[Words: James Gill]
We love Simon Pegg because he’s living the life most of us could only dream about. And he’s living the sh*t out of it. Let’s face it: which film fan wouldn’t, secretly, want to become a film star?
As career trajectories go, his takes some beating: from stand-up to co-creator of beloved sitcom (Spaced) to star of breakout British smash hit (Shaun Of The Dead) to Hollywood heavyweight. Simon Pegg, we salute you.
We caught up with the best British export since woollen textiles to talk Star Trek Beyond. Not only is Pegg one of the main characters in the form of the Enterprise’s loveable chief engineer Scotty, but he also had co-writing duties on the blockbuster.
So who better to share some secrets about the film, out in cinemas now...
The story behind Kirk’s cool jacket
“The escape pods are called Kelvin pods. In our timeline, they were installed because of what happened to Kirk’s father. They were installed after the Kelvin was destroyed so that senior crew would have a means of escape. When you go inside the pod, they have a little survival pack which contains a very natty survival suit, which looks great on Chris Pine."
There’s pressure on Pegg’s accent
“I have a Scottish wife and all my in-laws are Scottish and they police my Scotty. There’s a reason my Scotty sounds slightly Glaswegian and that’s because they’re all ‘Wegies’. My father in law is always trying to get me to get in various Scottish things. I always refer to Keenser as ‘Wee Man’. It must be galling for the Scots because Scotty has never been played by a Scot. But I like to think that my own Scottishness – that comes from my own Scottish family – gives me some credence in that department.”
There’s a missing Bones plot
"There was a whole thread in the film which didn’t make the final cut about Bones picking up a gun and having a crisis of what it meant to fire a weapon. He is a life-saver and not a soldier. There was some really nice stuff which didn’t make the cut - which often happens – and [Karl Urban] was great with all that stuff. He’s a very funny and cool guy to be around."
The ships rock for the first time ever
“For the first time in Star Trek history, both the Enterprise and Franklin (spaceships) are mounted on hydraulics so they rock, so we didn’t have to do the old-school Star Trek acting where you pretend to be thrown around. It was bittersweet in a way. Even on the first two of the Kelvin timeline movies [i.e. the JJ Abram films], whenever the ship got hit, we would pretend. That’s pretty major for Star Trek... It felt almost felt sacrilegious that we didn’t do our own rocking."
The cast really are great friends
“I was very lucky to have that cast because they’re all so smart and grounded. I said, ‘If there’s anything you want to bring to this, please do.’ And they did, with such smarts. I will always look back on April Webster and JJ Abrams’ casting and think what a smart move it was because they’re such a great bunch. Obviously, we have just been rocked to the core by losing Anton [Yelchin]. We will never come to terms with it. It doesn’t seem real and it never will. It was an extraordinary thing to lose Anton. We were so close with each other… When Kirk raises the toast to absent friends, Justin was able to cut to Anton.”
Pegg wants another sequel
“I hope so. I really do. I’d be very sad not to get to work with those people again. If we don’t – and I’m hoping we do – there’s no way we won’t be friends for life... It will just be a bit of a renegotiation. You sign up for three initially. I let the lawyers deal with all that business. I’m happy to do it.”