At San Diego Comic-Con TrekMovie had a chance to sit down with Joseph Gatt, who played Science Officer 0718 in Star Trek Into Darkness. We talked about his hopes for the next movie, his Trek GE commercial, what he thought about his new comics back story…including his ‘full frontal’ image, and more.
INTERVIEW: Joe Gatt Talks Science Officer 0718 and next Star Trek
TrekMovie: You have been involved in so many sci-fi/genre productions, so here at Comic-Con what do the fans usually recognize you from most?
Joe Gatt: That is a really good question. It has been everything – Banshee, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, The 100, Thor. I guess people here are fans of everything. It really depends. Sometimes I will go to a convention and one thing will stand out. I’ll go somewhere and sign a bunch of Banshee photos and no one will really care about Star Trek – I know that is really terrible thing to say! And then I will go to other cons and it will be all about Star Trek and no one will care about Game of Thrones.
TrekMovie: Have you been asked a lot about Trek here at SDCC?
Joe Gatt: A lot of people are asking. A lot about the new movie. Obviously I know nothing, or nothing more than anyone else knows. We know that Roberto Orci will be directing and he is the process of writing the show and we know he will be shooting sometime early next year. But other than that, that is all we know.
TrekMovie: Do you know if your character will be involved in the new movie?
Joe Gatt: I have no idea for sure. All I can say is that my character was there when we set off on the five-year mission and Roberto Orci seems to seems to be a big fan of my character. And my character was built up upon in the IDW comic books and we learned about the back story of how Science Officer 0718 was created. So there seems to be a lot of interest in the character. So here’s hoping that he will be back and with a lot stuff about the character in the new movie.
TrekMovie: Anything in particular you would like to see developed in his character or story?
Joe Gatt: It would just be great to see more of the character and how he interacts with the ship in more detail and how he interacts with the crew. Of course as an actor it would be great if he was the lead in the show and saved the day. It all comes down to Science Officer 0718 and he saves the Enterprise! [laughs]
TrekMovie: I could see it, a Science Officer 0718 spin-off series!
Joe Gatt: Fans have tweeted ‘there should be a whole show about Science Officer 0718’ which is really sweet. It’s not going to happen but it is lovely that some have kind of fallen in love with that character, because it is a very small role, but it really stood out and some have taken notice.
TrekMovie: Speaking about the characters back story, did they tell you much about it when you were filming the movie and how different was it than the one in the comics? What did you have to go on for your motivation?
Joe Gatt: We came up with a basic back story when we were filming the movie. You know JJ [Abrams] is a very practical guy. We are not going to go into a huge amount of detail about a character that is not really going to be at the front of the story. So we had a basic background that he was a cyborg kind of character – part human and part android – part artificial. We didn’t have too much more detail besides that he has kind of a telepathic interaction with the ship and other than that it was pretty simple. So I was excited when the comic books came out. So this is what my back story is and it was even more than I imagined. Wow, so the Enterprise created me? I really loved it. I am the humanoid version of the Enterprise. That is pretty exciting. I feel kind of privileged.
TrekMovie: OK, well I might kind of embarrass you a bit right now. But the comic shows your character’s creation and he is – well – naked and has a sort of Ken Doll like appearance in the ‘fully functional’ area.
Joe Gatt: I thought there was a bit of smoke covering my little area, I don’t remember the Ken Doll situation. Kind of like an albino version of Dr. Manhattan. I’m really glad in the comics they gave me back a little bit of my physicality. In the movie they put me in a baggy blue shirt and I was like ‘damn I really wanted that tight shirt.’
TrekMovie: So more of this [shows Joe above image from comics] in the next Star Trek film?
Joe Gatt: Yep, just me walking around naked on the bridge, sure why not? Got the Ken Doll thing going on. They did it with Dr. Manhattan. But, I have a feeling they don’t want to go for an R-Rating.
TrekMovie: After the movie came out you did a commercial for GE with John Cho. How did that come about and what was it like shooting it?
Joe Gatt: That was really fun. My manager got a call from GE directly and they said ‘can you ask Joe if he would be interested in reprising his role in a commercial?’ I was like ‘yeah sure.’ So they flew me and John Cho out to New York and rebuilt the bridge of the Enterprise on a sound stage. Well they didn’t rebuild the whole bridge, but they had the main parts of it. We were in our original costumes – they even had our names on the tags. We shot it in a day – it was great fun. Hanging out with John Cho – hadn’t seen him since shooting the movie – it was fantastic. Playing with the holograms and stuff. It was great. Had a fantastic time.
GE Star Trek Commercial featuring Gatt and John Cho
TrekMovie: So you mentioned Bob Orci directing the next movie, so how do you feel about him being in the director’s chair?
Joe Gatt: I think he knows the show as well as anybody does. As to what he would be like as a director, I have no idea. But from my experience, if he is going to be surrounded by the best people – the best crew – the passion that he has and the knowledge that he has for the genre and Star Trek – that is all that is going to matter. Just like JJ, he is going to do what what is best for the show and the best for the fans. I think he is going to do a fantastic job, I have no doubt.
TrekMovie: So wrapping up, what other projects do you have coming up.
Joe Gatt: I am currently in The 100 on the CW which is in the middle of shooting its second season. You can currently see me in Teen Wolf terrorizing Beacon Hills. I have a couple of other things coming up in the pipeline but nothing I can talk about, as is the usual for projects I work on. I usually work on things that have to be kept secret until the very last minute. But I’m really excited about a couple of things I am working on and so you will be seeing a lot more of me.