Simon Pegg: an Englishman in Scotty's clothing for new Star Trek

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      It’s arguable that only a handful of individuals are as famous for being Scottish as a Vancouver-born actor whose parents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. James Doohan’s performance as Scotty in the iconic TV and movie series Star Trek is still seen by millions of people every week in reruns of the show and replays of the movies.

      Scots will probably be even less pleased with the latest choice to play Scotty. Simon Pegg, an Englishman from Gloucester, will play the younger version of Doohan’s character in the latest film version of Star Trek.

      In a Los Angeles hotel, where he is promoting the film Run Fat Boy Run in which he stars in the title role as a lazy man who runs a marathon, Pegg says he hopes he will be believable in the role.

      “My wife is Scottish and I would hope that some constant proximity to a Scot would enable me to play the part,” he says. “She was on-set a lot and I would come off-set and say, ”˜Did that sound all right?’ She was the yardstick and she wanted me to play a west Scotland character rather than one from eastern Scotland because she is from Glasgow.”

      Pegg, who is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the movies Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead was also concerned that audiences for the movie might think he was just doing an impression of the original Scotty. He says the last thing he and his costars (Chris Pine plays Kirk, Karl Urban plays Dr. “Bones” McCoy, and Zachary Quinto plays the young Spock) want is anyone to think they are making fun of the actors who originated the roles.

      “I didn’t want to do an impression of James Doohan because it would seem that it was me just making fun of the character. I think those guys created some of the most significant characters in contemporary science fiction and this film is in deference to that. I didn’t want to just go of and pretend to be James Doohan. I wanted to be Scotty in his (Doohan’s) honour.”

      Run Fat Boy Run opens in Vancouver on Friday, March 28. Star Trek is scheduled to open in theatres in December.