Veteran sci-fi actor Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth) grew up watching Star Trek, but with every iteration that came and went, he figured he’d missed his shot at being a part of the phenomenon. But when he was approached by creator Bryan Fuller to be a part of Star Trek: Discovery — not only to be a part of it, but to create a new alien race as a crew member on a Starfleet ship — he was filled with a child-like joy.
“Stepping onto the bridge of a Starfleet ship is an experience that very few actors have gotten over the years, and to be one who gets to be on the bridge of a Starfleet ship,” Jones, who plays alien Starfleet officer Saru, tells Rotten Tomatoes — it’s indescribable. “The first time I saw the captain’s chair, I was [awestruck]. When you meet me in the Starship Shenzhou right off the bat, I’m third in command. The captain and the first officer are having a conference in the captain’s ready room, and I get to sit in the captain’s chair. Putting my butt in that chair for the first time was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. How many people get this honor?’ Honestly. Seriously.”
The giddy feeling is common among Discovery‘s cast. On the following pages, Jones, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), who plays Captain Phillipa Georgiou, and Anthony Rapp (Rent stage and screen), who plays scientist Lt. Stamets, open up about their experiences putting on their Starfleet uniforms for the first time and spill a few new tidbits about the highly secretive project.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS, with subsequent episodes released weekly on the network’s streaming platform, CBS All Access.