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Star Trek Into Darkness will be the ninth film in the franchise with a Doohan on board the Enterprise. Once again Chris Doohan (son of James Doohan) has a role, playing a trasnporter officer. In an exclusive interview with TrekMovie.com, Chris talks about returning for Into Darkness and more.
Interview with Chris Doohan on returning to transporter room
One of the nice links to the original Star Trek in JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film was having a Doohan on board the USS Enterprise. Chris Doohan, son of the original Scotty James Doohan, was cast in a background role in the transporter room, where he got to act alongside Simon Pegg (the new Scotty). Recently Paramount has been showing off footage from the Star Trek movie to press and industry professionals, and Eagle-eyed Trek fans have spotted that once again Chris is back in the transporter room. So TrekMovie thought it was time to check back in with Mr. Doohan to find out what it was like to return to the USS Enterprise, with a new exclusive interview.
TrekMovie: So how did it work out that you were back for the Star Trek sequel?
Chris Doohan: Late January 2012, Simon Pegg sent me an email asking me if I wanted to come down to Sony studios and spend the day with him. After I told him that I would love that, he emailed me back and said, “Better yet, how would you like another shift in the Transporter room?” As you could expect, I was very excited about the prospect of being back on the Enterprise. I then got a call from Jeffrey Chernov, the Executive Producer (really nice guy). He told me that Simon wrote a note to J.J. asking him if I could be in the movie. Mr. Chernov gave me all the details and told me that I would “get an upgrade”. I wasn’t sure what that meant, and truthfully, it didn’t really matter, as I was just happy to be in the film, even as an extra.
TrekMovie: Can you give a sense of the process. What is it like becoming a crewman n the USS Enterprise?
Chris Doohan: After getting fitted in for my uniform, I got the call from Carla in casting, that they wanted me on the set on Feb. 15th. When I arrived, I assumed I would go to the set and sit around until I was called, but that wasn’t the case. They picked me up in a golf cart and took me to my own trailer…with my name on it! I was shocked! I guessed that was what Mr. Chernov meant by the upgrade. I went to make up, and then a couple hours later they called me to the set. I could see both Zachary and Chris sitting in their chairs, using their cell phones. The nice young lady that brought me to the set pointed out the chair in between them was my chair. This was just getting better! She brought me to the transporter room and told me that I would be sitting in the chair that Simon sat in last time ( I sat to his right in the 2009 movie). We shot a scene or two in many different ways. J.J. is a great director and he wants to get a scene done from many different directions. In
between takes, I had a chance to talk to some of the cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch. He seemed like a very down to earth guy…well, for a villain.
Chris Doohan with Simon Pegg in Star Trek 2009
TrekMovie: Besides Simon, did you have much time interacting with others in the cast? Do they know of your connection to Star Trek?
Chris Doohan: I was introduced to Benedict as James Doohan’s son. We talked for only a few minutes, but I did ask him if he was a fan of Star Trek. He said that he wasn’t a huge fan, but had watched many original series episodes. He was, however, very proud to be a part of this iconic show. I also talked with Zachary a bit, but mostly about his role as a Producer on his film Margin Call. He remembered me from the 2009 Star Trek. I also talked with Zoe briefly about her fashion week trip in New York. She is a sweetheart!
TrekMovie: So does your character get to talk this time?
Chris Doohan: Yes, or at least I hope so in the end. After I thought we were done, J.J. came up to me and said, “So, are you ready?” I said, “Ready for what?” He said, “You want a line don’t you?” I was in shock, as I never expected that (this day was full of surprises). I’m still not sure whether I was going to get a line all along, or if it was a last second decision. Maybe he was waiting until the end so I wouldn’t be nervous. He gave me the line and then I went to get fitted for my microphone. I was in the middle of that when I hear J.J. calling for me. He walked over and said “I’m giving you another line too”. You’re never sure if your lines will actually make it into the movie, but that didn’t matter, it was just so cool of J.J. and Simon to do this for me and I owe them both a big debt of gratitude.
TrekMovie: So for your Memory Alpha entry, does your character have a name or rank or official title?
Chris Doohan: Many people ask if I’m Kyle, but nothing has been said or confirmed at this point. I’m credited as a “Transport Officer,” but I was told that I hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Chris Doohan (R) with his brother Monty and their father James Doohan on the set of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
TrekMovie: So far from the press and industry previews you have been spotted in one scene. Was that it or are you in any other scenes? And just in the transporter room?
Chris Doohan: I didn’t know that I was in the preview, that’s cool. If all goes well, I should be in a couple transporter room scenes. So far, the transporter room is the only place I work on the ship.
TrekMovie: So did you survive? Do you think you will be back for the next one?
Chris Doohan: Well, I am a red shirt. I guess you’ll have to wait to see the movie for that one. As far as a third tour of duty, I would absolutely love it….if my character survives.
TrekMovie: You are also playing Scotty in the new fan series ‘Star Trek Continues’. You do a pretty decent versinon of your Dad’s Scotty actually. So what has that experience been like?
Chris Doohan: Thanks. It’s actually been great. I was reluctant to do it in the beginning, as those were pretty big shoes to fill, but the fan response has been fantastic. I’m having a lot of fun doing it and the team behind it is so dedicated and talented, they actually make me look like I know what I’m doing.
Chris Doohan as Scotty in "Star Trek Continues" fan series
More Into Darkness Interviews coming
This interview is the first in a series for TrekMovie is doing with cast and crew from Star Trek Into Darkness over the next month. So keep coming back for new chats with the peple that made the new movie.