character, Wade, who sets out on a journey in the OASIS to find the creator’s Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Ready Player One, based on the best-selling 2011 novel, is a nostalgic thrill ride filled with amazing pop culture references.
But the pop culture references aren’t the only reason you should be watching. There’s a deeper meaning to Steven’s latest directing endeavor, and Simon explained all on the Ready Player One premiere red carpet in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. In addition to talking about the movie’s message, Simon gushed about his very “humble” director. Check out our interview below:
This film allows it’s characters to be whoever they want to be and go where ever they want to go? What would you do with that power?
Simon Pegg: I would be like to be Harrison Ford at the premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I am sure he had a great night! I don’t know really, the thing about this movie is it’s about the dangers of looking back as much as anything, about how our tendency to be nostalgic can lead to inertia in the present, which isn’t always a good thing… Even though there is a great celebration of pop culture in the film and there are a lot of references to get, that is not the point of the film. The point of the film is we need to live in the present, we need to make real connections with real people, and not get lost in these virtual falsehoods where we are tending to hide more and more these days.
While working with Steven Spielberg, what do you ask him from a man who has so many amazing stories?
Simon Pegg: What is great about Steven is in between takes or when things are being set up he starts to talk and he has told me so many great stories about Jaws or Close Encounters. I just love that all his stories always start with, “You know, that time I was with Kubrick or whatever…” And you are instantly rapt. So as a fan of his, I feel like it is a great privilege to have this access to him. He is such a wonderful guy, and I have known him for like 10 years now, and it is something I thought would never happen in my life. So I am forever pinching myself.
What was your favorite thing to see him geek out over in preparing for this movie?
Simon Pegg: He was very resistant to make any reference to himself, which is incredibly humble because he is the architect of so much popular culture in the landscape now. He is the source code. He is always linked to that period, but he was always like, “No I can’t do that.” Though the T-Rex managed to get in there eventually. He thought the DeLorean and being the producer of Back To The Future was enough. But Steven is a passionate man and loves film, and I love seeing him get excited still now making films as he did when he made The Sugarland Express. He is the real deal!
Was there anything you begged for him to get in?
Simon Pegg: No, because the important thing is the story. Our day-to-day job was to tell the story. All the trappings of it and what he was referencing was further down the line and its the least important thing about the film actually!