Simon Pegg has revealed that hearing the late Robin Williams’ in his film Absolutely Anything is not ‘bittersweet’ but ‘joyous’.
The late funnyman, who died in August 2014, aged 63, provided the voice of Dennis the dog in the big screen comedy, directed by Monty Python star Terry Jones.
Simon Pegg stars in Absolutely Anything (David Jensen/PA)
“Robin did all his stuff in Los Angeles so we didn’t get to meet sadly. I was deeply affected by his loss, but the strange thing is seeing it back now, seeing his voice coming out of Mojo (the dog) to create Dennis,” Simon explained.
“It’s actually really joyous. It’s a brilliantly exuberant and funny performance in the way we would always expect of Robin when he played comedy and it was heartening to see, to have it feel warm and not bittersweet as I thought it would be.”
Simon plays a disillusioned schoolteacher, who suddenly finds and uses the ability to do anything he wants in Absolutely Anything. He calls on his beloved canine companion to help him deal with his newfound powers.
The 45-year-old actor, who has also appeared in Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and The World’s End, joked that working with animals means having to play second best to them.
“The frustrating thing about working with animals is that it’s all about them. They’re the biggest prima donnas because they’re the ones that have to get it right,” he said.
“If you do an amazing take, the best acting you’ve done in the world, if they didn’t get their marks or get their moment right, then you have to do it again. And the moment the dog gets it right, no matter what you did, that’s the take they’re using.”
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Simon continued: “That’s where the frustration kind of ends because Mojo, who played Dennis, was the most delightful dog. I’m a big dog person, I own dogs and getting to go into work every day and work with this loveable, big, soppy, gorgeous dog was great.
“I was very protective of him… So I would stand against that maxim and say work with animals, they’re great fun and better than some actors.”
Absolutely Anything, also starring Kate Beckinsale, Michael Palin and Joanna Lumley, is in cinemas now.