Simon Pegg stars in the Peter Chelsom-directed feature film Hector and the Search for Happiness in which he plays the titular troubled character.

Hector and the Search for Happiness

In Hector and the Search for Happiness, Pegg’s character Hector, who makes a living as a psychiatrist, realizes he’s no happier than the people he’s treating. Despite his financial stability and loving relationshipo with his girlfriend Clara (Rosamund Pike), Hector feels that he’s yet to achieve true happiness and that he’s a bit of a fraud.

Pegg, who can relate to Hector’s sense of ennui, believes the movie tells the story of an all-too-common reality that’s a product of modern society. “There are people in the world who have a far harder time than sort of, the middle classes, but I think that the key thing in this story was to pick a seemingly ok person, someone who should be ok, cause it teaches us, I think, that everyone is susceptible to not being happy,” Pegg told uInterview exclusively. “And yeah, I felt that a little bit. The trouble is we’ve got so much choice these days, we’ve got… it sounds so esoteric, it’s what Twitter calls a first world problem.”

Seeking true happiness, Hector takes off on a journey of self-discovery. Hoping to gain knowledge and insight from the world’s varied cultures, he travels to myriad places in which Pegg and Chelsom were happy to shoot. Of all of the exotic locales, the duo shared the same favorite destination – Bavaria. Their experience there was duly memorable because of a snowfall that transformed the already magical location.

“I have to say that, one of my favorite memories was in the mountains of Bavaria when the snow fell literally that much [gestures] the night before, a record snowfall in October, and it gave us this incredible snowscape that I had been looking for,” said Chelsom. “The film just opened up to another limit, and it was, you know, it was an unbelievable moment.”

Pegg added, “I woke up and it was like waking up in a Christmas card. It snowed so much as Peter said, the town was all like chocolate blocks-beautiful anyway, and we woke up and it snowed and I felt like I had lived in a Christmas card.”

Simon Pegg On Robin Williams

Though Hector and the Search for Happiness has its comedic moments, the darker core of the movie – and Hector in particular – is a sense of dissatifaction with life despite what appears to be an almost enviable situation. The parallels between Hector’s struggle and the recent passing of Robin Williams are unavoidable for Pegg, who counts the late comedian as a primary idol.

“It’s a great loss. To everyone it’s a great loss, but, if it can teach us one thing it’s that fame and money don’t mean a damn thing, you know,” Pegg told uInterview. “People are often, in this current society, in this sort of celebrity-obsessed, aspirational society, think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the key. If I can just get that or if I can look at these people that have that and envy them or…’ And really, it doesn’t matter that much. It can, it can, I guess money can put a salve on things; it can help you distract yourself from being depressed with various self-medications like money and clothes or whatever. Ultimately, you know, happiness comes from somewhere deeper and is more pervasive and more complex, and I think it is such a shame. I loved him dearly, and it’s a terrible thing.”

Hector and the Search for Happiness, rated R, is currently in theaters.

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