The new issue of Out magazine features some familiar faces on its cover: Star Trek: Discovery stars Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp. The magazine did interviews with multiple members of the Discovery cast: Rapp, Cruz, Mary Wiseman, Tig Notaro, Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander, and Emily Coutts. They created Collectible Edition covers for each, and filled out the interviews with fun, creative photo shoots featuring each of the actors.
Below, check out their covers and excerpts from their interviews.
Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz: Proud space dads
Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) and Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber)—referred to in the interview as “space dads”— talked about how important it was to them to be playing a gay couple on the show and the value of visibility. Rapp talked to Out about how their relationship has evolved on the show, through to the current season:
Paul and Hugh have been together for a long time and have gone through a tremendous amount and have earned a really strong sense of mutual respect and trust that is really important and meaningful to be able to represent on-screen. Hopefully, it’s a kind of role-model couple that’s not meant to be all shiny and perfect. It has little edges and corners that show up, but we make it through and we support each other.
When you watch this show, I hope you realize that you’re seeing something that is not the majority of the experience of television viewing. You are seeing an entire cast of people of color and queer people and a majority of women in lead roles. That this amazing, action-filled, heart-beating show is populated by people of color and queer people and marginalized groups that normally aren’t given these opportunities — and they’re hitting [it] out of the park.
Mary Wiseman: Diversity is built into Star Trek
Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) was queer and out long before her days on Discovery, but because she’s married to Noah Averbach-Katz, fans assumed was that she was straight. When someone described her that way during an interview, she ended up coming out publicly to Star Trek fans for the first time.
Wiseman had initially viewed the Star Trek franchise as something more conservative; her only exposure to the franchise (before she met superfan Noah) had been a conservative uncle who was a fan. But she told Out that now she sees the world of Trek in a different light:
This is our version of the world. This is our community. It’s diverse people from all over…keeping with the mission statement that Gene Roddenberry laid out very explicitly, which is that diversity is our greatest strength as a species. And the more voices we can include, the greater, smarter, more generous we will become.
She says playing Tilly has given her a lot of freedom, especially as she was encouraged to forge her own unique path:
We didn’t have to be like anybody that had come before, and particularly that she didn’t have to be slick or cool. Which I’m super grateful for, because it would have been a bit like a square peg in a round hole if I had had to play somebody as cool as, I don’t know, like Michael Burnham.
Tig Notaro: There’s more to Reno
While the role of Jett Reno was specifically written for her (which is why her dialogue couldn’t be written for any other character, Tig Notaro makes it clear that she’s not improvising. “This is very much a written TV show. I’m not just showing up and being myself and saying whatever I want, because if I said whatever I wanted, I certainly wouldn’t be saying the crazy [scientific jargon],” she told Out. “That’s not what would be coming out of my mouth.”
Early on, Reno reveals that she lost her wife during the war with the Klingons. Notaro suggested there’s a possibility we might get a little more backstory in the future.
I think that it is an interesting element to the character, but I think also relatable in ways that sometimes when you’ve been through something or struggling, the certain protective layer [Reno projects]…when you dig deeper, you find that there’s some pain or a hard road that somebody’s been down. I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens with that backstory. I really don’t know what’s coming.
Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander: Still just kids
The newest additions to the show—both joined the cast in season 3—are definitely a couple, although we haven’t seen physical intimacy between them. Turns out, there’s a reason, and it has to do with the characters’ ages and not their sexuality. When asked by Out if they were going to hook up, Ian Alexander (Gray) answered, “I’m not sure! They are still children, but who knows what’ll happen once they’re legal adults?”
Costar Blu del Barrio (Adira Tal) says there may be an additional reason:
Yeah, it’s a very…it’s a weird thing, especially with Adira. There have been moments where I felt like, Maybe they’re on the spectrum of asexuality? I think their intimate relationship with each other is, maybe not super-explored for a reason?
Now that Gray has a body and has gone off to Trill to train with the Guardians, the couple will have to deal with the most traditional of challenges: a long-distance relationship. Showrunner Michelle Paradise chimed in on this one:
After getting a new body and settling into it over the course of the season, Gray is finally ready to restart his training so he can fulfill his dream of becoming a Guardian. Even though he’s going off to do that at the end of episode 407, he’s still part of our Discovery universe—and part of Adira’s life—so we’ll have to see where the stories take us moving forward. Stay tuned!
Emily Coutts: Out because of Discovery
Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmber) tells Out she was inspired to come out because of a Star Trek: Discovery script—specifically, the season 2 finale; he was reading it in her car and burst into tears. She said it made her realize something important about herself she hadn’t confronted before, that she could “stay where things are comfortable” or “go and grow” into her full self.
She’d known she was queer for a long time, but says that when she read the script, she realized she wanted to take the next step.
…when I read it, I was inspired to be brave enough to finally come out, and tell people that I was gay, and trust that my future would be a beautiful thing if I was living openly and freely. I’m really grateful for that experience and proud of myself for taking the leap.
Fans have been speculating on whether or not her character, Keyla Detmer, is gay; to that, Coutts says that Detmer may indeed be on a journey of her own.
I feel like she maybe is starting to accept herself in her own queerness, whatever that means…whatever the writers want to do romantically or not.
For the full interviews and accompanying photos, visit Out Magazine‘s website.
More Discovery ahead
The fourth season of Discovery will continue with weekly releases until the season finale on Thursday, March 17.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Discovery will debut on Paramount+ in 45 countries around the world in 2022.
Keep up with the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.