Simon Pegg and Director Peter Chelsom Talk HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, Script Changes, Guerilla-Style Filmmaking, TIFF, and More

     September 19, 2014

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Now playing in limited release in North America is director Peter Chelsom’s dramedy Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Based on the book of the same name by François Lelord, the film stars Simon Pegg as Hector, an eccentric psychiatrist who’s going nowhere and whose patients aren’t getting any happier.  One day, he musters up the courage to set out on a quest to find out if happiness really exists.  Led by a great performance by Pegg, the film’s definitely worth checking out.  The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgard, and Jean Reno.  For more on Hector and the Search for Happiness, click here to watch the trailer, and here’s all our previous coverage.

Recently I landed an exclusive video interview with Simon Pegg and Peter Chelsom.  During our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about how they came to work together, how Pegg’s childhlike curiosity made him perfect to play Hector, the guerilla-style filmmaking they employed for some of the scenes, script changes, deleted scenes, future projects like Star Trek 3 and Mission Impossible: 5, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Note: This interview was recorded before the Toronto International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

hector-and-the-search-for-happiness-simon-pegg-stellan-skarsgardSimon Pegg and Peter Chelsom Time Index:

  • :12 – How did they first connect to do the movie together?
  • 1:12 – Chelsom talks about how it’s Pegg’s childhlike curiosity that makes him perfect to play Hector.
  • 2:11 – How did the project change once Pegg came onboard?  Chelsom said his casting allowed him to go further with the playfulness of the character.
  • 3:15 – Pegg talks about how he’s “a huge overactor” if left unchecked.
  • 3:41 – Talk about the many locations seen in the film and how much of the shooting took place in Vancouver.
  • 4:45 – Talk about how important the lack of green screen was to the movie.
  • 6:20 – Pegg discusses the guerilla-style filmmaking they employed for some of the scenes in which Pegg would just walk around real-world locations.
  • 7:37 – How much longer was the first cut?  Say there aren’t many deleted scenes.
  • 8:55 – Did they come away from the film with any significant insights about themselves?  Pegg says it consolidated his suspicions that true happiness is a more profound state of being than amusement, comfort, or being entertained.
  • 9:52 – Chelsom says the writing of the film literally changed him.
  • 10:47 – Talk about putting together the impressive cast.  Pegg discusses casting “the Dutch Brad Pitt.”
  • hector-and-the-search-for-happiness - Simon Pegg12:58 – Pegg talks about how many takes he likes to do.  Says it all comes down to the director.
  • 14:20 – Chelsom talks about his preference for good rehearsal periods and how his directorial process has changed over the years.
  • 15:55 – What does it mean for them to be a part of the Toronto International Film Festival?
  • 17:00 – The test screening process.  Chelsom says the American version of the film is slightly different than the UK version.
  • 19:10 – Chelsom talks about upcoming projects.  Says he’s working on a project for Relativity about a women who goes to Mars and has a baby, and he’s also working on a Christmas film he describes as It’s a Wonderful Life meets Shakespeare in Love.
  • 20:21 – Pegg talks about Kill Me Three Times, The Boxtrolls, Mission: Impossible 5, and Star Trek 3.

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