Bri­tish ac­tor finds hap­pi­ness is in the jour­ney

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

TORONTO — Si­mon Pegg plays a rou­tine­plagued London psy­chi­a­trist who bursts forth from a self­con­structed shell to be­come a global ad­ven­turer in the movie part of Jo­han­nes­burg and it felt quite tense and ev­ery­one seemed to be... there was a lot of frown­ing. “Then you’d go into th­ese places of ab­ject poverty and there was a lot of life and hap­pi­ness,” he says. “That’s not to sug­gest that’s some­how a bet­ter way of liv­ing, but it might be a bet­ter way of un­der­stand­ing what hap­pi­ness is be­cause you have a clearer idea of what hap­pi­ness isn’t.” The character of Hec­tor, Pegg ac­knowl­edges, like­wise trav­els far afield of the char­ac­ters he has played in other films, where the em­pha­sis is on com­edy. “I wouldn’t call this a de­par­ture as much as an evo­lu­tion,” he says. “Cer­tainly the films I’ve made with Edgar Wright, we’ve al­ways tried to give them an emo­tional depth so there’s a gen­uine story go­ing on there. “Shaun of the Dead is a hi­lar­i­ous zom­bie com­edy, but it’s also about grow­ing up and let­ting go of the things that you cling to, and The World’s End is about a sui­ci­dal al­co­holic,” he says. “It’s not a huge com­edy premise there. “But Hec­tor felt to me like a neat segue into do­ing more se­ri­ous stuff. I of­ten see my­self de­scribed as a comic, and I’m not a comic. I haven’t been a comic for 15 years. I’m an ac­tor. “And I feel like be­ing an ac­tor is play­ing all of those things,” he says of Hec­tor’s far-rang­ing emo­tional jour­ney in the film. “You don’t just spe­cial­ize in com­edy. There are other notes to be able to play, and to make the com­edy even fun­nier, you of­ten have to play the oth­ers. This film is all about tonal shifts and the fact that he goes through ev­ery colour in the emo­tional spec­trum. And it was re­ally fun for me to get to play that stuff. “It’s a jour­ney. And the best thing for an ac­tor is to play some­one who starts some­where and ends some­where dif­fer­ent.” Hec­tor and the Search for Hap­pi­ness opens in the­atres Fri­day, Sept. 26.


Hec­tor (Si­mon Pegg, above and left) is a psy­chi­a­trist who turns into a globe-trot­ting seeker of hap­pi­ness.

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