Okay, we know that the big news right now is that Zoe Saldana secretly married her fiance, the Italian artist Marco Perego in a very small – that’s spelt intimate – ceremony. And we are very happy for the two 34 year-old newlyweds. But the secrecy of it all made us think of when Zoe Saldana got pranked, or punk’d, by Simon Pegg on Star Trek: Into Darkness. We have the video from the practical joke down below.
Zoe wasn’t alone in getting pranked. Simon, who plays chief engineer Scott in the films, came up with the idea and like Topsy, it grew. He managed to take in most of the stellar cast – pun intended – and Zoe was just one of the stars who got taken in by Pegg’s practical joke.
It all took place on the last day of shooting. All the big names were on set: Zoe, Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho. JJ Abrams was in on the joke and he kept quiet about the whole thing.
Pegg got the makeup department to prepare a container with face cream in it and marked it Neutron Cream. In the video below, Simon explains how the cream got made and that they, the makeup department, told certain actors that they needed it as a protection against lasers.
The first actor to get caught up in Simon’s prank was Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine. Simon reeled Pine in by complaining to him about “what a pain in a** it is to to wear this neutron cream.” Pine fell for it hook line and sinker.
Director JJ Abrams was in on the gag from the start and as it was the last day of shooting, he thought it was a brilliant idea. Pegg says that the joke actually started with Chekov, aka Anton Yelchin, but it quickly moved onto Spock, Zachary Quinto. According to engineer Scott, Spock was completely taken in by the whole gag.
And Zoe Saldana was next in line to get caught up in the neutron cream joke. Abrams reveals in the video how Zoe come up to him to ask a question about a line she had, and the director says that she had these dots of cream on her face. At this point it doesn’t look like Lt Uhura has noticed that Simon Pegg has pranked her on the last day of filming on the Star Trek feature.
As the prank continued the first assistant director Tommy Gormley got into the spirit of the thing and told the cast members who were wearing the neutron cream that they should jump up and down waving their arms to make sure the ion’s from their bodies were released.
After Zoe was pranked, Pegg moved on to fellow countryman Benedict Cumberbatch who he made read out an announcement. Just before “Khan” reads his announcement, Pegg looks at the camera and whispers that Benedict was covered in spots of cream.
Cumberbatch reads the announcement that says, the cream isn’t real. As he realizes that he’s been pranked, the cast and crew around him break up with laughter. Next to get fooled are John Cho and Karl Urban. The two are reading cue cards that finish with the words, “We’ve been HAD.”
Everyone involved with Pegg’s practical joke thought it was funny. While we don’t get a “realization shot” of Zoe Saldana in the video, we cannot see her getting angry with the Simon Pegg prank. It was, afterall, on the last day of shooting Star Trek: Into Darkness. You can see the prank in the video below.
By Michael Smith