When he’s not starring in — and writing — “Star Trek” sequels or marveling at Tom Cruise’s stunts in “Mission: Impossible” films, Simon Pegg likes to relax and unwind in far-off locations like Perth, Australia, and put a few locals out of their misery. Or at least that’s what he does as Charlie, a dapper contract killer in “Kill Me Three Times.”
My favorite description of Australia is “the most beautiful place in the world that’s always trying to kill you.” Agree or disagree?
(laughs) I didn’t suffer any attacks when I was there, but yeah there’s quite a lot of deadly stuff there. We were aware that there has been a couple of fatal shark attacks on the coast where we were going to shoot a couple of surfing scenes, where Alicia and Luke were going in. So I was a little worried for them, but there was, thankfully, no assault on our lives. It is an incredible place, you know. It’s huge and wild, and you forget, actually, in Perth it’s the most remote city on earth. You’re there inside a fairly bustling metropolis and yet you’re a thousand miles away from the next town. It’s kind of awesome when you’re there — in a genuine sense of the word awesome, not the overused sense.
We wouldn’t want to use that.
I wouldn’t. I use it too much anyway.
You co-star in this with Luke Hemsworth, older brother of Chris and Liam. So how many Hemsworths are there, and how do we stop them?
I don’t know. I feel like they multiply, but I think Luke is probably the brood mother of them all. He spawned the other Hemsworths, and who knows how many there are? I don’t know. Luke was very vague about the amount of Hemsworths there are in the world. (laughs) No, Luke is super-cool. And it’s sweet when he talks about his brothers, he’s obviously very proud of them and protective of them, and he’s clearly the biggest of the three — albeit the stockiest, not the tallest. But yeah, he’s a good guy. They seem like grounded young men, classic Aussies.
How was it being the outsider, non-Australian in this?
It was good. I mean, it felt kind of important to us that Charlie was a strange invader. He’s a very incongruous figure in the film. In the desert, in Eagle’s Nest he’s incredibly conspicuous, and he doesn’t really try not to be. He drives a f—ing huge car and he wears a black suit and dresses like he thinks a hitman should dress. So it was fun to be the alien both in reality and in the movie. It’s a fun thing to casually walk up a sand dune wearing a Paul Smith suit carrying a rifle. You don’t get to do that in real life very often.
But you are racking up plenty of roles where they dress you quite well.
Yes. It’s always fun to dress up, whether it’s the Starfleet uniform or the remarkable manner of getups I had for “Mission: Impossible.” But I like it when I get to dress smart, and it’s always lovely to wear a nice suit that’s cut well. So I went to Paul Smith in Covent Garden and we decided on the look for Charlie there and then.
You’re rocking quite the handlebar mustache in this. How does it stack up against your other onscreen facial hair experiments?
It’s a good one. It’s perfect for the character. It’s not entirely flattering, but it just felt right. It’s a statement that Charlie makes about himself and his face.
And I take it you’ve been enjoying the responses to the new“Mission: Impossible” trailer.
Yes! That was exciting. We only wrapped the shoot a few weeks ago, so it was funny to suddenly see a trailer come out. Everything in the trailer, I think, we shot before Christmas, so there’s plenty of stuff that’s not in it that’s still to be seen, which is exciting because obviously trailers sometimes will just show you everything. I think Tom (Cruise) has pretty much trumped everyone now by hanging off a plane. (laughs) Like, “OK, you’re next. What are you going to do? Hang off a rocket?”
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