They’ve both worked with Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, and now they’re leading the next great flagship Star Trek series themselves; Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn are quickly becoming the latest fan-favorite captain and number one duo. And, Strange New Worlds is only just getting started.
As Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 continues to propel its cast to new heights, we spoke with Mount and Romijn about their Strange New Worlds journey, working with Star Trek series royalty, the upcoming Lower Decks crossover, and the idea of a Strange New Worlds Star Trek movie. They had a lot to say.
You’re both barely in the first episode which, to me, was a really confident, TNG-esque move. When you got the scripts through, what was your reaction to your absence?
Anson Mount: I was expecting it because that decision kind of came out of the fact of me looking ahead and seeing that my wife was going to have a baby slightly before we started shooting season 2. So I was like, ‘Guys, you’ve got to help me out here.’ Otherwise, I think we probably would have started with the trial episode.
But I think it worked out really well for the reasons you just said. It gave the younger cast a little bit more of a moment to shine. It heightened the stakes for episode 2 by putting Pike on the road to go convince this lawyer, which is where we start episode 2. And I think it’s a good episode. I like the first episode.
Rebecca Romijn: I think also in the grand scheme, the big picture, it paces out the serialized storyline nicely, actually. The producers saw how well the cast gelled last season and really aimed this season to give everybody stand out episodes for their individual characters while the rest of the cast plays more supporting roles. Everybody really gets a shot as they did the first season too, but more this season.
Anson calls [the first episode] ‘the summer camp episode’ where the kids steal the car.
AM: All we’re missing is a scene at the top of episode 2 with Pike and Spock, starting with Pike saying, ‘You did what?’
That’s true! You don’t ever mention it…
You both worked with an absolute Star Trek legend this season in Jonathan Frakes. He directed some of the very best episodes of TNG, and so much more. Can you describe his impact and influence, because I can only imagine he was a huge wealth of knowledge?
RR: He is. I’ve worked with Frakes on three different series now. My relationship with Frakes goes way back. He was producing director on The Librarians, the last series I worked on.
But having him on the crossover episode was imperative. He was really able to blend the tone, where Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid are coming from with Lower Decks, with the tone on Strange New Worlds. He was able to mesh those and get them to meld.
AM: He has a wonderful energy that he brings with him to the set. Let me put it this way; when everybody goes to lunch, he goes to his trailer to meditate. He has a great sense of humor, and has the ability to keep things light and creative and experimental.
He also loves to be on the set. He will not go to video village, he has his little monitor so he can be right next to us. Because he’s an actor, right?
RR: He has great ideas, and he’ll come up with something while we’re watching and go, ‘Hey, try this!’ And then you’ll try it and he’ll go, ‘You know what, I take it back, That was a terrible idea.’ He’s not afraid to admit when he’s wrong, which is great. It ends up being such a fun collaboration. It makes you brave to try lots of things. He encourages it.
Reflecting on Una’s relationship with Pike this season, I feel like there’s a subtle difference between now and season 1. Even more than the first season, there’s a complete trust, and Una and Pike are complete equals. That’s different to some relationships we’ve seen with Star Trek captains and their number ones before. Was that an intentional choice?
RR: Going back to Frakes, whenever we’d start a scene with Una and Pike he’d say, ‘They’re long friends, long friends,’ which is such a nice starting point, and gives their whole relationship gravitas.
Because of course, he was a number one too, wasn’t he.
RR: He would know!
He must have some real insight into how to play that second in command role.
RR: He’s a perfect guide, for lots of different reasons.
Obviously the history of Star Trek is grounded in TV, but it also has a long tradition of movies. I can so easily imagine the Strange New Worlds cast doing a movie. Is that something you’ve ever thought about?
RR: We feel like all our episodes are mini-movies. I mean, we shoot them over 12 days. They all feel epic. Every script feels epic. So they already feel like movies to us. But, sure. We’d do a movie.
AM: Yeah, I wouldn’t say no. Maybe Chris Pine will get into another contract dispute and we can take over.
Speaking on Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 2, it draws a really sharp analogy with current social issues. People will interpret that in lots of different ways.
RR: I agree. It’s open to interpretation. It deals with prejudice and persecution, with regards to religion, race, the trans community, immigrants. It can be interpreted in whatever way it speaks to you.
The way I interpreted it, and can see a lot of discussion on it, is in relation to trans rights.
RR: That seems like maybe the most obvious interpretation. But it’s open to interpretation from whoever watches it, and is touched by it.
For more on Star Trek, check out our ranking of the Star Trek captains, and find out which of them would survive a zombie apocalypse. Or, read our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review, before checking out our detailed explainers on Lanthanites, Illyrians, and the Crossfield class starship.