Simon Pegg clarifies comments on 'childish' sci-fi

Story highlights

  • Simon Pegg said sci-fi spectacles are "dumbing down" the culture
  • He posted a clarification on his blog
  • Pegg says "the idea of our prolonged youth" is a topic he's interested in

(CNN)An actor best known for the movies "Star Trek" and "Shaun of the Dead" has some surprising things to say about the genres that made him famous.

In a recent interview with the UK's Radio Times, actor Simon Pegg said, "Obviously I'm very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we've been infantilised by our own taste."
He referred to big-budget, effects-driven movies as a "dumbing down" of the culture, saying, "Now we're essentially all consuming very childish things -- comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously."
    Some have pointed out that among those movies are the "Star Trek" and "Mission: Impossible" franchises he is known for, along with "Shaun" (about a group of humans battling zombies) and "The World's End" (about a group of humans battling aliens).
    On top of that, the title of his autobiography is "Nerd Do Well."
    Pegg posted a clarification on his blog later Tuesday.
    "Now, maybe I was being a little bit trollish, I can be a bit of a Contrary Mary in interviews sometimes," he admitted.
    "When you do lots of them, you get sick of your own opinions and start espousing other people's. Having said that, the idea of our prolonged youth is something I've been interested in for a very long time."
    He backed off the "dumbing down" comments: "I did not mean that science fiction or fantasy are dumb, far from it. How could I say that? In the words of Han Solo, 'Hey, it's me!' "
    Pegg pointed to the recent movies "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Ex Machina" as thought-provoking examples of science fiction.
    But he thinks there are questions worth examining now that the once-cultish worlds of science fiction and fantasy have become part of mainstream culture.
    "In short: I love Science Fiction and fantasy and do not think it's all childish," said Pegg, who is currently helping write the next "Star Trek" movie. "I do not think it is all generated by dominant forces as a direct means of control ... much. I am still a nerd and proud."