We’re inching closer and closer to the debut of Star Trek: Discovery in September, and today we bring you one more cast interview from last week’s adventures at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas!
If you missed it, be sure and check out our chat with Klingons-to-be Mary Chieffo and Kenneth Mitchell on their warrior characters – and read on below to learn what Starfleeters Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Connor) and Wilson Cruz (Dr. Culber) have to say about their time in the 23rd Century!
We caught up with the pair directly after their on-stage debut in Las Vegas.
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TREKCORE: A huge audience for the Star Trek: Discovery events today – what’s your reaction to being on stage in front of a crowd like that?
SAM VARTHOLOMEOS: Absolutely humbling.
WILSON CRUZ: Yeah.
VARTHOLOMEOS: That’s the word I keep saying.
CRUZ: Overwhelming, yeah… and you don’t want to mess up – and I did! [Both laugh]
TREKCORE: You were very gently corrected by the masses on your pronunciation…
CRUZ: It’s not going to be the last time! [Laughs]
TREKCORE: Oh, Trek fans are more than happy to help! It’s all meant well.
CRUZ: Of course!
— Discovery Begins (@DiscoveryBegins) August 9, 2017
TREKCORE: Your casting was only just announced at Comic Con, and now just two weeks later here you are with the ‘hometown crowd’ in Las Vegas.
CRUZ: Yeah! I’ve been filming on the show since April, and I had to keep my mouth shut. That was painful! Anyone who knows me knows just how painful it was to keep my mouth shut. But yeah, I’m just really proud to be a part of this cast and telling this story at this particular time.
TREKCORE: And today on stage was the first time we heard your character’s name – Dr. Hugh Culber. Could you talk a little bit about your role as chief medical officer of the Discovery?
CRUZ: I’m not the chief medical officer, but I am a ship’s doctor; I just want to be clear on that. Maybe I’ll get a promotion!
TREKCORE: Okay, not the chief, but one of the medical officers.
So my name is Dr. Hugh Culber, and even though by the time we get to this time in history, I have a very white last name — but am very much Latino.
Just like every other character in the series, Culber is a genius in his field in his own right, and is truly in awe of the people that he fights with — and in playing him, I draw inspiration from doctors and nurses and other medical people in battlefields where they have to really balance the the mission and the well-being and health of their fellow soldiers.
So there’s that, and there’s the element of working with and loving someone you work with [Paul Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp]. That’s an interesting dynamic to play as well.
— Sam Vartholomeos (@SamVartholomeos) August 6, 2017
TREKCORE: And Ensign Connor, Sam — does Ensign Connor have a first name?
VARTHOLOMEOS: He does have a first name! It’s Danby – Danby Connor.
TREKCORE: All right – very catchy.
VARTHOLOMEOS: I always though Connor was his first name – but Danby Connor, yeah, it kind of just rolls off the tongue. I love it.
TREKCORE: What can you tell us about Danby?
VARTHOLOMEOS: He is the Ops officer on the bridge of the USS Shenzhou; he’s Starfleet through and through. He’s a young, hungry officer.
TREKCORE: Hungry for the career ahead of him?
VARTHOLOMEOS: Absolutely. It’s not so much that he wants to rise [in rank] as much as he wants to learn. and really earn that [career] path.
TREKCORE: We have just another minute — have you seen these insignia badges yet? [pulls from bag]
CRUZ: [Gasps] No!
VARTHOLOMEOS: [Excited] Oh my God, I was looking for this!
CRUZ: I have not seen these!
TREKCORE: These are some of the first pieces of Discovery merchandise out on the floor.
CRUZ: [Examines the medical badge] It feels like the right weight, too!
VARTHOLOMEOS: Yeah, right?
CRUZ: That’s amazing.
TREKCORE: These are the Medical and Operations copper versions, which are the ones that you guys wear.
CRUZ: That is so cool — I’ve got to go get me one!
We’ve still got a handful of things yet to come from our time in Las Vegas, so keep checking back here at TrekCore for more Star Trek news as it breaks!