Bruce Greenwood’s Christopher Pike was a standout character for the 2009 Star Trek film and returned for 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. In an exclusive interview Greenwood talks about how he got his start in Trek, and what he thinks about a possible future for Pike and more.
Interview: Bruce Greenwood
Interview conducted with Bruce Greenwood at Destination Star Trek 3 in London over the weekend
TrekMovie: How did you land the role of Pike in the 2009 Star Trek movie?
Bruce Greenwood: It was strangely simple. I got a phone call from JJ [Abrams] and he said “I would like you do this.” And I said “OK, great, can you send me a script?” And he said “um, no.” What do I do then? He sais “you will have to come down and read it in a locked room and we will have a conversation.” So, I came to LA and they locked me in a room and I read it and I want “oh, this sounds like fun.” And I talked to JJ and said “I’m in!”
TrekMovie: In the two Star Trek films you did, you appear as a father figure, especially to Kirk and an over-arching figure to the cast. Did that translate off screen?
Bruce Greenwood: No. In terms of my authority? I had no authority among the cast, because we were just guys and girls with a ton of respect for each other so there is none of that old boy “do this, do that.”
Bruce Greenwood as Capt. Pike in “Star Trek” (2009)
TrekMovie: How did you feel when you read the script and found out that Pike was going to die quite early on in Into Darkness?
Bruce Greenwood: I was gutted. I was gutted.
TrekMovie: Do you think it was right for the character development?
Bruce Greenwood: I understand why they did it. And I think it was a good idea. I think it provided Kirk some real pain to generate the revenge he had to learn to grow out of.
TrekMovie: And is there room for a return in Star Trek 13?
Bruce Greenwood: Well I think there is always room. But if they did bring him back, it is how they bring him back. If you bring him back as a memory, then at least you still serve a death as a death. So, you don’t want to give him a dose of Khan’s blood and have him bounding back into the room. Because the next time somebody dies it doesn’t really mean anything.
TrekMovie: Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?
Bruce Greenwood: Yeah. I have a film with Russell Crowe called Fathers and Daughters coming out and one with Ethan Hawke called Good Kill and movie called Wild Like and a movie called Elephant Song coming out, and some stuff in the pipeline.
Bruce Greenwood with Xavier Dolan in “Elephant Song” – one of the many films of his coming out in the next year
More DST 3 Interviews to come
We have more interviews to come, plus check out our other coverage from DST 3
Top photo by Idil Sukan, taken at DST 3.
Ronan O’Flaherty is an Irish based, life-long Star Trek fan, software engineer and radio presenter. His site is currently under revamp at www.ronanoflaherty.ie.