SHAUN OF THE DEAD - Q&A with SIMON PEGG
Movie Interview by Kris Griffiths
PHASE9 discusses zombies with the star and writer of SHAUN OF THE DEAD - Simon Pegg.
What do you love about zombies?
There's something beautiful about zombies. They're very slow and almost inept and shambolic, without motive or moral rage. There's something kind of inexorable about it. They are death and they will get you in the end.
What is so scary about zombies?
We could all be in a room now with a zombie and quite happily walk round and round the room and he'll never get you because he'll just be stumbling along. But eventually you'd have to go to sleep and when you do, he'd eat you. There's just something really eerie about that.
What do zombies symbolise?
They're a multi-purpose walking metaphor. They can stand for consumerism, class or viral paranoia. In our film, they also stand for boredom, apathy and the relentless tide of responsibility that engulfs you as you grow older. They're a distillation of us - all they want to do is eat and replicate.
Why do you think zombies are so popular again?
The zombie comeback - excuse the pun - is down to synchronicity and the cyclical nature of the genre. Sounds like a thesis, doesn't it? Just before zombies, werewolves were popular, and every now and then Dracula makes a big comeback. Thanks to the Resident Evil game, which really captures the atmosphere of the Romero films, zombies started to reappear. Then there was 28 DAYS LATER and DAWN OF THE DEAD. We now might have to use the slogan: "If you see one zombie film this week, see SHAUN OF THE DEAD."
What did the zombie king - George Romero - think of the movie?
We dispatched a print of the film to America for his blessing and were given his phone number. We then basically called up the man who invented the contemporary zombie movie and it turns out he really, really enjoyed it! I was waffling on like a fanboy going "I'm sorry that the zombies in our film reanimate straight away while, of course, in your films it takes about half an hour." And he said: "Simon, you know what? I really don't mind." What more do you need? Daddy approves.
What would you do if zombies attacked your house tomorrow?
Go over the roof, get to the sporting goods shop, get some guns, hijack a car, go to the pub, lock the door and drink all the booze.
If you could make one dead person come back as a zombie, who would it be?
John Lennon. I reckon he could write some powerful songs about being dead.