The greatest Scotsman in space

“I felt damn sexy wearing it,” Simon Pegg purred into the phone, “and I took a lot of clandestine photographs in my trailer.” He was talking, thankfully, about the Starfleet uniform he wore for his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, made famous by the late James Doohan.

The irreverent star of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” has “unhealthy” knowledge of sci-fi, horror and comics. As a boy, he watched “Star Trek” on the BBC at dinner. Nearly three decades later, he was the only member of the new film’s cast who didn’t have to audition. Director J.J. Abrams, who previously cast Pegg as a supporting player in “Mission: Impossible III,” simply sent him an e-mail that read: “Do you want to play Scotty?”

Surprisingly, Pegg wasn’t easily persuaded. But once he accepted, the 39-year-old British comic approached it with care. “I went to live in Scotland for five years and studied as an engineer,” Pegg joked. “I’m that Method.”

But he did reach out to Doohan’s son Christopher, who plays Scotty’s assistant in the film. “I was able to feel a connection with James through Chris,” Pegg said. “As for the accent, I just listened to my father-in-law.”


-- Yvonne Villarreal


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