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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