At the Bad Robot press day, TrekMovie had time to quickly chat with some of the stars of Star Trek Into Darkness. Find out what Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and John Cho had to say about the movie. I also asked all the regular crew if they will stick around past the three contracted movies.
TREKMOVIE CHATS WITH STARS OF STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
At the Bad Robot cocktail party earlier this week I tried to work the room as much as possible and slip in some real Star Trek talk in with the other (off the record) small talk and banter. It was an informal setting and so these were not strict interviews, but I had various amounts of time to chat with some of the stars of the movie and here are the relevant bits related to Star Trek.
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH on how John Harrison is a ‘Baddass’ & more
TrekMovie.com: When you did your now famous iPhone audition tape, had you read the script?
Benedict Cumberbatch: No. JJ talked me through the whole thing, but I hadn’t read the whole script.
TrekMovie.com: From the time you got the part to your first day on set there were just a few weeks, what did you do to prepare?
Benedict Cumberbatch: I asked to see the rest of the script! It was frightening. I remember someone actually came with the script, and had to wait while I read it.
TrekMovie.com: Did you go through any of the old shows or movies to get into it?
Benedict Cumberbatch: No I didn’t want to do that, purposefully, because of all the changes that Star Trek had with JJ but also because I had seen enough of the old. It’s not that I wasn’t familiar with it. I had seen a lot of the series and the movies, but I couldn’t tell you everything about every single one, but it was very much in my head and something I was very much aware of since I was growing up. I knew what JJ was doing with it and what it was, so I thought the best way was not to go back, but rather I have got to get something from the source material, the script and JJ [Abrams]. I just trust him and [Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof] and their knowledge. They know the world better than I can ever have, so I just sort of looked at the logistics of finding somewhere to live, training, I fly around a lot and fight people and that’s fun so I had get pretty baddass and get into physical shape.
Cumberbatch says John Harrison is a ‘baddass’ in ‘Into Darkness’
CHRIS PINE on his new fans & if he will do more than 3 Trek movies
TrekMovie.com: Do you know you have the most ardent fan base? I get all sorts of links and emails and tweets from your super fans. Like with the trailer and that scene with the hands on the glass. I got these messages from your fans who knew it was you, including a site dedicated to your hands called, seriously The Chris Pine Hand Porn Spectacular.
Chris Pine: Seriously? Oh my god! I can’t believe that! [at this point Chris publicist whipped out her phone to do a search saying "I have got to see this!"]
TrekMovie.com: What kind of reactions to Star Trek to you get from people, do you get both old Trek fans and new fans?
Chris Pine: Both. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me – a lot of women come up to me – and say "I never liked Star Trek, but now…" It’s exciting. Its fun.
TrekMovie.com: Watching that preview and seeing the reactions from the last movie, do you think those reactions are because you made Star Trek cool again for some people?
Chris Pine: Yeah Trek is new and cool again, but we also have people like Bob [Orci] and Damon [Lindelof] in the creative group behind it. There are just enough people who were never fans and just enough who were die-hard fans and we just the right balance…The same in the cast like with Karl [Urban] and Simon [Pegg].
TrekMovie.com: I know you guys are signed up for three Star Treks, could you see going beyond three?
Chris Pine: I do love everybody involved. I would say I’m open to anything. If the story is good and just as much fun as the second. I don’t think any of us want to overstay our welcome. If the material isn’t as good – I don’t think anyone of us want to do that. I really can tell you I enjoy working with everyone and that is really to JJ’s credit to build this kind of community that is kind of a family. He has done a really good job at that.
Chris Pine keeps getting beat up in Trek – but he is ready for more
ZACHARY QUINTO on volcano suit, why he grows Spock hair, ‘crazy journeys’ & more
TrekMovie.com: Did you just see the first nine-minute preview for the first time?
Zachary Quinto: Yeah. It was amazing. It really takes it all to the next level in this one.
TrekMovie.com: For this movie do you see yourself continuing Spock’s arc towards where we saw him on the original series? Alex [Kurtzman] has talked about how the crew in the new film are still not yet the crew you see on the original series.
Zachary Quinto: Yeah…we all go on crazy journeys. We are still forming – still cooking.
TrekMovie.com: What was it like wearing that volcano suit, it was like 50 pounds?
Zachary Quinto: It was 70 pounds, let’s be clear. It was really fun to work in it – I was in it for about four days. I had to hang – be suspended in it – and fall and do all that stuff in the volcano. It was so crazy I can’t believe they got away with it. They had embers and they would go under parts of it….I had a fan and a cooling suit underneath it. They were really – with these ember machines and real flames – to lay in the reality closer to me.
TrekMovie.com: Earlier we talked to the makeup team and they went through the painstaking details of laying in your eyebrows after you shaved your own and how you use your own hair. Why don’t you just wear a wig and cover up your own brows.
Zachary Quinto: It is easier and more natural. Because I have to apply a lot of things to become the character and so the fewer things I have to apply the better. The more that we can have be real – that is why I shave my eyebrows and that is why I cut my hair that way.
TrekMovie.com: You are pretty busy these days producing and acting in indie movies, doing American Horror Stories, doing a play I believe. After a third Star Trek movie could you see continuing on with the role or do you think you would move on?
Zachary Quinto: I really don’t know. I’m committed to three films. We are really excited about this one. I tend to be more in the present. I want to do good work with good people. And if an opportunity to do more than just the third movie comes of course I would take that seriously. If JJ is behind it and this crew of actors is on board then yeah. I love my Star Trek life.
Quinto shaves his eyebrows and grows Spock hair to immerse himself into the character
KARL URBAN on honoring DeForest Kelley, how they are just getting started & more
TrekMovie: Did you just see the footage for the first time?
Karl Urban: Yeah. It is always one thing when you are making a film and things seem small and intimate and 2D and you see that and go "Whoa!"
TrekMovie: You know I see a lot of fan feedback and while most liked the first movie, not all did, but there seems to be universal agreement on your performance. Even with those who say "I hated the movie, but Karl Urban was great."
Karl Urban: Ahhh, that’s lovely.
TrekMovie: We did a poll a while back on what fans wanted to see more of in the sequel and I think the top two things were Klingons and McCoy.
Karl Urban: You need to go have that conversation with JJ and Bryan [Burk]…he’s right over there [points to Bryan].
TrekMovie: I’m sure they know. Bob [Orci] is a Trekkie (like yourself) and regular reader of the site.
Karl Urban: I kind of feel like the lunatics have taken over the asylum. There are a few of us in there who grew up watching it.
TrekMovie: When you are on the set it must be a different experience for you than some of the others, spotting little details and references back to classic Trek
Karl Urban: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally, God yeah! It feels so bizarre and surreal for me at times – it really does.
TrekMovie: As a fan when you are reading the script and come on something like the Enterprise under water do you go "oh my god, I can’t believe they are doing that!"?
Karl Urban: Of course. There is always a part of me going "you can’t do that! That’s sacrilegious" But you have to put that aside because you know what they are intending to do which is to make it accessible to the widest possible audience – wider than it has ever been before.
TrekMovie: In the last Trek a lot of fans felt that you – especially with your voice – were trying to honor and pay homage to the performance of DeForest Kelley. In this one do you move it more to your own take – like say how Simon [Pegg] seems to be more of his own Scotty.
Karl Urban: In the first one it was important for me that the audience can recognize and identify with the character that they have loved. For me it some sense it is important for me to maintain some sense of that, but also I have to explore on my own. It is a fine balance – with cherry picking your moments.
TrekMovie: And JJ gives you that flexibility
Karl Urban: Oh my god yeah, JJ gives you incredible flexibility. He trusts you. He hires you to do a job and lets you do it.
TrekMovie: Could you see yourself doing more than three Star Trek movies?
Karl Urban: I still feel this is just the beginning. Where we end up here is just the beginning. So I feel like there is still more to come. You get a flavor of it – a hint of it – but me being a long term Trek fan, it is just the beginning.
TrekMovie: Could you see yourself doing more than three Star Trek movies?
Karl Urban: Yeah I probably could for sure. For me the creative force behind this is JJ. If JJ is involved then yes.
TrekMovie: What if he weren’t directing?
Karl Urban: It would depend. I would hope he would still be involved. I do what I do to entertain. So as long as these movies entertain people and people want to see them, then I would more than happy to continue.
Urban (running behind Pine in ‘Into Darkness’) is trying to pay homage to DeForest Kelley’s McCoy
JOHN CHO on Sulu’s arc, ‘Into Darkness’ being more ‘substantive’ & more
TrekMovie.com: When we last spoke, way back at the junket in 2009, you said that in the sequel you wanted to do something different with Sulu…
John Cho: ..something more internal?..
John Cho: Actually wow, yeah. And yeah it is. Maybe they saw that wow. I would also say the movie is also more thoughtful than the first one. Maybe the movie feels more substantive to me because they didn’t have to roll out the characters again. We are there – on the bridge. So in a way there is more story than last time.
TrekMovie.com: The villain seems to be more important in this one.
John Cho: Actually even the scope of villainy itself seems to be broader in this one…I’ve said to much I think [Cho then looks nervously at JJ Abrams standing close by]
TrekMovie.com: Don’t worry it’s not like you said who the villain was or who gets killed or anything.
John Cho: You see that guy [Abrams] could have me killed
TrekMovie.com: You guys really do fear JJ’s shroud of secrecy
John Cho: It’s ironic because he is the nicest guy in the world, but I do fear him.
TrekMovie.com: Could you see yourself going beyond 3 Star Trek movies?
John Cho: I actually could yeah. It was fun. First of all I love the reunion aspect of it. It is a good gang. So I’m assuming everyone is back and I’m not the only one. But I would hope so. If everyone came back it would be really fun.
TrekMovie.com: I could see that it might be hard to get the whole band back together. Some may have different priorities and of course there are busy scheduling issues.
John Cho: I tell you though, we have a great time together and that may be the biggest pull. It is a good group. We get together on our own and it’s fun.
John Cho says ‘Into Darkness’ feels more ‘substantive’ than 2009’s ‘Star Trek’
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