He may be seen by many as the face of geekdom – but Simon Pegg thinks cinema-goers need to grow out of their obsession with science-fiction.
“Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection – gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed,” Pegg says in this week’s edition of Radio Times magazine.
“Now, I don’t know if that is a good thing. Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste.”
He went on: “Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes... Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously!”
Pegg cut his teeth on sci-fi influenced Channel 4 comedy Spaced and is best known for his roles in so-called “genre” films like Shaun of the Dead and Star Trek (he's currently co-writing the script for Star Trek 3) – but it seems the writer/actor wants to move on.
“It is a kind of dumbing down in a way,” he continued. “Because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about... whatever. Now we’re walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.”
Pegg concluded: “But I sometimes feel like I miss grown-up things. And I honestly thought the other day that I’m gonna retire from geekdom. I’ve become the poster child for that generation, and it’s not necessarily something I particularly want to be. I’d quite like to go off and do some serious acting.”
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Read the full interview with Simon Pegg in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale from Tuesday 19th May in shops and from newsstand for iPad and iPhone.