Though Star Trek‘s original Scotty, James Doohan, was among Star Trek fans’ favorite actors on the original series, many of them were happy when comedic English actor Simon Pegg was cast as Scotty in the 2009 movie reboot of the series. In an interview with Time, Pegg speaks about the challenge of taking on a role well established by another actor and what it feels like working with his Star Trek castmates again in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Because Pegg and the cast were playing characters beloved by millions and so tied to their original performers (Doohan performed as Scotty on the original Star Trek series, the animated series, seven films, and several video game adaptations and guest appearances), Pegg notes the difficulty of stepping into the role. He explains, “We all had that tricky task of channeling our forbears without ever impersonating them. We had to look at what they had done before and build on it, and make our own version of it. But at the same time, respect choices they made and parlay that into what we did.”
One thing Pegg concentrated on was making his version of Scotty’s accent a bit more accurate than Doohan’s. He says, “I decided to start from scratch on that. I’ve got Scottish family, so it needed to be a little bit more correct.”
Once the cast hurdled this issue in the first Star Trek reboot movie, Pegg says that they grew together as a cohesive unit during the production of the second film. He points out, “I think it slightly mirrors reality, in a way. On the first one, we were all getting to know each other. And on this one, we were starting to operate as a family. That was very much true for all the actors. So we were slightly more inside our characters’ skins and also knew each other well enough to have a sort of chemistry, which reflected the fact that we were the crew of a starship. And also there’s a slight lift in pressure in one area. We’d done it already and people seemed to like it.”