Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Ethan Peck (Spock), Celia Rose Gooding (Nyota Uhura) and Paul Wesley (Captain James T. Kirk) stopped by the Collider studio to talk about the amazing Paramount+ series.
During the fun interview, the couple discussed what it's like to work behind the scenes while filming the series, what they'd be surprised to earn about the show's production, the status of Season 2 and how it's like Season 1 on steroids, how Pike deals with knowing his future, what it was like for Wesley to play Kirk, and what it's like to film a scene where you have to eat food.
Strange New Worlds takes you back in time before Star Trek and the Original Series, and follows some of the same characters you love. However, unlike most recent Star Trek series like Discovery, Strange New Worlds is episodic, so almost every episode adds new characters and locations. It's a great series that's definitely worth your time.
Rebecca Romijn plays Una Chin-Riley(Number One), Melissa Navia plays Nurse Erica Ortegas, and Babs Olusanmokun plays Dr. MBenga. Alonso Myers, Heather Kadin, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, and Aaron Baiers also serve as executive producers.
Watch what they had to say, or read the rest of our conversation here.
COLLIDER: I am thrilled to be a part of the cast of Strange New Worlds, one of my favorite television series. I want to extend my sincere thanks to you all for coming to the Collider Media Studio, whatever we're calling it. What has your experience been like for you guys here at Comic-Con? Have you ever done your panel?
MOUNT OF ANSON: Not yet.
Next CELIA ROSE GOODING
CHRISTINA CHONG: Right after this.
MOUNT: It's true.
Are you guys ready for the adventure you're about to have? Because when you guys come out on stage, it's going to play like a rock concert.
CHONG: I haven't. Obviously, Anson and Ethan and Paul are all [have] But me and Celia, it's like I've no idea what it's going to be like at this point.
GOODING: On this enormous scale, this is our first, I don't know, gathering after the season's release, and I'm not prepared for what's about to happen. I'm not surprised, but very, very happy.
I know that many people, including myself, are raving about your program. Have you been paying attention? Do you read that stuff, or do you do nothing?
MOUNT: A little bit. I mean, I don't know. Typically, you learn not to read your own reviews, and never believe the ones that are really, really bad, or never believe the ones that are really, really terrible. I guess I've reached a point where I can't help but feel like I'm getting a temperature gauge for fan reaction, especially with a show like this that has such a large fan base and, really, culture.
I like to know the behind-the-scenes of the production of a series or a movie for fans of the show and for myself. What would you say if fans of the series would be surprised by the actual production of the show?
PECK: Celia and I dance a lot at each other from our chairs on the bridge.
GOODING: I hope [they] preserved it.
PECK: We throw a lot of shapes at each other.
GOODING: A lot of dancing, a lot of movement, and trying to stay up and alert during those 14-hour bridge days. There's a lot of bravado and bravado that goes on when we're not shooting.
PECK: Oh, and they've taught me some choreography.
GOODING: Ooh, yeah, we taught him the Chorus Line dance, which Ethan will be performing at the panel.
PECK: Absolutely not.
GOODING: Chorus Line music is humming.
PECK: Are you a ludicrous person?
CHONG: It's true.
Please state that you have a video of this happening and are putting it online.
GOODING: Someone [does].
PECK: They tried, they tried.
GOODING: I believe so.
PECK: I would not take part. You attempted to record it secretly.
GOODING: We'll get it. We'll get it. If we don't have it now, we'll send it to you by the next time. By this time next year, you'll have it.
Is there any other intriguing information people might discover... for behind-the-scenes?
PAUL WESLEY: You and I have a hard time navigating a situation.
CHONG: Yes, it is true.
WESLEY: We'll slam it for hours. People are not happy.
CHONG: We're the worst.
PECK: Do you have scenes together?
CHONG: Whoaaaa! Paul and I-oh, sorry.
WESLEY: She's funny.
CHONG: He's an idiot. In the best sense, but it's a lot of fun. A lot of people get irritated.
MOUNT: The ship will be revealed in greater detail. As the show progresses, we learn to construct more of the Enterprise. And so, we're getting to see some of it. Some of it has already been released online, but, nevertheless, it's still worth the effort.
CHONG: Oh, and Runa, my dog, she's actually Ansons girlfriend. She's the set mascot. Everyone loves her. Spock will play raccoon with her, and everyone... You love her, don't you?
WESLEY: I do believe she is a wonderful lady.
CHONG: She is as beautiful as Celia is.
GOODING: I do really miss her. She's my niece.
CHONG: She's always there, always running around.
Strange New Worlds is a wonderful series because, while everything is pushed to be serialized, the show is episodic, and I love it. Can you elaborate on that part of the series, because a lot of people might not understand it yet.
MOUNT: Yeah, our showrunner Akiva talks a lot about the freedom that it implies, which you wouldn't expect. But, actually, when you have a new story every week, or a new planet every week, you can also alter the mood, and the tone. And so, we've been really pushing the boundaries with that in the second season, and being able to invite many different kinds of directors with many different styles.
Where are you in the filming process of Season 2?
MOUNT: Were we all done?
WE HAVE BEEN CLOSED.
MOUNT: YES, we finally wrapped up at the end of June.
I'm looking at my clock in my head, and I'm realizing... I've got it.
MOUNT: A little over three weeks ago. It's a mystery.
CHONG: It's like everything has gone on forever.
What are the limits on what you may say about Season 2?
GOODING: It will come to an end at some point. That's all we can tell you.
Because of the VFX involved in producing a series like this, it's likely to be next year, but if you can, tell us how it differs from the first season? What did you guys learn during the first season that might be repeated in the second?
PECK: Henry refers to Season 2 as Season 1 on steroids. I think that's the most appropriate way to put it.
CHONG: I agree. It elevates everything to a new level. For example, the fantasy episode, episode 8, which came out of nowhere, that will be topped in Season 2.
I am interested in learning how Kirk performs in Season 2, since he was a late guy in the first season.
WESLEY: In a previous interview, I said that the success of Season 1 comes solely from my 14 minutes of screen time during the final performance. No, I'm excited because the final episode of Season 1 was obviously based on "Balance of Terror," which was a quite intense episode. And so, I'm looking forward to Season 2, because Kirk gets to let loose a bit and not be alt future timeline Kirk. He gets to be young Kirk in the Original Series canon, so I'm
I'll do a follow-up if you want to. Kirk is one of the most well-known sci-fi characters. What was it like for you the night before filming? Did you sleep much? How were you preparing to tackle the task?
WESLEY: When I talked to Henry and Akiva, the big thing was, "Don't try to make a Shatner impression." It's a simple philosophy, but it's an alt timeline, and it's an alt future, and, really, they were like, "Just do your own thing." It'll take time, but eventually, that will be Kirk. And so, it's really about respecting it.
I like the way Pike approaches the future. He knows what's coming and has attempted to alter it. I think it's just something everyone would think about: "If I knew my horizon was this, what would I do?"
MOUNT: I mean, to say that you've accepted something is a thing, but to actually accept it is a different thing. And so, that's the journey for Pike in Season 1, and I think, ultimately, it's a successful one. I've had the opportunity of meeting a couple of people in my life who will say, "I've never been more alive, because I know the endpoint, and I know how many days I have left," and I'm going to live them to
But one of the things I love about the show is the fact that there's great writing between all of the characters, and it's unusual sometimes in the first season of a show to have it where the writers feel like they know these characters, and the actors feel like they have these characters. Can you describe what it was like reading these scripts before you shoot?
MOUNT: I'm sorry, but on this show, we didn't go through too many colors. They were very well-written scripts.
PECK: Yeah, they'll never release the scripts to anyone else. Everyone else on the set will be like, "Have you seen the next episode?" and we're like, "No," and everybody else gets it before us for that reason because they want them to be super polished, so we can prepare more precisely and more accurately.
MOUNT: They're fantastic, this writing team, they're fantastic at getting us the scripts at least a week early.
PECK: For the most part, yes.
MOUNT: Yes. You'll be on shows where you'll receive the script the night before. Sometimes there'll be a rewrite the day before, but they've really protected our preparation time.
Because I really love your performances on the show, please share something about what you really love about the character you play and what you relate to.
GOODING: I'd say the thing I love about Uhura, where we meet her, and not who she ends up being, is that we see her second-guess herself, which is a very human thing. I think so much about Starfleet, because you think of people who are at the top of their game, and we know who Uhura will be, and who she's going to become, and how she second-guess herself as any human would.
CHONG: I love covering La'an's vulnerability. She's a fighter, and she's determined to overcome it, and she wants to learn. She wants to move beyond her past. To portray her in this way, the bravado she has, and the soft inner world, is really interesting for me.
WESLEY: Do you want to go?
PECK: I suppose.
WESLEY: I mean, I can go. I think you should go.
PECK: I'll go first.
WESLEY: I'm glad you're here.
PECK: For all of Spock's precision and certainty and just the breadth of knowledge he has about physics and science, he's an answer guy in a lot of situations. He's so deeply uncertain, and I really enjoy discovering those moments of uncertainty and letting them shape who he is.
WESLEY: I think one of the pillars of Kirk's character is that he really does have a unique internal urge that is his guiding light, and that instinct is something that he truly does pay attention to, and that really does lead him in the correct direction. That's something that I relate to, is that most of us know what to do deep down inside, but we second-guess ourselves a bazillion times. I think Kirk is someone who just relies on his instinct and makes those judgement
MOUNT: I just love our writer's desire to make Pike the first captain we've ever seen who has the ability to say, "I have no clue what's going on. Does anybody have any idea?" If Pike had a superpower, it would be turning that bridge crew into a big brain. I think it would make for much more exciting bridge scenes in the same way.
I know that a lot of people will enjoy action scenes or when two characters are doing something on the planet, but some of my favorite stuff was...and I forget what episode number it was, but it's all the characters together getting to talk. It's all about the meals, but I also know a lot of actors, and they tell me those eating scenes are the worst, because you have to think about both filming and filming.
CHONG: In that moment, I believe I was flying the ship.
GOODING: Was that episode two?
CHONG: No, I don't remember.
GOODING: Is this the scene before Ortegas plays Uhura while she's wearing her dress uniform?
GOODING: That's episode two. That scene, they went very smoothly on me. I only had a little tea because I was so frantic about what's happening. Not because Pike's cooking would make her sick, but because she was so accustomed to what's happening. I love dinner scenes because I like the way we shoot, and depending on the scenes, you'll only see one person for the entire day.
PECK: They aren't exactly bad.
GOODING: Yes, but they're fun. It's like a summer camp. To me, that's what it's like.
PECK: There was a moment when Babs had to be a wolf... Babs, who plays Dr. M'Benga, had to be wolfing down waffles--
Waffles and bacon are in CHONG.
PECK: I felt terrible for him.
CHONG: 'Cause he went for it from the very first take.'
Joel Kinnaman was joking with me on "For All Mankind," saying, "I have five meals." Others I know are like, "I don't take a bite." It's right out. I've never eaten anything."
GOODING: I just want it.
Do you eat?
GOODING: No, there's one moment when you're about to slander me for those data chips.
CHONG: Episode six.
GOODING: Episode six, and I'm just wolfing down these noodles and dumps, and I just went for it, because it's good. It was. But I think I go for it just because it's... I'm a big fan of headfirst. Go for it. See what sticks.
CHONG: Usually, I eat small bites, but if it's food, it's water, and if it's drink, it's a glass of water. I'm smart, like La'an.
MOUNT: I'm just remembering, though, that the first time I learned about being careful how much you're eating in a scene was when I did Crossroads, and we had a scene in a Waffle House, and I loved Waffle House, and I knew exactly what I wanted to order, right? That scene where I'm sitting next to Britney Spears, and I'm like, wow.
CHONG: I'm still alive.
MOUNT: And then after we finished, I had to go into the men's room and... purge.
MOUNT: And then had a night on the town in New Orleans.
Do you want to add more information?
WESLEY: Oh, yes.
PECK: Brother's Bond whiskey is always on the menu, right?
WESLEY: It's my own whiskey. It's a secret to Kirk. No, it'd be nice to have a food scene in Season 2.
CHONG: Yes, you did.
By the way, a massive spoiler
WESLEY: Yes, yes, a massive spoiler.
CHONG: Yes, yes, yeah.
WESLEY: Paramount will call me. A lot of air chewing. And then spit bucket. Sometimes you're just hungry. Sometimes you're just hungry, man. I was hungry. What?
CHONG: I recall you had the vegetables instead. You vegetables. Do you remember the time when you had the radishes?
PECK: Spoiler alert.
WESLEY: Oh, yeah.
CHONG: Radishes and carrots.
WESLEY: That was all there was to it. Okay.
CHONG: Yes, yes, yes.
WESLEY: I was like, "Give me something that's like... If I do it 20 takes," and I was pleasantly surprised that it worked in the wide. I was really eating that with a lot of...
PECK: What are my secrets? A scene in Season 2 where I have to eat a lot of something disgusting. I had a spit bucket, and it was a crime scene.
GOODING: A lot of drinking and eating. Remember when we're all at the table?
WESLEY: Oh, yes.
Several programs, and I'm interested in knowing what it is for your show, some shows are a 7-day shoot, 8-day shoot, 10-day shoot. What is it, actually, for Strange New Worlds, and does it depend on the episode?
MOUNT: The average is about 12, although it's somewhat higher than that, because we do have a couple episodes that go closer to 15, not including the second unit.
Is it because of COVID and the precautions, or is it simply because it takes so long to get there?
MOUNT: Yes, it's the art of putting an action-adventure show set in a series of small rooms and hallways. It's just that it takes longer.
I'm really interested in the T-shirt. What was the motivation for Star Trek V? 'Cause I love it, and I also love that it's the Japanese version.
PECK: I feel like I'm on the coolest team in the world, and I love... I haven't been on this team in a long time, and so, to be able to wear my gear authentically, I just enjoy it. At Mission Chicago, which is a CBS sponsored convention, we made our first appearance. I think it's cool.
Ethan has a large collection of really amazing Star Trek apparel in his wardrobe.
PECK: I'm working on a collection.
GOODING: Yeah, yes. They're quite depressed.
PECK: It's going to be massive.
I'll give you a hint, and I don't know if you've already done it, but certain websites still sell iron-on T-shirts, if you can find them, because the iron-ons wear out over time. But if you're able to find some vintage Trek iron-on shirts, that's something to think about.
MOUNT: Wash them thoroughly.
WESLEY: Dude, get on it.
WESLEY: He's on a mission.
CONCERNS: MAKE THE SPOTLIGHT OF THE RECORDS.
No, I'm being completely honest. There used to be a place in Vancouver that... I forgot the name of it, but it was right in the main part of town. I'd always go in there and was amazed at what they had to offer. You guys shoot in Ontario, right?
On that note, thank you very much for coming in. I wish you all the best. I know your panel will play like a rock concert. Really, really enjoy it.
- 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' and 'Lower Decks' Announce Crossover Episode
- How 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' And 'The Orville' Show the Emotional Cost of Time Travel
- 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Season 1 Ending Explained: Pike Faces the Future and an Impossible Decision
- 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Retro Posters Take You To Season 1's Most Memorable Locations