What was it like getting the call from Spielberg?
I remember the night I came back from seeing Raiders for the first time. And then, 30 years later, him calling the house and my mum hearing his voice coming out of my phone. And me thinking, “Wow, do you remember that night when I came back and said how amazing Raiders was and how brilliant that guy was? Here he is. We can hear him in our house. That’s the guy.”
What’s Spielberg like on set?
There’s no false modesty. He’ll just tell you a story about making Close Encounters, as for him it was just making a film. He would always say, “That’s in the movie!” That’s his way of saying, “You did a good take.” He started calling me and Nick his “boys”, too: “Here’s my boys, here’s my boys...”
Did you feel like you were being directed by a master?
It was awesome on a daily basis. Me and Andy Serkis were doing a scene where Captain Haddock [Serkis] is shaking me. Steven goes, “No, no, no. Try to do it like this.” So Steven got on top of me and he started shaking me. I was just lying on the floor being beaten up by King Kong and Steven Spielberg.
Has he shown you any footage yet?
I’ve only seen what was up on the screen when we were shooting, which was a very crude kind of N64-level version. But it’ll look like Hergé’s drawings in 3D. As real as Avatar, if not more so, as technology has advanced.
What’s the latest on your next film with Edgar Wright?
Edgar blabbermouthed this World’s End title and I phoned him and said, “You IDIOT. What have you done? That’s exactly what we said we weren’t going to do.” Because suddenly it becomes a thing, an entity. At the moment, there’s no entity.
Is it a disaster-movie parody?
No, I don’t know what it is. We’ve got a rough idea. It’s just going to be another film about where we are in our lives right now. About growing up. It’ll be about being 40.
What is it like turning 40?
My 40th birthday was bizarre. I was stood on a gallows with a noose round my neck, my hands tied behind my back and 500 warty peasants singing me happy birthday. I was filming Burke And Hare [out 29 October]. It’s a milestone, figuratively. Such a long way from 28, which is how old I was when I made Spaced.
Have you had a mid-life crisis yet?
Yeah... I think I’m having one. I really want to buy a Porsche.
That’s the most outlandish thing you’ve bought?
I’m not very outlandish. I bought a massive TV for my house. I have a room in the house especially for watching films.
How massive are we talking?
It’s, like, a 65in plasma. You know, HD, all that kind of stuff. Gives off quite a lot of heat, actually. It’s quite a warm room. But I’m just not very extravagant.
So you’ve never blown a few million on a Superman cape or something?
I’ve got a customised Darth Vader helmet which I bought at auction. But I don’t have a Stormtooper outfit in a glass case or anything like that.
Not even one?
No, I genuinely don’t. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have much money growing up, I guess. I’m not a hugely materialistic person. I’ll buy sh*tloads of stuff for the dog.
Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg is out now, priced £18.99 (Century)