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Interview: Joseph Gatt Talks About Cyber-Life On The Bridge In Star Trek Into Darkness

One of the more interesting new chraracters on the bridge of the USS Enterprise is played by British actor Joseph Gatt. Known previously for more physical roles (including playing a Frost Giant in Thor), Gatt landed a spot on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. In an exclusive interview wtih TrekMovie.com, Gatt talks about life on the birdge and about his "unique features." Read on for details below, but there are minor spoilers.
 

 

Interview: Joseph Gatt talks life on the bridge

TrekMovie: What can you tell us about how you got the role in the Star Trek movie?

Joeseph Gatt: It was pretty standard stuff, really. I got a call from my manager saying that I had an appointment to read for April (Webster) and Alyssa (Weisberg.) Even though I wasn’t told the name of the movie, I pretty much knew it was for ST2 because of who was casting it and the secret nature of the audition. I had three separate meetings over a period of a couple of months and read several different sets of sides before finally being offered the role. I didn’t even know what exactly I was going to be doing. All I knew was that the Bridge of the Enterprise was going to be my character’s place of employment.


Joseph Gatt (behind Karl Urban) on the bridge of the USS Enterprise

TrekMovie: First can you clear something up, I was told by Make-up designer David Anderson that your character’s name was ‘GATT-2000’ – was that just a nickname or is that really the name of your character?

Joeseph Gatt: Well, this is the interesting thing. While shooting, all the cast were given generic, non-specific names for security reasons, and also because J.J. is very spontaneous and likes to figure out a lot of things on the fly. I don’t think (and most of this is speculation) that a specific name had been decided upon by the time of that Bad Robot event you went to in December so David (who, with his team at AFX studios, designed my character) told you "GATT2000.” This was the descriptive name he gave my character on set. This was later changed to "GATT5000," since "GATT2000" seemed a little anachronistic considering that the movie takes place in the 23rd Century. My manager just recently (earlier this week) received confirmation from the Paramount publicity department that I could publicly say that my character name is "GATT5000."

EDITOR’S NOTE: Interview conducted before London premiere, TrekMovie has confirmed that Joseph Gatt’s final credit lists him as "Science Officer 0718"

TrekMovie: What can you tell us about your character? I saw what you looked like and see there is some kind of flashing blue thing in the back of you head implying you have some kind of cybernetic implant?

Joeseph Gatt: I’m not in a position to tell you much more then you already know, as I’m not sure what J.J. would like released or not (and it’s safer to err on the side of caution.) But what I can tell you is that I’m an augmented human and one of my cybernetic augmentations is on the back of my head. The concept is that it’s a miniature version of the ship’s main computer which puts me in direct telepathic connection with the ship’s systems at all times. I’m the Six Million Dollar Man in space!


The back of Joseph Gatt’s head shows the cybernetic device

TrekMovie: When you were first cast I had thought – thinking of very physical role in Thor and your background – that you would be one of the Klingons. Were you surprised you ended up on the bridge?

Joeseph Gatt: I was, actually, and pleasantly so. I always thought that when I booked something on a show like "STAR TREK" it would be a heavy action role, so to end up on the bridge was a total surprise, but a very pleasant one. I did get the opportunity to do some action, but I also wish that there was more physical stuff for "GATT5000." Maybe in the next one…?

TrekMovie: What was the shoot like? Were you on the bridge for most or all of the bridge scenes?

Joeseph Gatt: All of my stuff was on the bridge set at Sony Studios, and everything that happens on the bridge involves or contains my character in some way. We spent about six weeks shooting all the Enterprise bridge scenes before they moved on to another set.

TrekMovie: What is the atmosphere with the rest of the cast on the bridge? Serious? or more casual?

Joeseph Gatt: It’s always a very interesting situation when you join an established cast. You never know if they’re going to welcome you warmly or treat you as the fifth wheel. In this case I had nothing to worry about. Everyone in the cast and crew were awesome and welcomed the new cast with open arms. J.J. creates such a familial atmosphere on set and wants everyone to appreciate that it takes EVERY person on that set to make this thing happen. No matter what the size of your role or job, everyone is treated with equal importance. He spent just as much time talking to the background extras as he did with the principal cast. He is a great director with an amazing social awareness and led the project with an incredible energy, imagination, and friendliness! Considering the high stakes involved in making such a big budget movie, the atmosphere on set was generally very casual, but business-like. There were moments of intensity and seriousness, of course. The work was never sacrificed for play, but
there was always play and fun. No matter what was going on, no matter how long the day, no one was ever allowed to forget that we were supposed to be having fun.

TrekMovie: Now that you are an official Star Trek actor, any plans on doing conventions?

Joeseph Gatt: I’ve already been appearing at conventions for a few years, mainly in California, due to the popularity of my roles as "Kratos" in the "God of War" video games and as "Frost Giant Grundroth" in "THOR." As my profile has increased, especially with the release of "Star Trek into Darkness," I’ve been invited to appear at more conventions nationwide. I absolutely love doing conventions. I love meeting the fans face to face, especially the kids. But I also love traveling in general, and I’m a Sci-Fi / Genre geek myself. So it feeds me in so many ways.

TrekMovie: So did you make it out alive? Think you have a future in Starfleet?

Joseph Gatt: I can’t tell you that! But I’m not wearing a red shirt, and its up to you to guess if J.J. would break a 50 year old Trek tradition or not (winky face). I would, of course, love to continue to be involved in the Star Trek universe and to hopefully work with J.J. again on other space projects in the near future…

TrekMovie: What are you working on now?

Joeseph Gatt: Nothing is set in stone as yet, but I’m reading three great scripts with great roles for me. I’m stuck in a situation where everything I’m involved in is top secret, which is very exciting, but also somewhat frustrating. Needless to say, watch this space!


Gatt: May have a future on the bridge

 

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Elias Javalis
May 11, 2013 2:03 pm

He is the guy from Elyssium on the Enterprise bridge!

Kirk
May 11, 2013 2:05 pm

Rat-a-tat-tat with my GAT GAT!

Fubamushu
May 11, 2013 2:35 pm

Seriously?

CaptainDonovin
May 11, 2013 2:46 pm

Maybe this is an early type of Soong (Arik) design.

Phil
May 11, 2013 2:47 pm

So…he’s a Borg….and if this implant is such a huge freakin deal, how come everyone doesn’t have one?

WillH85
May 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Seems like JJ has gone pretty out of touch with Star Trek on this one. Even by the end of TNG there wasn’t anything like this so why would there be a century before it? Also seems like the idea of augmenting someone to work with a ship’s computer wouldn’t fly in the Federation. To me it seems more and more like the JJ verse isn’t just a diversion in history, it was a totally different universe to begin with.

Z3R0B4NG
May 11, 2013 2:57 pm

this dude needs to be introduced properly in some IDW ongoing comic

i was like… whaa? what is an Android doing on the 1701!?
and his voice! woah mama! where did that dude even come from?

PS: GATT5000 sounds a lot cooler than “Science Officer 0718”

Oscar
May 11, 2013 3:15 pm

People need to chill the hell out. Maybe he’s essentially a singular binar or a rare original series-type alien that would randomly be in an episode. Nothing really to draw comparisons to.

J
May 11, 2013 3:24 pm

Fortunately the whole “augmented to interface with ship’s computer” thing is non-canon (right?) and therefore can be safely ignored. At least for now.

Govna
May 11, 2013 3:35 pm

Two thoughts spring to mind.

1) who is this guy?
And
2) why should I care?

smike
May 11, 2013 3:42 pm
I think this is a VERY INTERESTING perspective how this version of the future might develop… Quite recently I had an idea of how to reboot NextGen… I thought it would be interesting to introduce a completely different concept of Data… not the isolated android but more like the ship’s computer, a positronic network that employs various android units, holograms and other tools and devices to operate the ship… The new Data could actually be part of the ship, or rather BE the ship itself. What if in this new timeline, Dr Soong actually joined Starfleet and helped to design this positronic network aboard Federation starships? Soong might even be around already in the 23rd century. He was portrayed rather old on NextGen so his younger self might already be up and about, creating all that stuff… Those of you who hate the idea of introducing new technology to this new timeline that wasn’t around the first time. I do understand your point, but I guess that’s what this reboot is all about. With all the technology but warp drive and beaming already being around in our present (communicators, flatscreens, advanaced computer systems), they simply HAVE TO introduce new ideas in order to make it more futuristic and thus more interesting… I was first shocked when I heard GATT5000 speaking on screen and though if it as a major offense to Data and the only legacy. But the more I think about it, the more I wish they’d go on… Read more »
PaulB
May 11, 2013 3:43 pm

#11: Two obvious answers spring to mind.

1) He’s in the new Star Trek movie.
2) You’re on a website called Trekmovie, so it’s fair to assume you care about Trek movies, and thus, since he’s in the next Trek movie, it follows that you–a person ON Trekmovie.com–would care.

PaulB
May 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Oops–another message snuck in! My comment at #12 is directed to #10, not #11.

ajdczar
May 11, 2013 3:45 pm

WILL85

In a new timeline, and depending upon how much original Spock revealed about his, it would be quite logical to assume technology comes at a different pace…

The longer you travel into a new timeline the more it diverges from the original. Just sayin’.

KingDaniel
May 11, 2013 3:58 pm

Science Officer 0718 was great. I loved the new characters and aliens in Into Darkness, they built up a rich and colourful universe. The little glimpses of things got the imagination going.

EM
May 11, 2013 4:09 pm

Sounds very interesting! I simply cannot wait to see this movie…oh, I guess I kind of have to wait.

smike
May 11, 2013 4:10 pm

@17: Sorry. I thought the spoiler policy has already been discontinued since it was no longer mentioned at the end of the article. My mistake. Having seen the movie quite a lot already, I must have forgotten that it’s not yet out in the States. Sorry…

GG
May 11, 2013 4:28 pm

Seems out of place (this whole “cybernetic hook-up” to the ship). Unless, he’s not human. If he were an alien (similar to the Bi-nars), where this was a common thing to do for his particular race, then I guess it would be okay with me.

But, if he’s just a human bridge officer, then it seems very out of place in this Trek time period.

Jon Spencer
May 11, 2013 4:39 pm

#20 – GC – Completely agree. He needs to be a bi-nar or something. It seems like this kind of thing was banned in the federation – eugenics wars, etc?

sean
May 11, 2013 4:45 pm

There’s nothing here that says GATT was created by the Federation or is even human. He could easily be from species and decided to join Starfleet, and they simply took advantage of his abilities.

LGE
May 11, 2013 4:50 pm

#11 What you have described is very similar to Andromeda, created by Gene Roddenberry ;)

smike
May 11, 2013 5:01 pm

@22: For what we know he could be Ruk from “What Are Little Girls Made Off”, only this time, actually joining Starfleet. Maybe Roger Corby had helped in that.

Unwanted
May 11, 2013 5:01 pm

@23. I am pretty well convinced that Andromeda was originally supposed to be a Trek show and Nick Meyers screwed it all up with TWOK. Think about it, the Nietzscheans (genetically engineered superhumans) are obvious descendants of the Seed planted on Ceti Alpha 5. Then along comes Meyers and wrecks the whole set up (and its no secret that Gene hated TWOK).

smike
May 11, 2013 5:15 pm

@25: Very interesting theory. I’m not familiar with any series concept post TMP / Phase 2. But if true this would have been set in the very distant future and thus would have prevented the Next Gen / spin-off universe from coming into existence. Therefore I’m glad Meyer screwed it up. :-)

It’s really incredibly interesting how similar Ruk and GATT5000 look if you google them…Even if not intentionally the same characters, it is most definitely a powerful homage to TOS…

jack Zymurgy
May 11, 2013 5:16 pm

@23, I had the same though. Though Lexa Doig was easier on the eyes than Gatt.

The Sinfonian
May 11, 2013 5:16 pm

@25 Exactly. Andromeda was originally about the fall of the Federation a few centuries later. It got changed to Commonwealth, etc. And if Star Trek had been kept closer to the 28th century, then Gene’s Planet Earth/Genesis II would have been about the post-Atomic Horror/Eugenics Wars era, and explain why history was fragmental about the 21st century….

CoffeeProf
May 11, 2013 5:20 pm

True story. I was at Space City Con last year where he was a guest. He wouldn’t tell anyone what he was doing in the movie. At one point I was talking to Jason David Frank (Tommy from Power Rangers) and this was the actual conversation.

JDF: Who is that guy?

Me: He’s in the new Star Trek movie.

JDF: Who does he play?

Me: He’s not telling anybody. JJ Abrams likes to keep things close to his chest.

JDF: Go up there and ask him.

Me: LOL…no way….I’m not gonna get on his bad side.

JDF: *grabs the Green Ranger Helmet he was raffling off* Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Riker's Mailbox
May 11, 2013 5:23 pm

You guys are jumping to conclusions. Perhaps this wasn’t a result of eugenics, but rather a fashionable way to login to Facebook in the 23rd century. A huge group of people on Earth were doing it. They provided status updates simply through thought. Perhaps it’s part of the movie plot. John Harrison ‘friends’ Gatt5000 on Space Facebook (I say space Facebook because it’s the future), so he can read Gatt’s comments about what’s happening on the Enterprise bridge.

I should be a writer.

VulcanFilmCritic
May 11, 2013 5:32 pm

As an old-timer, I think I need to see some new characters, new technology, and new thinking about this timeline. The more this Trek diverges from TOS, the more I think I can enjoy it. For itself. I don’t have to worry about transgressions against the 1960’s time-line canon or defiling the memory of my favorite childhood show. ‘Cause this is not my favorite childhood show anymore.
As #11smike states, the technology we have today, almost 50 years after TOS aired, has in some cases surpassed what could even be imagined in the 1960’s (virtual reality, a vast network of computers in which the entire world is connected all the time through our phones, growing our own organs, etc.) We cannot be stuck in a retro-future time warp forever.
So bring on the androids, cyborgs, replicants, or whatever.

navamske
May 11, 2013 5:35 pm

Maybe he’s Norman (“Norman, coordinate”) and the Feds found the android planet before Harry Mudd did.

Jack
May 11, 2013 5:56 pm

6. 6. WillH85 – May 11, 2013
“Seems like JJ has gone pretty out of touch with Star Trek on this one. Even by the end of TNG there wasn’t anything like this so why would there be a century before it? Also seems like the idea of augmenting someone to work with a ship’s computer wouldn’t fly in the Federation. To me it seems more and more like the JJ verse isn’t just a diversion in history, it was a totally different universe to begin with.”

Except Roddenberry/Dean Foster gave Kirk a starfleet implant in the TMP novelization…

Plenty of the Trek novels mention various implants. How do you know the Federation did this? Maybe he’s from somewhere we haven’t seen yet. TNG went only to the latex-forehead sectors of the galaxy.

Jumping to conclusions about a movie you haven’t seen wouldn’t fly in the federation…

porthoses bitch
May 11, 2013 6:35 pm

He should repeat everything the computer says like SW in Galaxy Quest.

On a more serious note he looks very similar (esp the back of the head) to a preproduction sketch of the Borg from thE BOBW documentary on the BOBW blu-ray. Can anyone help me is the doc. On the stand alone BOBW the same as the doc on the 3rd season set.?

Of cours he also resembles my Kenner 6 Million Dollar Man figure . Where you looked thru a hole in the back of his head to simulate his bionic eye.

KHAAAN the weasel
May 11, 2013 6:43 pm

“The concept is that it’s a miniature version of the ship’s main computer which puts me in direct telepathic connection with the ship’s systems at all times.” Oh, so that was the basic premise for that character… well… nah,

Unwanted
May 11, 2013 6:55 pm

@28 Think about that intro if it had been Trek.

“The Federation, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. But now, one ship, one crew, have vowed to drive back the darkness. On the starship Enterprise hope lives again!

THX-1138
May 11, 2013 6:57 pm

I haven’t seen the movie so pardon the question:

Everybody is good with this augment/android whatever dude on the bridge? I mean, as fans you all are good with it? I don’t know quite what to make of it other than he’s Lobot from Empire Strikes Back. No explanation for why all of a sudden there are mechanically enhanced people in Starfleet? Why doesn’t everyone have enhancements, then?

porthoses bitch
May 11, 2013 7:09 pm

@37 see # 15 I think AP summed it up qute nicely.

THX-1138
May 11, 2013 7:16 pm

#38 porthoses bitch

Yeah but I have my doubts to AP’s objectivity since he was involved with the comics. I mean average Joe’s. The regular Trek fans. Both those who fawn over JJ’s take and those who loathe it. But I can offer one critique of the above image of Lobot 5000:

Again with the freaking bar code scanners. Maybe Lobot can give me a price check on cat food and diapers.

porthoses bitch
May 11, 2013 7:28 pm

@39 yeah I went to LOBOT to I think upon reading APs description of a cyber character with a flashing light on his head. (Months ago).

I thought at first Gatt had a light on his chest (holy, iron man) then realized it was a lens flare. I was never so happy to see a lens flare in my life.

May 11, 2013 7:39 pm

Will the Romulan Star Empire be replaced by a Confederacy of Romulus? In the 24th century the Federation Council should pass a law stating that all explorer and destroyer-type vessels should be no bigger than twice the size of the Enterprise-E.

Unwanted
May 11, 2013 7:41 pm

@39. Where are you getting that Anthony is involved with the comics? He doesnt work for IDW.

As an average joe Trek fan, not only am I fine with Gatt’s character, but I also have to wonder exactly what your problem with it is.

May 11, 2013 7:47 pm

Did anybody read Post No. 65 in 5 4 New Into Darkness TV Spots?

Ashley
May 11, 2013 7:51 pm

Some of you people need to relax. I used to nitpick a bit, being well versed in trek lore and treknology. But why gripe about it? It’s an alternate reality so they can make changes like this and try new things. I’ve learned to embrace it and now I actually really enjoy it. I’m really glad they’ve done this instead of being bogged down in the vast mess of canon from the prime universe, which strangely is how some people like to keep it. Can’t fathom why people want to restrict creativity.

porthoses bitch
May 11, 2013 7:51 pm

@42 AP is noted as being a consultant for IDW in the STID prequel.

Unwanted
May 11, 2013 8:14 pm

@45 I have never seen that anywhere, including in the comics I own from IDW. Still, regardless of all that, my opinion on Gatt’s character stands.

porthoses bitch
May 11, 2013 9:27 pm

Just google darkness countdown pascale. AP is listed as creative consultant. It was a good read, b nice to see AP do an articale on his involvement.

Off topic….but.

Seeing our currently stalled space program what would you call a reboot of Space 1999. Although despised by most Trek fans the idea of a functioning moonbase did not seem out of the question in ’75 (?). Much like 2001 in ’69. Oddly Lost in Space called it pretty close with a moon landing in ’70.

Kev
May 11, 2013 9:35 pm

Wasn’t there something about androids in the original series at one point or another?

Namely in What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Still though it is a little shocking that he’s in this as an andriod. but maybe he was someone with a disability or someone who suffered a serious injury who had to have computers put in to make him fully functional again?

and it gave him a few extra benefits.

NCC-73515
May 11, 2013 10:09 pm

The cosplay company Anovos posted this on their Facebook page: “Actual cybernetic surgical enhancement. That’s right folks. As seen attached to actor Joseph Gatt in Star Trek Into Darkness, we stand ready to cut into your skull, and attach a port that can connect you directly to the computer of your choice.”

jefster96
May 11, 2013 10:24 pm

somehow i thoght he was spooky in that movie…the voice…the voice…(in the german dub)…so borg-ish and somehow wrong

Jonathan
May 11, 2013 11:17 pm

Considering in 2013 we can wear a cap and perform basic functions on a computer just through thinking about it, I don’t see a problem with pushing the technological horizon a bit further than TOS/TNG originally envisioned.

All I could think when he appeared, “argh, it’s that prisoner from Banshee!”

BatlethInTheGroin
May 11, 2013 11:29 pm

Andromeda was not supposed to be a Trek show–it was the fourth incarnation of a concept he’d been trying to produce since the ’70s.

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