Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

In Wide Angle: Simon Pegg’s 13 Favourite Films

Currently on cinema screens in the role of Benji Dunn in Mission Impossible: Fallout, Simon Pegg picks his 13 favourite films

Simon Pegg greets me at his offices in Soho, huge smile and lunch in hand. It’s just a few weeks after the filming of the upcoming Mission: Impossible 6 has ended and a few weeks before the premiere of Ready Play One was due to air in LA. He was already well into promoting Terminal, a film noir thriller where which he starred alongside Oscar nominee Margot Robbie. And if that wasn’t enough, he was also working on a new project with Nick Frost and their joint new production company, Stolen Picture.

After just a few minutes of chatting and hearing details of his upcoming projects, it’s safe to say that Pegg is firmly in the middle of a breathless work hurricane in one of the busiest years of his career. As soon as our interview concludes, he’s off to finish writing the pilot of his new TV sitcom, Truth Seekers, in a room just across from where we’re sitting.

In between eating lunch, talking about his projects and drinking tea, Pegg’s encyclopaedic film knowledge becomes swiftly apparent as he talks me through his thirteen favourite films. “Course’ it was!” he laughs, loudly, when I ask him if this was a film geeks nightmare, narrowing a lifetime love of film to a mere thirteen choices. “There were so many more I could have added,” he says, before starting to debate a few of his choices.

Describing his favourite films, Pegg describes his early cinema going days at Gloucester’s ABC cinema as a child. He tells of the excitement of owning his first VHS after his family purchased a video player in 1983 and later becoming a horror-film nerd after receiving an “encyclopaedia of horror” for a Christmas present. Pegg also recounts his voyage of cinematic discovery as a student of film studies at Bristol University, his first experience of film theory later informing the films he would go on to make. Recalling film facts, genres, styles and release-dates at light speed, Pegg is the film nerd to envy all film nerds.

As he debates his choices some more towards the end of the interview, I ask him which VHS’s would get thrown first in a zombie attack if there were no records to hand. “There are lots of films, contemporary movies that come out that I watch and despair at the genuine lack of creativity involved,” he tells me, whilst still laughing at the thought of throwing a few VHS’s at zombies. “These films feel like they’ve been made by number crunchers really. Those films always make me a bit angry so anything that smacks of creative bankruptcy, I would throw,” he says, laughing some more.

As with everything Pegg does, his enthusiasm, humour and passion is evident in all of his film choices. Covering fantasy, horror, comedy and adventure, Pegg’s choices cover some of the best cinema of the last sixty years.

First Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today