In last night’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery we got our first scenes featuring the romantic relationship between Dr. Culber and Lt. Stamets. At New York PaleyFest last weekend, TrekMovie had a chance to have a chat with actor Wilson Cruz about that first-of-its-kind relationship for Star Trek. He also spoke to us about his character of Culber and how he prepared to play a Star Trek doctor. The full video interview and highlights are below.
A wartime doctor inspired by past Trek doctors
Wilson Cruz talked about his character Dr. Hugh Culber, saying:
Dr. Culber is a great doctor. He loves what he does. It is wartime so it’s pretty important to keep people alive. Sometimes I fail. There is only so much I can do, even in the future.
During the NYCC press conference the actor talked about how he did research on past Star Trek doctors, and told us how that informed his role for Discovery:
I wasn’t trying to emulate [past Star Trek doctor characters]. I just wanted to see how they fit into the casts and how they used the doctors in the series. I wanted to make sure I was following in that tradition. What I found is that if Spock was the brain and Kirk was the body, then McCoy was the heart, and he really was. I think that of all of them. I think of Beverly Crusher in the same way. So, I wanted to make sure that there was an aspect of that. I think [showrunners] Aaron [Harberts] and Gretchen [Berg] were thinking that as well.
A matter of fact love story
The actor also talked about how the show portrays what is the first same-sex couple on a Star Trek TV show:
[Culber] is madly in love with Paul Stamets, our astro-mycologist, [played by] Anthony Rapp, my friend of twenty years. I love the way that relationship is being treated. It is just a matter of fact. Our story line together is about how you balance you life as partners and your work as you work together. It can be tricky, because one can step on the toes of the other.
And picking up on our previous interview with Anthony Rapp, Cruz talked about how Culber is one of the ways that we see Stamets showing his softer side:
I love that [Stamets] is prickly. The reason why I love that he is prickly is because he is the smartest person that I know and I am in awe of his genius. So he is opinionated and I find it humorous and allow him to be who he is, knowing that I am going to love him because of it. But, I also think through our relationships you are going to see another side of him.
More from PaleyFest
TrekMovie has more interviews with the Discovery cast from PaleyFest NY 2017. These will be posted over the next few days so stay tuned.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.