"Hector and the Search For Happiness" gives actor Simon Pegg a meaty part to chew on, where he can flex both his comedic and dramatic muscles.
Pegg first rose to stardom in America with his title role in "Shaun of the Dead" (as Shaun, not the dead), and since has geeked his way into the hearts of anyone who's seen him onscreen.
But there's plenty that it turns out we didn't know about the actor, and three things specifically we were pretty surprised to learn from the man himself. Watch the above video to see for yourself.
1. We have him to thank for Michael Fassbender's career.
Pegg was originally slated to play Lt. Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," a role that would eventually be played by Michael Fassbender. And Pegg thinks that was for the best.
"One of the biggest challenges of the role was to speak German," Pegg told us. "Michael has some German and was able to pull it off convincingly."
He ended up not doing the part because he had already committed to Steven Spielberg for "The Adventures of Tintin."
"I had a week when I was having to choose between Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino," Pegg said, adding that it wasn't too bad a problem to have.
Of course, Fassbender won much acclaim for his role, and the rest of his career is history. He, and we, can thank Simon Pegg for that.
2. His daughter saved "Star Wars: Episode VII".
Something most "Star Wars" fans are looking forward to with JJ Abrams' "Episode VII" is a more scaled back use of CGI and more physical sets and puppets in their place. Turns out, we can thank Simon Pegg and his daughter for that.
"I told JJ this story," Pegg said, "and JJ took this story into meetings about the new 'Star Wars' about how he wanted to make it. We were watching the film and Yoda came on, the Frank Oz Yoda. She had never seen Yoda before... she'd never seen the puppet. And the puppet came on, and I saw her kind of sit up and look at the TV, and she looked at me, and she said, 'Oh daddy, he's real.'"
What Pegg didn't know until later was that Abrams had used this story to help convince Disney to let him use more puppets for "Star Wars: Episode VII," and when Pegg was visiting the set, one of the puppeteers on the movie said to him, "You're the guy whose daughter saved 'Star Wars.'"
3. He was never going to be in Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man".
Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man" is now unfortunately dead, as the writer-director was replaced on the film. But for years, people figured that his good friend and collaborator Pegg would have some kind of role in the movie. Turns out, that was never the case.
"There was never any plans for Nick [Frost] and I to be in it," Pegg revealed. "That would've been a little gimmicky, I think."
He added, "I think it's important for Edgar, when he makes films... when we make films away from our little group to have some distance between what we do there and what we do elsewhere."
"Hector and the Search for Happiness" is in theaters now.