NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9:04 PM
“I filmed this little indie in the beginning of 2014 and then it was just all blockbusters until just like two weeks ago,” said Simon Pegg.
There’s a very good chance that Simon Pegg will be the actor with the highest box office returns this year — though it probably will have slightly more to do with “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” than his newest film, the British romantic comedy “Man Up.”
In fact, the 45-year-old British actor admits he leaped at the offer to do the movie at first because he was enamored of the idea of shooting in his home city of London and sleeping in his own bed.
“I filmed this little indie in the beginning of 2014 and then it was just all blockbusters until just like two weeks ago,” said the 45-year-old British actor, who just beamed off the set of “Star Trek Beyond,” which he also co-wrote.
But he fell in love with the script of “Man Up,” which opens on this side of the pond on Friday. Directed by Ben Palmer, the story centers on a perennially single woman (Lake Bell) who connects with Pegg’s charming divorcee after he mistakes her for his blind date.
He also sounds smitten with his cheeky New York-born co-star.
“She did the movie and was never out of character (as a British woman) until her last shot, after which she broke into a less appealing American accent and gave a speech to the crew,” recalled Pegg, laughing. “And the crew were all like, ‘Who the f— is this?’ There was a genuine sense of betrayal.”
Shooting on the streets of his town had its own drama. “The hardest people to placate were the skateboarders on the South Bank because they have a very sort of beloved (park) down there underneath one of the bridges … right underneath where we filmed a couple of the sequences,” said Pegg. “We had to basically pay them off with beer.”
Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in “Man Up” to be released in the U.S. on November 13, 2015.
It may not have been as comfortable, but once Pegg got to the sweltering Abu Dhabi desert set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” there was nowhere else in the universe the life-long fan of the franchise would rather have been.
“It literally was my dreams coming true,” said Pegg, who can’t say too much about his top-secret character. “Some of my stuff I did in Abu Dhabi and it was incredibly hot. I just really remembered the ‘making of’ documentaries I watched as a kid and you’d see Guida (an alien character from the original 1977 ‘Star Wars’) with air being blown into his mouth.
“And there was me, sat in this kind of big suit with a flannel on my head, thinking this is it, this is exactly that. Meanwhile, there are power droids walking around — and very ‘Star Wars’ — moisture evaporators, and what have you. It was magical.”
Now, that sounds like a man in love.