Content Type: Gaming News
Date: January 11, 2023
Hogwarts Legacy reveals are the gift that just keep on giving, and today’s announcement might be the biggest present in a while. That is because Hogwarts Legacy made its biggest cast reveal yet, unveiling that it has cast Simon Pegg in the role of Professor Phineas Nigellus Black. This is a huge announcement by itself, considering Simon Pegg’s fame and talent, but the method of the announcement is exciting as well: a 3-minute-long interview with Simon Pegg about “What it is like to play Professor Phineas Nigellus Black,” released on the Hogwarts Legacy Twitter and YouTube channel, as well as the Wizarding World, IGN, and GameSpot YouTube channels.
You might recognize Simon Pegg (or at least, you should) as the big-name actor who plays Benji in the Mission: Impossible series, Scotty in the Star Trek reboot, and, most recently, as the father of the main character in Amazon Prime’s The Boys. He was also the co-writer and co-lead in the Edgar-Wright-directed “Cornetto Trilogy” of movies, consisting of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. While not entirely new to the medium, his previous video game voice roles have always been reprisals of his big-screen characters, and the most recent was back in 2016 when he reprised the role of Unkar Plutt in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Until now, that is.
The interview begins with Simon Pegg giving us a refresher on who, exactly Professor Phineas Nigellus Black is. That is to say, Phineas is the Headmaster of Hogwarts at the time when the game takes place. You’d be forgiven for forgetting that he actually was mentioned in the books, and even made an appearance as a portrait on the wall of Dumbledore’s office in the movie, though the portrait depicts a much older Professor Black than the one we see in the footage playing over the interview.
You might also recognize the professor’s last name, which he shares with a number of characters in the original story, most notably fan-favorite Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s uncle and close friend. Not only are they part of the same family, but the connection is more exact: Phineas is actually the great-great-grandfather of Sirius. The Black Family was also the birth family of original-series-antagonist Belatrix Lestrange, death eater and continual thorn in Harry’s side.
However, Professor Phineas Nigellus Black doesn’t seem much like either of those two (aside from the black hair), and is instead characterized by Simon Pegg as “not a good teacher or headmaster” who is “sort of pompous, disinterested.” He is implied to have taken the position mostly for the prestige, having little interest in academia or teaching. He is further described as “a bit of an idiot.” Simon Pegg alludes to his role in the plot to, primarily, serve as an impediment to the player, in stark contrast to Dumbledore, who was always one of Harry Potter’s staunchest allies. The former Slytherin professor, then, is “not someone to aspire to,” again according to Simon Pegg.
The interview ends with Simon Pegg expressing his gratitude towards finally becoming a part of the Harry Potter universe, cheekily pointing out that “virtually every British actor has been in the Wizarding World films… Apart from me.” He finished the thought by saying how excited and happy he is to have gotten the role of a member of the Black family, since Sirius was always his favorite character in the books.