Pegg: James Doohan Is Scotty

Simon Pegg attended the premiere of his new movie, Run, Fat Boy, Run, in Los Angeles last night and the actor continued to discuss his role as the new Scotty with a variety of news outlets. He describes the difficulty he had in accepting of the role of Scotty, Trek fandom, fan reaction to his casting, and his approach to the role.

Pegg tells JoBlo that playing Scotty “really is very, very cool,” and explained that the decision to accept the role wasn’t very easy:

I agonized over it for a couple of days, ‘should I do this, is this the right thing for me to do?’ And eventually I decided it was because, you know, I love my job and my job is pretty much as much as I can about having fun. And this seemed to be a really fun thing to do.

Pegg also described his level of Trek fandom:

I was a fan of the original series and I dipped in and out of ‘The Next Generation’ and the following spin-offs. All of which I enjoyed to a degree. But I was particularly a fan of the first series, so its lovely to be re-visiting those characters, I feel an enormous amount of privilege and some, not a little, responsibility as well.

Pegg thinks Trekkies should relax:

The people out there who are concerned have to understand that it is in the hands of someone who loves the franchise and you really couldn’t have it better then that.

Co-writer/actor Simon Pegg arrives at the Run, Fat Boy, Run premiere on March 24, 2008 at Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles, California. (Wire Image)

He expressed similar sentiments with The Deadbolt when describing the general reaction to his being cast as Scotty:

It’s been mixed, actually, and I understand why. I’ve noticed some people have been like, ‘Great!’ and some people have been like, ‘I don’t get it. Why is he playing that part?’ And I completely understand because Star Trek is very precious to a lot of people and they want it to be right. But … as a Star Trek fan, if I wasn’t in the film I would want a Star Trek fan to be making a film and it is being made by a Star Trek fan. J.J. is that person. He’s exactly the person that those people should want and the decisions that he makes are in accordance with that love. So, you know, relax.

Pegg also explained how he approached the role of Scotty:

I thought I’d go and approach it the same way he [Jimmy Doohan] did, which was to start from scratch. So I tried not to watch – as much as I love the original series – I tried not to watch too much of it, because I wanted my performance to be a tribute to him and what he did with the character and not be an impression. It was daunting. It was like, ‘Sh*t, I’m going to be Scotty.’ And I had to approach it very carefully.

Simon, center of attention at “Run Fatboy Run” premiere (Wire Image)

Pegg reiterated his dedication to honoring Doohan in an interview with The Associated Press following the premiere Run, Fat Boy, Run:

I am playing ‘Scotty,’ but James Doohan is ‘Scotty.’ I tried to approach the role like he did. He’s a Scottish engineer who works in outerspace. He’s a bit of a brawler. I didn’t try to facilitate change.

Pegg also tells AP that he looks forward to playing Scotty for the next few years.

And lastly, in an interview with Movies Online Pegg said he was “a big sort of sci fi geek” and that Star Trek (along with Star Wars, Doctor Who) were big influences on him. He also said that as a fan he was sure the Trek franchise is in the right hands with JJ Abrams:

He’s a fantastic director – I mean seriously energized by enthusiasm. He’s so driven by his enthusiasm which is enormous. And I can’t think of a better person for this franchise to be in the hands of. As I’ve said before, if I was not in the film and I was the most rabid Star Trek fan – you know, I love it very much but not as much as some people – the person I would want to make the film is a fan of Star Trek and that is most certainly J.J.

Actor/Director David Schwimmer, actress Thandie Newton and actor Simon Pegg arrive at the Run, Fat Boy, Run premiere on March 24, 2008 at Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles, California. (Wire Image)

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Get ready for people to be pissed that he said he wasn’t watching TOS ;)

Simon seems to be a very genuine, decent kind of chap. Methinks that the portrayal of Scotty is in very good hands — JJ’s and his. (And the hands of a bunch of others that JJ is working with!)

He’s a great guy. I said it before, I’ll say it again, love his comedy, just don’t see him in this part.BUT should he blow my socks off I’ll be the first to eat humble pie and admit I was wrong.

On another note, is it me, or has someone been working on his eyebrows. They more closely match Doohan’s. An odd detail to notice but it all helps.

I bet these guys love being at the premiere of their new film, and getting mostly Trek related queries. Maybe it proves public interest at large is such that if done right this film will be a huge blockbuster? I’m hoping so.

I had doubts when I first heard about his casting, but I like what I hear……

I’ll say it again- Simon has won me over. I look forward to seeing him in the role.

Every time I see a recent picture of Mr. Pegg I say, “Yep, that’s Scotty.”

Every time he says something about his experiences making the new film I say, “Yep, that’s Star Trek.”

Quotes from him always erase whatever small doubts I may have because he seems genuinely aware of the intense fan reaction to everything surrounding this film and he addresses the subject openly and intelligently.

Thank you, Mr. Pegg, for showing Trek fans such graciousness and respect. I’m looking foward to seeing this film more every day.

Much better then the sulu casting, this guy has the scotty humor and spirit about him…

Concerns… worries… bitching…

Doesn’t it all seem a bit contrived now?

Just LOOK at the guy… Pegg is SO Scotty in these pics, it’s eerie!

I’m not a big fan of J.J.’s, but he seems to have made all the right choices, casting-wise. Can’t WAIT to see the new Kirk & Co. emerge.

Scotty’s a brawler, huh? Some idiot must have insulted the Enterprise, because good ‘ol Scotty can take a few little insults. ;)

Cheers! Mr. Pegg. Looking forward to seeing the new movie.

Pegg really bolsters my confidence that this will be a well put-together movie. I really should stop calling it a movie, it’s so much more like a part of history unfolding. There haven’t been a whole lot of sci-fi movies lately. This really will not just breath new life into Star Trek, but usher in a whole new era of good science fiction. I believe it will set the bar a little higher. I hope in the same way the original series had me captivated as a child, it will do the same for todays generation of kids. It’s a spectacular feeling, to be able to sit and watch something larger than life and so believe in it. I miss the complete suspension of disbelief I got watching Trek, then Star Wars. It was as if those places really did exist. The writers, set designers and actors put such integrity into their work, it was easy to forget they were fantasy, and I miss the days of sitting in a theater and being so captivated by what I was watching I forgot i was watching a movie.

I sincerely hope this is the approach J.J. Abrams is taking, because Star Trek deserves no less, and neither to the generations (both old and new) of people that will watch it.

#7, I was thinking the exact same thing. Hopefully casual moviegoers are as open to this revision idea as we commenting here at I hope they don’t keep searching for Doohans’ Scotty, Shatner, or Shatners’ Kirk and the like, and are ready to just sit back and enjoy what is shaping up to be some performances for the ages.

I know after First Contact I wouldn’t have cared if those movies went direct to DVD, but to have a cast as enthusiastic as we seem to have on the set of the new movie, combined with J.J. Abrams ability to put it all together, really has rejuvenated my and some of my friends’ love for Star Trek as well.

Pegg seems pretty down to earth so I have good feelings about this movie- he respects the material (which is more than what I could say about those idiots Berman and Braga) so I can’t wait till we see a bona-fide trailer for this!

#11: Exactly! You’re so right! This is the rebirth of SciFi as a genre, the dawn of a new age of futuristic entertainment. The meager years are soon to be over. Transformers was the first step, I am Legend was second. Trek and Terminator 4 will be the steps 3+4. And then, there will be Wall-E, Avatar, Dune, Robocop, John Carter of Mars and certainly more Trek…

The era of fantasy is coming to a close around 2011/12 with The Hobbit and the last Potter movies. After that, seven years of fat SciFi are upon us with hopefully more Trek on the big screen and on TV and DTV…

I tell you, Pegg’s gonna steal every scene he’s in.
Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s kind of a funny concept, actually. I mean, his fan base is huge, compared to the others.
JJ may end up regretting it, but that was the “danger” of casting him!

I honestly have not looked forward to anything Trekkian so much since TMP. (OMG, I was in college at that time!!)

Pegg is so eloquent in his descriptions of his character adaptation and feelings for Trek in general. Definitely a good spokesman for JJ’s vision.

i think its actors like pegg who will help win over non star trek fans to the movies, i mean paramount want this to be a big hit , and guys like pegg playing scotty , can do that , he is so awesome lol

#14: If the rebirth of SciFi as a genre requires that we endure Transformers (with all due respect to the authors) and I Am Legend, with things like Wall-E being next . . . I weep for the audiences. That is not so much a rebirth as an abortion. Great science fiction has a *little* to do with convincing and impressive special effects, but has a lot more to do with compelling and moving stories of realistically envisioned futures based on real science. Great SF films only come out once every 5 to 10 years, and in the meantime we have to make due with the movie equivalent of Burger King: it’s there, it satisfies for a bit, but is hardly quality or memorable. My hope is that this next Trek is one of those great SF films – and only time will tell.

JJ trusts Pegg with Scotty.

Pegg says we can trust JJ with the movie.

But what if they’re BOTH lying, and it’s a conspiracy? :D (joke)

Oh dear me!
Simon Pegg is going to steal the limelight even from shirtless Kirk just by cracking a smile while rubbing his black eye (brawler Peggster eh?)
He is going to be SO good :)

well. just don’t insult the enterprise and scotty won’t haul back and knock you out!. i think pegg will be great and i love his approach to the role of scotty. the whole cast seems to be ready and i know that haveing mr spock himself thererealy made them appreacete what they were doing and i bet j.j was on his top game in makeing star trek. so as scotty would say. here to ya lads on making a fine star trek.

“I am playing ‘Scotty,’ but James Doohan is ‘Scotty”

That’s my take on the whole cast. Shatner is Kirk. Pine is playing Kirk. Nimoy is Spock. Quinto is playing Spock. etc etc. I have to side with fellow TOS fan Simon Pegg on this one!

Pegg has the right attitude, he’ll do just fine.

The following makes me very happy. ..

[Pegg thinks Trekkies should relax:

The people out there who are concerned have to understand that it is in the hands of someone who loves the franchise and you really couldn’t have it better then that.]

Today will be a good day!

I always found the attitude that “he doesn’t look a thing like Scotty!!!” very puzzling, because if you really look at his facial structure it is actually VERY similar to Doohan’s during the actual three seasons the show was on the air. I ultimately came to the conclusion that people tend to see the “There be whales here!” Scotty in their minds eye when thinking of him. As to his acting approach and style, I never really had any doubt that it would be good, because really he’s brilliantly versatile AND down-to-earth -much like Doohan himself!

To me, the original actors WERE the characters, and the new actors are just playing the original characters in a new movie about them. Kind of like a biopic. That’s how I approach it, and it will allow me to enjoy it more without putting the pressure on it to actually BE the original series.

It’s a movie based on the real people that we knew and loved. Aint’ that a weird way of looking at it? :)

#24 earthclanbootstrap
That’s true, unfortunately when people think of Scotty they think of old, fat Scotty.
It’s unfair though, not to say pretty naive as Doohan really didn’t loose his middle until he was in his late sixties – so well after his curve
And he was a VERY handsome, mature man with a lovely personality.

Well, Simon Pegg is a VERY handsome man also. Sweet, warm, loving – he’s got a personality to match his looks. I bet there aren’t many cold shoulders for him. But he’s married…isn’t he? :)

Another fantastic interview! While I was doubtful about Simon Pegg being cast as Scotty, he has definitely won me over. He seems like a warm and sincere person. He is also a huge science fiction fan which makes it even better. I liked the fact that he will be true to Scotty’s original character. He is a brilliant engineer but he is also a feisty brawler. His scene in the TOS episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” where he punches out a Klingon for insulting the Enterprise is just classic Scotty. Scotty was always one of my favorite characters.

My fiance pointed out that Simon Pegg does look at lot like James Doohan. I never thought so, but the more I see him in interviews, the more I have to agree with him.

I once read an interview with Gene Roddenberry years ago where he stated he wanted to make the Enterprise’s cheif engineer a Scot.. He stated that the Scots were excellent engineers and inventors. I thought that comment was interesting.

BTW I saw “Run Fat Boy Run” at the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF)s everal weeks ago and really enjoyed the film. I plan to see it agian this weekend. I have both”Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” on DVD and enjoyed them both. Simon Pegg is rapidly becoming my favorite actor.

I am sorry but only James Doohan will ever be Scotty to Star Trek fans…
this movie is going to be such a dud, cant wait to say I told ya so!


oh!, and this will be the last attempt at a Trek for many many years hopefully forever!!!.

The Star Trek Universe ended when when the last movie house stopped showing Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country in the spring of 1992.

There was only one cast and crew, and they are either all old or dead now!


#28—-“snicks of delight”?

What a waste of time at the keyboard.

no…what a waste of film…without william shatner and nimoy only!
..the bastards at paramount should be fired!

….and you should shut that hole in your face, # 29. Mr. Poopey face-Closetfreak!

your all suck suckers who believe this movie is going to draw anything but flies.

The Star Trek Universe ended when when the last movie house stopped showing Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country in the spring of 1992.

There was only one cast and crew, and they are either all old or dead now!


I think that as long as there are people who want to believe in change, Trek will always have a future. If this film tanks there will be those who will strive to make it real. One day sci-fi can be sci-fact. The human adventure continues even if Trek fails. So no worries. For those of us who desires the philosophy of trek to be made real it is already here. Star Trek the franchise may tumble.Star Trek the entertainment machine might falter. Star Trek the storyline might be sacrificed. The desire to improve will go on. The name Star Trek will grow. The astronauts who take the challenge of going into outer space inspired by the exploits of the Enterprise, are the true arbiters of what Gene viewed for the human race. Star Trek in essence will never die. IMHO. That is where the adventure begins in the hopes ,dreams, and aspirations of the mind.


I love the Original. Most people here do.
But we all want a FUTURE. Hope is the only thing we’ve got so far.
What sort of a bonehead do you have to be to want to take that away from people, only because you can’t let go of the past. You know what? James Doohan would shake his head at you, he’d be disgusted with you. And you call yourself a fan?
Star Trek must live!!!

#28 And let me guess, the world ends in 2012, just like all the doom sayers are predicting…? Relax, chill, and love the franchise as much as you love TOS (it seems you are a TOS only type of Trekkie). *waits to see the rest of the flames*

I think that Simon will be awesome. I think that the entire cast will be awesome. You have some acting veterans and of course Nimoy there to help out the younger ones, and you have Trek fans at the helm of the movie (writers, director, producer, etc). The movie will be great, people just can’t go in expecting to see Shatner, Nichols, Koenig, Takei, Doohan, Kelly, etc. They need to expect to see Pine, Saldana, Yelchin, Cho, Pegg, Urban, Quinto, Nimoy (woot!), etc. This is not the same Trek we see in terms of faces and actors, but it is the same Trek in terms of the feel.

People who are skeptical just need to relax a bit and let it all play out. The movie will be great, and I can’t wait until May 2009.

#31, Yes it may be true what you say, but they did not need to remake a legend.

They should have done another star ship’s story of the same period.

Like Commodore Bob Wesley of The Lexington, say for example?.

that way they would not ruin what has already gone before, I agree to a large extent with the wacko who posted and can understand their being upset..they are playing with fire in this redo.

#34 Yea, they could have done that, but you have to understand the reasoning from the suits in this. The Lexington is not what they see as Trek; they see the Enterprise, Kirk, Spock, Scotty, etc. If they are trying to restart the franchise, they are not going to go with something completely new. And I think that they made the right move. Yea, so they are remaking a legend, but I don’t see the problem in that. People do it all the time with Johnny Cash’s songs (as an example) and they still capture what he did in those songs. And I’m sure that there are many die hard Cash fans that think that the songs will fail, but they don’t.

The decision was actually very logical on their part, and I don’t see them doing a restart of a franchise any other way than with the TOS crew.

#28 The Star trek universe ended after the the 6th movie? yeah maybe in a parallel universe somewhere but not in this one. You mean to say that the Next Gen ,Ds9,Voyager and Enterprise The New voyages and other fan projects are not considered Trek In your humble Opinion? thats kind of a narrow way to look at things don’t you think? Your not going to give Pegg and the this film a chance that much is clear, as to it failing at the box office , I think you are being a bit premature on that statement..

There is noting wrong with this reboot there is nothing wrong with Pegg and company portraying these classic characters, yeah they won’t be exactly,exactly like the originals, but they will be close enough so that it won’t matter. Besides different actors bring slightly differing interpretations to classic characters, thers is nothing wrong wit that

#30—“suck suckers”? Is that stutter-typing? Why don’t you take your trolling somewhere else?

This is a fine article about one of the cast members of a film which is paying the ultimate tribute to the classic characters we all know and love.

I am sorry if you are more of a Shatner fan than a Star Trek fan, but Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Checkov are characters in a fictional universe, and they are being recast—despite your displeasure.

If you don’t like it, don’t see it. However, I, and many others, will go and give it a chance. Am I a sucker for liking to be entertained by movies? If it is not good, what have I wasted—ten dollars and two hours of my life? Give me a break. That is what I tipped my waitress at lunch yesterday on a 25.00 bill.

#34 logical trek
I don’t think there could be better role models than the TOS characters. I could always look up to those great characters and to the people portraying that. The new TOS cast are decent people, all of them. I think all of them can do their role justice and they understand their task completely. They understand this is about Star Trek, a cult, a religion and not about themselvels and their egos. Beautiful young people! This movie is going to be great!

Look, we live in a world that badly needs good role models to lead us away from jail hopping, hard drinking, partying, drug doing, anti social Disney One-time-Teenie Stars who are now in their twenties and seem to be nothing but disfunctional parents to poor, poor children…

I turned away from this sickening society a long time ago. I don’t want to see them on TV or in the Cinema. I want to see a Pegg, a Cho, a Quinto – I want to see intelligent and loving people – real people not Disney made psychos.

#34—Going in other directions had made Trek stale. I have been clamouring for a recast of the original and a revisit to the classic era of Star Trek for twenty years. I am happy this is happening, and I think the timing could not be better for the franchise.

I love what the original actors did with those characters to help them to become so iconic, but time marches on, and fortunately, so does Star Trek in the 23rd Century.

The following link is the #1 most viewed article on right now!

40…ah you beat me to it.

i am a huge star trek fan and i can be very picly about the show. but i believe that jj abrams will do a great job on this movie. star trek is not just about a certan cast it’s about the human element and about great stories. that was what the tos series had and is. it was not about the actors it was about the charaters and stories. stories which hold up true even today. what jj is doing is paying homage to the classic story and the new actors of the movies are paying homage to the original. there not replacing the orignals there continuing. so for all you haters out there. chill and if you don’t want to see the movie. then don’t. us real trek fans will go and see it. also number 28. it will be we who will say told you so. not you.

#28 and #31

I would get in trouble for calling you idiots. I won’t say it because it’s not polite to make people self-conscious about their ignorant statements.


You could make a movie about Wesley and the Lexington and you and #’s 28 and 31 might go see it. Of course, the operative phrase here would be YOU could make it, because any studio worth two bits wouldn’t touch it. You couldn’t get the “Rock Monster” greenlighting Sci-Fi channel to produce it. Paramount doesnt even want to make any TNG era movies, and that era made a chunk of money for the studio.. It’s this or nothing. If you prefer nothing, don’t watch. Your perspective of Star Trek should then remain unchanged.

Oh, for heaven’s sake! Not this again!

Star Trek was a show about FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. It is not HISTORY, nor it is RELIGION.

These FICTIONAL CHARACTERS can and should be played by OTHER PEOPLE, considering that all of the original actors are now TOO OLD to play them in their prime.

The original Star Trek was a TV SHOW conceived, produced and directed by MORTAL HUMANS. It can and should be turned into a new film by OTHER MORTAL HUMANS, considering that Gene Roddenberry and many others involved in the original’s conception are TOO DEAD too do so themselves.

The new film will not be a CARBON COPY of the original, as that would be both POINTLESS and IMPOSSIBLE TO ATTAIN. It would also be STUPID, considering that the show’s original production values are TOO OBSELETE to be employed here.

There! I said it! Now would all these “star trek deserves to tank, duh, duh, snort duh” people PLEASE! JUST! SHUT! UP!!!!!!

#44 valiant effort Trek Nerd Central, to bad it’s falling on numerous deaf ears.

Gotta love it when someone Trolls by looking to inflame the community.

Anthony, please take a peek at #28 and #30. Thanks

Sorry for busting on you #31. I meant #30. Thanks for pointing that out, bug.

Actors playing actors playing characters…

So long as they don’t have the characters try to act then my head won’t explode.

I’m a huge fan of Simon Pegg, but even with the pictures of late, and having had time to mull over the idea, I just can’t get my head around him doing the accent and working the transporter.

Seeing will be believing I’m certain…

I wasn’t at all happy about him being cast at first, but he’s grown on me. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does this and if he can pull it off.

The face he’s making in that one photo has a Jimmy Doohan-ish quality to it somehow.