Spaced's Pegg Talks Trek, Who, And Why America Is #1

Illustration for article titled Spaceds Pegg Talks Trek, Who, And Why America Is #1

He may just be getting his first SF role as Star Trek's new Scotty, but that doesn't mean that Simon Pegg doesn't know his science fiction, as a new interview reveals. Discover the Pegg theory of why American SF is better than British, how to approach Montgomery Scott as a character, and why you'll never see Pegg play the Doctor, under the jump.Talking to Wired's The Underwire blog, Pegg explained why he prefers American science fiction to the homegrown kind:

You guys have the best sci-fi in the world. You also have the capacity to do it, as well. You get to make shows like Heroes... American sci-fi is frontierism again in space. It's thrusting and powering forward and gaining new territory... It has a lot to do with national psyche. The U.S. has a significant role to play globally and a precarious position. Fantasy always reflects our own real lives. You can apply that to nations as well. If you look at Star Wars, it is interesting to think about if another Star Wars would come along post-Iraq. After Vietnam, you have a nation that's confused in this conflict of blurring the boundaries of good and evil. Star Wars celebrated America in space. The good people wore white and the bad guys wore black. Star Wars is a reflection of post-Vietnam paranoia. You can argue that point through the '80s and '90s with movies like The Fly, which showed the enemy being inside, with the rise of AIDS. Now the enemies are among us, with a rise in terrorism, and the zombies came back big time — they're your neighbors.


As for British Sci-Fi, there's always Doctor Who... Even if Pegg has no interest in playing the part himself:

Being the Doctor? I don't think I'd do it for two reasons. One, I'm really loving doing movies. I'm really enjoying working in the States. You have an incredible work ethic. Second, I really love Doctor Who and I'd hate to have to sit down every Saturday night and have it be me. David's done such an incredible job, he's gonna be a tough act to follow. It would feel awful if I just went and balled up the franchise by just being rubbish.


A franchise he's less worried about ballsing up is JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboot, perhaps because he's not doing the heavy lifting alone:

Watching Chris Pine, and all the actors, I had skin-tingly moments. I saw them doing their stuff and thought: They've got this so fucking right. Chris had that swagger, and confidence, and big-balls-ness, and I think he nailed it.

And how does Pegg go about nailing his own particular it? Well, apparently just by doing his job:

Certainly not parodying him. It was just a question of playing him. I approached the part like James [Doohan, the original Scotty] did when he got the part. To look at who he is. He's an accomplished engineer, a bit cheeky, likes a drink and a brawl... It's very important to be sensitive and not make generalizations about groups of people, but you can be oversensitive. Scotty's a very affectionate stereotype. He's a popular character in Scotland. He's not a negative stereotype — he's a fun stereotype. The differences between ourselves can be very funny. But Scots are the first people to laugh at the fact that they drink and fight a bit.


Speaking as a Scot myself, I have to say how appalled I am at such a negati... Ehh, who am I kidding? He's kind of right. Simon Pegg's Geek Roots Show in Spaced [The Underwire]

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Chris Braak

@Urael: yeah, but remember that Han's Moral Complexity is actually the story of a morally ambiguous character who, by virtue of the power of good, becomes a good character. The movie implicitly suggests that remaining on the sidelines in the Struggle is just as bad as being one of the black hats.

I think he's on target with Star Wars' straightforward morality.