Watch: Simon Pegg Reveals How He Pranked Benedict Cumberbatch Into Forgetting His Lines


Over the weekend Simon Pegg made a somewhat rare con appearance at Fantasycon in Utah. The new Scotty actor talked about a number of things during his panel, including working on the Star Trek movies. Watch highlights from his talk below.

Pegg talks about ‘Neutron Cream’ prank + says new Trek crew break Hollywood young actor myths

One of the locations where Star Trek Into Darkness filmed was the Lawrence Livermore National Ignition Facility and while there actors Simon Pegg and Chris Pine played a prank on their fellow actors, telling them they needed to use a fake "neutron cream" to protect themselves from radiation. Eventually they pranked the whole cast, but at one point co-star Benedict Cumberbatch took them too seriously, Pegg explains…

[Benedict] was so taken in by it that he complained at lunchtime that he forgot his lines because of all the positive ions in the air. "I’ve got a bit of a headache, it’s just getting to me."

Pine and Pegg eventually revealed the truth in a funny way, watch Pegg recall the story below.

Last week Pegg tweeted out a picture of Pine and himself with the "Neutron Cream."

During Pegg’s panel he also talked about working with the Star Trek crew. By now their camaraderie is well known, but the actor revealed that he was initially wary of his fellow actors, saying…

I really love my star trek friends. I came to that group as the oldest cast member and I didn’t know any of these kids. I thought they were going to be young Hollywood and a bit weird and sort of needy and all those myths you hear about young actors. And they are not. They are very sort of cool, very collaborative, lovely bunch of people and I love every one of them and have made great friends with them just by being on set with them. So I would say that definitely the crew of the Enterprise. They were very well chosen.

Here is the full video of the panel


Thanks to Hobbitgirl and Novarat for videos. Top image via Simon Pegg/Twitter

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Speaking of “having fun”
I was in Hollywood last week hiking in Runyon Canyon, late afternoon July 1. I was a tourist taking tons of pics of LA from the great view. There are quite a few people on this trail. Next thing I know I hear a voice behind me. “Hey I saw you taking pictures of those girls up there…you know this is a dangerous mountain you may not get off of…if you took pics of my girl like that i would kick your f-ing ass…” For the record, I was taking pics of the landscape. The voice behind me, well it was Chris Pine. It was all I could do to apologize and get the hell out of there. He really overreacted and I wasn’t going to take any chances. It was truly frightening, but I’ll always have the story that I almost got my ass handed to me by Captain Kirk. Hollywood is still a tough town i guess.

Wow, is that for real, bjdcharlie?

Do you think he might not have been having you on a little?

Anyway, it does appear that Chris Pine needs to lighten up. It may be that he is a bit defensive, but there was no need to be so aggressive and rude. He could have politely asked you what you were photographing and told you that local people do not appreciate being photographed because of their need for privacy etc – you understand – sort of thing.

If this is true, is Chris Pine actually seeking to be disliked by all and sundry? Not very nice and so very DUMB!
Perhaps what I have said about Chris having a care and taking care might be a bit too “douchebaggy” to him, but I would know this kind of “douchebag” to another kind – the real douchebag represented by the person speaking to the poster.

I enjoyed reading this article but it has been spoiled somewhat…what gives? Honestly, what gives?


I hope he was kidding


The Shaky-Cam!

Yes, indeed, both bjdcharlie and Chris Pine…

However, I do think that I may be the subject of trolling, given what has been said on other threads re another of my innocent suggestions on what could be in the next film and the sudden appearance of Uncle Alan.

If all this is the case, then some people appear to have a strange sense of humour…just saying…

Yes, shaky cam.

That interview was so funny!

#2 it was for real Keachick.

I don’t think he was pulling my leg. He sounded way too pissed off for that. Maybe he mistook me for an annoying papparazzi or something, i don’t know. But it scared the living sh*t out of me and he and I were alone on that stretch of trail. He kept repeating how he would kick my ass and I repeated that I wasn’t taking pictures of anyone and that i was sorry for…whatever. The whole episode lasted about 45 seconds, but I just wanted to get away.
Five minutes before a figure jogging the trail revealed himself to be Zachary Quinto. I managed to blurt out “love yer work” as he passed me by and he grunted “thanks”. Then within 5 minutes Chris Pine showed up. You can appreciate that as a Star Trek fan how absolutely surreal this was!

@1. bjdcharlie

If that is true, then he is a real jacka$$.

Wait, Quinto is in LA?

Anyway, Pine is the son of a Hollywood actor, growing up in affluence and never in want for anything. And now that he’s even more famous than his dad, of course he’s a d-bag, I’d be surprised if he actually turned out to be a nice, down-to-earth guy!

You shoulda punched him. What a jerk.

That is one successful practical joke!

Your right; I should have punched him, really.

But I knew in that moment that I had never in my life experienced a feeling of imminent danger and threat as strongly as I felt in that moment. So my little meeting had to end, fast. That’s just Darwin i guess.

Great story to look back on, but what a jerk. Really unnecessary.

I’m glad I have this community to share this bizarre event.

Chris Pine might be famous but he needs to picks his new projects wisely. Star Trek movies are the only successful movies that he made so far, the rest are either flops or barely made it at the box office.

Jack Ryan Box Office: $50 M / Budget: $60 M
Rise of the Guardians Box Office: $103 M / Budget: $145 M
People Like Us Box Office: $12 M / Budget: $16 M
This Means War Box Office: $54 M / Budget: $65 M
Unstoppable Box Office: $81M / Budget: $100 M
Carriers Box Office: $104M / Budget: N/A

@ 11. bjdcharlie – July 8, 2014

“Your right; I should have punched him, really.”

That would be a mistake, you did well by walking away from him.

12. Ahmed

Good point about Pine’s flicks, but worth noting that they all made back their budgets and more internationally except People Like Us (at least, that was the case last time I checked boxofficemojo). He could still use a solid domestic hit, but he’s yet to have been in a true disaster.

Is it normal for someone to come up to a perfect stranger and say what Chris Pine is supposed to have said to bjdcharlie?

There are always two sides to every story, but no doubt, all we’ll get is one side of the story.

Keachick in slight denial here because something does not seem quite right and I have not heard the other side.

Wow, but has not bjdcharlie’s (name not familiar to me here) post hijacked this thread somewhat?

This is a thread about actors pulling convincing practical jokes on one another. Actors are not the only people able to do this. Cygnus could be right…don’t know.

Thanks for – not a lot…

Cumberbatch’s comments about his forgetting his lines because the ions were giving him a headache was surely more likely that he knew at some point that he was being had, but did not let on…LOL


I’m not sure about your Chris Pine encounter, as I’m not a fan of his so I don’t really follow his career, but Zachary Quinto is definitely not in L.A. He’s been in NYC, and during the time you’re referring to he was likely in Washington D.C (he was there for the White House Pride Reception) or heading back from there. He’s currently in Paris for Fashion Week, so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for L.A. Maybe you saw someone else?

#12. Ahmed – July 8, 2014

I know he didn’t star in it but didn’t his turn in THE PRINCESS DIARIES II put him on the map?

“There’s a vodka soda, and there’s a Gatorade to replenish my dwindling muscle.” — Chris Pine

I only know what i saw and heard, and that you folks here may take an interest in it. Hell, who else am i going to tell??
I don’t expect any of you to believe a complete stranger, all i can say is that I definitely encountered Pine (100%). The Quinto sighting was fleeting enough where I would say I’m 95% positive it was him. Seeing Pine moments later confirmed that, at least for me. But I don’t expect you all to believe me.
Now, back to the topic.

Looking at it from Pine’s perspective he is probably totally fed up with being papped while out and about. It might explain the overreaction. That said i’d have thought he’d have known the difference between a pap and someone taking a picture of scenery? Presumably, by now, he knows which end of a camera does what? Sounds like he’s got a bit of an attack of the Big Hollywood Star thing, which going by Ahmeds post at #12, he patently isn’t.

Back to Pegg, one of the very few good things about Into Dorkness was his Scotty with a conscience. And his drunk Scotty. And his ‘you mad bastard’ Scotty! Now that I think about it he was easily the best thing about the movie.

I don’t know…if one is drinking Gatorade simultaneously with their hard liquor that’s a sign of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol such that it leads to an electrolyte imbalance. In other words, someone has a problem.

I remember: this guy Pegg insulted fans last summer.
I remember.
He should say: «sorry, trekkers»

I sat down to watch Jack Ryan DVD which was on sale its first day (??) at Walmart for $12.99. My attitude was good, I like “Unstoppable” and have nothing against Pine but about halfway into it, I turned it off and have not returned. It is somehow just going thru the motions and, well, very boring.

He is in the new film “Bad Bosses” but he is not one of the lead actors; I glimpsed him tied up in the trunk in previews, so apparently his presence is not considered a big draw at all. It is just a glimpse of “someone” in the trunk.

I know the “bad teacher” (now gone from television schedule after about 2 episodes), “bad boss” idea has generated several films but this one looks especially stupidly obnoxious. If you enjoy them, though, good for you – this is just my opinion.

But point is, why did Pine choose to be in this film? No doubt he had his reasons but I fail to see them for a “leading man” which he HAS to be by now – or – he is not. Just thoughts.

Hollywood folk fly back and forth between NY and LA in one day – it could have been Quinto.

Last year friend of mine was on the LA 405 and had a loose wheel on the trailer she was pulling. She swears Quinto pulled up even with her and pointed at the problem. So there’s a good report. It is easier to get a positive look at Quinto than Pine, at least in recent days.

I don’t know about any of this bullshit about Pine, but the Simon Pegg video was very funny and he was charming as always.

I don’t to buy the Pine story or not but who knows maybe its true.

would’ve been better if itd had been Shatner though LOL

re Jack Ryan – I think Paramount should’ve brought back Harrison Ford as an older Ryan and done a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy type movie instead of Jack Ryan Begins (again – as isn’t that what Sum of All Fears was supposed to be?)

I just realised it must be getting close to the beginning of filming Trek 3…if the story is true Pine and Quinto must be getting in shape for it!

I read that Pine and Quinto box each other to get in shape for Trek 3, a trainer suggested it who was hired to get them in shape. It said Quinto usually wins. However, the website which says this is very–er—not dependable.

@ 18. Disinvited – July 8, 2014

“I know he didn’t star in it but didn’t his turn in THE PRINCESS DIARIES II put him on the map?”

I didn’t watch that one, but from reading articles about him, it was indeed the role that brought attention to him. And then ST09 came out 3 years later & he become Hollywood new “hot commodity”.

There are two sides to every story. While the community does tend to have a ‘anything goes’ reputation, individuals have been know to intercede if there is a perception of wrongdoing – I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but it would not be the first time someone got the snot beat out of them if they had been identified as secretly taking pictures of females, in a less then flattering light, without their permission. The reaction does seem a bit out of character for Pine, who does seem to lie low in the community.

I’m not prepared to further criticize Mr. Pines choices of projects. The man seems very content with them, and it’s also a bit unfair to label them as ‘his failures’ when a number of them were co-starring or ensemble casts. Between that, and some bizarre reasoning why worldwide box office should not be considered a barometer for an individuals success (or failure), it’s a pointless exercise. The man seems happy, is evolving as an asset to the Trek franchise, it’s not my job to be his armchair agent.

Getting back to Simon…A fun story. I’ll be interested to hear if Karl ever exacts his revenge.

Pegg does seem to enjoy these events. Sounds like he’s a fun guy to have on set, unlike some celebrities who seem to feel it’s their God-given right to berate everyone within ten feet of them for even imagined slights.

Keachick, the guy told his story — believe it, or not, and move on.

1. bjdcharlie – July 8, 2014



Now, THAT’s a story for the ages!

*sniff* Closest I have to that is having a sword pulled on my by LL Cool J’s stand in from the movie Rollerball in a bar bathroom. And, that wasn’t near as cool, because he didn’t pull the sword on me, he was rehearsing for his role as Laertes in a Hamlet adaptation at the bar….I walked in on him.

Neither one was in California last week. You’ve all been had.

But I do want some neutron cream.

@ 35. NuFan – July 9, 2014

“Neither one was in California last week.”

Links ?

I have no idea if there were in California or not last week, so unless you work for them as their travel agent, a link supporting your statement would be nice.

That should read “They” not “There”

Zach Quinto wasn’t in LA on July 1, just look at his instagram! And def @eserei27 knows a lot about ZQ!

If @bjdcharlie was wrong about that, I doubt about the whole story about Chris Pine, who arrived in LA on June 30, after a trip to Europe and NYC.

And… Yes, I’m crazy enough to know about that! :D

Zach Quinto new movie has not to do with Trek 3, there’s some info link below:

Chris Pine possible new movie some info link below:

They are not prepping for Trek 3, yet!

I’m still annoyed by Pegg’s public complaining/denial about the whole “Is it Khan?” thing. If he was ordered to do it by the studio, then it arguably wasn’t the cleverest marketing (after they’d done a terrible job of keeping it in the bag by courting every hispanic actor on Earth). Sure it got lots of press, but would “It’s Khan” gotten as much, or more, press? If you want to keep your movie’s villain a secret for no real reason other than fanwank/simultaneous fear of alienating nonfans/gimmick then do a better bloody job of it.

There was a good recent STID watch-along podcast (AICN, I think) where they make the point that the secret box is a) usually empty and b) only works the first time you see a movie and, so, if it’s the whole point, well, then there’s no there there.

Wasn’t it Smokin’ Aces that brought Pine to JarJar’s attention? And from there it is surely now Trek that he is best known for, and I suspect that’s how it is going to stay.

Jack Ryan was actually surprisingly enjoyable for what is was. And Pine showed that his trademarked vulnerable, damaged hero with cocky charm doesn’t always have to be an idiot.

I’d agree the cast for these Star Trek movies were very well chosen.

Except for Benedict Cumberbatch really.

I’m sorry. I still can’t see him as a guy who’s name is Khan Noonien Singh. No way. Not based on anything onscreen.

They should’ve canonized some of those events from the comic-book. Even only in passing. Done like the Nimoy-Spock mind meld flashback from the 2009 film.

I swear that some Trekkies are worse than a hurt fan girl, when it comes to pop culture politics.

#43. Chris Roberts – July 10, 2014

Maybe this will help to comprehend their thought process in that from an article first brought to my attention by Aurore:

”Bob [Orci]: The biggest addition was Benedict Cumberbatch. He was so compelling on the set that the other actors brought extra energy and extra attention to their roles. He was a force of nature. In terms of his character, we wanted to make sure that the audience did not need any previous knowledge to understand him. So the big debate was: should he or shouldn’t he be Khan?

Alex [Kurtzman]: We agreed he can be Khan as long as the audience doesn’t have to know that backstory. Our challenge was to define a story that doesn’t rely on previous knowledge, or love of Khan or “Star Trek 2.” We thought if we can do that, then we can think of using that great character Khan.

Bob: Once we had that standalone story, we wondered: are there details from Khan’s history that fit? We returned to our Easter eggs at the back of the fridge: there were those seventy-two torpedoes that happened to house his crew. If we can use the details of Khan’s backstory given our structure to make the movie more specific and more relevant, then that works.

Alex: We couldn’t use Khan just as a gimmick, as an excuse to get fans into the theaters. Once we developed the story, suddenly the details of Khan’s life became an even better way to tell it. Only when we decided that Khan really does fit here – and the fans know that Khan is to the series what The Joker is to “Batman” – that’s when we decided we earned it.

Bob: And that’s when we went for it. Khan is the ultimate Easter egg.
Alex: No doubt.

Bob: Khan is the Cadbury Easter egg of “Star Trek.” He is the richest, most delicious, ridiculously sweet Easter egg.

Alex: In our humble opinion.”

And humble well they could be as the Klingon home world is not Vulcan and it’s “Federation” NOT “Federal” but it perhaps sheds light on how the Vulcan moon got named Delta Vega:

”Alex: Yes, Bob, that is correct. Here’s another example: Kirk and Spock and Uhura have to go down to Vulcan to find somebody. If they arrive in a Federation ship, they risk war. So they arrive in disguise. They take a confiscated smuggler’s trade ship and in that way the Federation would be protected. In the original series, Harry Mudd was a smuggler, so we knew we could refer to the Mudd incident and employ the confiscated smuggler’s ship. And that’s how they get to Vulcan in the movie.

Bob: This is another example where the story dictates the terms. Mudd, with that weird mustache, was a rogue element in “Star Trek” and a fan favorite. As Alex said, this was a case where we needed something. We could not have a Federal shuttle going down to Vulcan, and suddenly we knew we could use Mudd’s shuttle because the crew had been in space for a year. You keep these references in the back of your mind to use them as you need them.”

1 bjdcharlie

If it’s true, then by all means yes you should have kicked this jerk’s ass. You don’ apologize to a bully, you retaliate. Just sayin’…

But… I don’t believe it. Now you say you met Quinto 5 mins before!!? Some people here are just too gullible, really… Our friend bjdcharlie just wants attention.

bjdcharlie you should’ve engaged Pine in an epic TOS style fight complete with the One-Two Shat Chop , Double fisted backblow, the Khan Scissor Choke, jumping jim double footed drop kick, angry hug, the shatjectile, and not forgetting the “AIIIIIIIEEEE!!” surprise jump from above

@45. I appreciate you going through that lot.

I wish that easter egg thinking had run to explaining such a radically different appearance.

48. (continued)

I should expand on my issues really. It’s not that I don’t see how the person BC is supposed to be is Khan. Of course, I do. How could I not. The exposition is so obviously loaded with references to “Space Seed” but the joy of easter eggs is how they can reward existing fans and new fans alike, when what’s being referenced is checked out afterwards

I would’ve like to have seen some additional footage added to Star Trek Into Darkness featuring who Khan was, when Marcus found him. They could’ve dumped it into Deleted Scenes if it didn’t work.

Mileage varies, but I think whoever they’d have cast as Khan… to me, that key scene in the brig where BC reveals his identity needed us to see and understand more. More to sell the reveal about his actual name. More to counteract the John Harrison mould Cumberbatch’s casting fits.

It would’ve silenced the critique about possibly having kept him that way… a rogue Starfleet agent. Engineered or not.

My attitude to that scene is, “Khan?!? Really? Prove it.” And that must be so in the minds of the writers too. So much so, that later in the film they have to produce Nimoy Spock to back it up. Only suddenly saying his full Middle-Eastern/Indian name kind of compounds the issue.

While John Harrison is in the brig and speaking of his past… images could’ve flashed by of Marcus boarding the Botany Bay with a security team, and Montalban Khan or somebody standing in for him at any rate, being discovered there. Shots of Doctors performing a surgical procedure and canisters being moved in a cargo bay, while Khan confesses to being used by Section 31, in return for the safety of his crew.

Like the trippy 24th Century scenes of Nimoy on Romulus, leaving in the Jellyfish, being captured by Nero and getting stranded on Delta Vega.

Or Newt’s family backstory, cut from Aliens with the ship from the original film shown.

The scene focused on Cumberbatch crying for absolutely ages and could’ve benefitted from being broken up and cut away from. My reaction is generally that’s where the whole film disappears down the rabbit hole. It needed to show, as much as rely on the actor to tell us who he really is.

For one set of people it would’ve been the prisoner picturing Admiral Marcus finding the ship he and his crew came from. For another, a shot would be mixed in there establishing that Khan didn’t always look that way. Literally seconds and IIRC they’re onto Kirk calling Scotty in a bar, then onto the next scene after that. I would’ve loved it if there had been something in there, however oblique to tackle the issue.

I didn’t seem like casting Khan was as carefully thought about as the Enterprise crew themselves, many of whom came with the approval of the originals or their son in a certain case. The alternative universe lives have been occasionally criticised but unjustifiably so really… given each have been rationalised onscreen, particularly in Kirk’s case. Look at Carol Marcus… her English accent, again explained… albeit in a deleted scene. So, it’s deliberate change in approach for Khan only, in a film continuing to be consistent in other areas.

Whether Star Trek Into Darkness succeeded or failed – having images of Peter Weller, the Botany Bay and somebody who may or may not look like Montalban in one of those tubes, flash up while Cumberbatch tells us who he is – isn’t exactly going to have been responsible for it.

For my own enjoyment, I would’ve liked that additional bit of Khantext IN THE FILM that’s all.

My own wish would be for something to be added to future editions of STID on Blu ray, like a way found to revise the scene where Khan’s identity is revealed. A flashback to some newly shot material right there… similar to what I’ve suggested above.

silveryes, keep in mind i was in a state of fear, putting my camera back in my pocket, trying to calm this fellow down so I could walk away in a hurry instead of bolting and making him even angrier and more threatening. I knew I had done nothing wrong and apologized purely for my own immediate safety…the last thing on my mind at that point was that Zachary Quinto had passed me a few minutes earlier. I know some of you will never believe me. I did make a video of myself at the time saying “hey i just saw Zach Quinto jogging” that i made between the Quinto and PIne meetings that I could post somewhere, but that doesn’t prove anything either…except that I was in Runyon canyon. If I were long term in LA, I would consider filing a police report. I didn’t want to ruin my short stay which was for leisure.
I apologize to you all for taking over the topic…i mean no harm….this will be my last post. Love the site Anthony.