The Daily Beast: “Simon Pegg on His First ‘Star Trek’ Memories, Playing Scotty, and More”

Scotty

Beam me up, Scotty! Director J.J. Abrams has taken Trekkies on a nostalgic and adventurous romp with his Star Trek reboot, and his second installment Star Trek Into Darkness is out on Blu-ray and DVD today. Simon Pegg (The World’s End, Shaun of the Dead) portrays Scotty, a passionate engineer on board the U.S.S. Enterprise in both features.

On The Daily Beast, you can read my interview with Pegg from May 2013, “Simon Pegg on His First ‘Star Trek’ Memories, Playing Scotty, and More.” He talks about all things Star Trek–from the hilarious moment he got pitched his role to what it’s like working with Abrams–all in his voice. Check out the article below:

When I found out about playing the role of Scotty for the Star Trek reboot, it felt like a bomb had gone off near my head. I got asked in such an insalubrious way from J.J. Abrams. In an email that came out of nowhere, J.J. literally wrote, “Do you want to play Scotty?” It didn’t even say, “Dear Simon” or “Love, J.J.” I emailed him back and said, “What the fuck, man? You can’t just do that to me. That’s crazy! You’ve got to take me out to dinner or something or offer me something to read.” It was huge!

I said, “I don’t know,” but J.J. let me think about it. He told me, “The worst thing that could happen is that every couple of years we get together and have fun.” Of course, I said yes. The role was given to me because Scotty is a slightly lighter-hearted character in the sense that he’s kind of the Everyman, so he reacts to situations like we would really. I felt elated and impressed, and slightly like I was having a dream.

I discovered Star Trek in the ‘70s when I was 9 years old. After the live-action series had been cancelled, they made an animated version of it that then went on to run for a couple of seasons that was predominantly voiced by the original cast. BBC2 would rerun the show at 6 p.m. every night during the week, so every time I had my dinner I would sit down and watch Star Trek. I was already a big sci-fi fan, since Star Wars had already hit and it opened me up to the possibilities of the sci-fi world. Star Trek always seemed like a slightly more grownup, intellectual, and philosophical version of the genre. I loved the characters and the way that each of the episodes gave a tale on morality.

One of my favorite Star Trek episodes was “The Corbomite Manuever,” which actually starred Clint Howard—Ron Howard’s little brother who was always in his films. He was this odd, all-powerful, little child who had a proxy that was a terrifying alien named Balok. Balok would appear on the Enterprise’s view-screen as this dome-headed, slanty-eyed, terrifying-looking creature. His mouth didn’t move when he talked, making him look like a bizarre corpse. As a kid, I was terrified of that face. I used to wait for it at the end of the show, because they would always show a picture of his face during the end credits. It would either be the Orion slave girl or it would be Balok; it was always like Russian roulette whether I was going to see him or not. It used to give me nightmares, yet I somehow found it fascinating.

So when Star Trek became a film franchise, I was immediately on board.

I went to see the first one at the movies when I was 9. When I saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, I thought it was a film that was quite conceptual and philosophical, the same way that the TV show had been. The creators realized they could bring in some more adventure into it with a little more of the swashbuckling Star Wars feel. One of my favorite moments in that film was when Spock mends the warp core and Captain Kirk goes down to see him. Spock stands up, and before he turns around to face Kirk, he straightens his jacket. It makes me cry every time.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast

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