Shaun Riley
Biographical information


Eye color


Hair color



Crouch End


Barbara (mother)
Philip (step-father)


Shaun Smiley Riley

Current status

Living with Liz

Behind the scenes

Shaun of the Dead


Simon Pegg

Shaun Riley[2] was an aspiring DJ and partner of Liz. He became an unlikely hero during the events of Z-Day.


Shaun was born to Barbara and an unknown man, who died when Shaun was around fourteen. He lived in Crouch End, and met Ed while at junior school, whereupon the two became best friends. Shaun later met Pete at college, who sold him weed on one occasion. At the age of seventeen, Shaun's life changed when his mother remarried.[3] Shaun and his new step-father, Philip, did not get on—Philip once chased Shaun around the garden with a bit of wood for damaging his prized Jaguar.

Shaun aspired to be a DJ, though this ambition was shelved along with his record collection, and he became stuck in a rut…hindered in no small part by Ed's incessant laziness. However, Shaun became involved in a serious relationship with Liz; the two met in Greece, though Shaun remained unmotivated while Liz aspired to achieve more with her life than simply "drinking herself to death" in the couple's local, the Winchester.

Shaun himself later attempted to turn his life around, though his epiphany unfortunately coincided with the rise of the living dead.

Further interesting info.

In an interview with GQ magazine [4] in 2018, Pegg admitted Shaun is an exaggerated version of himself, and it was easy to play the part. At the time he (Pegg) lived in a similar style to Shaun, and had a close relationship with co-star Nick Frost (Ed). Pegg goes on to explain how one of the films main plot lines (British pub culture), was influenced by his and Frost’s territorial habit of meeting and bonding in the same pub during the previous years.

Pegg has explained the concept for the film was derived from an episode of Spaced where Tim (Pegg’s Character) hallucinated fighting zombies in his house due to drugs. It is because of this episode (of Spaced), and the fun Pegg and director Edgar Wright had creating a zombie themed entry to the sitcom, that they decided to create a zombie feature length film.

Pegg has admitted Shaun’s DJ name is Shaun “Smiley-Riley”.

The film is the first in a trio of films featuring Pegg and Frost known as the “Cornetto Trilogy”. This is the strawberry input.

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Notes and referencesEdit

  1. On the DVD cast commentary, Simon Pegg notes that his naturally brown hair was dyed in an attempt to make it blond, though this resulted in a red tint that made him "look slightly ginger". Nick Frost called it "russet", while Dylan Moran wondered if there was even a name for it.
  2. A poster in Shaun's flat refers to a "Shaun Smiley Riley"; this is confirmed on Edgar and Simon's DVD commentary to be Shaun's name during his days as a DJ.
  3. Shaun of the Dead: Synopsis
  4. Simon Pegg Interview 2018