The search for a Scot is over… and it’s an Englishman! Variety is reporting that British actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg has won the role of Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. The 37-year-old beat out a number of others who were up for role of Trek’s most famous engineer, including Stargate’s Paul McGillion. Pegg, who is best known for starring in the hit British comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, had previously worked with Abrams and many members of his ‘Trek’ team on last year’s Mission: Impossible: III, in which Pegg played IMF technician Benji Dunn (essentially the ‘Scotty’ of M:I:III).
Hailing from Gloucester, England, Pegg began his showbiz career as a stand-up comic before moving into television and film. He first gained recognition as the creator, co-writer and star of the British sitcom Spaced, receiving a British Comedy Award as Best Male Comedy Newcomer. He then starred in and co-wrote the "romantic zombie comedy" Shaun of the Dead, which became an international success in 2004. Two years later, he made the cop comedy Hot Fuzz, which enjoyed even greater success.
Pegg is the second Star Trek cast member with a strong connection to comedy, following Eric Bana. Pegg is also the second actor cast to have previously worked with Tom Hardy (Shinzon from Star Trek Nemesis): Pegg worked with Hardy on HBO’s mini-series Band of Brothers, while Bana and Hardy both appeared in Black Hawk Down. Pegg himself is no stranger to the science fiction genre, having guest-starred on the new Doctor Who in 2005.
Not a Scot?
The original casting call for Scotty required a ‘flawless Scottish accent.’ Most English Actors are capable of doing Scottish (and American) accents and Pegg is no exception. Here is a clip from a comedy show Pegg shows off his Braveheart
UPDATE: Chris Doohan backs Pegg
James Doohan’s son Chris (who himself lobbied for the role) just sent in this note regarding Simon
Well, that came out of left field. I guess he pegged theaudition. I must say that even though Paul McGillion was my first choice, I believe that Pegg will do a great job. No,he doesn’t look like my Father and he has a little less hair then Scotty did,but his accent is passable and he’s a great actor. I send my congratulations toyou Simon and I hope you “giver all you got laddie”.
UPDATE 2: Paul McGillion on Pegg
Two weeks ago TrekMovie.com broke the news that Stargate actor Paul McGillion had audtioned for the role of Scotty, sparking a series of reports and a lot of well wishes from the geekoshere. Paul just sent TrekMovie.com a message to all the fans who wished him well:
I’d like to thank you all for your tremendous support especially Chris Doohan who rallied behind me to fill his father’s footsteps. Obviously I have close roots to Scotland; having an opportunity to play an iconic Scottish character would have been an honour.
That being said, I have not had the pleasure of "meeting" Simon Pegg but I am familiar with his work and I think he’s a terrific talent. I wish him and the rest of the cast & crew great success with the new Star Trek film
Scene from MI3 (opens new window)
Trailer for Shaun of the Dead
Trailer for Hot Fuzz