From his popular trilogy of comedies with long-time collaborators Edgar Wright and Nick Frost to memorable characters in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” series and the “Mission: Impossible” movies, actor Simon Pegg’s popularity has grown both in his native England and in the States.
Starting Friday, Pegg can be seen in the title role in Hector and the Search for Happiness, based on the novel by Francois Lelord about a psychiatrist living a humdrum life who travels around the world trying to find the meaning of happiness. The movie reunites him with Rosamund Pike, who appeared in last year’s The World’s End as part of the ensemble cast with Pegg and Frost, as he meets characters played by Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer.
ComingSoon.net caught up with Pegg when “Hector” played at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival last week. In the video interview below, we spoke to him about the logistics of making a movie that took him all over the world without having the budget of a “Mission: Impossible” movie. We also talked about how the latest movie in that action franchise has been able to remain low-key in terms of set leaks compared to other upcoming blockbusters. Since Pegg played “Scotty” in J.J. Abrams’ two “Star Trek” movies, which also did a good job maintaining their secrecy, we asked if there’s any word on when they’ll start shooting the third installment directed by Roberto Orci, as well as his thoughts on his pal J.J. taking over the “Star Wars” franchise, of which Pegg is notoriously a super-fan. Pegg also talked about the fandom that’s developed around his “Cornetto Trilogy” characters, particularly when it comes to comic convention cosplay.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole video (shame on you!), then here’s what Pegg had to say about J.J. switching franchises from “Star Trek” to “Star Wars”:
“I was worried at first. I was in a movie theater and I got an Email that he was doing it and I immediately called him and said, ‘You’re not doing Star Wars now? You’re going to abandon us like the older slightly less-cool sibling?’ and he was like, ‘Of course not.’ That was just sort of the knee-jerk reaction, because we all felt like, ‘Oh, no! Daddy!’ but J.J.’s incapable of doing that. He will be very present even if he’s not directing ‘Star Trek,’ his voice and his stamp will be all over it.
“No, I was really excited and I couldn’t help but think he’s the best guy for the job. He understands it and I can see from how he applies himself how much he cares about that it’s going to be something incredible. It’s going to be an extraordinary cinematic event, I’m very excited about it.”
As far as Pegg has been told, they’ll be returning to “Star Trek” next year and though he didn’t want to make it “official” (which could only come from Paramount), the hopes are to make it next year so that it will come out in time for the 50th Anniversary of “Star Trek” in 2016.
Hector and the Search for Happiness opens in select cities on Friday, September 19.