The Jaylah actress discusses being cast in Star Trek Beyond, her career thus far, and transforming into the franchise’s newest lifeform.
Expletives have been something added to further the humor of Star Trek films since Captain Kirk’s “double dumb-ass on you” in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Brent Spiner’s Data took it one step further in Star Trek: Generations and of course the JJ screenwriters have embraced the concept of colorful metaphors to an entirely new level. But Sofia Boutella’s “holy shit” moment came when she was actually cast as Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond, according to a new article in the August edition of Empire Magazine.
“It wasn’t until the callback that they told me it was Star Trek, and what character I was playing. Then they took me to the make-up trailer and said, ‘This is what you’re going to look like.’ And I was like, ‘Holy shit.’”
A dancer since the age of five, Boutella has revealed herself to movie audiences in two defining pop culture roles recently, first as the assassin Gazelle in Matthew Vaughn’s The Kingsman and of course this summer as Jaylah. Establishing a new character in a fifty-year franchise that has seen its fair share of amazing new life portrayed by talented actors is nothing to sneeze at, however Star Trek Beyond Director Justin Lin explained the potential rewards of Jaylah, as well as casting the actress in the role.
“I knew if we did it right,” Lin told Empire, “it would be great to have a new character who could potentially join the family.
“I knew as soon as I saw her,” he said. “Usually when you’re writing you try to find someone to fit [what you’ve written], but I started crafting the character to Sofia’s strengths. I wanted someone who when you meet them has this strength, but you realise it might be a mask.”
More fascinating nuggets from the article include Boutella’s dancing background, staying away from the temptation of easy money, as well as her familiarity with Star Trek and packing for her audition. She has been cast in the latest Mummy remake, as the Mummy, starring alongside Tom Cruise. With the potential of Jaylah appearing in future Star Trek films according to Lin, it appears Sofia Boutella will be sticking around for a bit, much the benefit of filmgoers and Star Trek fans.
“To be honest, I’m not very familiar [with Star Trek]. I saw the two films of the new franchise but I didn’t grow up watching it. It’s the same with Star Wars; it just wasn’t a part of me growing up. I wasn’t geeking on it to be honest.”
Read the full interview at Empire.