NYCC: Ethan Peck, Anson Mount And Rebecca Romijn Talk About Their ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 Roles

(CBS)

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.

Ethan Peck “sitting stunned on the sidewalk” after getting Spock casting news (Twitter/Molly DeWolf Swenson)

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.

Ethan Peck as Spock

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.

Ethan Peck and Sonequa Martin-Green share a moment at NYCC Star Trek: Discovery panel

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.

Rebecca Romijn at NYCC 2018 Star Trek: Discovery panel

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.

Rebecca Romijn and Majel Barrett as Number One

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.”

Anson Mount at NYCC 2018 Star Trek: Discovery panel (CBS)

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.

Anson Mount as Captain Pike in Star Trek: Discovery

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.

Sonequa Martin-Green and husband Kenric Green at Star Trek: Discovery premiere in 2017 (Getty)

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.

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 13th.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news here at TrekMovie.

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Sean1

I am comfortable with a lot of changes in ST Discovery. But they dropped the ball choosing Ethan Peck for Spock. I am not hating on Ethan Peck and it’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for him…… But he doesn’t fit the part in my opinion. If I hadn’t know Ethan Peck was chosen to play Spock. I would of never known it was Spock in the trailer! To me he looks like Spock’s half-brother Sybok.

Matdg

Looks isn’t everything….

Vice Admiral Nakamura

Looks aside, Peck doesn’t seem to have much of a Nimoy-like “aura.” But I think they chose him to appeal to a tween/teen audience. And that’s OK- the business has to start recruiting the next generation of customers.

kmart

Not sure that Spock in any new kind of incarnation is going to appeal to that next gen of customers. Maybe if there was some terrific seasoned writer like Peter Allan Fields around to deliver the material, that would help transcend the limitations of recasting, but except for Chabon (Michael Hall, started reading Chabon and AM impressed, thanks!), haven’t seen them going in that direction with any success.

Corylea

I’d love to see them hire Robert J. Sawyer, who’s a real science fiction writer AND a big Trek fan. TOS was at its best when it hired real SF writers like Harlan Ellison and Theodore Sturgeon; DSC should be hiring some actual SF writers, too.

Corylea

A good actor’s “aura” changes with the character he plays. Nimoy’s aura as Spock was not the same as when he played Randall Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (Not the movie, obviously; Nimoy was in the play.)

That said, Nimoy was a great enough actor to have a visible aura of containment about him when he played Spock, even from the back and even when he had no lines. He was in character and was clearly being Spock, even when not speaking. If Peck can do that, then he’ll be good in the role. It remains to be seen if he can, but I think we need to give him a chance before we judge him.

Jemini

I think bringing spock back is a mistake and this show being a tad too desperate, but give the guy a chance before declaring he is a failure.
His look probably is like that because he didn’t get the chance to shave etc etc. It is obvious he wasn’t on the ship.

He sounds a bit like the older Nimoy, and looks a bit like Quinto (who had a subtle resemblance to Nimoy) which is pretty neat to be honest because kelvin spock from the feature movies is a familiar face to the general audience and nowadays trek fans who might watch this series, so picking an actor that isn’t too different makes sense.

Danpaine

Agreed that Discovery bringing in Spock reeks of desperation a bit, but at least it seems Peck has done some solid research concerning the character. We’ll see.

Jemini

I don’t know what to make of that (him researching tos Spock) when they keep saying his Spock is different anyway ^ (which makes sense)

I can see why people are worried this series might try to rewrite Spock’s story way too much, though.
One thing is to say he has a sister, another is saying that she’s the reason why he became the Spock we saw in tos. That’s controversial because… well, I don’t know what Peck really meant here, in context, but tos Spock was no ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. When we meet him, he actually is in a dark place and it takes him years to come out of it. Essentially, the Spock his version is supposed to become is a man who still has profound issues to resolve and is uncomfortable about his human heritage. In large part because of his father’s fault too because he exacerbated Spock’s feelings of inadequacy making him believe he had to be more vulcan than vulcans to get accepted.
So what are they trying to say with their claim that Michael had something to do with that too?
I don’t see them making their protagonist the ‘bad guy’ who is responsible for the issues Spock had about himself in tos. It already sounds like they are just pretending that tos Spock was this perfect conflict-free guy he was meant to become ( thank to her).

ML31

Yeah… I don’t what he meant by the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ comment either. Spock in TOS was by no means complete. He didn’t seem comfortable with himself until after his Kholinar failure and his experience with V’ger. And yes, Spock and Pike does reek of desperation on the part of Discovery producers. I just hope it works out.

Corylea

I think by “the light at the end of the tunnel,” Peck meant that TOS-era Spock is what he’s hoping to end up as once the journey he takes during Discovery is done. It’s not that TOS-era Spock has no growing left to do, just that’s who Discovery-era Spock is growing towards.

Jemini

Corylea
hopefully that’s what he meant, but I’m still unsure. The way everyone is describing it, it sounds like they consider tos Spock =better person. So Michael helps him become that ‘better’ person that Peck version isn’t yet, except the only thing she’d help him become, if the tos guy is the end result, is a very troubled guy who had an unhealthy denial of his feelings and human side, and who pretended to be who he wasn’t.

There is a conflict here that is called canon and if you say he became that guy because of her, you are either making her a bad guy like Sarek, or you are making her his mentor …but that means invalidating everything that came before.
Truthfully, they also kind of gave his original conflict to Michael already, minus being actually mixed: she wanted to be just vulcan, she needed to accept she is in fact human too. So what is left to do with Spock if they don’t want to give them the same conflict?

Tiger2

Oh it definitely reeks of desperation lol. But it doesn’t mean it won’t be good either. And I’m pretty much on the fence with having Spock. I agree with most here I don’t think they should have done it (at least this soon) but I would be lying if I say I wasn’t curious how they will do it. And the scene we saw him in the trailer got me interested.

I still wish they held him off until DIS came into its own but I can’t blame CBS if hardly anyone is watching the show now. You have to find a way to get people to pay somehow.

Jemini

ML31 exactly!
I get many people only remember him as the cool vulcan character from tos who was above feelings, argued with Mccoy and said ‘fascinating’, but really? He was more than that. The guy Kirk met certainly wasn’t a complete person who had found himself..yet.
I also wouldn’t romanticize the fact that Spock needed to be so stereotypically vulcan to counterbalance Kirk’s humanity. It may sound cute in a yin/yang way but this aspect essentially made him a sidekick, and in the universe of the story it also probably prevented Spock from truly getting in touch with own human side for a long time. It gave him too much a pretext to further hide himself in his delusions, instead of challenging himself more and face his ghosts in a honest way.

Like all things that are iconic and pop culture, people seem to see tos through rose colored glasses and summarize it through quite superficial descriptions of the characters.

Corylea

I think we should wait to see him in action before we judge him.

I was against their showing us an adult Spock in Discovery, but given that they are, I’m really hoping that Peck will pull it off.

I’m glad Peck told us that he’s hoping to END UP being like TOS Spock, rather than starting from that place. So when we first see him, and we see that he’s not like TOS Spock, we’ll know that that’s INTENTIONAL; it’s not that Peck can’t do Nimoy-style Spock.

Playing Spock requires tremendous acting skills and a ton of subtlety. The actor has to be able to suggest what Spock is feeling without making it too obvious. If Peck can do that, I don’t care how much facial resemblance he has or doesn’t have to Leonard Nimoy; being able to match Spock’s essence or aura is what truly matters.

Jemini

Ethan Peck seems like such a sweet guy, such beautiful ‘smiling’ eyes he has.

The Recursion King

Great likeness with Number one :-)

kmart

I always like Rebecca, thought her portrayal of Mystique was underrated going back to the first X-flick, but am wondering if she has an illness, because there’s something up with her face and cheeks that looks really ‘off’ — sort of like the way the actress who played the lead’s wife on DEADWOOD started changing partway through her role on BREAKING BAD as that show’s lead’s wife, which was apparently due to a really bad illness.

All the grumblers complaining about the crackdown on fan films and other large fan productions also hasten to say Discovery is NOT the Trek we want.

Discovery now has:
Warp drive ships with nacelles, torpedoes and shields
Phasers and tricorders
Sarek, Spock, Number One and Capt Pike
Blue and red tunics along with the blue coveralls
Lots of alien races including Klingons
A huge budget to pull all this off, convincingly and in HD

Can the grumblers finally stop grumbling? Pay your $6 a month and watch the show already!

Afterburn

The “crackdown on fan films” was because of one film, and more specifically, one man. A man who’s hubris destroyed a cottage industry that CBS and Paramount had always been kind to and sometimes actively encouraged. That is the long and the short of it. Without that man and that fan-film, there would have been no crackdown whatsoever.

The odd thing to me is that fan-film in question was trying to be a dark, gritty, war-time drama with big action and big FX. And yet its fans decry DSC for being a dark, gritty, war-time drama with too much action and big FX.

Fan films were fine for what they were, they often carried the spirit of the franchise– but only the spirit of the franchise each fan film owner felt personally connected to. None of them were high quality, and none of them were actually Star Trek. I’d rather watch “Symbiosis” than any fan film.

Whether you like DSC or not, its worst episode is higher quality than the best fan film, and like it or not it IS Star Trek. As Plinkett said, entertainment is not a democracy. Fans don’t get to vote on what the next iteration of Star Trek will be.

Tiger2

To this day I’ve only seen one fan film in it’s entirety, Of Gods and Monsters. But most I just can’t get past the dreary acting and shoddy dialogue. I mean TOS had plenty of that but it was a show for its time. Of course I admire the commitment and effort but they just aren’t for me I guess.

Afterburn

Even as a “show for its time” it is light years ahead of 99% of fan films. Even when professional actors took roles with them, they never brought their A-game, and no performance in a fan film would have ever stood up in an episode of any series.

Tiger2

Of course, it still was a professional production, just for its time. But these are amateur films mostly created by people with little experience so you are getting what you pay for. But I’m not putting it down, its actually incredible the amount of creativity they can do with hardly any money. I certainly couldn’t do any of that. And I know Star Trek Continues was a really popular one, I just have zero interest in reliving TOS, especially on a youtube budget.

But it is true thanks to the internet anyone can be a filmmaker today. I just prefer the official productions.

jako

I wonder if one day, just one day…. actors will be honest about each other.
Sure. It would be arkward if they say: “Well yeah. His Perfomance was Ok. Nothing great but solid” Instead of “Amazing, Gigantic, terrific, best ever… bla bla bla”

Danpaine

It’s just typical rhetoric, on par with what politicians give us. I typically ignore it. But I admit it would be kind of amusing and refreshing to hear for once, “Boy, his/her performance really sucked.”

Afterburn

I have seen it happen where an actor can later acknowledge their own bad performances. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman often talk about their own weak performances in the prequels that they now openly speak of with derision. Ewan specifically has said he wants the opportunity to reprise the role to do the character justice (oddly Alec Guiness felt the same way about the same role in the originals).

Clooney too has been vocal about his turn as Batman, Megan Fox has been critical of her own performance in the Transformers movies…

But actors being critical of their co-stars? That’s just disrespectful and bad form in general. And as for this type of interview: few producers, actors, or writers can admit they produced a dud when they’re still making it and they’d never acknowledge it on a press tour. Their job is to sell the show. They’re likely under legal constraints not to badmouth it even if they hate it.

Corylea

It’s part of their job to hype the show, and they’re doing their job. Judging the performance will be OUR job. :-)

Corylea

We don’t know yet if Ethan Peck will be any good in the role, but it does at least seem as if he’s taking it very seriously and knows just what a big deal this is. That’s a good sign, at least.

Danpaine

Agreed. Good or bad, it’s going to be interesting to see what we get.

ML31

The nu Enterprise uniforms look good and there was no reason they couldn’t have been worn on Discovery from day one. That is what we who are looking for actual connections to the era are looking for. It is updated for modern television but still LOOKS like it belongs in the era.

Danpaine

Exactly. Simply respecting canon. Pretty easy.

Tiger2

Exactly!

Every time these weird arguments come up stating ‘they can’t make the show look like it’s the 60s again’ it becomes eye rolling because most of us was never suggesting that. Certainly NOT me! But what most of us were suggesting is EXACTLY what they are doing now, like adding the uniforms even if they are not a complete match to TOS. People just want to be reminded of the TOS era somehow.

The look of the Enterprise is exactly the kind of thing I love. It doesn’t look like the 60s version because it would look waaaaaay out of date in the DIS universe but it actually looks like the Enterprise, just updated. I don’t understand why this concept of ‘familiar but updated’ was hard to understand in the first place?

Especially now that’s what they are doing. We simply wondered why they couldn’t do this from day one? It would’ve got a lot of complainers off their back.

Afterburn

That’s all fair, T2, but there WERE and still ARE many fans who wanted the uniforms and ships to look exactly as they did in 1966: loose fabric and patch insignias, flat colors and designs that lacked detail.

ML31

I guess there are some. But I can’t believe there are many.

ML31

The “you just want crappy plywood sets” argument tells me that some people STILL don’t get it. And I’m just floored they don’t. It looks like the STD crew were indeed capable of creating something TOS era specific if the Enterprise sets and uni’s are any indication. So to be fair, it feels very likely that Fuller wanted to make everything different. Which begs the questions… Why not just say it’s a reboot? Or even, why make a Star Trek series when you want to change everything that makes it Star Trek? Just make a whole new non-Star Trek show!

MysticalDigtial

I think they were just designed to be midway between ENT and TOS and now that we see the TOS era stuff it’s even more apparent that was the idea.

ML31

But the Disco unis do not look midway between Ent and TOS at all. They are much closer to Enterprise and STD is set so close to TOS that it it is no stretch to call it the TOS era.

Afterburn

It’s pretty clear that most of the major, fundamental changes were at the behest of original showrunner Bryan Fuller. And I find that ironic because most Trek fans were ecstatic about Fuller being in charge: a huge Trek fan himself who had already worked on the franchise and who had since created numerous critically acclaimed TV series’.

A case of “be careful what you wish for.”

ML31

I’m forced to come to the same conclusion. This feels like it could very well have been Fuller’s doing. Makes me wonder why he wanted to do Star Trek to begin with if he was just going to change everything. And why didn’t he just make it a reboot? Could it be that was his intention but CBS overruled him?

Jemini

I like the fact that all the ships have their own uniform style, though. Or maybe the enterprise is particularly unique because it is the flag ship.
Not a fan of the mono-collar tho. That’s being too stylish, as if those uniforms were designed by Issey Miyake or Versace.

Stuart404

How are you here and not not aware there is a legally binding reason that they couldn’t use the nuTrek uniforms from day one? The split between cbs and paramount is an old and well trodden topic

ML31

There is no legal reason why they couldn’t use the nu STD Enterprise uniforms for Discovery. None whatsoever.

Muse

That dress Rebecca is wearing…would have been right at home on a TOS female guest star!

Also…Shazad Latif looks as though he wants to kill Anson Mount.

Sorry, I’m tired, I can’t do anything more intelligible than comment on pictures :P