For Simon Pegg, signing on with Star Trek meant facing the fact that it might lead to him being typecast.
When Pegg got the call for the role of Scotty, he had to think about whether taking the part would be good or harmful for his career. “I deliberated for a few days,” said Pegg. “J.J. [Abrams] just dropped it on me out of the blue. He kind of just emailed with it. I didn’t expect to get it.”
“I kind of ‘Ummm-ed’ and ‘Aaaaah-ed,” said Pegg, “and I did consider all those things… But I think it’s different these days. I don’t think now it’s like how it was for the actor back in the day. There were fewer opportunities for them, I think, to expand beyond what they were doing because when they started out playing the characters they were all theatrical television actors and were best known as those characters. So, in some respects, they were locked into the roles.”
Abrams told Pegg not to worry. “[Abrams said] ‘the worst thing that can happen is that every couple of years we get to have fun for three months,'” said Pegg. “I thought that was a great reason to do it. And, also, I have enough ideas of my own and enough plans of my own to offset just being seen as one guy. It’s not like I’m only ever going to be Scotty now. There are plenty of other characters I have to play.”
Pegg was happy with Star Trek XI and feels that the film re-energized the franchise. “I was very pleased with it,” he said. “The finished film was superb. What they did very clearly was to inject Star Trek, which had become slightly burdened with its own kind of technical mythology, with a dose of the mojo that Star Wars had lost. Oddly, it’s like J.J. Abrams found the discarded energy from the first three Star Wars films and pumped it into Star Trek.”