Last week at the final stop on his mini book tour for his memoir "Nerd Do Well," Star Trek’s Simon Pegg sat down with TrekMovie.com to talk about growing up nerd, geeking out on Star Trek, critiques of the film, getting more serious with the role of Scotty in the sequel and more. Watch the video interview below.
Interview with Simon Pegg
Here is my video interview with Simon Pegg, Star Trek’s new Scotty, with text highlights and some quotes below
- Pegg believes that being a nerd (and fans of things like Star Trek) isn’t the same thing as it was when growing up in the 70s and 80s, and it has now been "appropriated" by the mainstream
- Star Trek: The Animated Series was Pegg’s "gateway" into Star Trek, didn’t start watching original series until age nine
- Made an appointment every night to watch original Star Trek series reruns as a kid on BBC2
- Getting a chance to work with Leonard Nimoy was "kind of distracting when trying to act – in the back of my mind I was ‘That’s Spock!’"
- "Geeked out" when stepped on to bridge of Enterprise for the first time was "like Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon."
- On approach to character of Scotty "I certainly didn’t want to do an impression of James Doohan [but] approach it like [he] did, I’m going to say this is the character and this is how I am going to play it"
- Defends "Budgineering" Engineering redress, Echoing Abrams goal of showing the scale of Enterprise as a "huge ship" with an "an industrial heart" and getting away from "this room with a glowing tube in the middle" but says he "gets" the critique
- Regarding critiques of the coincidence meetings in Star Trek he notes "that is the point! This is reality dragging itself back together"
Simon Pegg in "Star Trek" – at found it distracting to work with the "The Spock" (Leonard Nimoy)
Some key quotes:
Noting that the role of Scott in 2009’s Star Trek included a lot of humor, I asked Pegg on if his Scotty can also take on some of the more serious side of the original character, including taking command of the ship.
Simon Pegg: When I took the role of Scotty, I never looked at him as a comic character as such. He has always been a whimsical character, because of his background and is almost like an ethnic minority on board ship. There is something lyrical and fanciful about him. There is something about him that has whimsy, they all do at times even Spock. But I always thought that was what was in the script, he was marooned on that planet for a long time and he got on the ship and everything was kicking off and his reaction was almost like our reaction to it all. So yeah I absolutely hope so. I don’t think Scotty is a comic character at all. In this Star Trek he was thrust into everything, and he learned all this stuff about his own discoveries. He was brought on board the ship where everything was crazy and for him, that was a comic situation. I would like to hope that in future adventures he can find the sort of depth and seriousness that James Doohan had to tackle in the series.
I also talked to Pegg about those who are as critical of the 2009 Star Trek film as he is of the Star Wars prequels. He replied:
Simon Pegg: I get it. I have faith in our Star Trek. I like what JJ [Abrams] did. He invigorated it, which is what it needed to persist. What perhaps those fans love about Star Trek is something that might not have been able to continue if Star Trek was to in its present form. Basically Star Trek had to be given a dose of sort of Star Wars brashness – original Star Wars – that kind of inspirational adventure and excitement and less about the way computers work and stuff like that. But I get it and I totally respect it. And I hope those people don’t see us as enemies, but of course that is a valid opinion. These kind of things are precious and mean everything to everyone. We weren’t going to please everyone. At least I hope they understand our intentions were absolutely honorable.
Simon Pegg in "Star Trek" – defends use of Budweiser plant for engineering + felt Star Trek needed injection of some Star Wars “brashness”
If you want to pick up Simon’s new memoir "Nerd Do Well" (which is recommended by TrekMovie.com) it is now available at bookstores in North America, and on Amazon.com.