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Simon Pegg Interview: Luck

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  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 16:14 PM
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Luck's Simon Pegg talks about his experience voicing a Scottish cat and what he loves about his character Bob's journey in the Apple TV+ film.

Apple TV+ and Skydance Animation's Luck tells a heartwarming tale about family, friendship, and the fortune humans create for themselves. Simon Pegg's lucky Scottish black cat named Bob transports lucky pennies from a hidden realm known as the Land of Luck to the human world. Bob's life turns upside down when he loses his lucky penny and meets Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada). To avoid banishment to the Land of Bad Luck by The Captain (Whoopi Goldberg), Bob reluctantly coordinates with Sam to retrieve the penny, as the duo meets many of the Land of Luck's principal figures and learns their unique stories along the way.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Pegg is widely recognized for playing Scotty in Star Trek, as well as for his lead role in Shaun of the Dead. The English actor most recently appeared in The Boys season 3, The Boys Presents: Diabolical animated series, and The Undeclared War.

Related: Star Trek: Why Simon Pegg Was Annoyed When Cast As Scotty

Pegg spoke with Screen Rant about voicing Bob in Luck and the journey his character experiences.

Warning: This interview contains minor SPOILERS for Luck.

 

Screen Rant: How much did you enjoy getting to be a Scottish cat and playing with that accent?

Simon Pegg: It's fun. Obviously, I have a little form in that regard with Star Trek, but my wife is Scottish, half my family is Scottish, so it's all fun, if a little nerve-wracking to get to do that accent. Obviously, if I get it wrong, then I'm gonna be in everyone's bad books. But I think I'm around the accent enough to be able to mimic it half-decently, I think. Also with Bob, he's an interesting character in terms of exactly who he is, so that was en extra bit of fun 'cause of what you don't see about him and isn't revealed until the end.

Bob is strictly business and kind of pessimistic toward Sam at first, but he eventually warms up to her and looks past her bad luck. What was the deciding factor for that character shift?

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Simon Pegg: The film basically says luck is what you make and you create luck by transmitting positiveness into the world by love and friendship — things that are important in terms of how we are a community rather than just individuals getting on with out own stuff. Bob's very solitary. He doesn't really have any friends, so he says, but the minute he starts to open up to that, his life turns around. I think that's kind of a great message and I think that's what, hopefully, a lot of the young people will take from it.

What do you think Bob sees in Sam that allows him to embrace his true self and acknowledge his own faults without shame?

Simon Pegg: I think he kind of is irresistibly drawn to her. I think there's just something about her that he just likes. Call it luck, call it fate — how they met — but sometimes you just get a connection with people. I think that's what happens with Bob and Sam and he's drawn to her despite his reservations about giving anything of himself away or, heaven forbid, having a friend. I really liked Bob's journey, his arc in the movie, from a very self-sufficient, very solitary loner to someone who is far more inclined to be part of a family and actually express love and express affection, and to have that expressed back to him.

How did you approach playing those two different personalities of Bob that we see toward the beginning and toward the end of the film?

Simon Pegg: It was a really tricky thing to do because I had to always keep in mind throughout the recording that there was a duality to Bob that I had to play both simultaneously — one of which couldn't be shown at all until you find out other things about Bob later on. So, basically, when you're playing a character who's hiding something, you have to remember that the character knows that he's hiding something — or she's hiding something — and you have to kind of play that tension a little bit. So, it was always keeping in mind that Bob was being a little duplicitous let's say. So, when you watch it on a second watch, you think, "Oh wow, he's not actually entirely being truthful here" and hopefully see that he knows that.

Bob finds himself in an interesting dilemma carrying a hidden lucky penny. Do you at all sympathize with Bob keeping the penny to himself all this time, or do you think he was completely in the wrong?

Simon Pegg: I think the tendency for us always is to look after ourselves. We're animals that are very self-preservationist and we do look after ourselves at all costs. I think for Bob, being as far along in his lives as he is, you can understand it. I think the fear that we have about making attachments is generally that we're going to lose them. I think Bob is far more at home with just being him with his lucky penny on his own and keeping it that way rather than risk his emotional last life, which is what he eventually does. So, I understand it. I'm not saying what he did was right, but I get it. Part of what this film teaches is to be brave about letting that kind of selfism go.

 

The Land of Good Luck seems like a utopia in a lot of ways. If you had the choice, would you go to a place where bad luck didn’t exist?

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Simon Pegg: I think I prefer the human world. I think I prefer the in-between because if all you had was good luck, then you wouldn't be able to appreciate what good luck is 'cause it would just be the absolute, total, constant norm. We experience good and bad luck by contrast to each other and you don't know what good luck is until you've had a lot of bad luck. I mean good luck in terms of fortunes, in terms of circumstance happening to you — not some mystical kind of force. When something goes well for you, if you've experienced things not going well, you feel it all the more cleanly. That's why it's important to have the lows as well as the highs 'cause it helps us to understand what they mean. So, I think the human world, always.

You’ve done a lot of voice acting for animated films like this one. Does your approach differ when the character you’re playing is an animal versus a human?

Simon Pegg: Yes and no. Invariably, it's an anthropomorphized animal because it's talking, so there is a degree of humanity to it. There are little physical things you can bring if the animal has a particular physical trait. Generally speaking, you're talking about an animal which has this soul of a human being, so you kind of approach it as a human. I think if you start trying to do an animal voice, you might end up going down the wrong track unless the animal has a particular vocal tic, I don't know. I think generally what I'm saying is you kind of go at it as sort of a human, but not a human.

This film is so easy to relate to because we’ve all struggled with bad luck at some point. What’s the theme that resonates with you the most?

Simon Pegg: I just love the idea that, for a film which concerns itself with a magical, mystical land where good luck and bad luck are generated, really the message of the film is that luck is something that you make for yourself. It isn't made in a magical kingdom with crystals, it's made by your own actions, and your own decisions, and how you interact with other people. And the more you put love, and good will, and positivity out into the world, the more that will come back and reflect on you as a result of your actions. So, really, for a film as fantastic as this, the true message is very rational and it is that if you're good to other people, then other people will be good to you.

Luck Synopsis

From Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation comes the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world! Suddenly finding herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck, she must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around.

Catch our other interview with Luck stars Whoopi Goldberg and Eva Noblezada, as well as director Peggy Holmes.

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Next: The Boys' Simon Pegg Recasting Is Finally Fixing An Original Hughie Issue

Luck is now available to stream on Apple TV+.

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