James Frain on Inheriting the Role of ‘Sarek’ for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


We continue our ongoing Star Trek: Discovery Comic-Con coverage with another new interview, this time with the series’ resident Vulcan, actor James Frain – taking over for Mark Lenard as Ambassador Sarek.

TrekCore contributor Sam Darragh of the Trekkie Girls was our roving reporter at yesterday’s press junket, and she caught up with Frain to chat about his character and his desire to both pay tribute to Lenard’s original performance, but to also make this Sarek his own.

TREKCORE: Sarek has almost two rather different characters from different timelines. How much creativity have you had in creating your own Sarek, and how much do you think is drawn from the previous two [Mark Lenard and Ben Cross]?

FRAIN: Well, I feel a great sense of responsibility to Mark Lenard’s performance because he was the first to establish the character, and did such a fantastic job. So, I had him very much in mind but I also felt like, we change so much in our lives.

[Mark Lenard’s performance is] where he ends up, but he’s lived for 200 years. So who was he 50 years, or 100 years before that? Like, who is this guy who marries a human being, when humans have an emotional culture, and Vulcans believe that emotion causes war?

It simply has to be repressed, because it’s dangerous, yet here he is, playing with danger – that seems to me to be kind of exciting… and kinda sexy, dare I say it!

Revealed in yesterday’s SDCC panel was the surprising news that not only does Sarek take an active role in Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) life, but in fact he is portrayed as an adoptive father in Star Trek: Discovery — and like you, we’re eagerly awaiting how the writers fit this new twist into the Trek history we all know and love.