Pegg: My Scotty Is A Tribute To Doohan [UPDATED]

Simon Pegg (Star Trek’s new Scotty) is still out promoting his new film How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and still talking (a bit) about Trek. Pegg tells Conan O’Brien that while he pays tribute to the original Scotty, James Doohan, he doesn’t imitate him. And in that interview and many others, Pegg again shows off his geek cred.   


Pegg – geek but not a nerd
On NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien, Pegg’s segment started right off with questions about Simon’s six lightsabers and his custom Darth Vader helmet. Pegg said that he was ‘out and proud’ to be a geek, but not a ‘nerd.’ O’Brien asked a couple of questions about Trek here is what Pegg had to say.

About getting the role

I am genuinely a sci-fi geek, so to get that call from JJ [Abrams], which was literally just an email — I got off the plane and there was this thing ‘would you like to play Scotty?’ on my phone and I kind of fainted.

on how he will avoid seemingly like a parody of Doohan

I didn’t want to go and do an impression of James Doohan, because the guy created one of the most iconic characters in science fiction. The man is a legend and he deserves respect, so does the character. So I tried to approach it as if it was the first time it had ever been played. It is a tribute to him. And his son Chris was with me on the Enterprise – he was my assistant so I was able to chat with Chris about his experiences with his dad. .

[CLICK to watch Pegg on Conan – select ‘Act 5’]

More Pegg

on why he took the Scotty role [BBC]

BBC: You’re best known for comedies – is that why you took a role in Star Trek to show you have a more serious side?

Pegg: I’m not trying to prove anything to anybody – I do what I do because it makes me happy and if I read a script and I like it, or I get the chance to be in something as monumentally historic as Star Trek, then I’m going to do it.

I don’t do it because I think ‘what will people think of me?’. I wish it didn’t involve any of that. It would be nice if you got to make your film and give it to your mum on DVD.

But the choices I make are about if I think I’m going to enjoy it. My favourite thing about this job is shooting and being on set and the three or four months it takes to make the film – the second part I could do without!

on Nimoy and Doohan [AZCentral]

AZCentral: You’re in Star Trek. Were you a fan?

Pegg: I was a huge fan. Leonard Nimoy’s in it, everyone knows that; it’s strange to be in something with not just an actor you’ve known since you were a child but that character. You’re suddenly in the universe with the character that’s been through all that stuff.

AZCentral: You play Scotty. How did you approach that?

Pegg: I think you have to approach it from scratch. You can’t play James Doohan (who played the original Scotty). That would be disrespectful to James Doohan and the character. James Doohan, when he got that role, was given a specific character to play and he’d look to the character and he portrayed it from the ground up, he interpreted it. That’s what I have to do. I have too much respect for him as an actor to go and do an impression of Scotty. I have to think, “This is a Scottish astrophysicist who works on a spaceship.”

on Star Trek director JJ Abrams [Guardian]

Pegg: He’s an absolute fan of film and TV. He’s part of the generation who are now starting to take over Hollywood. They are the people that grew up with video – loving film and TV, renting it, recording it – and they are now controlling what’s being made. It’s basically the rise of the geeks.

More on his geekiness [Boston Globe]

A lifelong science fiction and comic book geek, Pegg says he’s “encyclopedic about certain things, but not to the point of, you know, of making costumes for myself.”

Upon the US release of “Shaun of the Dead,” Pegg, fellow “Dead” actor Nick Frost, and writer-director Edgar Wright – then mostly unknown in this country – promoted the movie at ComicCon and then spent several days shopping, seeing movies, “just hanging out – it was heaven.” (How much of a sci-fi geek is Pegg? He’ll happily interrupt discussion of his latest film to extol the virtues and flaws of the various “Star Trek” spinoffs – and the Borg babe Seven of Nine. One “Star Trek” he can’t discuss: “Star Trek XI,” the movie in which he plays engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott.)

…and even more geekiness from ‘Ten Things You Never Knew About Simon Pegg [Showbiz Spy]

8. Simon’s favourite TV show is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which displaced The X Files as his top series. Better not tell his How To Lose Friends… co-star Gillian Anderson!

9. Simon says The Empire Strikes Back is his favourite film of all time because it’s the “darkest and coolest” of the Star Wars series. When The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, Simon jetted to the US just so he could see it early. That’s an expensive cinema ticket!

10. Even though he’s a big fan of the BBC’s Doctor Who, Simon has no interest in taking on Daleks when David Tennant quits the role. “I really love Doctor Who and I’d hate to have to sit down every Saturday night and have it be me,” he says.


UPDATE: Pegg and Dunst take Trivia Questions
Simon and his How To Lose Friends co-star Kristine Dunst (who was a guest star on TNG when she was a kid) were interviewed by MTV and even took a couple of Trek triva questions


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And, in other news, Pegg calls Ricky Gervais an “idiot” for his recent criticism of the British film industry and British actors who work in America (excepting himself, naturally)

Gervais is a big ol hypocrite..

Conan is the man :D

Ooooh! A cat fight!
I really respect what I’ve seen of both actors. Everyone is allowed their opinion….right? I will continue to pay out my hard earned bucks to see each of these guys. At least until I get bored of them. Can’t see that happening any time soon.

Both are flat-out hilarious. Gervais is the more wildly idiosyncratic of the two — and for all I know he’s unbearable in real life — but man, he’s funny.

. . . “the rise of the geeks” — perfect. Who knew we were at the forefront of a revolution?

Too cool. And we only have to wait 8 more months?? AAAAAAAAAHHHH!

I feel very comfortable with him taking on (rank?) Montgomery Scott.

6 CmdrR – Hello my friend

7 – Scotty’s rank in TOS was Lt. Commander. Later he was a full Commander in Trek TMP and Trek II. He became Captain of Engineering inTrek III and was thereafter.

I can almost guaratee that the Gervais stuff is bollocks.

The press are after copy, and the bottom feeders are found in the British red tops. I bet Gervais and Pegg have a good respect for each other.

I’m still reeling from the recent revelation that J.J. initially also wanted to cast Ricky in this thing too!! Mercy….

#6. I’ve been thinking about entering suspended animation. Like Khan in “Space Seed,” only instead of waking up after a couple of centuries, I’ll just come to spontaneously after 7 1/2 months. And I’d be greeted by Kirk & Spock! But no Marla McGivers; she always annoyed the crap out of me.

Minor edit to the quote of Pegg on Conan’s show. The article says: “I got off the plane and there was this thing ‘would you like to play Scotty on my film?’ ” What he actually said was “I got off the plane and there was this thing ‘would you like to play Scotty?’ on my phone. “

Speaking of tributes: this is from the New York Post for Oct. 1, 2008

“Leonard Nimoy was at a recent Barack Obama event when the candidate spotted him in the crowd and acknowledged Mr. Spock with the Vulcan hand signal .”

Well, Obama IS rather Tuvokian, come to think of it.

Conan as “Irish Leprechaun” Scotty

roflmao :D

“…no Marla McGivers; she always annoyed the crap out of me.”

That’s why Khan knocks her around a little. Ah, the sixties when men were men and women… wore red velour panties.

HEY CMDRR did you know that Chris Doohan plays his assistant and this will be a tribute not an imitation or parody of Jimmy!!!! I for one have not heard this story twice weekly for the last three months!!! Maybe I was completely out of the loop as I was away conquering the Zeta XI nebula (God Damn Zetian Bastards!!!) But this is tremendous “FRESH” news that I certainly have not heard dozens of times already!!!!

#16. Yikes. No need to resort to domestic violence. Infecting her with layringitis would be enough for me.

#8 ‘Beach
I was sort of goofing; since quite a bit of this apparently happens before JTK takes command of the E, do you think he’s second officer yet?

What, Chris Doohan is in this flick? No wonder they put it off. He only does a Trek movie once every 30 years!

(Kidding, Chris. I’m thrilled that you’re in the flick. I’m just soooooo ready for it to hit the screen.)

No parody. Got it.
Starry Trek more serious role fur him. Got it.
Will show his knees quite often. Got it.
Using a more distincy Scotting brogue. Got it.
Has heard the joke aboot his willie bein’ tha’ “real Simon Peg” all his life. Got it.
Chris Doohan worked wit’ ‘im… son of Scotty wit’ tha’ new Scotty. Got it.
He breathes air. Got it.

Oh, I kids cuz I loves.

Simon Pegg really be out thar’ with what- his twelfth picture in theatres since he started Starrey Trek?

Good bloke. Entertaining.


So, I guess Scotty is on the Enerprise doing something……

Actually, there’s a typo in the above article. The ‘news’ is that Chris Doohan has decided to maintain his tradition of appearing in the first of every ten Trek movies. He’ll be in “Star Trek 21: The Holograph,” due out in May 2039 and starring, in her comeback roll, Miley Cyrus as Captain Jane T. Kirk.

CmdR… iffa that come true then it be tha’ best of both worlds then…


20. Funny. Me too

23. I already signed on for Star Trek 21, 31 and 41

Although us Trek fans feel that many of these news storys are redundant, most people have not heard them. I got several emails today from old friends and business associates who had no idea that I was in the film. They heard it for the first time on Conan.

It’s very nice of Simon to include me in these interviews. A class act.

Pegg is paying tribute to Doohan w/o imitating him. These “news” articles are beginning to give me Deja Vu all over again! : )

Chris, please tell me you (or some cast member) will be doing a publicity tour in Atlanta. Pleeeeeease remember you happen to know a tv news producer who’s stuck (seemingly forever) doing the morning show and would love to have a Trek segment. Even if my dreams come true and I get a real job (hahahahahahahahahahahah I make me laugh sometimes) I’m sure you’d be a hit on the show.


Pegg is paying tribute to Doohan w/o imitating him. These “news” articles are beginning to give me Deja Vu all over again! : )

Seems to me that Anthony and the gang are doing their best to scrounge every decent bit of Trek news out there.

You have to remember that these actors were under an NDA, so you’re not going to get a lot of variety in their interviews, or articles covering those interviews. ;) Just wait until *after* the movie comes out, there’s gonna be a lot to talk about then. :-D

Anthony, I want to again thank you and your staff for keeping this site going and digging up all these articles. I know you are doing your best.

CmdR- LMAO! You are in rare form today, sweetness. Did the Admiral dress up like an Orion slavegirl for you last night…

Beach- Why have you not visited 69 Forward in 4.8 days (or somewhere thereabouts…)? We need news of your emotional disposition, my love.

ChrisDoohan- Seeing you aboard the Enterprise is going to be heartwarming to every fan. Abrams would have my confidence just for that decision.

29. Chris,
Did you catch Simon’s shout-off to you on yesterday’s Kevin and Bean show? I thought that was pretty cool. It seems like you two have become pretty close.

You know, Anthony has done the Trek community a great service with this site.

I saw Simon Pegg on The Soap recently, adn I might give the How to make enemies film a look.

He’s a lot of fun.

CmdrR needs some good personalities ta’ fill in tha’ sunbreak news song.

Hope he gets himself one thar’.

I’m sure he’s sick o’ folks who have nothin’ better ta’ say than’ fish tales, or why they stick thar’ willies in nuclear reactors and recipes fur kipper pies.

Oh, wait… he be in tha’ lost city o’ Atlanta so I guess it’s more like possum Coke pies (possum harvested by jumbo jet)…

I can sees it now:
“Good morning ye’all in Atlanta. Today we have us a special guest from the upcoming space movie Star Track which, son-of-gun, was made by the producer of Lost.” — and CmdrR shakes his head off-camera…

(oh, I kids o’ course as I am from a south part o’ me nation meself… well… as south as ye’ can get where it still snows like waxy-flaky Yeti dandruff)


Mongo see part of Pegg new movie. Mongo know people. Movie “Lose friend and Alien Peoples” funny. Mongo think Pegg be REAL BIG after that one.

Glad Chris Doohan in movie! Saw daddy in Port Townsend once. Mongo not talk. Too shy.

BND#33- The lost city of Atlanta – good one. I hear Edger Cayce made a prediction that Atlanta would rise again…


That be cool to see. Maybe Ted Turner hire CmdrR. mans to put on TBS.

Mongo wonder how high it get?

I’m pretty much ready to see the full trailer. Now.

MONGO#35- Probably not as high as I was the night of my college graduation…

Me like how Mongo talk!
; )

Possum n’ Coke is a breakfast of champions! Add some Crystal Pete’s and you’re set for the whole day.
I had the privilege of working for Mr. Ted Nuttypants Turner for five years. I’m currently looking for a gig that doesn’t involve working the same hours as witches, crack-hos, and mold. Thanks for the support. You guys keep me going.
That and AdmrR sans the Orion slavegirl costume… or any other costume.
And now I runs aways.

CmdrR#40- Poor CmdrR. If Spockanella, krikzil and I take you on a week-long vacation to the Shoreleave planet, would that make you feel better…

Yes, Denise… especially if you and krikzil glue tribbles to your boobs, while Spockanella hangs coat hangers from her ears. Thank you so much.

Spockboy mans

Mongo like how you talk too. (That remind Mongo of line from Slingblade)

Mongo not think glue good to use for tribbles on boobies. Spirit gum better.

Mongo wonder if poo-poo stick to tribble fur?

30. Thanks, that means a lot.

31. Yes, that was pretty cool of Simon to do that.

34. Me lik’em Mongo

CmdrR#42- As Diddy would say, No Bitch ASSNESS! I will only participate if MONGO’s spirit gum idea is used. And if Leonardo is present.

42: I’m not proud. I would strategically glue Tribbles (fake ones, not live ones) to my boobs for you if it would help cheer you up.

Glad to see Mr. Doohan getting into the spirit of things. As you can probably tell, we’re all tickled about his participation in the movie.

Denise, Leonardo will want tribbles and gum, too. I’ll have to bring extra gum. The tribbles will make their own extras, since they don’t waste anything thru pooping.

Spockanella#46- Sounds as if a lovely little bacchanalia will be the order of the day. Still, Spockanella, you really should bone up on your negotiating skills – if you give in too quickly, the guys do not appreciate it as much… le giggle…

CmdrR- As soon as I receive verbal confirmation from Leonardo via landline or mobile direct, I will don the Mirror Universe uniform and rendezvous with the orgy party. Do you have the coordinates, Cmdr?

I wonder who Scotty will have a crush on in this movie. He and McCoy are the romantics.