Earlier today we posted highlights from the NYCC Star Trek: Discovery panel focusing on what the producers and cast had to say about the season two themes, plot arcs, and designs. Now we turn to what was said about the new cast members and three classic Star Trek characters they are playing in season two, along with a mysterious role announced for an actor well-known to show lead Sonequa Martin-Green.
Peck did his homework to show glimpses of Nimoy’s Spock
It was big news this summer when it was announced that Ethan Peck would be playing Spock in the second season of Discovery, with the NYCC his first public appearance since that announcement. The actor started out talking about how emotional it was for him to land the role, telling the New York crowd:
It was a long audition process. In the beginning, I didn’t know what I was reading for. I knew it was for Star Trek and this guy was struggling with emotion and logic. Towards the end of it I found out who he was, and I was “Oh, my gosh!” I had a panic attack during the last meeting with [executive producer Alex] Kurtzman. Later I thought, even if I don’t get it, what an incredible honor it was to brush arms with this character and this world. Then I got a text message from the casting director and she said, “Welcome aboard Mr. Spock” and I was in such shock. I was on the corner of some street and I sat down and cried for fifteen minutes, because I was so overwhelmed and overjoyed.
Back in August, Peck’s friend Molly DeWolf Swenson shared an image of this emotional moment for the actor.
The actor also talked about what it was like for him to put on the Vulcan ears for the first time:
[Putting the ears on for the first time] was absolutely outrageous…I had all this work to do ahead of me. Now I have a little bit of ownership of it, but at the beginning this is such work and big shoes to fill. It felt kind of strange and wild, but it pulled me into the future.
Responding to a fan question about how much his performance was informed by Leonard Nimoy, Peck noted how he has done his research to create a character on a path to the one we know:
The Spock in The Original Series is sort of the light at the end of the tunnel. So, we have to start Spock in a place where he is becoming who we see on the Enterprise with Kirk. I’ve done a ton of research and read the [Leonard Nimoy] biography and watched The Original Series. I like the idea that there are little blips and appearances of Nimoy Spock and there are going to be more of those as we go on.
Spock’s sister weighs in
Actress Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Spock’s adopted sister Michael Burnham, weighed in on Peck’s performance as Spock and what it has been like working with him:
Ethan is incredible. Y’all, he is so good, he is so good!…It has been so amazing working with Ethan. We are brother and sister already. It has been very fast and very easy. And I just love how much he gives. I love his soul, he has brought his entire soul to this. He knows full well what it means and has given his all to it and it has been very inspiring to see. We have become very close and I could not ask for a better brother. You guys are going to be wowed by him.
Romijn said yes to the wig for Number One
The NYCC panel was also the first official promotional appearance for Star Trek for actress Rebecca Romijn, who is playing the role of Number One in the second season. As she was the moderator of the panel, she didn’t get a chance to say much about herself.
However, responding to the same question about being inspired by the original performance, Romijn spoke briefly about taking on the role, saying:
The original Number One was played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. The first question I was asked was I willing to wear a wig…and yes, I get wigged, I am a brunette. Putting on that gold uniform for the first time – I was also a huge Trekkie as a kid with The Original Series – was pretty mind blowing.
Pike’s style makes for good bridge scenes
The third actor at NYCC who is new for season two was Anson Mount, who joins as Captain Pike who takes command of the USS Discovery in the season two opener. The actor contrasted Pike’s style with that of Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) from the first season, saying:
Well, that’s what I liked most about the character, actually. The writers did a really good job of creating a completely new kind of captain with Captain Pike and really fleshing out what we already know. Part of that is Pike knows a really good leader has frailties, and publicly so. And he knows that his greatest asset is his crew. What I really like about playing this character is that he is not afraid to admit that he is stumped, and he regularly throws the question out to the people around him, which makes for great bridge scenes, which he just says, “Okay larger brain: tell me what to do, what are we doing.”
Mount also talked about how his performance was influenced by the original actor, in his case Jeffrey Hunter from “The Cage.” The actor noted that while he has no problems being “a thief” with other actors work, he took a different approach for Pike, telling the New York crowd:
I’m not entirely sure why, but I felt like I need to make this my own from the outset, knowing what I know and doing my research. I wasn’t really mining Jeffrey Hunter’s performance for clues, maybe because there is so much about him that we don’t know, about the character.
Anson also talked about what it was like wearing the classic Star Trek style gold uniform on the show:
The gold hides nothing! I was on the treadmill for a while…It was amazing! I think Gersha [Phillips], our costume designer, did an incredible job maintaining the classic look with an updated version. It was a real honor. That and just sitting in the captain’s chair.
Kenric Green comes on board, Martin-Green heads back to Walking Dead
Another new cast addition for the second season of Discovery was revealed during the panel, with actress Sonequa Martin-Green breaking some news that is close to home for her, saying:
The love of my life, Kenric Green, is going to be on the show. I can’t say in what capacity, but it will be an indelible contribution. He is brilliant.
The couple worked together last on The Walking Dead where Kenric continues to have a recurring role playing the character Scott. In related news, it was also announced at NYCC that Sonequa will be returning to The Walking Dead for a guest role in the upcoming ninth season.
More from NYCC
There is more to come from our coverage of New York Comic Con, including another report from the Discovery panel about the returning cast and characters as well as our post-panel interviews. So stay tuned.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else. The second season will debut on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18th.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news here at TrekMovie.