Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are both valuable parts of the chemistry that drives the new "Star Trek" series.
Pegg was someone I already knew I liked enormously before "Star Trek" arrived, and it's interesting to see how JJ Abrams has turned Pegg into comic relief in two different franchises. The Scotty from these movies is a very different person than the Scotty we saw Doohan play for all those years. I have trouble imagining Doohan sprinting around a hangar trying to figure out how to open a door or getting sucked through a water pipe system. Pegg, though, is down for pretty much anything they throw at him, and he works his ass off to entertain in the new film.
Urban, on the other hand, is a guy who hadn't really come into focus for me until "Star Trek." I didn't dislike him or his work, but he didn't make the strongest impression as an actor, and I had trouble figuring out if he had much of a personality. Whoever first thought to have him read for Bones deserves a bonus, though, because he is perfect in the role. So far, I'd argue he's the greatest underutilized asset that the series has, and if they continue with more movies, I pray they give Urban more to do. He deserves it.
Guy Lodge sat down with the two of them at the recent "Star Trek Into Darkness" press day, and he asked them about returning to the characters and what it was like to play them again. He asked them about where their characters fit in the family dynamic of the Enterprise crew, and you can tell they've really thought about it. If you sign on to become part of "Star Trek," you know you're becoming part of a long tradition and there are some very high expectations placed on you, and I think they seem to understand what that means. Even so, they know that fandom is a very passionate thing, and they make a nice acknowledgement of that in the interview.
"Star Trek Into Darkness" opens on May 16.