Star Trek: Discovery stars walked the red carpet Thursday evening in New York to celebrate the premiere of season two. We’ll keep bringing you interviewers from the event throughout the week.
We grabbed a few minutes with Ethan Peck, who is playing Spock–an iconic character if ever there was one. His fellow castmates have been raving about his performance, so we spoke to him about how he prepared for the role and the nuances of the character at this particular point in his history.
You were a Star Trek fan before you got this job – is that correct?
Peck: Pretty much. I’m a huge science fiction fan. I’m not too familiar with the Star Trek universe, but I love the movies, and I’ve definitely seen a lot of TNG when I was a kid.
So were there things that you watched to prepare for playing Spock?
Peck: Yeah. The Original Series. Because my Spock – that sounds crazy – is a part of Nimoy’s timeline, so I watched TOS, I read his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock. And so yeah there was a lot of preparation. Also understanding why I’d been chosen for the role. Because in the beginning I didn’t know what I was reading for. And so it was like, ‘Why was I chosen for this?’ And a month into the process I figured out who it was and was just totally blown away.
Were there any specific episodes or movies that you connected with?
Peck: Yeah. I was really drawn to “The Menagerie.” I felt that really captured Spock quintessentially. Very empathetic, very human, driven by logic. So like, logic and supreme strategy informed by emotional information.
And then what do you do as an actor to prepare for playing a Vulcan character?
Peck: Well there’s a voice. There’s sort of a breadth of emotion that you can … you don’t have the whole palette. You have slivers of color. Right? He feels great emotion but it’s very suppressed and contained. So it was kind of understanding what that is and how that manifests itself physically.
Did you watch the movies as well to get a sense of his growth as a person?
Peck: No, not all of them. Because this takes place ten years before The Original Series, so I didn’t want to be too – I was very specific about what I took in. from what I watched Nimoy do. Also I didn’t want to mimic him, ’cause he’s inimitable. And that wasn’t my goal, my goal was to capture the essence and sort of the soul of who he becomes.
What’s the biggest difference, you think, between your Spock and his?
Peck: Uh, the beard. (laughs)
He had a beard sometimes!
Peck: Yeah, I guess he did, that’s true. It’s sort of his genesis, he’s not quite come together. The conflict between emotion and logic hasn’t been resolved. And so there’s still a bit of warring going on within him.
More from the season 2 premiere
There is more to come from our red carpet coverage of the season 2 premiere in NYC.
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 debuted on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18, 2019.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.