Actors Talk Characters, Fitting in to Trek
A large contingency of Star Trek Discovery cast, showrunners, and writers made an appearance at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. In addition to having a panel surrounding the series, CBS released a new Discovery trailer, and some cast members were on-hand to be interviewed.
We got to hear from Rainn Wilson, Anthony Rapp, and Sonequa Martin-Green, who tell us a little more about their characters and how they see their roles within the Star Trek universe, and what changes we might expect to see from the new series.
When asked about his character, Rainn Wilson tells us “so Harry Mudd was a character on the original series… he’s a rascal. He’s a con man, and a merchant, he’s just trying to get by. He’s very charming, extremely flamboyant.” Those are all character traits shared with Mudd from The Original Series in his first two appearances – three if you include The Animated Series episode.
So how will Discovery‘s Harry Mudd differ from the Mudd of TOS? Wilson answers that question by telling us “this is kind of a reboot – a re-imagining of that character. It’s 10 years before [The Original Series] but this is a much darker universe, so I get to play more Machiavellian, conniving… He’s got a darker edge, he’s got some violence to him. He’s kind of rebooted for 2017 and it’s been a joy to play him.”
Wilson’s comments back up Discovery‘s showrunners who have hinted in the past that the new show was going to be a more dark and grittier series.
Anthony Rapp will be playing Lieutenant Paul Stamets, a engineering-bound scientist specializing in Astromycology. Interesting, Stamets is named after a real world scientist.
Rapp spoke about the ways Star Trek Discovery is addressing real-world situations. “[Star Trek is] holding a mirror up using this backdrop of the future and space exploration to search out the meaning of what it means to be in society and the world that sometimes [people don’t get along in]“. Star Trek has always addressed current situations around the world though a science fiction lens.
“[The] show goes some places were there’s conflict, there’s conflict and there’s war in it. I hope that, you know, yes it’s space war“. Many Star Trek fans anticipate that Discovery will take place during the Klingon war and likely focus around that struggle and difficult time for the Federation. “But it is about humans beings and people who are struggling to understand who they are” Rapp says, suggesting that the series may dive into a deeper understanding of who the Klingons are. The Klingons are expected to be portrayed differently than in any previous Star Trek incarnation, both visually and culturally.
Sonequa Martin-Green, who will be playing the series main lead Commander Michael Burnham, was asked if knowing how much Star Trek means to people was important to her, and if it has had an impact on her.
“It’s the absolute reason why, you know. It’s the only reward that matters. It’s a reward that has limitless value to know that a story that you’re telling is touching someone – is touching their hearts, in whatever way. And that impact manifests in different ways. [That’s] legitimately why I was called to be a story-teller, and why stories are so important. I suppose its rare to be met with the reason that you do what you do, but we have the honor and the blessing to be met with it every day. I hope you love the story, let’s do this together.”
As is often the case these days, Martin-Green parted, saying “Live long and prosper“, a traditional Vulcan greeting.
Star Trek: Discovery airs this September on CBS All Access in the USA, Space/CraveTV in Canada, and Netflix in the rest of the world.