After finally being named by CBS to lead Star Trek: Discovery this fall, actress Sonequa Martin-Green has shared her thoughts on her role of Michael Burnham, and joining the Star Trek franchise across several new interviews arriving this week.
Speaking with Vulture‘s E. Alex Jung, Martin-Green spoke at length about leaving The Walking Dead, and her personal relationship with Trek:
I’m used to being on a show that reaches a lot of people in such a huge way, and it’s definitely one of those things that you hope for and dream about. So [like being on ‘The Walking Dead’], I have experienced it before.
I mean, the ‘Star Trek’ universe is so vast. There’s a lot of it I still have to catch up on, and a lot of new experiences even with what I already have under my belt as well.
I love the original series. It’s my favorite out of all of them, and I just love the dynamic between Kirk and Spock. All the characters on the show had rich relationships. I found myself just keeping it on in the background when I was doing a lot of my work when I first started.
She also shared thoughts on the new role with The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg on Monday, where Martin-Green commented on the timing of leaving The Walking Dead and signing up for Star Trek.
‘Star Trek’ was nowhere in the picture [when I learned I was leaving ‘The Walking Dead’]… Star Trek came way later, after this was all said and done. We were shooting the [‘Walking Dead’] finale before the opportunity for ‘Star Trek’ came about.
There was a little time [off between the two shows], but not too much! It was pretty back-to-back. There were the holidays, which were nice. There were definitely the holidays to sit and think a little bit about it.
On how her ‘Michael Burnham’ character brings a different angle to Discovery:
Being the first officer on the ship [as the lead character] is going to be a wild ride because we haven’t seen that happen before in the ‘Star Trek’ canon, we haven’t seen the story be told from the perspective of the first officer rather than the captain.
It’s going to open up so much potential for new storylines because not being the captain automatically gives you a different perspective.
It’s going to be a wild ride and everybody on board — in front of the camera and behind — I’ve been floored by the performances on ‘The Walking Dead’ from the beginning and I’m going to be astounded again by the people we’ve got assembled on ‘Star Trek.’ I’m really excited.
Lastly, the actress spent time discussing the new position with TV Line‘s Charlie Mason, as well as the pressure that comes with being the lead on a Star Trek series with the franchise’s lengthy history.
There’s definitely a lot of responsibility to being the lead of any show, and obviously to be the lead of this, [an offshoot of] one of the most popular, if not the most popular, television series of all-time… you can certainly get lost in it if you allow yourself to, and just sort of be frozen.
[I’m] swimming with the gratitude of it, and that’s carrying me through. I’m still blinking to see, ‘Is this real? Oh my goodness.’ But I hope that I can bear the weight, if you will, of this legacy and of this story, because I certainly want to do it justice.
She also added some additional thoughts to the tone of the series, in line with several past statements from those involved in Discovery pre-production.
This iteration of ‘Star Trek’ is going to have a different take than the others in the Star Trek canon. It’s going to be bigger, rawer and grittier… and the story’s going to build on itself. It’s going to be a tremendous journey.
We look forward to learning more about the show – and Michael Burnham – as we approach Star Trek: Discovery‘s debut later this year.