Pegg is Scotty in Star Trek
I never thought I would disagree with the casting of Simon Pegg after seeing his performances to date, but today I just have.
He and John Cho have been cast as Scotty and Sulu respectively, and while I think that the casting of Cho seems fine – I haven't really seen enough of his work to say otherwise – I am having a hard time with Simon Pegg taking the Scotty role.
Now before anyone starts shouting about it's because he's English, I'm Scottish, and so is the character of Scotty, let me just shoot you down in flames and stomp on your beliefs, it's not. I'm fine with a non-Scot playing the role because James Doohan was.
I am finding it hard to put my finger on exactly what I'm finding difficult about it, because when I do analyse the style of Pegg and the characters he's played I think there are strong similarities.
Let's face it, and I don't mean this as a bad thing, Pegg has played very similar characters. They're all pretty serious on the outside but carry this accidental or on the side comedy. They aren't intentionally being funny, in fact the straight humour and jokes they come out with are usually barbed with sarcasm and truth - doesn't this sound like the Scotty from old?
Well it does to me. That part of it feels good. However there's also this aspect to Pegg on screen that makes you say "oh, there's Simon Pegg" whenever you see him, it's like that moment in Mission: Impossible III (Filmstalker review). You were taken right out of the story to think of the comedic actor in the role.
Now it could well work, and he could have the character nailed down totally, but from initial reading I just feel we'll be watching Simon Pegg playing Scotty, rather than feeling that this is a young Scotty.
Some actors have transcended that issue, usually iconic stars from Cary Grant to George Clooney, they are all so iconic in their style, acting and characters that they are immediately thought of as the person in a role before you are drawn into their character, and I think Pegg falls into that same issue.
The big problem is does he have the acting chops to get the audience over that initial hurdle? Obviously the iconic and well seasoned actors above did, but can Pegg? I'm not sure, he came close in Big Nothing (Filmstalker review) for me, and so I think there's a possibility.
Yet I'm still thinking Pegg is too much of an individual and stand out actor for a role that is itself an individual and stand out role, I think we needed a strong character actor or a relative unknown and let Scotty be the stand out part of the role, not the actor.