“How unlucky are you?” -Bob
Simon Pegg Interview for LUCK Movie
LUCK follows Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada)—the unluckiest person in the world—who desperately wants to help her young friend. Sam meets a black cat named Bob (Simon Pegg) who leaves behind a lucky penny. Sam is excited to give the penny to her friend; but when it gets lost, she finds Bob again and follows him into the never-before-seen Land of Luck in hopes of getting a new penny. Nothing goes as planned and she needs more than luck if she wants to help her friend, the inhabitants of the Land of Luck, and herself.
We asked Simon about what excited him most about LUCK, how he related to Bob, as well as working on voice acting gigs versus live action, and his own good luck.
Interview with Simon Pegg
What excited you most about LUCK and playing Bob.
Simon: I just love the concept of the worlds of good and bad luck and how sort of extraordinarily complex and beautiful and intricate they were. And yet really the whole thing was like an office job. They were all essentially just punching a clock and working in quite a mundane place, which I thought was quite funny considering how visual is. But also the chance to play Bob. I love getting to do a Scottish accent because my wife is Scottish. So I get in her good books for doing that as long as I do it well; if I don’t, well it’s the opposite. But yeah, it just seemed to be a bit of a no-brainer. You know, it was a lovely idea and a lovely sort of aesthetic presentation of it.
So you have such myriad experiences with writing, producing, voice acting, etc. Do you have a preference in terms of doing the sort of more comedic roles or voice acting?
Simon: Well, the great thing about this job is that it’s so varied. And, you know, I really enjoy performing. I mean writing is, I love it, but it’s more like hard work; performing is like playing. And when you get a character like Bob, it really is playing, you know, because it’s just you in the room. Whenever you do voice work, you tend to do it solo; you don’t work with your other actors. Sometimes, you don’t even meet them until afterward, which is the case certainly for me and Eva. On this Eva, who plays, Sam, we didn’t meet until afterward. And yet, the kind of easy chemistry we had, when we finally met, felt like we’d already established on screen, which was lovely.
Voice acting is really strenuous. You think it wouldn’t be because it’s just you in a room and a microphone, but you have to physicalize all your lines, and facial expressions are recorded for the animators to use. So it’s not that different from doing live-action, really. But it is a very sort of solitary affair, but I do love it because it’s great fun, and I like things when it’s all about me.
Any good luck charms or superstitious habits?
Simon: I think I was definitely more superstitious when I was younger. I think we almost naturally are superstitious, and I think I’m not sure why that is I’m sure there’s an anthropological explanation for why human beings, I think because we’re basically pattern-finding animals. So we look for patterns everywhere. And I think sometimes we look for patterns in things where there are no patterns, and we also see them in things where there are no patterns.
I was a bit more inclined to do that until I got older, I thought, “Wait a minute, this rabbit’s foot isn’t going to do anything other than remind me that a rabbit died.” But definitely as a younger person, I was always very superstitious about magpies—in the UK, if you see one Magpie, it’s bad luck if you see two, is good luck. I think that comes from the fact that they often pair off. So if you see one, it means that they’ve had some sort of a divorce, I guess. But I would always spit if I saw a magpie, which was embarrassing if I was, you know, at dinner. But nowadays, I’ve managed to curb that ridiculous habit.
Funniest scene in LUCK?
Simon: Oh, man, there’s so much funny stuff in that movie. It was really interesting because it’s a very physical role. And obviously, I’m seemingly just providing my voice. But in the sessions, I would be physically gesticulating and doing all the facial expressions because I was being filmed. So a lot of the time during the recording, Peggy [Holmes, the director] and I would just laugh a lot. And Peggy always laughed at every take. I mean, she was amazing, because she constantly stayed engaged and enthusiastic about the material.
There were a couple of times when you’re recording when you accidentally say something inappropriate as the character, which is always funny, because, you know, the idea of some cursing in a kids show is always an entertaining idea, although we would never see it, obviously.
That’s a really hard question. I love that. The thing that I really love is the way that Bob moves effortlessly through the land of luck whilst he’s guiding Sam and all this stuff just happens in front of him as he moves forward. I love that stuff. It’s so clever. The way that they’re animated and you people forget that. You know, Bob is not just me, Bob is me and a host of other people, Chris, he’s this brilliant little character and animating every tiny movement and he makes and, you know, I get all the credit. But there’s so much hard work goes into these films that boggle the mind.
Favorite line from LUCK?
Simon: Oh, man, that’s a really hard question. I’m gonna have to scour the entire script I was doing so well. I can take like 20 minutes, just sit here and think there’s so many great lines that Bob has. One of my favorite lines to say was, “How unlucky are you?”, which was just it’s one of those ones where you can just really go over the top.
The direction I get the most from directors is, “Can you just bring it down a little bit, Simon?” And with Peggy [Holmes], you know, it was more about like, go go go. So there are so many lines in the movie that were fun. I remember a couple of times just getting the giggles in the voice sessions and not being able to speak because we were laughing too much.
Watch the trailer for LUCK
From Apple Original Films comes the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world, who when she stumbles into the never-before-seen Land of Luck, sets out on a quest to bring some good luck home for her best friend. But with humans not allowed, her only chance is to team up with the magical creatures who live there to do it. LUCK is produced by Skydance Animation.
The curtain is pulled back on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affect everyday lives.
Apple Original Films’ LUCK features the voice talents of stars Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Flula Borg, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger, and Adelynn Spoon. The animated feature is directed by Peggy Holmes from a screenplay by Kiel Murray, with John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and David Eisenmann producing for Skydance Animation.
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Director: Peggy Holmes
Screenplay: Kiel Murray
Producers: John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, David Eisenmann
Cast: Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Flula Borg, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger, and Adelynn Spoon
LUCK is exclusively on Apple TV + August 5, 2022.
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