After the Star Trek: Discovery panel at New York Comic Con, TrekMovie had a chance to talk with the cast and executive producers at roundtable interviews in the press room, where they elaborated on some of what they’d said in the panel about the character arcs (for both new and returning characters) and stories coming in season two. We’ll be rolling more of them out throughout the week, but start with the show’s lead.
Ethan Peck (Spock) and Anson Mount (Christopher Pike) were teamed up to talk about what it’s like playing such well-known characters, the Trek history that affects their acting choices, and the stories coming our way in season two. Not only that, Peck demonstrated one very specific Spock-like ability for our camera. Watch the full video below the interview.
Do you feel pressure taking on such iconic Star Trek roles?
Mount: I’ve been deflating this question for six tables. Feeling that kind of pressure is not useful to me as an actor. Not that I don’t respect the canon. And not that I don’t do my homework and respect what has come before me. But I can’t be working efficiently and at my top game worrying about what other people think about me, or are going to think about me. I guess I’ve just gotten to the point in my life where I don’t give a f–k? Unless it’s my wife or my mother that I’m talking to.
Peck: I admire you, Captain. Yeah – to me it seemed like it was an impossible task. But I’ve been chosen to do it, and … the night before I found out, I was like, “Should I do this?” Like, this could change my life in a way that’s irreversible, and that’s very scary too on a personal level. And as an actor I’ve never had more responsibility, never been more challenged. But I’ve been chosen for a reason, and you gotta start someplace, and I was chosen for what I brought to the room in the very beginning, which I can’t talk too much about where he’s at, but I don’t start as the Spock we know in the original series. And in no way would I ever try to imitate Nimoy, because what they created on that series was so special. And we will honor that all the way through.
What was the very first scene you each filmed?
Peck: The one you see in the trailer, where I’m lying down, that was my first shot as Spock. They really eased me into Spock. Unconscious Spock, I could handle that. (laughs)
Mount: Mine was like a three-page soliloquy.
Ethan, can you raise your eyebrow?
Peck: Of course. Both!
Did “The Cage” inform your performances as Pike and Spock?
Mount: Not as much as “The Menagerie.” The sacrifices that Spock makes, his willingness to put everything on the line to do something for Pike, that definitely informs the relationship.
Peck: Yeah, I think “The Cage” was more – it was definitely important to me – but I think it was definitely more informing for the writers.
Will we see Captain Pike on the USS Enterprise, before he takes over the Discovery?
Mount: Maybe you will, and maybe you won’t.
What is the dynamic like between Pike and Number One?
Mount: Well I can’t say much, but I can say that maybe you’re going to see that relationship get fleshed out a little bit more, and maybe you’re not.
What is Pike’s relationship like with Saru?
Mount: Well .. Pike has never encountered a Kelpien before. You’re not just meeting a being, you’re meeting a being that’s trying to figure out his place in all of this. And depending upon how that character handles that journey is going to determine my relationship to that character. How I utilize him, how I approach him. And Saru goes through a lot of changes. Doug wasn’t just paying lip service, he goes through some very profound changes this season. So the relationship, and my way of encountering has to sort of fluctuate with him.
Ethan, can you tell us about meeting the Nimoy family?
Peck: Oh man, so I grew up in L.A., and the Nimoys did as well, Adam and Julie. And I wanted to speak with them and CBS set up a meeting between us at the Sportsmen’s Lodge, which is in Studio City, and I went to Harvard Westlake [elementary school], which is up the street, and we had, like, our football banquet at the Sportsmen’s Lodge, so it was just like … very nostalgic and surreal, because I had just found out that I had gotten the role, and here I was driving over the 405 like, “I’m gonna go meet with the Nimoys!” Like I couldn’t wake myself up to that fact. And they were just so warm, and curious. And I watched the documentaries they each made, For The Love of Spock and Remembering Leonard Nimoy, and they gave me signed copies of those, and were just very kind of calm, and interested, and I was like, “Do you have any advice?” And they were like, “Just watch the original series” and they basically told me to be curious, which was the best advice I could have gotten. Because Spock was so observant, right, and so I felt I really had to find something and really scrounge for something without having heard the obvious, so it was a great gift to me with them. And they made me feel worthy.
Thanks to the Nimoy family for your open arms, warm welcome, smiling curiosity and support, for making me feel worthy, as I embrace and take into my heart the iconic half alien we know as Mr. Spock. It is an incomparable honor. 🖖🏼 #StarTrekDiscovery #LLAP pic.twitter.com/jEXG1T253Z
— Ethan Peck (@ethangpeck) August 14, 2018
Anson, what happened when you met Chris Hunter?
Mount: Chris Hunter, who’s Jeffrey Hunter’s son, came all the way to San Diego Comic-Con just to tell me that his father would have approved, which was like … my god. That, and the fact that when I first joined Star Trek, everybody kept saying, “Welcome to the family, welcome to the family.” I was like, “Wow, that’s a mantra that has caught on.” And then I went to the Star Trek convention in Vegas. And all the fans were saying that. And I was like, “Oh. Oh.” And Vegas was so much more chill. The convention was so much more chill than anything I could have imagined, that it really is a kind of extended family. That’s what I really love about this series and this fan base.
Myself with Jeffrey Hunter's son Chris. He came all the way to @Comic_Con to tell me he thought his father (who originally played Captain Pike) would be happy with my being cast. Meant a lot. pic.twitter.com/L3uV4qQpVI
— Anson Mount (@ansonmount) July 24, 2018
Watch the full interview
More from NYCC
There is more to come from our post-panel interviews, plus details from the panel itself in our coverage of New York Comic Con. 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.