MOVIES

Simon Pegg Says Jennifer Lawrence Inspired a New 'Star Trek' Character

by Raphael Chestang 5:57 PM PDT, July 14, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Simon Pegg and his Star Trek Beyond co-writer Doug Jung used Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar-nominated performance in Winter's Bone as a guide for developing a tough-as-nails new character, Jaylah, in the upcoming film.

"[Jaylah] is actually named after Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone," Pegg told USA Today during a press conference on Thursday.

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The mysterious character is played by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (perhaps best known as Samuel L. Jackson's right-hand assassin, Gazelle, in Kingsman: The Secret Service), who embodies the role with a fierceness unlike any other character in the Star Trek galaxy.

"We were trying to create this very independent character," Pegg explained. "But we didn't have a name for it. So we just called it 'Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone.' That's a long name. So it started getting tiring always saying, 'Well, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone is fighting here. So then we started calling her J. Law. And then she became Jaylah."

While Jaylah is ferocious, Star Trek Beyond's new villain, Krall, is downright bad. The nemesis is played by Idris Elba, who introduced the character in a featurette earlier this week.

"Krall is very complex," Elba says in the clip, explaining that while Krall is against the Federation, his motivations are valid.

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"We wanted him to have a complex reason for his bad guy-ness," Pegg adds.

John Cho, Karl Urban, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto return as Sulu, Doctor Bones McCoy, Captain James Kirk and Commander Spock in Beyond, which finds the Enterprise crew two years into their mission to deep space.

Star Trek Beyond opens July 22.

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