"Hector And The Search For Happiness" Premiere - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting trip to get in touch with his inner child. To hear Pegg tell it, how you respond to the film says a lot about you.

I totally fell for this film, but then I'm a total sap.

Well, one person's sap is another person's … emotionally open person. There's nothing wrong with giving yourself over to something. It's easy to be cynical and dismiss something that's arguably sentimental as being frivolous, but I don't think that's true. I think the message of this film is a little bit more sophisticated than just schmaltz. It's about getting in touch with a childlike wonder and accessing your own happiness through that. I found a lot of the British critics were like, "Oh no, this is terribly … no thank you."

That's the British critic accent?

It is! "Oh no, we don't like this. Too, too, too rough, too emotional." I get why, but if you're fundamentally unhappy, this film will shine quite a bright light on that, whereas if you have a capacity to be happy you'll come out of it going, "Yeah, man!" (laughs)


At one point Hector gets very down on his profession of psychiatry because many of his patients treat it as a luxury item, but that's not the whole of that field.

I totally agree that in psychiatry you can help people to address issues that they have that might damage their lives, but at the same time when you don't have to worry about survival, when you don't have to worry about finding your next meal or living through the night, you have time to start thinking about stuff like that, and that's when you start questioning your happiness. There is a certain numbness to modern living for us in affluent society where we have so much choice and we're so looked after, pandered to, offered so much stuff that's supposed to make us happy that we completely lose sight of what it means. Whereas if you spent yesterday avoiding being shot and you know that today you're not going to get shot, your happiness would be so much more real and identifiable and easier to understand. That's not advocating not getting shot as being a way of being happy, mind you. (laughs)


I don't know, I could recommend not getting shot as a way to be happy.

I could certainly recommend that just purely as a survival method.

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick

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