10 Standout Nerds of 2011


Simon Pegg

British actor, writer, producer and comedian Simon Pegg has appeared in two of the "Mission: Impossible" films with Tom Cruise, in addition to the 2009 remake of "Star Trek," and co-wrote and starred in the 2004 comedy hit "Shaun of the Dead," among other movie credits [source: Alejo]. But Pegg's steadily-rising success hasn't caused him to forsake his geeky roots.

To the contrary, in 2011, Pegg published a memoir, "Nerd Do Well," which, among other things, celebrates his youthful obsession with "Star Wars." He took to kissing a picture of Princess Leia each night before going to sleep, and eventually got the opportunity to reveal that tidbit to the princess herself, when he met actress Carrie Fisher while appearing at a Comic-Con convention [source: Penguin Group].

He calls the book "an account of my journey from ordinary nerd to nerd participating in the world that made him nerdy in the first place," but admits that his first desire was to depict himself as "a suave, handsome superhero and his robot butler ... a tricked-out vigilante with innumerable gadgets, a silver tongue and deadly fists." Unfortunately, he quips, "I don't even have a robot butler. Not any more" [source: Pegg].